Happy Birthday To My 2 Year Old Daughter From Dad Mom Etiquette – 10 Things Every Mother Should Know

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Mom Etiquette – 10 Things Every Mother Should Know

I often find myself thinking, “they (ie other moms) should know better than that”, or “isn’t that a bit rude?”, or “I can’t believe they think that’s okay”. Maybe because I’m older, I was brought up when there were certain social graces that everyone knew how to follow. But now many moms behave in a way that I can’t always tolerate. Here are ten ways to tactfully handle your child’s social interactions:

1. Party etiquette: If your child is invited to a child’s birthday party, some reciprocity is expected (especially if your child is attending the party). If they invite you, you should invite them. Yes, I know some parents have to keep parties small for financial reasons, but if that’s the case, have a party in your backyard or basement. Kids just want to run and have fun.

Respond to party invitations as soon as possible. Don’t show up without an RSVP – if you don’t know if you can make it, let them know as soon as possible. Parents throwing the party don’t know how many party bags to make, etc. If you RSVP to say you’re coming, then come! If an emergency arises, call the other parent to let them know as soon as possible. Also, if your child is invited to a party, it doesn’t mean that all of their siblings can also attend. The invitation is to the child whose name is on the envelope. If it is an electronic invitation that is sent to the parent’s email, make it clear which child or children must attend.

If your child is attending a birthday party, don’t show up empty-handed. A donation is expected (unless donations to a charitable organization are requested instead). There are plenty of gifts under $5 that kids will be delighted with. Browse around the dollar store as a last resort.

2. Play date etiquette: Play dates should also be reciprocated. If you can’t arrange a play date at your house, go to the park.

If another mom asks if you want a play date, get back to them right away. Don’t leave them hanging wondering if it’s a yes or a no. If you don’t know your schedule, tell them so.

If you have a young child, always offer to stay for the play date, especially if your child has separation anxiety or if you know they can be a “handful”.

3. Play ethics: Younger children must have a parent or babysitter at the playground. If your child needs help with the equipment, the parent or babysitter should be the one to help, not the other moms or dads. I have seen some parents and babysitters who let the kids run wild on the playground while they sit and talk on their cell phones completely oblivious to what is going on. Once while at an indoor commercial playground, a little boy sat with us for 15 minutes (I gave him a snack because he asked for one) and the babysitter was nowhere to be found. I had no idea who the boy belonged to, but finally a young girl looking embarrassed came to claim the boy. This was a small enough playground that if she had been there she would have seen him with us (I guess she had some shopping to do – yikes!)

4. Don’t gossip about other kids to other moms. Gossip is completely wrong, no matter who it’s about. If you have a real problem with a certain child, call their mom directly and discuss it. No one else needs to know or hear about the problem.

5. Don’t tell other moms how to raise their kids. If you have a problem with another child and it needs to be brought to their mother’s attention, do so tactfully. What works for one child doesn’t necessarily work for another, so leave out the part of how you would handle it or what you will do with your child. Refrain from lecturing other mothers about how you enforce rules, how you require them to eat their meals, etc. The vast majority of mothers out there are doing a perfectly adequate job of raising their children. Unless you are truly concerned about a child’s well-being, don’t get involved.

6. Do not comment on another child’s physical appearance. This is common sense, right? Apparently, not to some people. Refrain from commenting on how tall another child is, how short another child is, how heavy or thin a child is, etc. Chances are, if a child is very big or very small, it could be something the mother and/or child is. sensitive about. Your comments are just stating the obvious and lead to embarrassment or hurt feelings. Keep it to yourself!

7. Do not discipline other children. If you are at the park or an area where many children play, and a child is doing something that is clearly not okay, do your best to find their mom and discuss it. If you can’t find the other mother, approach the child nicely and say “My, my son/daughter doesn’t like it when you push, can you be a little gentler with them?” or “My kid just got that bike for Christmas and she’s not ready to have anyone else ride it yet”. I was actually at a park when a kid started riding another kid’s bike and the bike owner’s mom yelled, “THAT’S NOT YOUR BIKE, GET OFF!” On another occasion, I heard a mother tell a child (not hers) “you need to learn how to share”, the child’s mother sat right there and raised her eyebrows at the comment. I know there are times when you want a child’s mother to do certain things, but that doesn’t give you the right to do those things for them.

8. Do not discipline your own child in front of other children (or parents). Yes, I know there are times when you have to tell your child to stop doing something, but whenever possible, pull them aside and tell them in a whisper. Constantly yelling or scolding your child in public can give other children “permission” to do the same. This can lead to other children ganging up on your or other parents by labeling your child as a troublemaker. Another option for less urgent matters is to bring it up and discuss it after you are home alone. Likewise, do not announce to others that your child is grounded or “in trouble.” If grounding is part of your discipline, simply tell others that your child cannot do it that day.

9. Don’t brag. Period. If someone asks you about one of your child’s accomplishments, answer honestly and don’t embellish. I realize that parents (and grandparents) feel like they’ve earned bragging rights, but it’s annoying and makes other parents and kids feel inferior. That’s actually one reason other kids might not want to hang out with yours. Your child’s achievements will stand on their own. Teach your child not to brag…they will be more respected if they are not constantly singing their own praise.

On the same note, don’t brag to other parents about all the parties, play dates, or fun things your child does or will do. Teach your child not to talk about play dates or parties with other children. If the child they’re talking to isn’t invited, it leads to hurt feelings – no one likes to be left out. This not only hurts the child, it hurts the mother too.

10. If your child goes to the movies, swimming pool or any other place where there is a charge for admission (even if they are invited by another child) – send them with enough money to cover admission and maybe a snack. Unless it’s a party, don’t assume the other parent will cover the cost. They may refuse the money, but you should always offer.

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