Staying at someone's house with your kids
In an emergency situation sometimes families are forced to stay with friends or families while they get back on their feet. We are seeing this more and more in the United States due to the economy. What many people don't take into consideration is how children are affected by dramatic changes like this.
If you find yourself staying with people who also have kids somethings that need to be addressed right away are house rules. This can be the biggest problem in house with multiple families. Regardless of what your kids are allowed to "get away with" at your own home, they might not be allowed to do the same things in a new environment especially when there are kids close to the same age. The worse thing to see for any parent is a child being able to do things like jump on the furniture and yet when they do it they get yelled at.
Problem: In our house, our kids aren't allowed to have Mountain Dew or any soda really, unless it is a holiday or special occasion. We have a cousin staying with us that has a 3 year old and a 1 year old. The 3 year old is allowed to have Mountain Dew cause that's what her dad drinks. My kids, especially the 5 year old, don't understand why she can have soda whenever she wants but they can't. This is not an uncommon thing in homes where more then one family are staying at a time. It also leads to arguments.
Solution: Find out what types of drinks the kids that live in the home are allowed to have or normally drink and stick with that. Your child may not like it but remember you are a guest in that house.
Problem: Bed times, different parents enforce bed times differently some let their kids watch a movie in bed or stay up till ridiculous hours. If your child is on a different sleep schedule it could be a problem.
Solution: If you kids are typically allowed to stay up all night and are sharing a room with children that live in the house they should have to go to bed when the other kids go to bed. If they are staying in a separate room at minimum give them "quite time" this should be at the same time as other kids go to bed. It should be used as a relaxation period. If your child is reading then have them read a book or a chapter during that time.
People understand that life happens and sometimes families get in a rut but to avoid the parenting fights when staying with other families be respectful. If children are not allowed to do certain things then you need explain to your children that while in their home they need to follow house rules. Sometimes it can get difficult especially if you are a laid back parent and you're staying in a strict home. But always remember, you and your family are guests and the best way to make the situation lighter is to respect rules that are already in place.
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