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When other people's children misbehave in your house?

(39 Posts)
amygirl Sat 19-Jul-08 12:09:19

What do you do when your friends children come in and wreck your house but the parents don't seem to notice, even as you sweep up the glass?
I'm not being over sensitive or fussy - my children are about the same age but here is what these other children did on the most recent visit:-
- stand on the back of the settee to jump onto the floor (20 X)
- get a carving knife out of the kitchen drawer
(actually their mum took it off them but not a word about how its inappropriate to go through cupboards etc in someone else's house).
- Deliberately destroyed my child's toy because he wanted to see how much pressure it took to break it
- Climbed up to a shelf 7ft off the floor (using the lower shelves to balance) to get hold of a game I'd put up there as my own children are only allowed to play it under adult supervision (and then lost half the pieces.

Its like this every visit but I hate telling other people's kids off, especially when the parents are present.
So what do you do? What's acceptable?

batters Sat 19-Jul-08 12:19:50

The age of the children?

spudmasher Sat 19-Jul-08 12:20:06

I deal directly with the child and firmly but gently state the rules/ boundaries in our house. Then very quickly redirect children in fun, appropriate activity giving lots of verbal praise for good behaviour.
But I am a really bossy cow and all my friends know that so if they don't like it then they don't come round. grin

milknosugar Sat 19-Jul-08 12:21:17

i would tell them off. if you cant do that then i wouldnt invite them back. wouldnt challenge the parent, they must know! but i would tell them if they asked

FabioUnblogged Sat 19-Jul-08 12:21:31

I tell other people's children off. Try the 'that's not allowed in our house' line.

becklespeckle Sat 19-Jul-08 12:21:33

I hate telling other people's children off too but if they are behaving this way and their parent's are ignoring them then I would ask them nicely not to do it again. I'm sure your friend would be horrified if your children behaved that way in her house so why should hers behave that way in yours?

Also, make it a rule that the children only play where you can see them, my boys have certain friends who are allowed to play upstairs and others who are only allowed in the living room as they wreck stuff upstairs.

RustyBear Sat 19-Jul-08 12:22:26

My rule was not to tell other people's children off if their parents are there unless they are doing something that could hurt or damage something or someone, which would cover all of your incidents. I've never had a mum object, and the only time someone else's child broke something the mum was incredibly apologetic, cleared it up herself & offered to pay.

Maybe my DC's friends had nicer parents than yours....

belgo Sat 19-Jul-08 12:23:48

I agree with spudmasher - I would state the rules in a general manner, not specifically directed at anyone:

'we don't allow jumping on the sofa in this house as we don't want to ruin it'
'no climbing up the shelf as it's dangerous'
'kitchen is out of bounds to children'.

belgo Sat 19-Jul-08 12:25:34

And make sure all valuable toys are put away, and that they have plenty of other things to keep them occupied.

RustyBear Sat 19-Jul-08 12:25:41

And when I say if the parents are there, I mean in the same room & have seen the behaviour; if not I'd would deal with it in the same way as for my kids, and I'd expect other parents to tell mine off if necessary.

SqueakyPop Sat 19-Jul-08 12:27:30

I would do a 'in this house, this is how we behave' statement.

amygirl Sat 19-Jul-08 12:47:19

ages 6 & 7

The mohter saw the child jumping. She saw me looking at it unhappy. Her response.. its ok, they'll hurt themslves and then they will learn the hard way.

When things get broken... no apology, no offer to replace.

this is not their first visit and its the same each time.

belgo Sat 19-Jul-08 12:48:07

amygirl - maybe arrnge to meet up at the park instead? Or at their house?

amygirl Sat 19-Jul-08 12:49:33

In the end I snapped. The parents were out of earshot and I gave the kids a real talking too. They tried defiance but quickly realised that I didn't think they were cute so it wasn't going to work. then i had only to explain new boundaries a further 4 times before they pretty much behaved themselves.

I felt awful for it though but my kids were crying as their stuff was being broken.

milknosugar Sat 19-Jul-08 12:51:05

if she says something like that tell her you are more worried about your stuff getting trashed. i speak as the mother of 4 energetic boys, 2 of them are v difficult to control due to sn and i wouldnt allow them to behave like that. dont invite them back

Doohickey Sat 19-Jul-08 12:55:30

amygirl, with most children I use the spudmasher/belgo technique.

However there is one family who I will just not have in my house anymore. I state rules and they blatantly ignore them, while mother looks on with smiling "oh children will be children and aren't mine high spirited" looks.


With children and parent you describe I would apply a blanket ban, and go elsewhere to meet up.

amygirl Sat 19-Jul-08 13:03:28

belgo - we did. its a full hours work to lock away all the stuff that we really don't want trash but its worth it. However once they'd played with all the stuff I'd left out and finished using the settee as a launch pad, they set off to explore. Sad to say but the parents let them behave the same way at home. Inviting them back isn't an option - I'm already on as few visits as i can get away with without being explicit about the problem.

Why can't people see that their baby is actually six years old now???

reethi96 Sat 19-Jul-08 13:14:00

I make excuse after excuse to avoid having other peoples children visit our house. It has been noticed. blush

quinne Sat 19-Jul-08 13:27:55

So its normal to set limits for other people's kids?

cory Sat 19-Jul-08 13:38:06

I set limits but usually about things that really matter:

E.g. no ball-throwing allowed in the living room because it houses a 60 gallon fish tank. Or only certain ball games allowed in the garden because the wall is low and my neighbour has a glass house...

But I don't make a fuss about other dc's wearing their shoes in my house, though mine are not allowed. And I accept that different families have different rules about language, table manners etc.

Some things I sort of expect everybody to know- like you don't break other people's toys on purpose or stab them with the scissors (not that the latter has ever happened in my house!). There I'd feel free to let rip fairly quickly. Though preferably not in front of the parents.

Other things I accept that they may genuinely not know (like the shoe rule, or the no-standing-on-the-sofa rule). So I'd either explain or leave it according to circumstances.

wotulookinat Sat 19-Jul-08 13:43:46

I had a friend who seemed oblivious to the fact that when they came to my house her son would take every toy from my son (her son is 2 years older), grab handfuls of food and snatch food from my child. Once he threw a heavy toy behind the fireguard (deliberately, just after I told him to put the toy on the floor) and it smashed an ornament that was behind the guard. His mum didn't notice or pretended not to. And the last time they came over, he jumped up and down on the armchair, with his shoes on, for at least a minute angry My little boy stood there open-mouthed watching him.
They don't come around any more smile

cluelessnchaos Sat 19-Jul-08 13:48:55

I hate the "not in this house" statement. I think it suggests that really outrageous things are ok elswhere, or that it is ok for my kids to do these things in other peoples houses. I tell other kids off and say I do not want you to do that/play that/break that. I think the onus is on the host to steer the play towards something more appropriate.

ThatBigGermanPrison Sat 19-Jul-08 13:50:10

I apply blanket rules.

"No throwing balls in the front room, children"

"Nobody plays in my bedroom, children"

"We don't tip toys over and kick them everywhere, please pick them up, whoever tipped them over."

Countingthegreyhairs Sat 19-Jul-08 14:06:25

I like the blanket rules tip - directed at no-one in particular but clear nonetheless - I'll use that.

I think it's a completely different situation when the dc's parents are in attendance though. I think the onus is then on THEM to control and parent THEIR OWN dc in that instance. I don't think the host should be put in that awkward position tbh.

cory Sat 19-Jul-08 14:26:18

cluelessnchaos on Sat 19-Jul-08 13:48:55
"I hate the "not in this house" statement. I think it suggests that really outrageous things are ok elswhere, or that it is ok for my kids to do these things in other peoples houses."

But houses are all different. Ours happens to contain a 60 gallon fish tank, our friends' houses do not. Our settee is not safe to stand on, other people's settees may be. Our neighbour has a glass house, our friends' neighbours do not.

I wouldn't use it for the blindingly obvious, like trying to gouge somebody eyes out with a pair of scissors.

Agree that you don't want to lay down the rules in front of other parents. But rather than see 240 litres of water on the floor... Sometimes other parents just don't realise that things that are fine in their house don't work in ours.

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