Relationship admin  

Mom Etiquette: 10 Things Every Mom Should Know

I often find myself thinking “They (ie other moms) should know more than that”, or “Isn’t that a little rude?”, or “I can’t believe they think it’s okay.” Maybe since I was older, I was raised when there were certain social graces that everyone knew how to follow. But now, many moms behave in ways that I can’t always tolerate. Here are ten ways to tactfully deal with your child’s social interactions:

1. Party etiquette: If your child is invited to a child’s birthday party, some reciprocity is expected (especially if your child attends the party). If they invite you, you must invite them. Yes, I know some parents need the parties to be small for financial reasons, but if that’s the case, throw a party in your backyard or basement. Children just want to run and have fun.

RSVP for party invitations ASAP. Don’t show up without RSVP – If you don’t know if you can attend, let them know as soon as possible. Parents organizing the party don’t know how many party bags to make etc. If you RSVP to say you’re coming, come on! If an emergency arises, call the other parent to let them know as soon as possible. Also, if your child is invited to a party, that doesn’t mean that all of his siblings can attend as well. The invitation is for the child whose name is on the envelope. If it is an electronic invitation that is sent to the parents’ email, please clarify which child or children should attend.

If your child attends a birthday party, don’t show up empty-handed. A gift is expected (unless donations are requested to a charity instead). There are many gifts under $ 5 that kids are happy with. Explore the dollar store as a last resort.

2. Play date etiquette: Play dates must also be reciprocal. If you can’t make a play date at home, go to the park.

If another mom asks if you want a play date, get back to her right away. Don’t leave them hanging wondering if it’s a yes or a no. If you don’t know their hours, tell them.

If you have a young child, always offer to stay for the playdate, especially if your child has separation anxiety or if you know it may be a “handful.”

3. Playground etiquette: Younger children should have a parent or babysitter present while on the playground. If your child needs help with equipment, the parent or babysitter should be the one to help, not the other moms or dads. I have seen some parents and babysitters letting the kids freak out on the playground as they sit and talk on their cell phone completely ignorant of what is going on. Once, while I was in the courtyard of a shopping center, a boy sat with us for 15 minutes (I gave him a sandwich because he asked for one) and the babysitter was nowhere to be found. He had no idea who the boy belonged to, but finally a young woman who seemed embarrassed came to claim the boy. This was a small enough playground that if she were there, she would have seen it with us (I guess she had some shopping to do, ahem!).

4. Don’t gossip about other children to other moms. Gossip is absolutely wrong, no matter who it is. If you have a real problem with a certain child, call his mom directly and discuss it. No one else needs to know or hear about the problem.

5. Don’t tell other moms how to raise their children. If you have a problem with another child and you need to tell his mother, do so tactfully. What works for one child may not necessarily work for another, so skip the part about how you would handle it or what you would do with your child. Refrain from lecturing other mothers about how you apply the rules, how you ask them to eat, etc. The vast majority of mothers do a completely adequate job of raising their children. Unless you are genuinely concerned about the welfare of a child, don’t get involved.

6. Do not comment on the physical appearance of another child. This is common sense, right? Apparently not for some people. Refrain from commenting on how tall another child is, how short another child is, how heavy or thin a child is, etc. Chances are, if a child is very big or very young, it could be something the mother and / or child are sensitive to. Your comments only state the obvious and cause embarrassment or hurt feelings. Keep it to yourself!

7. Does not discipline other children. If you are in the park or in an area where a lot of children play and a child does something that is clearly not right, do your best to find his mom and discuss it. If you can’t find the other mother, kindly approach the child and say, “Honey, my son doesn’t like it when you push, can you be a little kinder to them?” or “My son just got that bike for Christmas and it’s not ready for anyone else to ride.” In fact, I was in a park when a child started riding another child’s bike and the bike owner’s mother yelled, “THAT’S NOT YOUR BICYCLE, GET OFF!” On another occasion, I heard a mother tell a child (not hers) “you have to learn to share”, the child’s mother was sitting there and raised her eyebrows at the comment. I know there are times when I wish the mother of a child would take certain actions, but that does not entitle you to take those actions for them.

8. You do not discipline your own child in front of other children (or parents). Yes, I know there are times when you need to tell your child to stop doing something, but whenever possible, put it aside and whisper it to him. Yelling at or publicly berating your child constantly can give other children “license” to do the same. This can lead to other children teaming up against you or other parents and labeling your child as a troublemaker. Another option for less urgent matters is to bring it up and discuss it once you are home alone. Similarly, don’t announce to others that your child is grounded or “in trouble.” If grounding is part of your discipline, just tell others that your child cannot survive that day.

9. Don’t brag. Period. If someone asks you about one of your child’s accomplishments, answer honestly and don’t embellish it. I realize that parents (and grandparents) feel like they have earned the right to brag, but it is annoying and makes other parents and children feel inferior. Actually, that’s one of the reasons other kids may not want to hang out with yours. Your child’s achievements will stand on their own. Teach your child not to brag … he will be more respected if he does not constantly sing his own praises.

On the same note, don’t brag to other parents about all the parties, play dates, or fun things your child is doing or going to do. Teach your child not to talk about play dates or parties with other children. If the child you are talking to is not invited, feelings are hurt: no one likes to be left out. This not only hurts the child, it also hurts the mother.

10. If your child goes to the movies, the pool, or any other place where there is a charge for admission (even if he is invited by another child), send him with enough money to cover the entrance and maybe a snack. Unless it’s a party, don’t assume the other parent will cover the cost. They may decline money, but you should always offer it.

Leave A Comment