How-To-Negotiate-With-Your-Kids-Without-Giving-In-MainPhoto7. Body Language
“Excuse me” also comes in handy for what can be an unavoidable social snafu: bodily functions. Children go from being applauded for doing a “number two” in the potty to being told to practice discretion when it comes to simply being human. So how do you handle these and related topics? “I let my girls know that if they absolutely have to pass gas, then they should try to step into another room,” says Davidds-Wright. “If this is not possible, and it slips out accidentally, then all they need to say is ‘excuse me.’ It’s embarrassing enough for them, no need to humiliate them.” As for burping, it’s the “same thing,” she says. “However, with burping I always tell them to cover their mouth with one hand and then say excuse me.” When it comes to a cough or a sneeze, children should practice the “Dracula Cough.” (This fun name for coughing or sneezing into the crook of your arm (when bent at the elbow) should be enough incentive to get kids to remember it). Only after they’ve finished should they say “Excuse me.” Not only is this basic etiquette, it prevents the spread of illness. “We don’t want to spread germs, especially if we’re sick,” says Davidds-Wright.