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"When we have dinner guests" cheat sheet

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A "crib sheet" for kids who need a little extra help understanding the unwritten social rules of a dinner party.

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"When we have dinner guests" cheat sheet

  1. 1. What’s happeningHost: YOUGuest: VISITORBefore arrival: tidying up, cookingRemember they will only be here for a few hours, you will have quiet again after they goMay feel shy, wonder what there will be to do or to eatArrival: Lots of, dog jumping, many people saying hi, taking off coats, etc.Friendly greeting with voice, body and face. Meet them at the door, say hi, smile.May be shy OR excited. May stay near parents OR run around ready to play.Before meal: play while meal is getting readyShow guest around the house. Ask guest what they like to do. Give them a few options for playing, then do what THEY want. Stay with them as they play. No movies or video games without parents’ permission.Doesn’t know our house or toys. May follow your lead OR have strong ideas about what to do. Likes to see stuff they don’t have. (How do YOU feel when you play at someone else’s house? Guest may feel that way, too.)During meal: kids may eat before adults or with adultsFriendly talking with guest. Offer to get food and drinks for them. Show them where to clear dishes and model good manners.May feel nervous about different food OR may like trying something new.After meal: play till dessertAsk to be excused, then same as “before meal.”Same as “before meal.”Leaving: time for them to goWalk them to the door. Help them find shoes or things they brought. Say goodbye, friendly face and voice. If guests have left a mess, don’t worry or scold – Mommy and Daddy will help you and your sister clean up after they go.Don’t know where to put toys away. May not want to because they are ready to go.<br />PROBLEMS: May not happen at all! If they do, try these strategies, or ask (in a quiet voice) Mommy and Daddy for help.What’s happeningHost: YOUGuest: VISITORGuest doesn’t want to do what you want to doYour job as host is to make guest feel welcome. Do what they want first, then suggest you take turns. If they won’t listen, do what they want and know they will only visit a short time this time.Knows they are “guest” and expect to be treated specially. Want to have fun with you and also decide what to play.You feel shy and don’t want to talk or playHang out with adults – we will help. Or ask Mommy or Daddy for a break – you can go up to your room alone to relax. Come back down when you are ready.Wonders if you are mad at them. May feel shy, too.It’s too loud and chaoticTake a quiet break in your room. Do not yell “Shut up!” or “Quiet!” just ask for a quiet break and go to your room to relax.If you yell, guests will feel like you’re “mean” and may feel scared.You don’t want to share a toyHosts must share toys. If the toy gets damaged or broken by a guest’s rough treatment (NOT if you and guest are both playing roughly), Mommy and Daddy will replace it.Will feel like you’re being “mean” if you won’t share.<br />

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