Okay, I admit, you can't exactly post these household rules for your guests like you might post rules for your own 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 household rules are, they should address neatness, politeness, and safety. Your child needs to go by all your standard house rules as well as rules for company. Mine include:
Hosts and this includes kid hosts, plan ahead for guests.
Have some activities in mind and perhaps even set up for when the guest arrives.
No eating anywhere but outside and the kitchen (for kids anyway!)
Banning outdoor shoes inside will keep the carpet and floors cleaner.
A strategically placed entryway shoe cubbie makes it easy for guests to slip off footwear as they enter. Consider placing a wicker basket next to it filled with various sizes of unisex slippers for guests to wear inside.
No loud music allowed. Kids should keep the noise heard throughout the house down to a dull roar.
No running, shrieking, or roughhousing inside. People and things can get broken when excited little ones run wild inside.
Put away toys, games, etc. after use and before moving on to the next activity.
This alone will cut down on a majority of after-playdate cleanups, as well as teach kids about caring for their possessions.
Every child that played with the toys should be part of the cleanup routine.
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!
When siblings have guests, they are the sibling's guests, and other brothers and sisters are not allowed to horn in on the fun unless invited.
Phones are for business. Conversations must be five minutes or less. No making crank calls.
Okay, maybe I did. But it bears repeating.
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 parents for immediate pickup. Period.