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SuperMouse's avatar

Any ideas for dealing with my sons' unruly friends?

Asked by SuperMouse (30785points) May 25th, 2009

There are a pair of brothers in my neighborhood who seem to have no boundaries in their home. When they come over to play (which is almost daily because they are right down the street) they are incredibly rude to me and have zero regard for my rules. What kind of house rules do you lay down for your children’s playmates, and do you kick kids out if they don’t follow them?

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21 Answers

oratio's avatar

Ouch! How old are they? Talking to their parents not an option? I imagine I would throw them out, and tell them I make the rules in my and my childrens home. They are not only insulting me but my kids dad then. What kind of friends of my kids would do that? I would have a talk with my kids as well about their friends.

Easy to say in a comment, though. I guess I would follow my instincts as a parent.

Darwin's avatar

I tell them what the rules are and I ask them to leave if the rules are not followed. I also remind them that being rude is impolite and since this is my home I will not tolerate rudeness. I find that if I speak to them calmly as if they were human beings, not just “little kids” I often get good results.

If need be, I approach the parents and I let the children know that I will be doing so. It is quite possible that there are rules at home but the children choose not to obey them. It is also possible that there are indeed no rules at home and by speaking to the parents you now know this for sure.

I would also sit down with my children and tell them that their friends who behave like that are not welcome in my house, but that they can all go play at the park or in the front yard if they still wish to be friends. Depending on the age of the children involved I might go further and explain that certain behaviors lead to others that are definitely unsafe.

I had to do this first with my son because he was hanging out with some boys who stole all his things when he was in early elementary school, including his xBox. Then later on I had to talk to him about another boy who liked to drink and smoke (we are talking 11 and 13 year olds) and tried to talk my son into stealing money for him.

justwannaknow's avatar

They should follow YOUR rules or leave, Regardless of the rules they have at home. Explain the rules to them and the consequences of not following them.

arturodiaz's avatar

It really depends on the age of the kid. I had once a neighbor who would come to my house and make a mess. He would jump on the couch and do lots of nasty stuff. We told him several times to stop doing it but he was a three year old, so whatever you told to him would be forgotten in about five minutes. We eventually stop him from entering the house until he got the message, or grow up. Whatever happens he’s not so messy anymore. He is quite funny by the way.

chyna's avatar

I’m sure you are afraid your kids will pick up this behavior. It sounds like talking to their parents is not an option, so the only thing you can do is go over the rules with them, again, and explain if they don’t follow them, they are not allowed back.

Jeruba's avatar

“You can’t do that here.”

loser's avatar

Pepperspray?

Darwin's avatar

Duct tape.

SuperMouse's avatar

@loser and @Darwin those are two out of the box ideas that never occurred to me!

Blondesjon's avatar

Lay down the law. They fuck up one time and they don’t come in your yard again for awhile.

I had many children who despised me in my neighborhood but none who disrespected me.

justwannaknow's avatar

Duct tape, velco and super glue. Super glue their butts in a chair, velcro their hands to the arms and duct tape their mouths shut. Great baby sitting tools.

Likeradar's avatar

Lay down the law (as I just realized Blondesjon said). “We don’t behave that way in this house. In this house, we ______.” If they don’t get it, kick em to the curb. Your house, your rules. Just because they live on the same street does not mean you have to allow wild monkey children to run rampant.

Aethelwine's avatar

Kick them out. They either wise up or they never come back. It’s a win/win.

kheredia's avatar

They need to have respect for you and your family. Especially because they are coming into YOUR home. If they don’t like the rules, they can go play elsewhere with someone else. If you tolerate their bad behavior, they’re going to think they have control over you. Show them who the boss is.

YARNLADY's avatar

Yes. All the neighborhood kids used to hang out here, but they had to agree in advance to follow the house rules, no arguing or fighting, no swearing, show respect for each other. I always insisted that the parents come over and meet us personally before their children were invited to come over, and explained the rules. I did send them home when necessary, but it was hardly ever necessary.

Buttonstc's avatar

There are certain life principles which transcend differing locations or cultures.

One of these is that children will get away with as much as they are allowed to get away with. Don’t allow them. Explain the boundaries and enforce them. CONSISTENTLY and impartially. Everyone involved will be much happier in the long run regardless of whether they admit it or not.

cak's avatar

We are the house in the neighborhood where children want to play. It has everything to do with having a pool and all the games. However, to play at our house, you best use your manners or you will be sent home. I have had plenty of conversations with parents explaining why little Suzy or Jimmy cannot return for at least one week. I write it on my calendar, too. I don’t mess around. It is my responsibility to take care of the care, while in my house. I take that responsibility very seriously. If a child cannot behave, then they need to go. I have only had one parent really try to yell at me, I simply told her that was fine, he didn’t need to come over, ever again. Too bad for her, my house is where all the kids hang out. She realized that her son was out of luck and eventually, both of them apologized to me.

I am respected by parents and children, in this neighborhood and I expect my children to behave the same when a guest at another family’s house.

YARNLADY's avatar

@cak that sounds just like our house.

VS's avatar

I could care less whose friends they are – if they disrespect me in my own home, they are OUT. And they will not return until they have apologized and agree to abide by the rules of civility.

DarkScribe's avatar

The advantages of having a large Rottie and a willingness to terrorise kids are that they somehow came to believe that the dog only bites bad kids. Not sure how that happened – but it leads to well behaved kids around our house. When a new kid arrives I pick up a couple of bits of jerky and pretend to put it in the kids hair – then tell the dog to stay. He stays, but drools and won’t take his eyes off the kid. (Until I pretend to recover it and feed it to him.)

RedPowerLady's avatar

I would absolutely set boundaries in my home and if the kids cannot follow them they can’t play in my home. Of course if your home is “fun” they will want to follow the rules and come back over but it may take a few kick-outs first.

I actually have a friend dealing with this right now. She has two boys and they have friends come over. Friends who also have no boundaries at home. She was telling me all about how she handles it. Same thing I said above. She tells them that it is her house and if they want to play there they are going to follow her rules. If not she is happy to take them home right now. They usually straighten up pretty quick.

I don’t think you can be too flexible. The more the kids see you flex the less seriously they will take you.

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