Why you should have a tea party
Tea parties. We started them early on at our house.
I think it started that time I spotted Good Mood Tea at Whole Foods. I bought a box for the next time the crankies set in. Because um, that happened often with three kids under age four. I bought it for myself, then one day had a brilliant idea when one of them was melting down.
“Do you think a cup of Good Mood tea would help you feel better?”
I proceeded to set up an impromptu tea party right there in the kitchen using all the fancy stuff I could muster at the moment. The teapot that came with our wedding registry, a couple of demitasse cups, some animal crackers in a small dish, sugar cubes, a little vase of flowers, a votive candle and our nicest dish towel laid out as a tablecloth. That was the first of many tea parties at the McKitrick house and today I’ll have a tea party with any kid who comes over and wants to play with me. 🥰
Whether we made it a party or just a momentary break, there was always a box of gentle, decaffeinated herbal tea in the pantry for those cranky moments. For them and for me!
You don’t need much to have a tea party, just use whatever you’ve got handy to make a special time with your child. They’ll love the sweet tea and cookies of course, but they’ll bask in your full attention and conversation. Learn how to set it all up in the video below.
Benefits of a tea party with your child:
- Tea parties are special. They don’t happen every day so make it fancy with cloth napkins, fresh (or fake) flowers, a candle, some nice music. Making an effort to differentiate this from any other snack time will help build connection and memories.
- You’re modeling positive social behaviors. Invite your child to participate by asking, “Will you pass me a sugar cube, please?”, “Would you like another cookie”, using exaggerated manners yourself like holding your pinky out as you sip and then saying, “That’s delicious!” will invite your child to imitate your actions.
- You’re teaching your child to take another person’s perspective. As you model asking if them if they’d like another cookie, sugar cube or a refill in their cup, gently encourage them to ask you back. Once they get the hang of it, you’ll likely see them make offers like this in different situations, especially when they have a tea party all on their own with a friend. The ability to see things from another’s point of view is a growing skill that doesn’t mature for many years (like well into adolescence!).
- It’s calming. Our kids are adults now and I happen to know that they still enjoy a calming cup of hot tea. I think that’s partly because we took time when they were little to ‘have a cuppa’ together and enjoy conversation, even if it was a conversation about nothing. Aren’t those the best kinds when you’re feeling a little stressed?
So there you go. Enjoy those kiddos. And when they’re all tucked in for the night, pour yourself a cup of sleepytime tea and dream of sleep.