Q&A: Enforcing rules with neighbour’s children

Q: It seems every child on the block hangs out at our house. We have stricter rules than most parents on our street about where our grade-school children are allowed to go, so all the children end up here. I’m pleased they feel comfortable at our home, but sometimes it feels overwhelming. What should we do?

A: This issue has more to do with the grown-ups in your neighbourhood than with the children. Uncomfortable as it sounds, we’d encourage you to initiate some friendly, straightforward conversations with the other parents on your street. Explain that while you love having their children at your home, it would be helpful if everyone could agree on some ground rules. For example, it would be a good idea if the children brought along their own water rather than finishing the cold water in your fridge every time they get thirsty. You can also minimise some of the bathroom clean-up by suggesting that they make a habit of visiting the restroom at home before coming over to play.

When you’re talking with the neighbourhood parents, keep in mind that this can be a great time to learn more about them, their background, their perspective on life, and their basic values. Discuss the limits you set for your children’s behaviour and find out if they’re on the same page. If they are, and if you feel confident that there’s adequate supervision, there’s no reason why you can’t allow your children to spend some time playing at their homes. That way, you can begin to spread this responsibility around the neighbourhood a little more evenly. While you want to protect your children from dangers and negative influences, it’s also important for their growth and development to look for opportunities to lengthen the proverbial leash a bit whenever reasonable and appropriate.

© 2018 Focus on the Family.  All rights reserved.  Used by permission.

Share

Share on facebook
Share on whatsapp
Share on email

MORE

MARRIAGE

The Inner Lives Of Husbands

Believe it or not, women have many misconceptions about men – and those perceptions often affect our relationships. Discover what a loving wife needs to consider in order to give her spouse confidence to become the man he is called to be.

Read More >

PARENTING

The Real Job of Mums

What is a mum’s primary job? A nurturing mum goes beyond being the “maintenance person” in the family. She demonstrates by example how to explore life with zest and express the unique gifts of her child.

Read More >
10-steps-better-sleep-family

10 Steps for Better Sleep For Your Family

Good sleep is essential to maintaining physical, emotional, spiritual and social health. However, many people are seriously sleep deprived. Dr. Meg Meeker discusses the benefits of getting good sleep and some of the potential problems parents and kids may experience if they don’t get enough rest at night.

Read More >

FAMILY Q&A