Start your holiday with a pleasant, enjoyable journey

We’ve all planned a beautiful holiday in a lovely location only to have the horror of the journey dawn on us a few weeks before we are set to leave. Here at Niche Etiquette Children we’ve compiled a list of handy hints and tips to make travelling with young children less stressful and more enjoyable for all involved.   Help your children understand what’s happening On the run up to your holiday, spend time talking to your children about your holiday. Tell them what will happen when during the journey and explain what’s expected of them. For example, if they haven’t flown before, tell them about the noises the airplane makes, that they have to sit in their seat and ask them to help you pack some activities for them to do during their journey. Be prepared Snacks are easily available at the airport, but most of them come with lots of packaging and are usually packed with sugar. You know your child best and what snacks they prefer, so pack a few small bags of snacks that are nutritious and enjoyable, but aren’t going to send your child off into a sugar high! Pack wisely If your child has a favourite toy or blanket pack it so it’s close to hand to reassure your little one during the journey. Take some games, ideally without any small pieces that will inevitably roll under the chair in front of you never to be seen again. Keep these games and activities for when they are needed, don’t reveal them all too early in the journey. Something new and exciting just before...

Mealtimes are a great chance to spend time together as a family

In his farewell address to the nation, President Ronald Reagan declared, “All great change in America begins at the dinner table. So tomorrow night in the kitchen, I hope the talking begins.” Barack Obama has a strict rule in The White House, at 6:30pm each night he stops work (albeit sometimes temporarily) and enjoys his evening meal with his family. Meal times are a great time for families to get together, share stories of the day and spend quality time with each other. Life is busy and it’s often difficult to get everyone in the same place at the same time, but whenever you can, try to all sit down and eat together, it will do wonders for your families relationships and your children’s social skills. We’ve developed some top tips to help you and your family to get the most out of meal times. Every meal is an opportunity to bond We understand how busy we all are today, so eating your evening meal together might not always be possible. But you can eat any meal together, not just dinner. Why not try to eat breakfast together before everyone sets off for the day, start the day with a positive feeling and a sense of belonging. Get everyone involved  If you can, try to get everyone involved in the preparation. Perhaps the children can lay the table, chop vegetables, or put the dishes in the dishwasher afterwards. Make everyone feel that they have a part to play in the family dinner. Technology free zone Turn off the TV, the mobile phones, tablets and games consoles. Sit together at...

Sibling Rivalry

As we congratulate the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge on the birth of their new baby, Princess Charlotte Elizabeth Diana, spare a thought for Prince George and how he will feel when he realises he has a new baby sister to contend with. It can be tough for a toddler to welcome a new baby into his world. Sibling rivalry is the competition, jealousy and fighting between brothers and sisters.  It can be a problem for most parents who have two or more children, and problems can begin soon after the birth of a second child.  Rivalry usually continues through childhood and parents can find this very stressful and frustrating; there are not many children who start out as “best friends”, playing together happily for hours on end. A toddler will not realise his feelings are of jealousy, he just wants your attention, and may react by misbehaving or refusing to do things. He may jump on the sofa while you are feeding the baby, refuse to walk, stop using his potty or even prod the new baby. Here at Niche Etiquette Children we have put together a few tips on sibling rivalry that may help you, but remember it is a normal part of family life. Time share Spend quality time with your toddler, try to set aside time to do something with just him while baby sleeps. Make the older sibling feel important and build his confidence Ask your toddler for help, ask him to pass you the baby wipes etc., and point out how helpful he has been and how much the baby likes him. Find small manageable...

9 Net Etiquette rules for children

Net Etiquette rules developed as more people began to communicate and interact on the Internet. There is no way to avoid the digital social interaction that will almost certainly become a large part of children growing up in this age of evolving technological devices. Parents need to have regular conversations with their children about online safety, digital etiquette and cyber bullying. Children are more likely to behave properly online when they know and understand what is expected of them. Below are examples of good net etiquette rules for your children to follow: Treat others how you want to be treated. Sometimes children need to be reminded about good manners, even online. Make a point of stressing that sometimes it is better to discuss sensitive issues with the person directly rather than sending a hurtful email or posting something online. Keep your friends’ secrets – ask your child how they would feel if one of their embarrassing moments or photos was posted on the web for the world to see. Before you join in a discussion on the web, always check that your questions and comments are relevant to the group. It is a good idea to “lurk” or watch the conversation before joining in. Double check your messages before you hit the send button – teach your child to slow down and think about their post or comments, and that once sent there is no way to take back their words. Never respond to threatening or rude messages anywhere – on message boards, newsgroups, social media platforms or chat. If a conversation makes you feel uncomfortable – always leave...

Two huge etiquette blunders involving President Obama

Learning etiquette the hard way at Buckingham Palace The importance of learning the etiquette of the country you are about to make a state visit to cannot be understated as President Obama found when he decided to  propose a toast to the Queen after dinner at Buckingham Palace. Cultural differences were highlighted in the most embarrassing manner when two people were clearly expecting different things to happen; the Queen because she knew the protocol and Barack Obama because he didn’t. As the President proposed the toast the National Anthem began to play and as can be seen on this video link  he encouraged people to raise their glasses whilst the “Queen’s song” was still playing. No one raised their glass and we see the Queen saying something which is not particularly audible but one assumes it was “wait till the end” or “not now”. When the National Anthem is being played everybody stands until the end and then activities can continue but clearly the President wasn’t aware of this and we can see how awkward he looks having been “reprimanded” by the Queen like a naughty schoolboy. However, one might wonder whether the Palace staff were at fault to begin playing the National Anthem whilst the President was making the toast. In other circumstances, without English Royalty becoming involved, the person receiving the toast would have accepted it irrespective of the lapse in etiquette but at Buckingham Palace there are strict rules about the correct protocol.  Anyone in doubt can always call the Royal Household before a visit to make sure they know what to do and how to...