When children are resistant to rules and guidelines, parent's often tell them something like "as long as you live under my roof, you obey my rules!" Or, "as soon as you start paying rent, you can start making some decisions around here!"
What about when other people's children misbehave? They are like transients who pop in just long enough to make their impact felt, and then poof, they disappear like a fart in the wind. So what do you do when the transient children start misbehaving?
My House, My Rules!
There are many reasons to be consistent in enforcing the house rules. The following are five reasons that rank toward the top.
- Your child will notice if you crack under pressure - If you let another kid get away with breaking your house rules, it shows your child that there may be a chink in your armor. Granted, your kid will probably make the association that since little Johnny was a guest, you went easy on him. However, the seed has been planted! Now there's a chance, no matter how small, that your child may think they can get away with bad behavior. Like my good friend Lloyd says, "So you're telling me there's a chance."
- Kids will realize it's a privilege to come to your house, or they'll stop coming over... win win in my book
- It May minimize the bad habits your child picks up - No matter how good your child is, it rarely seems to rub off on the behaviorally challenged child. Usually, it's the other way around. If there's one thing that's hard to do, it's spending a couple weeks deprogramming your kid because they learned that throwing a fit is a cool way to express themselves.
- It Makes you feel powerful and boosts self esteem - There's nothing quite like knowing you strike fear into the hearts of small children. That kind of knowledge will let you sleep peacefully on the couch because you know that when you wake up, all of your tools and gadgets will be right where you left them.
- Stuff won't get broken - One day, I'm sure everyone wouldn't mind if there were a few nice things around the house. When that time comes, you wouldn't want them to get broken.