have those children act in ways around your children that aren’t allowed in your home? What can be done?
Never be afraid to enforce your house rules onto visiting children.
When we lived in a neighborhood, all the children knew we would
not put up with unkind talk at our house. I would give one reminder and if the talk continued I would send the offending child home. I would say,“Joey, we don’t talk that way around here, you need to go home now. We can try playing and talking nice again tomorrow.”
Bible time was a part of our daily routine; we didn’t skip that
when I was watching someone else’s child. At times a child wouldn’t want to sit on a blanket like our children did. I felt if I allowed another child to boss me and chose were they sat, then my children would be confused and question my authority. So, when a child refused to sit on a blanket, I would hold them on my
lap. At first, this was often against their will, but they would ALWAYS settle in and sit cooperatively eventually. The key was I continued with our time while giving no extra attention to having to hold the child, other than a periodic “No” if they continued to try to get down.
One time a child was at my house and everything I offered for
lunch was refused. When I offered a peanut butter or fried egg sandwich the child politely answered, “No, thank you.” “O well,” I thought, “that is what I am offering, if she doesn’t want it, she will just have to be hungry”, and on I went with the day. That evening when I told the mom what had happened, she informed me that the child was allergic to nuts and eggs…oops. Yet, that child needed to be taught to communicate and not just politely refuse.
Another time this enforcing of “our” rules backfired was when my
daughter and two neighbor girls couldn’t agree on what to play. Two of them wanted to do one thing, while the other girl, who had a reputation for being bossy, demanded they do what she wanted.
After trying to work it out, my daughter finally said,“Well, if
you don’t want to do what we are doing perhaps you need to go home.”The girl stormed home.
A few minutes later my doorbell rang. One very upset mother was
giving me an ear full. I apologized for my daughter’s ultimatum, and told her I would talk to my daughter. The mother left slightly appeased. When I spoke to my daughter, I told her it was not her place to tell another child to go home. In the future if she was having trouble with a friend she should come to me and I would be the one to either guide the play or send a child home.
Just because we should never be afraid to enforce our house rules
onto visiting children, doesn’t mean it will always go smoothly. None the less, we are here to guide and look after our children first, that is way more important than being superficially sweet to those around us.