Am I being uptight?

My Full - posted on 09/12/2016 ( 5 moms have responded )

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I have a beautiful extended family with many young nieces and nephews. I also have a daughter of my own. I no longer enjoy having family members with children over to our house because of the messes they leave behind. I'm not offended by a few crumbs in the kitchen. I'm talking about chocolate stains on my sofas and juice spills in my office, ripped up magazines and broken toys, sticky lollipops in my carpet and pee on my bathroom floor. Is it normal behavior these days to let kids loose in someone else's home without supervision and then just shrug when a mess is made? I am often trying to juggle the supervising and entertaining with little success and I feel as though I am crossing a line when I am telling someone else's child "no". Is it my job to supervise them because it's my home? Even my daughter gets stressed out because of the huge toy mess that's left behind for her to deal with after they leave, so we no longer extend invitations. What do you think? Does it just come with the territory? Or should the parents be stepping up more? TIA :)

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♫ Shawnn ♪♫♫ - posted on 09/12/2016

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I have had many young parents, we are talking first kid at 16 or 17, that we "foster". They knew that when they brought their kids over, I was the "adult in charge".

They could observe how a more mature parent handled things, since I had my oldest when I was 24. They learned about alternate discipline methods that usually worked better than whatever they were doing. I am happy to say that they all(with one exception), successfully raised their kids, and a couple have a grandkid now. The best part about the grandkids is that none of those kids had their babies before they were at least 20, so their parents were successful in getting them to understand that being teen parents was hard!

I digress, though... my point was that I handled all discipline in my home when we had a houseful. The other kids got used to following rules set by someone other than their parents, and they also learned to ask the homeowner what was or wasn't OK.

Dove - posted on 09/12/2016

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The very first time someone allowed their child to do those things in my home w/out correcting them... I would correct it myself and if the parents objected (or continued to not correct the behavior) that would be the last time those kids were ever in my home. If the parents are there it is their job to supervise and correct their children... if they aren't it is my job. If they aren't DOING their job... none of them are welcome in my home.

♫ Shawnn ♪♫♫ - posted on 09/12/2016

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In my home, it is my rules. I was the neighborhood"kid house" when mine were growing up, and I had absolutely no problem letting parents know that, if they did not like my rules, or whatever, they were welcome to entertain the kids in their home.

You also don't have to let everyone have free run of your home, either. Snacks stay in the kitchen or dining area. Drinks do not leave the table in the dining area. Children do not need to be in your home office, so put up a gate. If they start to leave without cleaning up, remind them that one of your house rules is everyone cleans up after themselves. If this means helping straighten the play area, then so be it.

Tricia - posted on 09/13/2016

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I know exactly how you feel!! Have you tried saying things like "we eat in the kitchen" when you pass out snack. Or as everyone is starting to get ready to leave say "Ok clean up time, before everyone leaves." I have many time forgotten myself, which is kinda crazy. Now that I started that It really helps things go smoother and enjoyable!!!

Sarah - posted on 09/12/2016

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When my 4 were little and we had family gatherings that included lots of kids, I did not hesitate to lay down the rules. Your house, your rules. I also did not hesitate to ask friends or family to go help clean up the toys they played with before they left. I see nothing wrong with gently telling a child, "we do not jump on furniture" or "do not touch my magazines". If a visitor breaks a toy, I'd call the offender over and have him apologize to the child who owned the toy, then forgive and forget. If the parents coming over are not going to step up, then they should not be offended if you do.

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