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Teach Your Children To Be Good Guests

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Anonymous: There is an art to being a guest in someone's home. Yes, you are the guest, and you should be treated like one. But if you want to be asked back, don't make your host wish she'd never invited you in the first place. You'd be surprised how many adults don't grasp this (we've all had the houseguest from hell, I'm sure), and kids ... well, now's the time to teach them!

child sitting on a couch
I had to explain this etiquette to one young girl the other day, during a playdate she was having with my daughter, Estella. This kid wanted to do what she wanted to do. She wanted to have a certain plate and cup during snack time; she wanted the Barbie with the blonde hair, not the one with the brown ponytail and roller skates; and she insisted on wearing the pink princess dress and not the Tinkerbell outfit if any form of dress-up was to be played. 

When this kid wanted the bigger cookie, she said it "should" be hers. Because she was an annoying sh*t? Yes! But also because, according to her, she was the guest. Clearly, her parents had only shown her one side of the coin when it came to this: How you should treat one, not how to be one. 

I said that yes, she was indeed a guest, but that that meant being nice, helpful and taking what was offered, not demanding things and insisting on getting her way. In other words, you get what you get and don't get upset. That, along with some "pleases" and "thank yous," would have gotten her invited back anytime. Can you guess what she said? "You shouldn't talk that way to a guest!" 

Oh well. She may not know it now, but that's the last time she'll be demanding the bigger cookie at my house!

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