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11 HOUSEHOLD RULES FOR YOUNG GUESTS

You can't exactly post these rules for your guests like you might post rules for your kids. But still, they are guests in your home, and it's good to have some guidelines in mind, should you need to enforce them. Especially for pint-size guests!

Also, kids need to be able to have friends over. But they also need limits they understand ahead of time. This is partially for their benefit.

If a friend wants them to do something they don't feel comfortable about, they can always fall back on, "Sorry, I can't. My mom's got a weird rule about that." Let them use you as their excuse. It's what we're here for.

Whatever your house rules are, they should address neatness, politeness, and safety. Your child need to go by all your standard house rules as well as rules for company. Mine include:

1. HOSTS (YES, KIDS) PLAN AHEAD FOR VISITORS.

Have some activities in mind and perhaps even set up for when friends arrive.

2. WE ONLY EAT IN THE KITCHEN.

No eating anywhere but in the kitchen - or outside, weather permitting. For kids, anyway!

3. NO SHOES IN THE HOUSE.

This will both keep the carpet and floors cleaner and provide a delay you're likely to hear if they're putting on shoes to go outside.

4. NO LOUD MUSIC.

They should keep the sounds heard throughout the house to a dull roar.

5. NO RUNNING, SHRIEKING, OR ROUGH-HOUSING INSIDE.

People and things can get broken when excited little ones run wild inside.

6. PUT THINGS AWAY AFTER USE.

Toys, games, etc. must be put away after use. And before moving on to the next activity.

This alone will cut down on a majority of the after play date clean ups as well as teach kids about caring for their possessions.

Every child that played with the toys should be part of the clean-up.

7. NO MOVIES or tv WITHOUT PERMISSION.

Make sure the kids know it's not open season when it comes to the movie channels on TV. It's a good idea to check up on the kids for this one.

8. WHEN SIBLINGS HAVE FRIENDS OVER, THEY ARE THE SIBLING'S FRIEND.

Brothers and sisters are not allowed to horn in on the fun with a sibling's invited friends - unless invited.

9. PHONES ARE FOR BUSINESS.

Conversations must be five minutes or less. No making crank calls.

10. DID I MENTION NO RUNNING, SHRIEKING, OR ROUGH-HOUSING?

Okay, maybe I did. But it bears repeating.

11. GUESTS MUST ABIDE BY ALL HOUSEHOLD RULES.

Young visitors should be aware that the penalty for infraction of these house rules is a call to his or her parent for immediate pickup. Period.

Visit the Clean Organized Home Store for the products and supplies you need to keep your home clean, safe, and organized - and much more.



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About the Author

Tara Aronson

Tara Aronson is a native Californian. Having grown up in San Diego, she studied journalism and Spanish to pursue a career in newspaper writing. Tara, whose three children - Chris, Lyndsay, and Payne - are the light of her life, now lives and writes in Los Angeles. She also regularly appears on television news programs throughout the U.S.