It’s summertime in some parts of the world, and that means you might be having more play dates and family get-togethers!
In addition to all of the good things that entertaining guests entails, it can also be somewhat stressful for a child. It’s hard to have newcomers in the home that you usually only share with mom and dad.
Luckily, there are ways you can help your child understand “How to invite people into my home” and “How to share my things.” These are known as Grace and Courtesy lesson in the Montessori classroom.
For Older Children:
Older children can take great pride in welcoming guests to your home. Practice these steps whenever you have visitors! Your child will be less nervous when they know exactly what to do to get guests settled in.
- Open the door. You can say “Welcome to my home, would you like to come in?”
- Take their coat or anything they need help carrying such as packages or bags.
- Offer refreshment, “Would you like something to drink?”
- Show your guests where they can sit. “Would you like to sit on the couch?”
For Younger Children:
For children who aren’t speaking yet or who are still a bit shy, simply model all of the above steps for them. As they become more comfortable, involve them in each step. “Would you like to hang up grandma’s coat for her?”
Younger children will also benefit from the Grace and Courtesy lesson of “How to Share.” A bit of mental preparation will help a play date go smoothly.
Start by having a conversation. “Sally is going to come over to our house to play and have snack. What toys would you like to play with together?” If your child has special toys that they’d rather not share, that’s ok! Just make sure to put them out of sight to avoid confrontations.
Next, practice some simple phrases with your child. “Would you like to play with me?” for example. If yes, then let’s play! If no, you could respond with, “Ok, maybe later.”
Practicing these types of Grace and Courtesy lessons will help your child know what to do when you have guests in your home. By instilling these habits, your child will develop confidence in their interactions with others!
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