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WWYD: Crazy screaming children in your house.

I'm having Christmas Eve dinner at my house for the first time tomorrow night. There will be 13 adults (including DH and I) and 7 children under the age of 8. I should probably mention that none of the kids are mine. They are nieces and nephews, which may change my outlook on things.

Most of the kids are great. Just like you would expect them to behave considering all the excitement that Christmas time brings. But a certain two of them run around screaming constantly and open whatever the feel like taking things out of drawers, closets, and what not with their parents doing nothing to stop it. This is the first time they will be at my house for an event. Since I'm not their parent nor have I been the hostess of the home they were in I have never tried to make them stop. However, now that they will be in my home is it "okay" for me to ask them to stop, make them go sit down, and/or get on to them? I feel like it is my home so I should be able to do so, but I've never had to do that before. Its making me a little nervous.

Hopefully they will just be on their best behavior and I won't have to do anything!

 

Re: WWYD: Crazy screaming children in your house.

  • I think that's fine to do.  If they're in something they shouldn't be I don't see a problem with telling them "Don't go in there please! that is off limits!" or whatever and let the parents know what's going on so that if they DO feel like being a parents they can. 
  • Put anything of massive value out of reach. Keep an eye on them and if they misbehave, tell their parents to rein them in. Keep kids activities in an area of the house that is more robust. Keep the kids entertained - they are more likely to get up to no good when bored.

    And have a large glass of something before they arrive.

  • image VegemiteWife:

    Put anything of massive value out of reach. Keep an eye on them and if they misbehave, tell their parents to rein them in. Keep kids activities in an area of the house that is more robust. Keep the kids entertained - they are more likely to get up to no good when bored.

    And have a large glass of something before they arrive.

     I'm liking this last part.

  • I agree with the above posts.  Also, it?s YOUR HOME. Although you are opening it up to family, that does not automatically entitle said family to completely mess it up.  Kids will be kids, but what you describe is unacceptable. Let them know it?s unacceptable.

  • My parents have this issue when my younger cousins come over for family events. They are poorly behaved and few limits set at their house. It is a little bit awkward but my parents definitely lay down the law of how things are going to be while they are visiting (ie: no jumping the furniture, we eat only at the table, etc.)

    Your house, your rules!

    TTC #1 since 6/10 BFP #1: 8/10, ectopic pregnancy BFP #2: 6/6/11, EDD 2/14/12, DS born 2/8/12 via c-section Baby Birthday Ticker Ticker
  • Close doors to all rooms they cannot go into. Bedrooms, whatever you want shut. Lock, if possible.

    Then, put up anything you don't want them breaking/touching, in one of said rooms. PITA, but you'll limit the conflict from the outset.

    Then, whenever you catch one of the little shits getting into something they shouldn't, march them over to their parents and say, with a weak and wintry smile, "Little Johnny was in the cat litter; would you mind terribly keeping a really careful eye on him while you're here? Everyone is busy with their own kids, and I cannot watch him and host at the same time and  I'm SO afraid he's going to get hurt". It helps to be holding the child's arm at the time, and to put the child's arm into the parent's hand while delivering the speech.

     

     

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  • Ditto SueSue

    Also, consider picking up a cheap but neat craft to keep the kids busy.  Even just stickers and construction paper with crayons.

    .
  • Definitely your rules in your house.  If they are up to no good, I'd tell them once to stop what they're doing (hopefully loud enough for their parents to hear) and then the second time, say to the parent, "I've asked ________ to stop _______ but it's still happening.  Can you please ask him/her to sit with you so you can keep an eye on him?"
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  • Thanks for the help...

    Lets hope they think Santa is still watching. lol

  • Kids QUICKLY learn that there are different rules in different places.  You can set the tone that auntie Sarahbaby doesn't tolerate sh*t in her house! 

    If there is an upstairs (or downstairs) that you don't want them entering, I would consider purchasing a baby gate.  That gate means "DO NOT GO UPSTAIRS!"

    And kid-proof your house,  Its a LOT easier to move all of your breakables then to tell a kid 200x "no, put that down."  If you have a kid-friendly rec room, just say "hey kids, you guys play down there.  The living room is for the adults." 

    image "Before you diagnose yourself with depression or low self esteem, first make sure you are not, in fact, just surrounded by assholes.
  • You're being given great advice! I would like to add that I would mention it the parents when the kids act up.

    "Hi, Bob. Did you notice little Bobby was having a pillow fight while jumping on my couch? That's really not ok. Do you want me to handle it?"

  • Yay for people's good advice!  You could also give the kids and parents a "tour" where you esplain off-limits areas (door is closed, etc.) and show them bathroom, play areas, whatever.  This way you clearly communicate to parents and kids your expectations.  Is there an outside area where they can play?  Or a kids table with crafts (stickers and construction paper was a good idea, or craft stores have cheap kits for making decorations, etc.)? 
    EDD 9/24/13 BabyFetus Ticker
    Best sound ever: baby's heartbeat! (Heard @ 10w1d)
  • Get down to their eye level, look them calmly in the eye, and say, "We don't _________ in this house."  Then suggest something appropriate the can do.  After a few times, they'll get it.
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  • image MarynJoe:
    Get down to their eye level, look them calmly in the eye, and say, "We don't _________ in this house."  Then suggest something appropriate the can do.  After a few times, they'll get it.
  • image MarynJoe:
    Get down to their eye level, look them calmly in the eye, and say, "We don't _________ in this house."  Then suggest something appropriate the can do.  After a few times, they'll get it.

    that.

    and say it in a stern, slow, deep voice, and a very stern face, and make eye contact with each one.  Then they will test you, and you can give them that face again.  Kind of squint your eyebrows and tighten your lips and tilt you head just a little.

    and ditto on keeping doors closed that are off limits.

    I've found that people who don't know how to behave are NOT offended when they have to be told.

    Also, if YOU will be PROACTIVE, they won't have to go looking for entertainment.  Have things to do that will keep them busy, even if it is silly stuff like gluing cotton balls on paper. Insist that everyone participate and not get up until the activity is over.  Have them dry the dishes, wash ALL your silverware and they can dry that.  They can set the table.  Give them each something to do, even if it is silly stuff, like would you please take the magazines on the end table and put then on the coffee table, and count them, too.   Have them make name tags for the table.  See what you have they can do.  Even if it is sorting out the dominos in number order, glueing string on paper, cutting pictures out of a magazine. 

    Have fun and good luck!

  • "We don't __________ in this house" and what my students call "The Look" work wonders.

    Also, taking the child directly to the parents when s/he misbehaves and explaining the infraction forces them to handle the situation.

    "You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means." Lilypie Fourth Birthday tickers Lilypie Third Birthday tickers
  • They're at your home, so you're in charge.  You can say no, and you should say no.  You'll be Mean Auntie So-and-So, but I bet they'll be better behaved--or won't show at all--next time.

     Dear Prudie had an article related to this yesterday.  She also recommended having a designated play room, where the kids are allowed to run amok, but they have to behave elsewhere in the house.

    And, definitely hide the valuables.  Just in case.  And maybe put some itching powder on cabinet doors...Stick out tongue

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