Tag Archives: Kids

Homemade Mother’s Day Gifts – Mother’s Day Crafts For Kids

These Homemade Mother’s Day gifts are just the ticket for kids to craft.  This cup and saucer flower holder is so easy to make that a three year old can easily participate.  I gathered my grand kids around the kitchen table  to make this simple mother’s day craft projects for their moms.   A few of them were a bit disappointed they couldn’t give the gift to their moms immediately and had to wait a week for Mother’s Day.

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The first mother’s day craft is Cup and Saucer Flower Folder.

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The supplies you’ll need are simple.    Some of the grands and I went to the local thrift store and  found a great variety of cups and matching saucers.  We paid about $.50 cent for each piece.  Then off to the craft store to purchase the “flower frogs.”  Now just try and explain to at 3 year old why they are called “frogs” when you really don’t know yourself.  We found our frogs at Michaels Craft Store.  There were 3 to a package.  We purchased the smallest size.   We also bought E6000 glue.  This glue is used to hold mirrors into place.  It is a clear glue strong glue.   We also purchase a bit of ribbon that we will use to attach the mother’s day tag to the handle of the cup.  Of course you will need the tags… which are offered at the bottom of this post.    If you run across tea cups from a child’s tea set or a very small ceramic container… pick them up too.  They make darling flower holders for the dandelions and small flower bunches the kids bring in from the yard.  Last of all..  you will need flowers.

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Apply the glue to the bottom of the “flower frog”

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Place the “flower frog” inside the cup.   Little ones may need a little helping placing the frog in the center.  Allow the glue to dry.

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The tags can be run off on Avery sticker paper and attached to a larger paper backing, or you can run them off on matte photo paper.  My grands chose their own tags, we cut them out and they signed their names.  Insert a hole in the tag and thread the ribbon and tie it to the handle of the cup.

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On mother’s day… insert the flower into the “flower frog” and fill the cup with water.  (We purchased our flowers at Costco… and one bunch filled 8 cups.)  You could also scour the neighborhood for tulips and daffodils of you only have a couple of cups to fill.  I have neighbor’s who are  pretty willing to share their a few of their blossoms.

Watch the grands in action.  They had such a good time crafting their mother’s day gifts.

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Our second homemade Mother’s Day gift is a Pedestal Cookie Plate.

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Again… the supplies are very simple.   During our trip to the local thrift store, we purchased large salad plates.  Pretty ones were a bit harder to come by… but we got what we needed.  Antique plates are fun for this project.  You will also need  glass candle holders.  We found them in various shapes and sizes and they were in abundance at the thrift store.    The E6000 glue is also used to attach the plate to the candle holder.  Don’t forget a bit of ribbon so you can attach your mother’s day tag.

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Apply the glue to the top of the candle holder.

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Turn the plate upside down so you can place the candle holder in the middle of the plate back.  Let it set for a few minutes before you turn it upright.

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Attach the tag to the pedestal base with the ribbon.

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Fill the plate with cookies or small slices of cake… cover the plate with plastic wrap.  The kids will be thrilled to present this to their mom’s or grandmothers on Mother’s Day.

Again… watch my two cute grand daughters, Ella and Claire  put this mother’s day craft together.

mothertags

Now if you want these free mother’s day tags… simply give us your name and e-mail address and we’ll send you the download link.  If you’re already receiving free Insightful Nana downloads… you will not have to sign in again.  I’ll  automatically send these tags to you.

Make sure and watch the videos so you can see how easy these homemade mother’s day gifts are for your kids or grand kids to make.

Have fun with this mother’s day craft.

Till Later,

Kathy Griffiths
Insightful Nana

P.S. This kids loved these Mother’s day printable they colored. Best of all they are a free download.

P.P.S.  Homemade Mother’s Day Gifts are just the best.  I remember getting  homemade gifts the kids made in school.  I still have them… they are priceless to me.

Choices – When Do Kids Choices Really Count?

When do kids choices really count?  Or more importantly…do we as parents, teachers and guardians recognize kids choices really count?  So often, we adults set up scenarios for our kids to make choices… and when they do… their choices are discounted or invalidated.

Hang in there and I’ll explain, using the following example.

Each student, in my grandson Glade’s third grade class, was ask to choose and report on their “Super Hero.”  The report would included a bio, an oral report, and the portrayal of their “Super Hero” in a Wax Museum.  Glade was delighted to share his excitement about his “Super Hero”….. Rocky Balboa.

Now, you have to understand, this boy is pretty intense when it comes to his “Super Heroes.”  When he was 4, his hero was Spiderman.  He wore a Spiderman costume all through the heat of summer.. until it became shreds and fell apart.

Then, he turned to Superman.  He zoomed around the house for months with his cape flying from behind. He was disappointed that his hair was blond and not black.   A couple of years ago, Rocky came on the scene and has remained a constant.  Glade often does daily routines… which sometimes includes… lifting the end of the couch in order to better define his “six pack.”

Last year, for Christmas, he received a much wanted leather jacket.  He even tucked it under his arm when he slept at night.  Emily, his mom, supports Glade and has the Rocky music theme on her phone.  When it rings… she knows who’s calling.

So… when Glade came home and told his mom that his teacher said that  “Rocky” wasn’t good enough to be his “Super Hero” … the war was on.  “Rocky” became an issue for debate between the Emily and the teacher.

We, adults, often stand in the way of our children’s self-reliance and creativity by supervising, restricting, directing, and over parenting.  We call this behavior, guidance and then wonder why our kids can’t make wise decisions when we’re not around.

The issue here is… the children were ask to select their own “Super Hero.”  If the teacher had something more specific in mind… it should have been expressed in the beginning, rather than invalidate Glades choice after his decision was made.

Constant invalidation is one behavior that will eventually destroy the the best of relationships.  However, It has become a common practice to use this conduct to nullify each other… just watch the behavior on sitcoms.  It’s especially detrimental when it’s constantly used to control children.

To make a long story short… a compromise was made and Glade was Sylvester Stallone….  even though “Rocky Balboa” has his own web site…stands as a statue at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, has his foot prints in gold on the stairs leading to the museum, and thousands climb the steps and strike a Rocky-like pose as a symbol  of guts and fortitude.  City Commerce Director Dick Doran said Rocky had done more for the city’s image “than anyone since Ben Franklin.”

Whether you agree that Stallone is a “Super Hero” or not…. is not the point.  The issues is… he is Glade’s choice.

I attended the Wax Museum presentation and was impressed with the clever creativity and care that went into the costumes.  There were over 100 participants and the kids were so careful to pose and be still.  Quite a feat for a third grader.  Way to go Harvest Hill’s third graders!  Here are a few shots I thought you would enjoy.

Is this little girl gorgeous or what? I don’t know where they got this costume.. but it’s beautiful. Well done Cleo!

This young man’s mom said she had to really talk him into wearing the wig.  She said, “With that wig on, no one will recognize you anyway.”  Thanks Columbus… for your contribution to America!

This little beauty is Diana.  When I approached her with my camera in hand… She gave me this striking Diana pose.

I kept my eye on this fellow… and he held that pose for a long long  time before putting his arm down to rest.  He did Steve Young proud.

Isn’t this the sweetest face.  I thought she actually looked like Ameila Earhert’s photos.  She was another one who stood so still she really could have been wax.

This handsome fellow was one of my favorites.  Maybe it’s because Gandhi is one of my “Super Heroes.”  I remember seeing the real Gandhi in the newsreels at the movie theater… but that was probably before your time.

This little sweetie saw me coming with my camera and struck this precious pose long before I got to her.  I kept watching her as I moved up the isle and she didn’t move.  Sacajawea is another hero if mine.  Have you read the book  Sacajawea by Anna L Waldo?   If you haven’t … it’s a worthwhile read.

Look at the photo of Teddy Roosevelt and compare.  What a great costume and likeness.  In my book, this fellow gets an “A.”

There were lots of portrayals of Helen Keller and Ann Sullivan… but I thought these costumes were the best.   These gals were so patient and held so still while I fiddled with my camera.  I had to take their photo 4 times to get the light just right.

Last but not least…  my number one hero, Glade Neff….Slyvester Stallone.  Way to go bud. Hang in there… you make me proud.

Till Later,

Kathy
Insightful Nana

P.S.  When do kids choices really count?  They always count.  Perhaps the real question is… how do they determine the choices they make?

P.P.S.  In my book…Raising Fantastic Kids, I explore in depth ways you can positively help your kids to make good choices.

Registering Your Childs’ Domain Name

Registering a child’s domain name is becoming more and more common these days.  Some couples are receiving their baby’s domain name registration as a gift.  At the cost of about $10.00 a year, couples will invest about $160.00 for the domain registration to remain valid until the child reaches sixteen years old.

Not a bad investment, if you consider a domain name for your child’s name to be important. The first web site was put on the web by Tim Berners Lee in 1991. 108 million sites have been added since then and, several thousand sites are added everyday.  Let’s face it… the Internet isn’t going away.

Surprisingly, no government or central authority controls the World Wide Web… thank goodness.  This allows free enterprise and trade to have no barriers.  Private companies such as Google, Yahoo, and MSN regulate their own search engines, putting their own restrictions in place.

Off-line business are joining the World Wide Web as a means of supporting their companies bottom line. Social sites and blogs are growing in popularity as a means of meeting people with like interests and, businesses are using them as a means of networking.  So what does this mean to your child?

Even though your baby will may not use the domain name for several years to come, having your child’s digital identity already established provides an easy-to-remember, personal or business web address, when the time comes.

You may want to consider this important step for yourself too. It makes it possible to have an e-mail address without all the numbers if you have a common name.  Since blogs are becoming more and more popular as a means of communication between friends and family members, having your own domain name will become increasingly more important for those who want to be easily located.

If you’ve ever tried to register a domain name for your business, you probably realize that finding one that’s not already taken can be difficult. Having your own Web business in your name is becoming increasingly vital… as it will be for your child.

If your decide to register your child’s domain name, make sure you put privacy precautions in place. Companies, such as Go Daddy, allow domain buyers to register anonymously. In other words, you don’t have to make your child’s name, address and other contact information accessible to the public.

Often time, free domain registration does not give you this opportunity… therefore, the child’s information is  publicly searchable.  It’s best to pay a little bit for the opportunity to have a privacy policy in place.

The most prized address is “YourChildsName.Com” Next is “YourChildsName.Net” I don’t think “YourChildsName.Gov” is a very good idea unless you know he’s going to be the President of the United States.

Some folks don’t think it’s wise to register their children’s names… but…  I’m giving you this little bit of information so you can at least weigh the consideration.

Till later,

Kathy Griffiths
Insightful Nana

P.S.  Sorry… KathrynGriffiths.com is already taken… by me!

P.S.S.  When Britney Spears announced the name of her last child, someone registered the name immediately… I’m sure…hoping to cash in on the possibility she’ll pay “big bucks” to buy it back.

Make Chores For Kids Fun

Making chores for kids fun can be a challenge sometimes… especially when the kids would rather be playing. Somehow if you can combine the kids’ chores with a little fun… it make it easier on everyone.

The trees in my backyard needed trimming.  I hated to call in a commercial tree trimmer when most of the limbs were small that hung over my house.  My two grandsons, Wyatt and Braden were staying at my house for a couple of days…  when I mentioned that my trees needed trimming.   (Not usually on the list for chores for kids).

After they looked over the situation… they decided they would take on the job if I would let them climb up on the roof rather than stand on a ladder.  Hmmmm.  The question was, “Will they fall off of the roof?”  But… I decided they could handle it… they’re eleven and twelve.

They loved wandering around up on the roof… (you know guys).  Soon they got to work trimming the low limbs that were hanging over my house.  “Hey, while you’re up there… why don’t you clean out the rain gutters?” I shouted from the ground.  Of course.. a little more time on the roof for them.  Two birds with one stone for me!

Soon they were done and reluctantly came down.  They were having a good time up there.  I figured… since they were on a roll and I already had them engaged, I suggested they trim another tree…. which they willing did… this time on ladders.

Now what to do with all of the limbs on the ground?  A tree house of course.  They had a ball drawing up plans on a piece of paper.. lashing together the longest branches and loading the smaller branches on top.  A win…win day for all of us!  Sometimes kid’s chores can be a lot of fun.

Till Later,

Kathy Griffiths

Insightful Nana

P.S.  The tree house lasted for several days… until we got a wind storm that blew in.  The tree house toppled over and we cut up the branches and put them in the garbage.  Now that particular kid chore wasn’t as fun as being on the roof.

Kids Book Plates To Print For Back To School

These book plates to print are for your kids. Going back to school is upon us and our summer routine will be drastically changed. Besides all of the hustle and bustle of getting ready for school, the little ones will be bringing home lots of books. Bookplates for children are a fun way for them to personalize their books and notebooks… they love it!

I’ve included a sheet of black and white book plates… for your kids to color… and a sheet of full color…so they just have to cut them out and put them in a book….or on their notebooks or where ever.

Simply print them on sticker paper. My choice is “Ink Jet Sticker Project Paper” by Avery. There are 15 sheets per packet… 8 1/12″ x 11″. Of course, you can print them out on card stock paper, or photo paper and use a little glue to adhere them to the book. Frankly… the ease of sticker paper would be my first choice.

You can generally find the sticker paper at an Office Supply or on line at Avery.

I took a few copies over for a couple of my grandsons, Glade and Randall, to look at and they grabbed the black and white ones… cause they wanted to color. These black and white printables are large…so they’re easy to color.

I was surprised to see Glade color the flowered bookplates first. Hmmm…I wonder who the flower book plates are for?

Then, he colored the dragonfly and added his name for his own notebook.

Randall went to town with the markers. He had a good time… He went through every one of the colored markers…. had to try them all, ya know.

Hey… just take a look at those baby blues… He’s a killer, huh?

Randall did a pretty good job with the scissors too.

Glade didn’t want to color all of them right then. He wanted to save some for school but… he cut his dragonfly book plate out right away!

His main class notebook is where Glade chose to put the bookplate he colored. He simply removed the backing from the sticker paper and placed the bookplate in just the right spot. Lookin’ good!

The full color sheet was a great choice for Glade to use in his smaller books. He ask if he could have
all the extras… cause he wanted to share the rest of the bookplates with his school chums. Good idea!

To get these free book plates to print, all you have to do is fill out the form below and I will e-mail you the book plate download links immediately. Once you’ve sign in… you’ll be on my list for all the future free goodies I send to my list.

Sign in now… so you won’t forget.

Till Later

Kathy Griffiths

Insightful Nana

P.S. My daughter Em came up with a great idea. “Mom, why don’t you do some small stickers that say, ‘This Belongs To’ or ‘This Is Mine’ so the sticker can go on pencil boxes… backpacks, crayons, glue, and all the little goodies that kids need to take to school.” Great idea Em… I’ll get on it right away. Look for these new little goodies in the next couple of weeks.

P.P.S. Even more reason to sign up below…so you won’t miss out on a thing!

5 Practical Back To School Ideas

Here’s 5 practical Back To School ideas that will be help you and your kids get back into the swing of things, now that the summer is over.

Going back to school can be stressful. There’s clothes shopping to be done, school supplies to purchase, bus schedules to review, registration forms to fill out, fees to pay, on top of the million other things you need to get behind you before the first day begins.

Kids also can feel a bit of school anxiety… will I like my teacher…will my teacher like me… will my best friends be in my class… what shall I wear on the first day? After the dust settles down… here are 5 tips to consider for making the school year run more smoothly for you and your kids.

Routine: Believe it or not.. kids like a routine. It takes some of the “unknowns” out of their lives. Can you imagine what it would be like to go into work everyday and not know what’s expected of you? What does the boss want me to do…what are my limitations… what is my job… how much freedom to I have within my job description… what can I do to please my boss?

Without a routine or guidelines… you would feel like you were walking on egg shells all the time. Your children have the same feelings when you don’t have a routine or guidelines. Talk about anxiety! Planning a back to school routine will help both of you get back into the groove of going back to school.

Things to consider are: What time do we get up… when will we eat breakfast…who uses the bathroom first… do we bathe in the mornings, or evening? What is the routine after school… do we work on homework before playtime or after playtime…. when do we practice the piano, what time can we plan on dinner… how much T.V. time do we have… what time do we go to bed?

Include them in the planning of the school routine. Of course your plan needs to be flexible but, for the most part, stick to the schedule.

Get Enough Sleep: More and more studies are being released, shouting the importance of children getting enough rest. Elementary children need at least 10 hours of sleep a night to be able to function at the top of their game the next day.

That mean, if a child gets up at 7:00 in the morning, he needs to be in bed by 9:00 in the evening. So, bed preparations need to start early so the lights are turned off by 9:00.

1. Having a set bed time gives them a target to work toward and trains their bodies towards the routine.

2. Turn off the TV and have a winding down period, which may include a bedtime story and a little bedtime song.

3. Get drinks and bathroom duties handled before the lights are turned out.

Believe it or not, studies show that Jr. high and high school students are routinely getting between 6.5 and 7 hours of sleep a night. They need a minimum of 8 hours or more during the puberty years… which can certainly be a challenge because their lives, like ours, is complex.

1. Homework can rob them of precious hours of sleep if they wait too long in the evening to get started. Waiting until bedtime to begin is not the ideal scene. Also, starting late often does not produce the best school work results because they’re tired and in a hurry.

2. Late phone calls and text messaging can infringe on their sleep time. Perhaps you can agree upon a time when phone calls or texting end for the day. It might encourage going to bed and getting enough sleep so they can be at their best in the morning.

3. They, like younger kids, need a winding down period. Perhaps, this might be the time when you can have a quite discussion about their day. I know of one mom, who would give her older kids a 5 minute back rub before they went to bed. I’ll have to say… that’s more dedication than I’ve got.

Lay Out Clothes and Get Backpacks Ready: Laying clothes out the night before and, having backpacks loaded with books and homework at the door, prevents “morning frantic panic.”

Even your young school kids can select their clothes the night before and have them ready to slip on in the morning. Have them place all of their clothes at the foot of the bed then, you can then check to see if their outfits are complete. “Oops, looks like your missing your socks.” Or, “The weather man said that it’s going to snow tomorrow…perhaps you need to select a different shirt.” They’ll soon get the drift of things and you won’t have to supervise as much. (Oh… and than means coats and gloves, boots etc. are also located the night before.)

Encourage your older kids to know what they’ll be wearing the next morning. No running the washer at five in the morning because they didn’t prepare well.

As soon as homework is completed and their reading is done, pack up the backpacks and place them at the door. If your signature needs to be on any papers, or they need money for a field trip, make sure those things are handled and in the pack before it’s placed at the exit. There’s nothing more frustrating than a kid waving a pen in front of your face as you’re driving them to school.

Eat A Healthy Breakfast: The school, a couple of my grandkids attend, sent a note home announcing tests were being given on a particular day and would parents see that their kids eat a healthy breakfast…. a breakfast of protein and grains and not sugared cereals etc. My thinking is… if that request is good enough on test days, it’s good enough for every day.

A child can be over stimulated by a breakfast of sugared products, therefore they can’t perform at their best… plus being a problem for the teacher. Scramble eggs with the addition of a little cheese can boost the protein in their breakfast. A cup of yogurt will give them protein… however, all yogurts aren’t alike. Watch the labels. So many yogurts are full of sugar and don’t contain beneficial enzymes. Again..read the labels. Use whole grain foods rather than products that have been striped of natural nutrients. (Oh, and watch the labels on peanut butter…some have a lot of sugar included.)

Keep A Sense Of Humor: Keeping a sense of humor goes along way between the the hours of 3:30 and 9:00. A frustrated mom creates frustrated kids. Keep to the schedule as much a possible but don’t take every little departure too seriously. Laugh a lot and keep things as light as possible.

When your kids get over-whelmed or have social problems, let them in on a few of your school challenges and mishaps. When kids feel you can duplicate their experience….it helps for them to know you understand.

I remember ending up at Jr. High with my P.J. bottoms hanging below my skirt. I would keep my bottom on to keep my legs warm until I walked out the door. This particular morning… I just forgot to take them off. I didn’t catch on until half way into my first period class…. talk about being embarrassed. Or, how about the time in elementary school, when I wet my pants in front of the class because a teacher wouldn’t let me be excused. And… that’s nothing compared to my wetting my pants on a date… but that’s a story for another time.

The experiences were tragic at the time… but I laugh about them now. Help your kids get a long range perspective. Keep them laughing.

Go for it… and good luck!

Till Later,

Kathy Griffiths

Insightfulnana.com

P.S. You can avoid confusion at school by having all of their books and notebooks labeled properly. Take a look at these fun book plates you can put in your kids books… I’m offering them to you for your kids… freeeeee.

Good Table Manners & Kids

Teaching kids good table manners can be a challenge if your wait until you’re at a friends house or a restaurant to in engage in dining etiquette lessons. Bad manners are develop at home and can show up at the most inconvenient time.

However, being one who likes to lick her fingers when eating the Colonel’s Chicken… or Goodwood’s ribs… I can’t be too hard on the kids. (Just how can you eat BQ ribs without licking your fingers?) But… there’s a time and place.. right? Come to think of it… I can’t think of a time and place where I wouldn’t lick my fingers if I were eating ribs. Hmmm… perhaps the White House?

Back to table manners… Training children to have table etiquette begins at home a little at a time…and considering the child’s age. Here’s a few table manners they need to know. These are probably the most obvious to others when they’re not kept. Helping your kids in these areas might save you and your child a little embarrassment…. You know… for when the in-laws come… or your dining at the White House.

1. Elbows On The Table: During the Middle ages, trestle tables were use and the diners sat on one side close to the fire… keeping their backsides warm. If they leaned on the table with their elbows, the table would collapse and dinner would be in their laps… So goes the tradition of “No Elbows On The Table.” Today, however, putting elbows on the table doesn’t leave much room for the person sitting next to you. So it’s best if you keep your elbows off the table and be considerate of your neighbor.

2. Don’t Talk With Your Mouth Full: Now just how do you talk during a meal with out food in your mouth? Get real! It would be a pretty quiet dinner conversation if you had to wait until your mouth was empty before you could talk. The secret is… don’t over stuff your mouth with food. Take small bites so you won’t choke and you can talk to someone while you still have a bit of food in your mouth.

3. Chew With Your Mouth Closed:
Good idea. Do the best you can.. no one like to see half eaten food. Sometimes we’re not as careful as we should be when we’re in a hurry. Best thing to do is slow down a bit.

4. Don’t Eat With Your Fingers: Unless… it’s ribs, of course…or chicken or food that is meant to be eaten with fingers. If your meal consists of finger foods, provide lots of napkins. Cutting food into small pieces will encourage your child to use utensils. (At last try to keep the finger licking to a minimum if your eating ribs.)

5. Don’t Burb at the Table:
If you slip… say, “Excuse me!” However, in some cultures burping is considered a way of showing the host your appreciation for a good meal. (When I was in China… there seemed to be a lot of burping going on… and no one seemed to mind. For me… I kept mine to myself.)

6. Use a Napkin: Wiping your mouth frequently is the trick. If you spill, wipe it up the best you can. Small children sometimes have a hard time with napkins. Help from parents is frequently necessary. (I swear… sometimes I have a hard time keeping food off my abundant Italian chest… so I really sympathize with kids in the spilling area.)

7. Say, Please And Thank You:
Get in the habit of saying, “Please” and “Thank You.” These are probably the number one rules of good table manners in any culture. Often… when we’re in a hurry… those words are easily forgotten.

FOR PARENTS ONLY!

8. Set A Good Example:
Setting a good example is probably the best teaching tool you have. As you can see by the above suggestions… they apply to us as well as our kids. As you already know… kids watch adults very carefully. Often times kids reflect our own behavior when they’re in public. I know I’ve been caught more than a few times… “Oh my gosh… just who did they learn that from?”

9. Explain The Rules:
Often time, correction is made by the parent and the child doesn’t understand the “why.” Explain “why” certain etiquette is appropriate in our culture. “Son, when you put your elbows on the table, it doesn’t leave much room for your sister.”

10. Make Your Meal A Pleasant Time:
Lecturing kids will turn them off to good manners, plus make the meal unpleasant. The best teaching method is “making suggestions” rather than nagging or putting a child down. They’ll come along if your patient and kind. They just might surprise you at the restaurant with good dining etiquette.

Good Luck… and I’ll be watching you at the restaurant with your kids… as you’ll be watching me with my grandkids. Let’s be kind to each other.

Till Later

Kathy Griffiths
Insightful Nana

P.S. Now for the issues of fighting among siblings, spilling milk, falling off the chair, whining about what’s served… you’re on your own. These are areas where I could use a few suggestions.