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Illlustration of little boy belching at dinner table

Squelch the Belching

Expert tips for dealing with burps and gas.

The Problem: My son recently hung out with older boys who love to belch and taught him the ways of the masters. Now he is doing it everywhere we go. He thinks it’s hilarious and I am so embarrassed. I know boys will always love burps and gas, but how do I help him understand that some places just aren’t appropriate for that behavior—like at all the holiday gatherings we’ll be attending.

The Expert: Linda Hill, director, The Colorado School of Protocol and Etiquette

The Solution: Learning a new skill is always fun, regardless of one’s age. But it’s especially fun when learned by a child testing their boundaries. Part of the appeal to a child is the shocked expression on an adult’s face. Eliciting a big laugh is also a draw. Consider the following steps to curtail the inappropriate behavior and take some of the thrill out of it:

As with all negative behaviors, remember to praise the behavior you want and try your very best to ignore the behavior you do not want repeated.

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