Wedding season is here. But when you have kids, the parties may not always be as exciting as they once were. Depending on the couple, your kids may be invited to attend the event. While it might be the most ideal solution to leave the little ones at home with a babysitter, sometimes they need to tag along. If you’re off to a formal event with the kids in tow, take a deep breath and follow these tips to survive a wedding with kids AND also enjoy yourself.
This age range can be the most challenging because they are the hardest to distract, the most unpredictable in behavior, and the least capable of accepting logic and reason. The best thing to do if you are bringing a baby or toddler to an event is to have a Mary Poppins bag full of surprises, along with flexibility and a back up plan if things start going downhill. Snacks, books, and new (quiet) toys can all help keep baby distracted, happy, and on their best behavior.
Wearing your baby in a baby carrier will also help to keep them calm and happy. Of course, the biggest help is a partner to share some of the juggling! Always remember you can step outside with the baby if necessary. Going to a wedding with kids doesn’t have to be all bad!
Children this age can be a lot of fun to have at formal events, but it can also still take plenty of work on your end. It’s still a good idea to bring a few books or activities for them to have for the moments that require quiet and stillness.
However, this is a great age to get your child involved in the activities. Include them in conversations with other adults, have dialogue about what’s happening at the event, etc. You can even practice with them at home beforehand so that they know what to expect. Keeping them engaged in the activities will prevent them from getting too bored and acting out.
Kids in this age range are old enough to understand what behavior is expected of them for certain settings and occasions. Have several conversations ahead of time so that they feel prepared and understand where you are going, what will be happening, and how they are expected to behave.
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Children this age are also old enough to understand rewards and consequences, so feel free to implement what might be best for your individual child. Ultimately, if you enjoy the time with your child and keep them engaged in the event, you will find that you both have a great (and drama-free) time together!
Hopefully you find that sharing formal events and weddings together as a family brings you closer and builds fond memories. And practice makes perfect- the more your children are exposed to these settings, the easier it will become for all!