As parents we want our children to be socialized thus planning play dates, attending parties, joining clubs and organizations are perfect opportunities for the children to play while learning valuable social skills. But how do you handle a rude child when their parents are not present?
If you know the child well, it’s okay to make a simple correction or give an explanation, as long as you do it in a way that doesn’t embarrass the child or criticize his parents. It is fine to say, Suzie, we don’t use language like that in our house.” If you know the child well you might say, “it’s so much nicer if you chew with your mouth closed, Johnny.” You don’t need to mention the behavior to the child’s parents unless it‘s especially disruptive or outlandish. If the child’s parents are present and don’t say or do anything about rude behavior, it’s best to bite your tongue. If you feel compelled to say something, say it pleasantly.
Never criticize the child. You should model the manners that you wish for them to use. Don’t try and reach manners to your young guests – that is their parent’s responsibility – but you have the right to set expectations for behavior in your own household. In all cases, the operative parent phrase is “In our house…”