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:
Have some activities in mind and perhaps even set up for when friends arrive.
No eating anywhere but in the kitchen - or outside, weather permitting. For kids, anyway!
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.
They should keep the sounds heard throughout the house to a dull roar.
People and things can get broken when excited little ones run wild inside.
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.
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.
Brothers and sisters are not allowed to horn in on the fun with a sibling's invited friends - unless invited.
Conversations must be five minutes or less. No making crank calls.
Okay, maybe I did. But it bears repeating.
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.
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