L: I ask my children, “What do you think your friend would like?”
P: For young children, you should give a gift. A gift certificate is appropriate for tweens.
Q: When kids fight during the party, or children misbehave, what should you do?
L: The host should give a warning because kids need to be reminded to behave themselves and be given a second chance.
P: The host should take the child aside and quietly talk to him or her.
Q: Should children open gifts during the party or afterwards?
L: My children can’t wait to open the gifts so I always make it part of the party.
P: It depends on the child’s age but if they do, never open them until the end.
Q: What if they open something that they don’t like?
L: I have always taught my children that they are to be thankful for everything they get.
P: Try to teach children that even if they don’t like the gift they should say thank you.
Q: How do you make sure you have food for children who have allergies, can’t eat gluten, or are vegetarians?
L: It’s great to have an assortment of foods so there are plenty of things they can snack on.
P: The host should have a variety of foods that most children aren’t allergic to. If a child doesn’t like something, they should try just a little bit to not hurt the feelings of the host.
Q: Should children send thank you notes?
L: It’s great for children to send thank you notes and I think it’s acceptable today to send an email.
P: Yes, we send thank you notes because it shows our appreciation for the time spent to find a gift that will please us.
Countess Luann deLesseps, author of Class with the Countess — How to Live with Elegance and Flair
Patricia Fitzpatrick, founder and president of The Etiquette School of New York