Fourth of July is such a fun holiday, because it is a time to gather with family and friends, and show our patriotism. A tradition that my family shares is going to our neighborhood Fourth of July parade. If this is one of your traditions, or if you will be taking your little ones for the first time, here are some things to remember to discuss with your children so they can show off their best manners at the parade.
· Children typically do not think to notice if they are blocking other people’s view. You may want to notice for them, and ask your child to move over so everyone can see.
· I have seen so many young children get too close to the parade, and almost get run over by a car or horse. Continue to pull your child back, and ask him not to cross some kind of line.
· At our parade candy is thrown out from the floats. Discuss with your children that there is enough candy for everyone, and there is no need to “fight” with another child over anything that is thrown out.
· Use only kind words to people in the parade. Even if the meanest kid in the 4thgrade is riding on a float, this is not the time to taunt him, or say rude things about him.
· Keep the comments about the floats positive. Children love to give a critique when they compare one thing to another, like one float not being a great as another one. Tell them you never know who is standing next to you – it may be their friend or relative’s float that they are talking about.
· Be kind to any mascots. Explain that mascots can be hugged or high fived, but not hit or teased.
· Be kind and respectful to any animals in the parade. A horse passing by needs to be admired with your eyes only. Charging towards a horse to pet him while en route is not a good idea.
· If your child has a melt down of any kind, try to take him away from the crowd, and talk to him off to the side. Explain to him that causing a scene in public is never acceptable, and he may not return until he gets in control.
· Be respectful of any flags that are given out. Flags should not be put or left on the ground, or torn in any way.
Following these etiquette tips should assure your family a fun (and safe) parade day! Happy 4th!