Hospitality is the word of the week in our character development series. Teaching kids to be hospitable can be so much fun. If you model it, I bet they’ve picked up on how to properly care for guests. However, to transfer it to a natural behavior, it can be trained. This year (as was last year since we’re following the same schedule), the word “hospitality” fell on the 4th of July. We were hosting a party, so what a great way to continue the discussion as well as practice what we have learned. Before the party I sat down with the girls to ask them if they remembered what hospitality means. I related it to the word “hospital” saying it means taking care of others’ needs and making our guests feel comfortable, welcome and served while they are with us. I then had them brainstorm ways to be hospitable, and this is the list they were able to come up with in our discussion (I helped provide some other ideas as well):
Give People Drinks
Let People Get Food First
Let People Choose Their Seat First
Let Others Go First with Activities
Be Attentive to Needs of Guests
Share your Favorite Things
Help Get House Ready
After brainstorming with them, I printed up our hospitality chart. This was a way for them to earn stickers by showing hospitable behaviors to our guests. There was no other reward attached. I was hurrying a bit for the party so printed out a rough version. I made you a printable and made it look a bit more pretty for your own use.
If you are not entertaining people anytime soon, I would try and find a reason to have people over. That might be way out of your comfort zone. A friend of mine always invites new people over that are visiting her church. I think that is a very inspiring goal. She had to let go over her standards of a perfect house and perfect meal every time to make it happen, but building that relationship is more important. It will give your kids great practice in hospitality as they both take part and witness your own loving actions. If asking someone over isn’t a possibility right now, you could always play host with your kids. They could plan a party for you where they get to be the hosts and act out all of the hospitable behaviors.
I snapped one quick, not-so-good picture of Abby talking care of people’s garbage at the party. I thought this might be a good time to share some other pictures from the 4th of July too. Thank you to all who has served our country (and wives!!!) to give us the freedom we celebrate daily.
The annual 4th of July kids’ photo shoot.
The five minute tablescape with the crepe paper flag we made and pinwheels and napkins I bought at Party City. I used some decorations my mom had for the rest. I put so much effort into Abby’s party, just days before that I tend to go simple on 4th of July. I tend to make my own pinwheels, but I loved these ones at Party City, and it was just easy.
Great Grandpa & Corban
Family Gathering for Hot Dogs and Burgers – What else?
Abby, Kenzie and their Cousin Elena
My husband, Jeremy, and his dad
Abby being hospitable.
First exposure to Pop Its.
Corban got really into the fireworks. He had all sorts of commentary with each one.
Another cousin shot
My sister’s husband bought some fun, smaller fireworks at…of all places…Costco. We are lucky to have a number of neighbors doing the big ones. It feels like our own personal show coming from all angles.
I live this!
I meant love this!!! 🙂 autocorrect!
What an inpspiring mum…I’m not a mum yet but hope to be one day soon….thanks heaps for sharing : )
Thank you for your sweet words, Naomi.
This is a great chart. I am always trying to teach my kids hospitality. I love having people over and I tell my kids that we are hosting as a family, especially when our guests have kids. We are getting there and I think this chart will help.
Thank you so much. I really do hope it is helpful. Please let me know how it goes!
This is a great idea! My husband and I stayed with complete strangers once while attending a conference in Cali and were beyond impressed by the sense of hospitality shown by the children of the family, one of whom was only 2 years old! That was before we had kids, and the way that family lived really left a mark on us both & reminds me, as you have here, that hospitality is definitely a learned habit that is super special to find among kids and adults alike. Thanks for sharing!!
What encouraging words. I love to see parents doing it right, and I always ask them their tricks when I observe families function like that. You know it’s good when it is so impressed in your memory. Thank you so much for commenting.
Such a great subject, thanks for sharing I am going to use this idea with my grand-kids at one of the our annual camps.
I love involved grandparents, and I’m so glad you found this activity useful. Thank you so much for letting me know it’s going to good use.