We have an open door policy. I told a friend today it’s a revolving door policy. But hospitality for your kids is just as important as for adults. For one thing, I know where my children are and what they are doing. But this is also an important thing for them to learn so they can implement that in their lives when they’re older.
Have things for them that aren’t vidio games if possible. We don’t even have one, but I don’t think that they are conductive to conversation. That could be just my own pet peeve but I don’t like them so engrossed in video games they forget people. We have a large number of games, both board games and cards. Look up new card game rules online when we don’t know them. Have puzzles and I love printing off questions for dinner conversations that often branch off in other areas. We do watch movies together but their favorite is theme movie/dinners. Which leads to…
Theme dinners are their very favorite. We love to pair dinner and a movie. I know one of the things is eating in the living room. Be creative. Cheaper by the Dozen – franks and beans. We had a Transformer party with all the hats, plates and renamed food. You don’t have to keep the same name for dishes. We have a Grinch party every year- It’s my daughters favorite. Grinch droppings are peas. Mistle toes are chicken fingers. Roast beast- I’m sure you can guess.
We always have popcorn available and it’s ok to serve water any time. You don’t have to go overboard. Make and freeze cookie dough in advance so it’s ready for last minute. Make sure and mark it something unappetizing like liver or chicken feet. They’ll never touch it. For dinners, with teens and boys, just make sure there’s an abundance. Spagetti, chili, soups, and casseroles all stretch far and fills them up. I always have bread of some kind too. And very few will say no to dessert even if it’s thrown together, a boxed mix or even simply fruit.
Now is a good time to practice those company manners. Go over it with them ahead of time. Introductions will be easy the rest of their life if it’s second nature as a child. They need activities in mind and offer them to their guest. That way the favorite toy and be put up and they can still be a good host and follow what their guest would like. They need practice in offering beverages and snacks. It shouldn’t be all up to Mom. Let them know ahead of time what to offer and let them do it. Hospitality for your kids doesn’t normally come naturally. Teach them. Practice before they have a friend over. You be the guest and coach them.