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behaviour with visitors

(6 Posts)
sallyjohns Sun 05-Oct-08 20:08:24

Anyone got any suggestions? I have a five year old boy (nearly 6) and 3 year old girl who are generally reasonably well behaved, however ever since my little boy was young he misbehaves when we have visitors, and we have had a particuarly bad day with visitors today.Myself and my husband realise its probably something that we are doing wrong but cannot understand what. I know children do often misbehave with visitors but this has gone on for a long time and quite extreme of his usual behaviour. I have thought about all the things such as is he jealous of having someone share his attention or does he feel left and and I have tried all sorts of different tactics. I have tried talking to him about his behaviour before the visitors arrive, and I have also tried ignoring the bad behaviour and praising the good but nothing seems to work. Today he spent most of the time in his room because he was creating such a bad atmosphere, and I had run out of ideas what to do. Usually use naughty step but doesn't work with visitors around as causes upset to eveyone else when he is whaling on the step. Its not that he does anything really bad but he is rude and hurts his sister, doesn;t listen or do as we say and always causes a fuss regarding meals times when we have visitors. It pust me of having visitors and I don't know what else to try is the answer staring me in the face and I can't see. suggestions very welcome,

barking Sun 05-Oct-08 20:16:33

I have this a lot with my 3, I think they pick up on the build up to visitors with all the manic tidying (I hate tidying) and cooking. I can only suggest maybe asking if you can visit friends/family at their house instead so your children get a day out or even meet halfway and go for lunch somewhere the children can run about, and you also get to decide when to leave.
I feel your pain!

onthepier Mon 06-Oct-08 20:14:08

I've often had this. My dd used to whinge + whine around the ages of 2 to 5 years. She's 9 now, so grew out of it a while ago. At the time though, I couldn't even go + make my guests a coffee without her running behind me screaming!

My ds is 5, + still occasionally plays up when we have visitors. He's not shy like my dd was, but will make constant demands:-"Where's my toy train/bear/mouthorgan?" etc, deliberately things he hasn't played with for ages so wants me to hunt for. I say "Not now, play with this or that, your friend's come to play, try this". Whatever suggestion I make isn't right for him + it escalates into a tantrum.

He's getting better, but I think with my two it's always been an attention thing if I'm focussing on the guests more than the dc's. I still have stern words with my ds before visitors come, + I think he's finally realising he has to behave otherwise a treat at the end of the day is taken away, (something simple like dessert, or watching TV after dinner). Generally I don't like bribes/punishments but they do work in this case!!

sallyjohns Wed 08-Oct-08 09:41:43

Thanks for your suggestions. I may try the bribe tactic, although I don't like going along this route it may be worth a go to see if we can have some fun when visitors come rather than pain!! Thanks again

witchandchips Wed 08-Oct-08 09:57:03

Having visitors is unsettling for children for a few reasons
1) you are busy + distracted + stressed before they arrive (cooking and cleaning)
2) you give them less attention when they are there
3) meal times etc all shift slightly. if it is just family you will have lunch at 12.30 say but friends are invited at 12.30 and lunch happens at 1.30

A 9 or 10 year old should be able to put up with all of those but not sure that a 6 year old can. They may be able to play by themselves or not demand attention when their parents are busy but not when they've got none all money and they are hungry for example.

I think you need to chose which of the three you dc should put up with and be lenient on the others (having a bigger snack mid morning ofter works wonders on their behaviour for example)

merryberry Wed 08-Oct-08 10:05:28

try going to the extreme of getting him involved in gettting things ready for the visit. i get my 3 yr old to pop tea bags in cup/pot. carry t spoons to the people. help make biscuits if i have a sudden, rare surge of domestic godessness. or at least put shop bics on plate. that kind of thing. then he can join in. i let him go off and play on own once he has said hello, as he finds it too much when every one is talking.

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