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barbszy 04-24-2003 08:29 AM

Rules for visitors?
I had to tell my kids yesterday that the Kool Aid Mom has left the building.

I try to be hospitable to my kids' friends. I welcome them into the house (except when the 1 year old is napping). I remind them to check in with their parents when they come into the house, so their parents know where they are. I give them a snack and a drink. I do ask them to help clean up any mess they make (these kids are 5th graders and 1st graders).

Yesterday I had 4 visiting 5th grade boys in my house, who had wandered up the street a couple at a time. 2 of them were new to me. They played video games for a while. Then one of them decided he needed to call his girlfriend. Well once I got wind of that, I informed him that if he had to call his parents or babysitter it was OK, but personal calls to other friends should be made from HIS home phone.

Then they went outside. After a bit I put the baby in the playpen so I could take them out some drinks and chips. I found that the boys had already helped themselves to the contents of my back-porch refrigerator. I informed them that it's polite to wait until the host offers a drink, or at least to ask permission. I asked them to throw their cups and the chip bag in the trash when they were done. That did not happen. Cups everywhere on my porch. A broken porch chair, porch carpeted in chips....and a soda bottle left open that I didn't notice, so this morning when I did find it I had a 3/4 full 2 liter bottle of flat 7-up.


It all fell to pieces when one boy hit another one, and they started trickling home. DH told the one who was hitting that he is not welcome here if he can't keep his hands to himself.

How do you all lay down the law when your kids' friends visit? I can't be where they are all the time. I have 3 children including a busy toddler, and the normal household things need to get done. I expect that once they are 10 or 11 they don't need the same kind of supervision a toddler would!!!!!!!

Caronamy 04-24-2003 09:44 AM

I think you handled it well.

It's your house and property, and it needs to be respected.

We have a neighbor boy that at times is destructive. I'll ask him to leave if I don't like what he's doing or saying. If he destroyed anything of ours, I wouldn't hesistate to say something to his parents. He took my sons scooter and dismantled it. I went down to the house and his father put it back together, but the brake is broke. Father is somewhat of a jerk too, he could of apologized or even offered to buy a new one. Oh well.

smw 04-30-2003 11:53 AM

you did great!
I am a teacher in a small community with a first grade son and that has its own ups and downs when it comes to visitors.

One thing I really try to make clear is that this is my home and they need to follow the rules of my house. My son knows this and he is expected to share the rules - no drinks in the living room, etc. He also knows that it is not much fun cleaning up after his friends, so that helps. (when they visited at younger ages).

It is a rule around here from most all of the parents, that we check with each other to make sure where are children are and we follow up to make sure they are following the rule - don't follow them - you don't go to the friends house. There are hardly ever "drop ins" because of the distance between friend's homes so our "visiting" times are more planned.8-)

When I know that we are going to have over a friend that tends to be somewhat of a problem, I make sure my presence is well-known and I still use a baby monitor from the playroom to the kitchen. If at all possible, I plan outdoor activities on those days - much easier for me to supervise and clean up is easier.

Regardless, you did an awesome job of handeling this as a mom it is always a tuf call.:daisy:

nagymom 04-30-2003 12:45 PM

Barb--when we lived in Alabama we had a pool. (We do here too so expect some "visitors" this summer as well) and lots of kids wanted to swim. We had very firm rules about behavior and when some new kids came to swim I laid out ALL of the rules in FRONT of their mom. One hard fast was NO jumping onto the floties since one of those was MINE and it was expensive. Mom made sure they agreed then she went home. I went out about 30 minutes later and one of them had decided to use my floating chair as target practice. It had a hole in the foot and he was trying to jump through it. Of course he destoryed it. I blew up and ordered them out and home. I told them they weren't welcome to come back until they either brought their mom to explain to her what they had done in front of me or they came back with the money to replace it. Neither happened but they also never tried to go swimming at our house the rest of the summer. I have no idea what they told their mom and didn't care.

It's YOUR house so you set the rules otherwise you won't have anything sacred.

Jayne the meany

mom2-4 04-30-2003 01:09 PM

I agree with you all that the situation was handled very well!!! I have some older kids also, so I have other rules to add, no swearing, I know they will do this when I am not around, but I do not want my 3 yo to pick up on the bad words!!! When I do catch them swearing, I ask them to tell me what it means, they become very embarassed...but they never swear around me again!!!

The other rule I have is one friend per child at a time, inside, and house has to be clean before they are allowed in...including bedrooms, and all "messes" must be cleaned up before they are allowed to exit!!!!! As I tell my kids when they are at someone elses house they must do the same...make sure upon exiting the house looks as nice or nicer as when they entered!!!!

As for outside that is a different story, they are allowed to jump on our tramploine as long as they have cleared it with their parents...and no wrestiling!!!! and the pool, when I come out with 3 yo, the splashing stops, they may stay in but I make it boring so they get out;)

I do not hand out snacks or drinks, unless they are a "special" visitor, but not to just the playing neighbors, that would get to be too much...we have about 20 kids just on our street!!!! And with the varying ages of my kids, over half of them end up in my yard!!!!

That is my two cents!!!


smw 04-30-2003 05:46 PM

me too
I figured Iwas the only one who :worm: "The other rule I have is one friend per child at a time, inside, and house has to be clean before they are allowed in...including bedrooms"...due to the age of the my son and knowing the kids from school I usually have to help supervise the clean up - about 1/2 hour before the end of the time they are scheduled to leave.

So any advice on how to handle this with sleepovers? I wasn't too thrilled with the lack of supervision my son had at a friend's I am considering having the friend over to our house. But the rule thing....a couple hours compared to overnight?:confused:

mom2-4 04-30-2003 05:58 PM

Sleepovers are so different....I usually try to plan what they will be doing...nintendo games, board games, computer games, and such to keep them busy, and out of stuff that they do not belong in!!! Be prepared to stay up a little later than usual, they do not want to sleep at a sleepover, remember when you had sleepovers?

Big thing I think with sleepovers, is let them do their "own" thing, but be "there" (inside)!!!

I am not much help with the sleepover organizing thing, my house always seems to fall apart when it comes to sleep overs!!! I get side tracked with the rest of my kids, and they start to do something else!!! But, it does help to know/have an idea, what they will be doing before the sleep over starts!!!

Good Luck, let us know how it goes!!!


Eileen4852 04-30-2003 07:51 PM

I think that you are the master of your universe. When the kids started showing up, I would have taken them aside and told them the rules. If they can't live by the rules of your house, they don't deserve the privilege of visiting. I never hesitated to let the kids know when they stepped over the line, and they were all great for me. I especially had one that had a foul mouth, and all I told him was "not at my house". I never heard him swear again. They all played at my house until they went off to college :-D

Just my humble two cents.
Eileen in sunny florida

carrotpatch 04-30-2003 11:05 PM

My boys are stepkids and it took several years for them to fully understand the rules of the house but they know them now. They know that they have to ask before anyone comes over. I also have made it very clear that if they have their friends over they are expected to follow the rules of the house. I don't allow them to get loud and there is no horseplay in the house. If someone can't live by the rules then the boys know that they won't be allowed back. There has only been one kid that I can remember who wasn't allowed back. The boys are 4 years apart. When they were younger I wouldn't allow them to have friends stay over on the same night. If one had someone staying over then the other would have to wait either till the next night, or move it to the next weekend. My older son has a couple friends that he has known for quit a while now and they are well indoctrinated in how they are expected to behave and I never have any trouble with them. My younger one has always been the rowdier one so I put a little more brake on him. He usually only has one friend over at a time. I wouldn't have any backoff on letting one of their friends know that his behavior wasn't acceptable. My boys know that so they seem to handle it themselves before I have too. That would be too embarassing I guess. It works.

thezoo 05-01-2003 08:30 AM

Stick to your guns and put your foot down. Let them know the rules and make sure your children know what will happen if the rules are broken ie The friend might not be allowed to come back. Explain what areas are off limits and things that are not allowed. I also ask that the child's parents know where he is and what time he is to go home. I had 1 parent that dropped of their child and then decided to go partying. The parent did not come to pick up the child at the agreed apon time. When we found the parent in a local bar we let her have it and I did not care who heard it. I really felt sorry for my Child's friend. The parent has finally smartened up and is now on the straight and narrow with a little help. It is sad that there are people that don't care about their kids until something happens.

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