Culture & Entertainment

3 ways to help your kids behave at Thanksgiving without losing your mind

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Culture & Entertainment

3 ways to help your kids behave at Thanksgiving without losing your mind

Are you just crossing your fingers that you don't have to say anything, shall we say, unusual to your kids at your family gathering for Thanksgiving? Here are my 3 killer tips for helping kids get through a day that can involve a lot of different expectations. 1. Develop the superhero signal Did you know that Superman, Batman, and every ninja ever have etiquette in common? That's because Bruce Wayne has to behave at boring rich-people events and Clark Kent has to be able to get the story...and ninjas just plain have to blend in. But budding superheros sometimes need a reminder, so that's why my family has a hand signal to remind our heroes-in-training to be extra-careful of being polite. I can't share the exact signal because then I'd have to kill you, but you can develop your own. The hand signal means "hey, check your behaviour." 2. Practice makes perfect I've already written about our little etiquette practice sessions, but we also rehearse for family dinners. "And when guests come in the door, we...." Hand puppets may or may not be involved. This may explain why sometimes my little guy greets people at the door in a Cookie Monster-like voice but I'll take it. Here's a warning, though: Do not amuse yourself with coming up with crazy dialogue for all the characters in your pre-event rehearsal, because your child may share exactly what you said. I think that's why my son offered a notorious double-dipper his own bowl before he even had his shoes off. 3. Play bingo For the early elementary set, you can develop your own bingo card with all the politeness markers you'd like them to set. Of course jumping up and yelling BINGO! is not perhaps the ultimate in modern guest behaviour, but it beats whining for the iPad constantly. Thanksgiving bingo card for kids How do you prepare your kids for Thanksgiving -- or does your family just roll with it? Don't miss how to have the best Thanksgiving ever - including kid-friendly dishes!
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3 ways to help your kids behave at Thanksgiving without losing your mind

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