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Dutchess_III's avatar

When you took your kids to visit other people, did you always make a point of having your kids clean up after themselves before you left, or did you feel it was their job, as a host, to do it?

Asked by Dutchess_III (46938points) August 30th, 2016

I did. And when my friends brought their kids over, they did the same thing.
“Let’s clean up! We’re getting ready to leave!” And then do a walk through to find something they missed.

Have you ever known someone who doesn’t, and when they leave you have to put toys away, and throw away food scraps, and water and juice and pop cans, (some of it sweating on the nice wood of tables,) and with crayons and markers and pieces of paper laying everywhere?

If people are coming to visit, and you know they will do that, is it out of line for you, the host, to initiate clean up before they go?

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32 Answers

chyna's avatar

When other people bring their dogs over to visit my dog, they pull all of her toys out but never put them back.

janbb's avatar

@chyna They are bad, bad dog guests!

Dutchess_III's avatar

Dogs and kids are different! But the dog’s owners should help put them away.

zenvelo's avatar

When the kids were little, we did have other kids over for play-dates. Some kids cleaned up, others didn’t.

We got our kids involved (and any visiting kids too) by pitching in ourselves and all of us tidying up together.

Dutchess_III's avatar

I am going to make a point of doing that next time @zenvelo.

canidmajor's avatar

Gosh, when people are invited to my house I don’t expect them to clean up. I am happy to have them over and it is easier for me to clean up without explaining where everything goes to young children (“No, no, Little Ignatz, that goes into the garbage, not the recycling!”)
When I was at someone’s house with my kids I might do the very obvious pick up things, but no more.
I’m glad we never came to your house, @Dutchess_III, you would have been so upset with us because we are much more easygoing than you.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Each to his own, @canidmajor, but I felt it was important to teach my kids to respect other people’s homes. That is why I had them clean up, and I helped, before we left.

Not everyone feels that way, I understand that. You feel you have the right to go to someone else’s house and allow your kids to leave food and candy laying around on tables and floors, sweating cups on nice furniture, because you are more easygoing than I was / am.

Seek's avatar

I don’t expect guests to clean my house, no matter what their age is.

With my niece it’s a bit different because she’s family and I’m a part of her upbringing. But random kids? nah.

My child isn’t to make messes in a house in which he is a guest.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Well, it’s kind of the same thing @Seek. You’re teaching him to respect other people’s homes, one way or another.

rojo's avatar

Both my kids cleaned up after themselves (not that it did much good, they are still slobs but while I thought I was in charge they did it my way) This included helping to pick up group messes that they helped create, not just what they were playing with.

Coloma's avatar

I always had my daughter, age appropriate of course, help pick up and put away toys, take her plate to the kitchen, etc. The basic good manners of being a guest. It was always in others favor, having only one child. All of my friends had 3 or 4 so when they came to my house it was carnage. lol

jonsblond's avatar

Of course. If you make a mess you clean it up.

canidmajor's avatar

Oh, @Dutchess_III, how you do like your silly drama. I said none of that, but since you seem to need to project that your way is the only way, you go right ahead.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Well, it’s not drama, @canidmajor. That’s what they did. They came in with McD’s food and they left half eaten cheeseburgers and fries all over, and sweaty pop cups all over the furniture. I found food on the floor, empty water bottles on the floor. I gave one kids some crayons and paper to draw on. He dumped the crayons all over the floor and just left them there. They took stuff outside to play with, and left them out there.

I just wondered if most people here would leave such a mess for the host to clean up.
The answer, for most, is, obviously, “No. Of course not.”

YARNLADY's avatar

I always made my kids put things back where they got them, and we always took back what ever we brought in (trash). If they spill anything or get crumbs, they clean up immediately.

zenvelo's avatar

@Dutchess_III Were their parents there? Quit blaming kids, blame the parents.

If the parents weren’t there, why were they not seated to eat at the kitchen table? In my house, kids don’t eat except at the table, especially if it is messy stuff.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Read the question @zenvelo. I do hold the parent responsible. The mother was there.

canidmajor's avatar

Neither my friends nor I were silly enough to have our houses in such a way that nice furniture would be damaged, and none of us had kids that were destructive. Mess was part of the package. Why do you ask these single-acceptable-answer questions?

Dutchess_III's avatar

What do you mean “have our house in such a way?” The furniture is in my house. They’re pieces I’ve picked up over the years, mostly vintage. They aren’t cheap Walmart stuff that is easily replaced. (The one pictured I had covered with clear plastic when the kids were small.)

I asked if people here had their kids pick up after themselves after a visit. You said that you did not. You felt it was your host’s job.

So, you answered the question.

jonsblond's avatar

@Dutchess has been accepting of all answers on this question @canidmajor. Read your first response. It was very condescending.

BellaB's avatar

I don’t have kids in areas that aren’t safe for them (or the furniture or the dog).

I don’t expect any of my guests to clean up after themselves. In fact, I’d be a bit put off if they did anything other than take their own belongings with them when they left.

I was raised to think that part of hosting is cleaning up (but also controlling what areas are accessible).

The kitchen has always been full access – including the food in the kitchen. Appliances aren’t to be operated without my consent.

Coloma's avatar

Well I sure learned the hard way. Don;t get new furniture when you have a 15 month old and a new puppy. What the hell was I thinking. haha

jca's avatar

When I go to people’s houses, I always carry my plate and glass and whatever to the sink, and try to help carry the other plates to the sink and clear the table. My mom taught me to put my plate in the sink. She used to say “there’s no maid service here.” To this day, even if someone offers me a glass of water, I will put it in the sink before I leave.

When I have people over, I don’t expect them to clean up. If they help that’s fine but it can be more annoying to me, having people scurrying around the kitchen and asking where do we put this, where do we put that, where’s the dishwasher detergent, etc. Just leave it and I’ll take care of it tomorrow or later or whatever.

Kids would not be leaving sticky stuff on my couches because they would not be eating sticky stuff on the couches.

If I take my daughter to someone’s house, I pick up after her.

Dutchess_III's avatar

I always ask my hostess if she’d like some help clearing the table. Some accept gladly, others say “No, I’m fine. I like cleaning up.”

But the situation I’m referring to isn’t really comparable. It’s not a formal affair.
It’s someone who drops in with a bunch of kids.
When my kids were little, my friends and I dropped in on each other all the time. And we all helped clean up after the kids when we were getting ready to leave.

Kids will naturally make more messes, messes that an adult wouldn’t consider leaving (crayons all over the floor, food laying around on furniture) and not think to clean them up, unless they’re taught (or not taught, as the case may be.)

zenvelo's avatar

Kids will naturally make more messes, messes that an adult wouldn’t consider leaving (crayons all over the floor, food laying around on furniture) and not think to clean them up, unless they’re taught (or not taught, as the case may be.)

My question to you, @Dutchess_III, which you keep bypassing, is why weren’t the kids sitting at the kitchen table to eat?

You as hostess get to say, “let’s eat in the kitchen.” When I had kids “drop in” with lunch, they ate outside, not inside, or else at the table.

BellaB's avatar

@Dutchess_III , why were the children allowed to be in places you are concerned about, doing things you don’t like the result of?

As the homeowner/host, you decide where people eat/sit/play.

I think this is the host’s responsibility, not the parent, and definitely not the children.

Don’t let them do things that are going to make a mess in a place you don’t want a mess.

It’s not complicated.

Coloma's avatar

I always had my daughter sitting in her high chair or at the table or on a blanket spread out on the floor when she ate as a small child. I also always washed her hands and face. I had friends where every-single-surface in their homes were sticky and coated with food residue from the little heathens. Door knobs with P&J residue, sticky floors, crap ground into the carpets and never washing the kids up after eating.

The only issue I had, mentioning buying new furniture with a toddler above, was my daughter walking around with her bottle and sloshing milk drops on the couch and then, the new puppy, that, just like a toddler, managed to get into trouble in a split second when my back was turned and chewed the skirting on my brand new, custom upholstered couch within the first 3 weeks of getting it. I felt sorry for the puppy being in his puppy play pen and that’s what I got for being a softy. haha

jonsblond's avatar

I think some of you are making this out to be more than it needs to be. This isn’t a formal occasion she’s speaking about. Kids will make a mess from time to time and they don’t always have to sit at a table, especially if they are just eating snacks.

zenvelo's avatar

@jonsblond I think we agree with you this is more than it needs to be. Yet we tend to believe that this is the OP getting upset about something that most parents would avoid by taking steps to eat their lunch in a place that wouldn’t get trashed.

Coloma's avatar

Well, it also depends on the snack. grapes no, crackers that get crushed all over the house, popcicles that drip and juices that stain, peanut butter and jelly, yep, wrap the kids in plastic and lash them to a chair. haha

Dutchess_III's avatar

It wasn’t even the food, it was everything. Water bottles on the floor, pop cups on the counters and table, toys pulled out of the toy box, things just dropped on the floor when something else caught their attention.

There was no lasting damage done, just a lot of shit to be cleaned up that the parents should have told the kids to clean up themselves, IMO.

The oldest kids were 12 and 9. The little one was 3 and old enough to follow easy instruction.

The next time this particular family drops by, and Mom’s saying they need to get ready to leave I’ll just say, “OK, we need to do a walk about see what needs to be cleaned up.”

Dutchess_III's avatar

Also, I had just gotten in the shower when they came by. I didn’t even know were coming over, or that they were bringing food in, until they had finished eating whatever they ate, where ever they ate.

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