So you might be slightly apprehensive about attending this elaborate wedding, simply because you have to go with your kids! It's a task to get your kiddos to socialise and stay calm, isn't it? Of course, you will have to put an extra effort to making them look wedding-worthy and then maintain that look till you have reached the venue. And if you have a mischievous little boy who loves to run around, you might as well consider wearing your flats instead of those classy heels you love. Here's how you can take care of your kids at weddings without creating a big scene.
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You may think attending weddings with kids is the most difficult thing, but trust us, it isn't that bad.
Pawan Sonar, Psychiatrist, Mumbai says, "It is important to understand the maturity of your kid and the kind of temperament they have."
Your child might not be sociable or friendly and might become more reserved when in public.
"You need to accept that children might feel a certain way about attending social events and mixing around with other kids. Kids are not the most sociable people, after all," he adds.
You might do a trial run that will act as a guide. Dr. Avinash De Souza, Consultant Psychiatrist and Psychotherapist, Mumbai says, "Take kids to smaller social gatherings first. Make sure they have been to places with a lot of people and it does not intimidate them."
Sometimes kids can get extremely cranky and get into a different mood altogether. Especially toddlerswho can't figure how to express themselves will resort to crying, yelling and sometimes even banging their head against the walls.
As a parent, you must understand their moods and learn how to handle them.
Mr. Sonar says, "If she is able to understand, ask her whether she would like to go for the function and wants to accompany you."
This will make her feel important. If she agrees, set a certain code of conduct that must be followed.
"If the code of conduct is not followed, make sure to let her know how you are going to restrict her the next time. If she indulges in erratic behaviour in the wedding, take her to the side and explain why it's wrong," says, Mr Sonar.
Keep Them Close:
Dr. De Souza says, "Children should be told not to leave the parent at all and not eat anything without the parents knowing. This could sometimes be dangerous."
Always keep your child with you in weddings, especially if the function is held in a huge property which makes it possible for them to wander around and get lost.
"Make sure an elder accompanies the kids at all times and doesn't leave them alone at all. These are the kind of places where kids are most prone to accidents," adds Dr. De Souza.
Weddings are an occasion where families get together and along with your little ones there will be a lot of other kids too. Make sure your child is friendly with them and if she doesn't like a particular child, keep her away from them.
Pawan continues, "Do not compare your kids with others and try and appreciate their efforts every now and then."
"Make sure you've dressed them in comfortable clothing and not fancy stuff that makes them uncomfortable and cranky. The fabric should be soft and breathable," suggest Dr. De Souza.
To be able to attend social functions, kids need to be taught social etiquettes and mannerisms.
"Ask them about their food and wash room needs. Explain to them that there is a certain protocol and they should come to you if there is anything they need," says Sonar.
The basics always begin at home. "Teach them social etiquettes and social mannerisms and make sure they practice those at home as well. Basic things like how to ask for water, how to eat in public, how to excuse themselves etc will come in handy on such occasions," advises Dr. De Souza.
Carry special food for kids, if they have trouble with outside food and cannot eat the fancy stuff. Feed them separately if necessary. Once they will be fed, they will be less cranky.
Say wrong when wrong:
Tell them when they are wrong and don't pull back from punishing them. This may lead to them taking you for granted which you, as a parent, surely do not want.
"Don't hesitate to be strict if the child throws a fit," concludes Pawan Sonar.
Prepare the kids mentally and be prepared to handle them. They may face difficulties with interacting with new people, a new place and different ambience.
"But don't force them too much. Move away from the wedding if they become too hyper and uncomfortable," Dr. De Souza concludes.
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