Friday, September 7, 2012

Mom's Rules

This week I will sharing my mother's rules for behavior when at some one's house, or as she titled it "Things That You Need to Teach Your Child When Visiting Some one's Home." As with last week, I will putting my mother's ideas in bold type (and sometimes rewording since these were ideas she quickly jotted down) and the adding my input in italics.

This may sound a bit silly, but it is kind of neat for me to find my mother's notes and then add to them. It feels a bit like we are co-writing this post. (Miss you, Mom!)

*You do not open the refrigerator in someone else's home. Doors are closed for a reason. It is just a general rule that is understood in the adult world. When a child opens your refrigerator and looks inside for something they want, they do not know if what you have is all you have of something, if it has been designated for another purpose, or if it meets the special needs of one of your family members. Our refrigerator is the only one Addie is allowed to open.

*Ask for water when you are thirsty in someone else's home. Many times our children are accustomed to having juice or milk when they are thirsty. But when you are at someone else's home, you don't know what they have available. But I think it is safe to say that everyone has water. And water is cheap.... at least for now. So teach your children to ask for water. Of course, the hostess may offer something else to your child, and then your child is free to choose something other than water. There are a few homes that we go to where Addie has been told to ask for whatever she wants, but this came from the homeowners (one being my sister).

*You do not jump on people's furniture. This is a given. Hopefully your children are not allowed to do this in your home, so they naturally would not do this elsewhere.

*You do not go into people's rooms without permission. Many times, the host/hostess will naturally tell your child where they can go to play while you visit, but sometimes that is not the case. Teach your child to sit quietly beside you if that is the case or bring something for your child to play with on the floor. But exploring the home of your host is not an option.

*If you are served food in some one's home, do not say, "I don't like this! I want something else." Eat whatever is served on your plate or say no thank you, but do not ask for something else. Kids are picky. I know. I have one picky eater.... my little one will eat anything he can get to his mouth! But we are teaching Addie that she is not to say, "I don't like that!" She has also learned that whatever is put before her is all she gets. Your hostess put in a lot of time and effort into what she prepared to serve and having a rude reaction to her preparations is very defeating and unkind.

*Don't take toys away from the child you are visiting. Thank him for sharing with you. It is easy for children to get attached to a toy or game or item that another child has, but when it is time to leave, our children need to know that they leave only with what they came with unless they were given a gift. They cannot take the other child's toys with them which puts the host family in an awkward position and is certainly embarrassing for the visiting family as well.

*Make sure that before you leave you help put the toys away. Even if you didn't take them out. Teaching this to our children at home makes it easier for them to do when they are someone else's home.

*Don't run around in the home you were invited to. You are visiting a home, not a park.Again teaching your children not to run in your home makes it second nature not to run in the home of another. Things can easily be broken, not to mention your children can be hurt.

*Do not ask the people whose home you were invited to, "Can I stay?" Let them suggest it. Asking out of the clear blue if they can stay over night can be another awkward moment for your host family. They may have plans for the next day, or they just might be ready to say goodnight and close the door and really do not want to entertain anymore. Whatever the case, your child needs to know that when the visit is over, it is over. Unless the host family asks if the child can stay (remember from yesterday, we want to have children that others enjoy). Then it is up to you the parent, not your child, whether or not the visit continues for them.

I hope you enjoyed reading my mother's rules (and, yes, my sister and I had to follow these rules growing up). I know that I have enjoyed the refresher course. And because I love having goals to work towards with my children, I will be adding a few of these items to my list that I had forgotten about.

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