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Visiting

How do your children behave when they visit other people's homes?


Picture this. You invite a friend over for lunch or in the evening, and she says, "can I bring my son along?" Sure, you say, and you don't mind at all. He runs around the house a little, which is fine. After all, children cannot be expected to sit in one corner, can they? Then he starts opening drawers and removing things from inside. Uh oh. Oh well, you just have a little stationary, pens and pencils in the drawer. It doesn't matter. He takes out a felt pen, and you give him some paper. Great, he can sit in the corner and draw. And then, when he starts scribbling on the walls you jump. At this point your friend gives a little shout and stops any further artistic endeavors. So the little boy declares he is hungry, so you give him an apple to eat. He starts chewing it, dropping pieces all over the house. His hands are filthy and sticky by the time he finishes the apple, and you watch helplessly as he jumps all over your white sofa and plays with the lovely cushions. He reaches for your crystal vase, and your heart sinks. You gently take it out of his hands. He then reaches for a glass of water, and spills the water. Your friend then shakes her finger at him, looks at you in mock despair and giggles. "Isn't he just so naughtily entertaining?"

Mothers! Just because you think your child's naughtiness is adorable, doesn't mean everyone feels the same. So before taking your child to someone else's house, teach them how to behave. Here are some rules.


Feed him before

If you are going to someone's house just to meet them and not for a meal, make sure your child eats up before leaving the house. You don't want him to polish off all the chocolates when your hostess had only offered him one! And, it would be unfair to expect him to exercise restraint when he is hungry.


Keep him occupied

Carry a colouring book along with colour pencils with you wherever you go. Your child could then keep busy. After all, if your hostess doesn't have children, there is a strong chance that she may not have colour pencils at hand and you don't want your child to be at a lose end, with nothing to do!

Make sure your child colours only in his book! Any attempt at colouring the walls should be dealt with firmly.

Avoid letting him run around indoors, because this may make your hostess anxious. You could request that they turn on the television so that he sits quietly and watches it.

Even if your hostess has children of the same age, her children would be aware of what they can and cannot touch, what is off limits, and so on. Your child has no such knowledge since he is in new surroundings. So, if her children, if any, are at home, send your children to the kid's room. They can keep busy there. When it is time to leave, make sure your child helps clean up.


Keep watch

Keep an eye on your child at all times. If his hands get dirty at any point, clean them up immediately before he wipes them on the curtain!

If you have a maid or nanny for your child, take her with you when you go visiting, and make sure she keeps your child out of your hostess's hair.


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