Kid Care Anywhere

Managing Your Littles’ Behavior at a Wedding

By Lisa Beth Miller

Perhaps one of the most iconic wedding photographs ever is one of the then-Duchess of Cambridge tending to the children in her sister Pippa’s wedding party. Although some of the children are from royal families and are participating in a highly publicized event, they are still easily distracted tots.

So what exactly is appropriate to expect from children who are attending or participating in a wedding? Perfect behavior is simply not a realistic goal.

Parents should start early to prepare their children for a wedding if they expect a reasonable level of decorum. They should explain to young children (under 8) what exactly they are about to see and hear. Parents should note that talking during the ceremony will not be a good idea, but assure their little ones that there will be LOTS of talking and dancing and laughing at the party afterward.

Children in the 4-8 age group should be able to sit quietly for 15 minutes to a half hour. Some may need a book, game, or quiet activity to help with this. Ceremonies that are longer than this may require parents to give the children a break by taking them outside for a few minutes.

It can also be helpful to advise young children on what to say to the newly married couple. If “congratulations” is a bit verbose, the child could thank the couple for inviting him, compliment their attire, or welcome the bride or groom to his family. Remember that a wedding is a new experience, which can be scary for a child, so any coaching could be reassuring!

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