I have a son and daughter in law who have 5 children , live out of state and are easygoing in their parenting style. A couple of their kids are loud, one is delayed, and two are extremely needy and do anything for attention. Their parents don’t teach them how to be careful and polite, and although my house is not a palace, there is frequently something broken , stained, or damaged by the end of the visit. Any ideas on how to deal with the misbehavior of the kids and attitude of the parents?
The one and only answer to this is to talk with the parents. Let them know your concerns and ask how they would like to address them.
You are the grandparent, so you’ll have to work within the boundaries that work for the parents. That doesn’t mean your needs don’t matter though - it just means you need to communicate them and ask them how they can help take care of them.
It might mean that you don’t have so many kids over at once. It might mean the parents stay more on top of the kids. Or it might mean that you need to prepare the house some and set some boundaries that the kids can’t go into certain rooms.
Regardless, talk to your son and daughter-in-law and let them know your concerns. Frame the conversation in a positive and constructive manner, and hopefully they can either directly help or brainstorm ideas for making sure you have a good experience with the kids.
It is your home, your property and your right not to knowingly destroy anything you own..
5 children are a lot to take care of, but that still doesn't exclude them from basic social behaviour. Basic social behaviour (for adults) includes
- Not damaging other peoples properties
- Not causing problems for other people (i.e. by screaming in their flat and annoy the neighbour)
- Try being comfortable for all, including yourself
This varies a lot with younger children, as children of age 2 perhaps don't understand "this is not owned by you" or "if you press this too hard, it breaks". You didn't mention the age of the children, but I assume they're about 4 to 12.
Hold the children responsible (appropriate for their age) and act like you would with your own child. Your house - your rules. As it's hard to enforce rules on 5 children, tell your son and daughter in law to help you enforce these rules. It's okay to punish them if they misbehave.
If you can't hold the children responsible for their actions, hold the parents responsible.
Important: Perhaps your son/daugther in law have different base principles in raising kids, so try finding a middle ground instead of only A or B. All of you should look forward to see each other again in the future.
I've often see children behave much different in different households. I.e. at home they eat well while they smack and crumb at their grandparents' meal. I'm sure it works the other way round as well.