The new habit to teach your kids as they visit friends in the COVID era
Kids, especially middle school age and up, are SOCIAL creatures. Most of them want to be with their friends and so I know this COVID quarantine situation has to be hard for them. And whether you’ve started allowing your kids to visit other families or not, here’s my best piece of advice for when they do venture out again.
When they visit a friend’s house, as soon as they step in the door, teach them to ask aloud “mind if I wash my hands?”
Simple as that. And of course, the parent will say yes, direct them to a sink or to hand sanitizer, and the kid will wash their hands.
It’s so simple but it shows so much respect.
First off, this is just a smart habit to have these days. But secondly, it shows respect and compassion for the other family. It’s a simple action but says so much about your kid to be a kind and considerate guest in someone else’s home. As a guest, your kid is thinking of others in the home and putting his or her best foot forward by offering to wash their hands before being asked.
And by VERBALLY asking about hand washing it makes it a bigger deal and it brings it to the parent’s attention, which will put most mamas at ease. And it almost always turns in to everyone washing their hands. Which is a good thing!
Hopefully your kids are already in the habit of taking their shoes off as soon as they go in a house. Use that action as a mental trigger to remind them to immediately wash their hands.
Step 1: shoes off.
Step 2: wash hands.
Most kids have been taught to wash hands before a meal now just add this extra hand washing in to that list. You can incorporate it in to the manners you teach your children about being a respectful guest.
I actually devote an entire lesson on being a good guest (and host) in my online cotillion program. Online cotillion is a virtual course covering manners, etiquette, and social dance for folks aged middle school and up!
We want all of our children to be polite guests and we especially want everyone to be as safe as possible once they start visiting friends again.