Now that rude behavior is all around us, we sometimes have to deal with situations that require a real dose of civility.
One of the recent questions submitted to our Ask Mary Jane series brought this to light. I was asked, “What do you do when your children’s friends are over at your house, and they’re acting out of control? What options do you have?”
The fact is, you probably have more options that we can cover here. From my own experience growing up, to talking with parents facing this dilemma today, we found a common theme. You have to set boundaries and then make sure everyone adheres to them. Do your kids know, “The Rules of Your House?” These don’t have to written down, but they should be known and understood. What do you allow, and what don’t you allow? Civility has to be practiced, it doesn’t just happen.
It may be frustrating to encounter rude behavior in public places, but there may not be much you can do to change that. (Although, I’d love to explore your thoughts on that subject at a later date). But, when it comes to your house, you can, and should be clear about conduct that OK and not OK. This gives your children a chance to turn to their friend and say, “Hey, my folks don’t let us do that.” This lets you child off the hook for being the bad guy, and just states the facts of the case. If, for some reason, the visiting child doesn’t get the message, you can go to phase two. Some parents will get involved at this point and say to the visitor, “Do I need to take you home and have a chat with your parents?” That usually does it.
If you have any other solutions to this kind of situation, please share with us. We’d love to hear from you!