It’s so important for kids to make friends and learn how to be a guest. Here are 10 rules for visiting friends’ homes.
Recently a neighbor child stopped by to play. My kids were excited to have a guest, and it was fun for them to play.
Within a few minutes of arriving, the boy told me he was hungry. Dinnertime was approaching and I wasn’t going to feed my kids that close to dinner so that’s what I said. (*Please note: I know this child is well fed at home. If he wasn’t, I would’ve reacted differently)
He started wandering through the house and opening closets and such. I politely asked him to not open things without asking- that’s what I expect my kids to do at their friends’ houses. He stomped off to another area and did the same thing.
About this point, I told him I wasn’t trying to be mean, but at our house, I expect guests to follow our rules. I let him know he’s welcome to visit, and shared with him what I expect.
I honestly wasn’t sure how he would react but he looked surprised and said, “you’re the meanest mom in the neighborhood.”
It probably didn’t help that I started laughing.
So, maybe I’m mean but my kids are expected to use their manners at their friends’ homes.
Rules for visiting friends’ homes
- Remember to say please and thank you.
- Take off your shoes. Not every family does this, but it’s better show respect.
- Looking in rooms without permission. If you aren’t invited, don’t go there.
- Looking in the fridge, cupboards, closets, or drawers.
- Don’t ask for or help yourself to food. Have a snack before heading to a friends’ house. If they offer a snack, it’s fine to accept. It’s not fine to walk in the door and start nagging everyone for food. (This doesn’t mean I never give kids food…)
- Putting feet on or jumping on furniture. It isn’t allowed at home, so it seems like it would go without saying, but make sure they know it’s not okay at other homes either.
- Bringing along a pet without prior permission.
- No rough-housing inside.
- Remember certain toys may be off limits. Some are special or really expensive so plan to leave those alone.
- Be kind to friends’ siblings. They like to play too! Include them and treat them as well as you’d like to be treated.