“I started drinking tea when my children were preschool age. Somewhere along the line we started having Afternoon Tea together after school. My children are now teenagers and love having tea almost as much as I do.”-Brenda Hyde
The typical menu for tea time seems to include several different types of tea sandwiches, cut into squares or triangles (cucumber, chicken salad, egg salad, etc), some kind of quiche, grapes, scones, cookies, cake or pie, and finally, tea!
(1) If you have more than one child, and you want to share tea time with them all at once, make sure you also plan special times alone with each one. Perhaps a weekly afternoon tea for each child, separate from the regular one.
(2) Give your child a personalized invitation to the first tea, and then, explain that you would like for it to be a regular get-together. Your child will love having special time with Mommy.
(3) Tea time is a great way to reinforce everything you are teaching your children about manners, without them being intimidated.
(4) You can have theme parties occasionally if you would like. If they are younger, some great ideas would be dress-up tea parties, fairy princess tea parties, etc, but you want to make sure that your regular tea time isn’t so elaborate that it becomes impractical.
(5) Spend the time getting to know your children better. Ask what was special about their day or invite them to tell you a joke. Mary Ann and Kimberly, a mother and daughter team, suggest this conversation prompt: “Tell me something you want me to know about you”.
(6) You can make reading part of the ritual, as well. You can read a book together while you are enjoying your afternoon tea or right after you finish.
If your children are older, you might want to have a reading time where each person reads separately while enjoying a cup of tea. It will still be meaningful because you are doing it together.
If you start these intimate tea-time conversations when they are young, they will be a favorite routine as they grow older.
“Activities such as tea parties, reading, family game nights and craft time will stay with them forever as gentle memories that will carry them through difficult times in their lives. Plan your tea party today, and enjoy an afternoon of magic and whimsy with your children!” –Brenda Hyde
My son and I now have morning tea before we start our homeschooling day.
Jeanine Byers Hoag
Photo. Elly Fairytale