Spring is always a busy time of year with end of school parties, proms, graduations, and lots of invitations. These invitations are often sent not only to parents but many times they are sent to the kids as well. Some invitations have a reply card or say “please reply” or RSVP.
Do your kids know what RSVP means? Although it is French, surely everyone still knows it means “reply if you please”. Has RSVP been replaced by LOL and OMG? It is a common courtesy to respond to an invitation and one that all children need to learn (maybe some adults as well).
Over the years I have had to explain this courtesy to my own children. Sometimes they just did not understand why I bugged them to reply in a timely matter. After looking at the bulletin board where I would put check marks and dates by our response, I would often ask them if they had replied as well? This question was often answered with, “Not yet, trying to decide, or “ They know that I am coming ” or lastly “ I’ll do it later”. Such answers did not seem to be exactly what I had hoped to hear. Of course, I couldn’t relent until we had closure on this issue and I knew that they had responded. I was the bothersome mother after all!
For many years they seemed clueless as to head counts and party prep. I would re-iterate that by getting an idea of how many people are going to attend any event the hosts can make sure that there are enough seats for everyone coming, or enough food to eat and drinks for all. Otherwise, you either spend way too much over buying or end of scrounging as you didn’t plan on that many people. “Whatever”, right?
Well, now that they are older, they were just complaining to me that they had not heard from guests for a party that they were planning. “How do I know how much food to order?”, “How do you rent tables and chairs if you don’t have a head count?” “Why do people wait till the last minute to reply?” “Didn’t their parents bug them about replying?” And finally, music to my ears, “Mom you should write a blog about learning to reply to invitations”!
So...here it is. Teach your kids (beginning at early ages) how to reply to a party. Have them pick up the phone to reply to the 5 year old birthday party, or learn to write an email response when they are accepting an invitation to attend an event. Teach them to reply in a timely manner, and if something does change, let the hosts know. Lastly, I still don’t see any reply messages that say “text me if you are coming”, but I am sure that is just around the corner.
Good manners are ageless and timeless.