Award-Winning Author | Manners Expert | Mom
Parents, review these party etiquette tips and coach your kids on them to ensure they will be guests who are invited back again and again.
Party Etiquette for Mom & Dad
Tip 1: ALWAYS RSVP.
RSVP stands for “respondez s’il vous plait,” which is French, and means please reply.
When someone has a party, they need to know how many people will be attending so that they can prepare the right amount of food, party favors, etc. If a host thinks ten people are coming and 20show up, the party will not go well.
Model party etiquette by showing them that you respect the host and RSVP. If they are old enough, then let them RSVP.
It is RBB (rude beyond belief) to not let a host know whether you are coming or not.
Party Etiquette for Kids
Tip 2: Wear the right clothes for the occasion.
If it’s a Halloween party wear a costume; if it’s a hayride take a jacket.
Regardless of the type outfit, arrive neat and clean to show your respect for the host and your appreciation for being invited.
If you dress sloppily or in clothes that are not right for the occasion, you send a signal that you don’t care about the host and that the event is not important to you.
Tip 3: Do your part to make the party lots of fun.
Treat all the guests nicely, even if you don’t like someone very much.
Take part enthusiastically in all the activities and be a good sport. It doesn’t matter if you win Pin the Tail on the Donkey; what’s important is that you share a good time with friends.
Tip 4: Do not play too roughly.
This may be one of the hardest party etiquette tips to do.
Parties are very exciting, but remember to wait your turn and take it easy on the other kids.
Just because you’re dressed like a gorilla, it doesn’t mean its Okay to act like one.
Tip 5: Stay with the group.
A party takes place within certain boundaries, like a room or a backyard. Out of respect to the host, you should stay within those boundaries during the party.
If you must leave the party zone to go to the bathroom, for example, return straight to the party and do not touch things along the way that do not belong to you.
Tip 6: Arrive on time and leave on time.
Parties usually have a set beginning and an end, like 2:00-4:00 pm. Out of courtesy to your host, arrive on time so the activities can begin.
Don’t throw a fit and refuse to leave when the party is over. That is disrespectful to your host and ruins the good time.
Tip 7: Say thank you.
Be sure to be courteous even on your way out the door by making an effort to thank both the host and his or her parents before you leave.
Party Etiquette Bottom Line
Party etiquette is very similar to everyday social courtesies. When kids practice their “best manners,” they can’t help but be the life of the party!
About Beth Brainard
Beth Brainard writes manners and life skills books for kids, teaches etiquette classes for children and young adults, and speaks to parenting groups and organizations. Etiquette IQ is her specialty! Learn more about her award-winning book Soup Should Be Seen, Not Heard here.
Over the course of her career Beth ran a consulting firm specializing in social and corporate protocol, created and taught a K-5 etiquette curriculum, hosted a radio talk show for parents called “Kids Don’t Come With an Owner’s Manual,” and participated in the formation of the Josephson Institute’s K-12 Character Counts! program.
To put her sons through college she served as a Director of Communications for divisions of Disney World and Harvard University. Beth is a graduate of Harvard University and lives in Massachusetts with her husband, Paul. They have LOTS of kids.
This post was originally posted on 10/29/2013 on the now-defunct Mom’s Choice Matters blog.