Friday, November 16, 2012

What to do with the Children

     In my post "Art of the Guest", I made mention of rules for parents with small children.  As I previously mentioned, my suggestions for hosts are related to each of the rules for guests.  So....what to do with the children?

           My husband and I did not stop entertaining just because our children were toddlers.  In order to have confident future hosts and hostesses, you must expose your young family to entertaining at an early age.  However, these youngsters cannot be expected to behave as angels for the entire time of your event.  Our solution was to ask our regular babysitter to join us for the evening at her regular pay scale.  She would be a treated as though she were a regular guest, (and, indeed, a most welcome one!), but we'd pay her to supervise over our children and others that may be invited.   It was not a difficult job, as all the parents were right there, if needed, but it was invaluable, in that our sitter kept the kids occupied, saw that they ate something and kept childish spats to a minimum.   This is a definite option if you, the hostess, have small children of your own.

     If your children are teens, as mine are now, they will most likely not mind at all, if you ask them to keep an eye on the little ones.  My children are perfectly fine with this and have been praised by many a young parent!  It would not be a bad idea to slip your teen helpers a small sum of cash afterwards, but I don't recommend telling them that they will get any remuneration.  A family helps one another and that should be the reason they do it.

     Older hostesses can do this as well.  It is a simple matter to find a young person from your family or social group that could use a bit of extra money or even volunteer hours.  Volunteer hours are needed in many communities to graduate or be confirmed into your faith.  My daughters got volunteer hours for helping a single mother throw her son a birthday party!  What a fun way to earn those hours!

     So, fear not, friends!  After all, the holidays are all about feeling young!


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