Thursday, September 28, 2006

What Do You Think?

I really would like to hear from you Grandma's especially, but I would like to hear from others as well. It seems like children are raised differently these days. I was having a discussion with someone about when people come to your house with their children. I was raised with 4 brothers. My Mom could take the 5 of us anywhere. If we went to someone's house, we stayed right with my Mom unless the hostess told us we could go play and provided toys, etc. Now, if it was a good friend's that we went to often and they had children, we could go off with their children and play, but we knew the rules. We did not touch things on their tables or counters, etc. We knew that was off limits. I raised Joshua pretty much the same way. One of my rules was... If it is not yours, don't touch it. I left some things around the house on coffee tables or end tables, or the centerpiece on my table. He was allowed to look, but not touch. I occasionally gave him something that he could touch. I had a glass nativity set that was off limits to hands. However, I also had a plastic one, that I left on the coffee table that he was allowed to handle and play with. Now, I realize he was not perfect, and I was "training".

I am pretty hands on when it is my house. I do state the rules and expect the children to follow them. However, I have had children ask to play with things that are for sure not toys (I do have tons of toys for them). The parent has told the child to ask Miss Marci if you can play with it. Now, why should they ask Miss Marci. Why doesn't the Mom tell them that it is not a toy and they need to play with toys? Am I a weirdo here? I have pretty much child proofed my house as I have friends with lots of children. I love for the children to come to my house. I have many things they can play with. I do have rules though and most of the children that are in my house on a regular basis know the rules and follow them. I have one friend who calls me "Couch Cautious" because I only allow children to sit on my couch, not walk, stand or jump. =) It is a joke between her and I. I also don't allow cars or trucks to be run on the furniture. However, I have lots of good floor space for cars, trucks and tractors. I want people to be comfortable to come in my home, children included. I want them to know that I LOVE having them there. I am just looking for what is the right side of this issue, or is there one?

Do you allow your children to touch other people's things? Do you think they should be allowed to? Do you expect the hostess to tell your child what to do and how far it can go? Do you Grandma's think that the hostess should have to tell the child or parent? Let me hear your thoughts? I am getting some interesting feedback on this. =)


Peggy said...

I am a mom of 3 grown girls and grandma to 9 grandchildren. I have NEVER put things up in my home. My daughters were told no when babies and sometimes had a smack on the hand but they soon learnt not to touch things. The grandkids were treated the same way. I have had visitors come and start putting my things up on a high shelf so they don't have to tell their child no. I get it back down and tell them children never learn the meaning of no if we don't train them while young. I have lots and lots of toys and books for the children so there is no reason I can't keep my things out so I can enjoy them instead of in closets or high up on a shelf. Why are parents today afraid to say no or is it they don't have time to teach their children?

Lady_MSnow said...

You are right on. We don't allow our children to touch others things, but you know...since I don't take Titus and Elisabeth to others homes a lot....they haven't quit on to that concept and at home...I am working on it daily. ;) I agree with the couch thing is made to sit on just as a chair or rocker is made to SIT on. I do think children are raised differently today...I have to agree with that. We are also striving to keep our children right next to us at church and at others homes. It seems when they are not in sight...that is when trouble happens. It is a struggle when they want to play, but at this point..we feel it is best.
Great post!

Jan said...

I am a mom of six, all grown and 11 grandkids. Yup kids are raised different these days. I could take my kids anywhere. They were well behaved and didn't get into other folks stuff. I raised 7 foster kids with the same results. But I was a hands on and eyes on. The kids were my responsibility and they knew I was watching.

Karen said...

I totally agree with everything you wrote. One problem I have is when children won't accept a no answer the first time. Not with my children, because they've been taught, but with my friends children. I have had children beg me to let them stay and play after I've told them no several times, and the sad thing is that their Mom is standing right there, just smiling!! The parents are the problem because they condone this behaviour.


P.S. I am taking piano/violin lessons from Meg, the same person you're thinking about.

I'm still looking for the truck's tag, maybe I'll find it today. We're supposed to take the truck over tonight.

Chicken Mama said...

I'm not a grandma, but I have 2 children of my own, used to teach in public and private schools, and have entertained parents and children in my home many times. Your observation is right- there are few limits set for kids these days in most households. What guidelines have been given are mostly negotiable with enough whining.

Especially while teaching, I saw parents rescue their children repeatedly from the consequences of their actions. Then the lesson wasn't learned and irresponsibility, etc. persisted.

I don't mind being asked for permission to do or play with something- every one's rules or preferences are different and at least the child is asking, not assuming it's fine. But I have a problem with children that wheedle and whine or flat out disobey once the answer has been given. I expect to only have to state the answer once. And "impulsiveness" is not an excuse (my son has a friend who chases our chickens- among other "impulsive" behaviors- repeatedly, no matter how many times I warn him to leave them alone). It makes me very reluctant to let him come over.

Children who ignore adults who speak to them get on my last nerve. Shyness is one thing- ignoring and disregarding what you've been told is another.

I agree with you that children should have an expectation to behave. I can take my children to visit the elderly folks who live in our community. They have NO toys to play with, yet my children can sit quietly and behave. No, it's not fun for them, but they learn to respect their elders and sometimes get to hear a really great story. Children on the whole have come to expect that they should be entertained at all times, but I don't subscribe to that theory. I could write for pages on that topic, work ethic, etc., but I'll save it for my own blog! :-)

Ladyfromthewoods said...

If you home is your refuge (which most of us view it that way) then why invite an army of destruction to come into it? The only good reason I can think of (and I've thought over it a LOT) is to teach them a different way of living and show Christ's love.

If we have a scowl on our faces as their beloved childern are scampering around dangerously close to treasured breakables, (and scowl I know I have done at some times) it isn't a loving witness, is it? I can speak from both sides of the fence.

A very close relative to me kept a nice home. When company came over, it was uncomfortable and not delightful at all because for all her attempts she could not keep from having a worried, stressed demeanor about her, even though it was obvious that she was trying to hide it. Every one knows her even today as someone who loved her belongings more than her company, even though she rarely said anything out of the way.

On the other hand, I myself have had little wreaking machines running around my house, just looking for something to "get into." I've had my grandmother's prized candleholder broken by a baby in her daddy's arms, and I'm still finding playdoh in the strangest places after the last visit from some neices after they were specifically told that now wasn't the time to get it out!

My reactions? I do remind myself that things are just things but that the visit to my home may have eternal consequences. However, I am no saint even by imitation, for I find myself hoping that those same people won't stop by anytime again soon! I always wonder why the parents don't do something because I am always trying to be better than I parenting, at hosting, at everything, so why doesn't anyone else seem to care or change??!!

It is a quandry and I just take it day by day and hope that when I have the next army over for a bbq, that I will have remembered to arm myself that morning with God! LOL!

Sigh...what is really sad is that I can't take those little armies and channel their energy toward constructive things because they are not my own. Maybe, though, I'll try to have some high energy chore/play for them to do next time, instead of making mud pies in my good dishware!

sidulrike said...

well, almost my oldest daughter threatened me before she went on her recent deployment that she really wants to start a family in the next 5 years (she´s 21) I am not a grandmother YET :-D BUT I have 4 kids and tons of visitors to our house and believe it or not - I used to be a kid, too.. lol..
Our house was NEVER childproof and the kids learnt (and are learning) that no means no. My parents could take us to any place at any given time - crystal shops, people´s houses etc.. Yes, sometimes things got broken but I think that´s just a normal thing when it´s not an everyday thing. I would never tell my children to ask you if they can play with something not intended to play with - why would I? Some people just don´t seem to have many boundaries.
So yes, before I start rambling (lol), children are raised differently and I am not totally excluding myself but if there is one pet peeve I have it´s manners. And then manners.. lol.. part of manners is to respect other people´s property, right? Yep.
BTW, my children would probably not even go into your house but immediately ask to play in the Log Cabin anyways.. lol.. and stay there until they´re hungry or thirsty! And they would not need toys but would be happy with the things nature provides them with. No, I´m not a "bio" mom, my just-turned-2 year old boy knows how to use the computer very well and can it, choose his user and start his favorite game all by himself. But if I tell him that we´re going for a walk in the vineyards, fields or just the backyard guess who´s right there? Sorry for the excurse, just trying to paint the picture. My kids are not angels, they are very modern and technologically savvy but still value the simple things and usually have good manners (yeah, exceptions here, too.. lol).
So you´re not weird for wondering why people can´t teach certain values and then wonder why their children grow up without direction. Oh yeah, and there are no shoes on my couch either.. lol.. always wondered why people let their children do that.. hmm..

Nena said...

Good post. I'm not a Grandmother. I have one dd, who is 2.5 years old. My dd knows not to touch without asking but does ask for things that are not toys. My problem is that I will tell her "no" but then the hostess will contradict me and say it is okay.

Patty said...

Parents are perhaps a bit lazier these days, not willing to follow through with saying, "if you do that again". It is hard work to follow through, be consistant and not many young people today have the discipline to discipline correctly.
I never put things away when the children were small, unless it would have broken my heart if it was broken by accident. Then it was put up higher.
My children knew that when I said, hands behind your back or in your pockets at the store in at someones house, it meant, DO NOT TOUCH A THING.
In this time of uncontroled spending, eating, and excess in so much, it seems parenting has taken the low road right along with these things. Things have changed in regard to discipline, just ask any teacher today.

Mrs. Pivec said...

I agree as well. Since I love antiquing my girls have come with me from a very young age. Sure, we'd be followed around occasionally by some nervous proprietors, but they'd eventually learn how wonderfully my girls knew how to behave in there, "looking with their eyes, NOT with their hands."

One thing I can say in defense of current parents is that even with the best of training one's children can surprise you from time to time.

Recently, I was at the home of a new acquaintance - an older lady from church who was sharing some home-grown fruit with me. My girls came along and they were fine. I was visiting for a bit with the lady before we left and I don't know... were my girls (7& nearly 10) tired??? I turned around and my seven year old was sitting on the floor near a bookcase and the nearly 10 year old was lying ON HER BACK ON THE FLOOR WITH HER FEET IN THE AIR.

Well, of course I asked her to get up right away, but this situation has NEVER come up before... it simply was not one I would have expected - especially in the home of someone we barely knew!! My 10 y/o usually is so ladylike and VERY well-mannered and I get complements all the time on their behavior in church and otherwise. Obviously, there was a discussion about this on the way home, but I guess I just have to say that occasionally children will just act WEIRDLY. Sometimes in front of other people.

I can understand frustration when there are "repeat offenders" who visit your home and I have had a number of those visitors myself.

It is hard, because I do feel called to practice hospitality and teach my children the same. But there have been guests that my girls DO NOT want to have back, as the children have played so roughly with toys that they have broken them or have pulled out nearly everything from shelves. And yes, these are the children who are not supervised by their parents.

Generally, I just find that there seems to be a lack of respect today for one's elders and for private property. We have lived in our suburban home with a pond in the back yard for nearly three years and we have had at LEAST 10 incedences wherein we have had to ask people to please not come fishing on our property. This includes adults - complete with tackle boxes - while we were having a dinner party on our lanai (so it's not like they thought we weren't there). The kids, though, are the hardest. The adults at least leave - sometimes with a grumble or comment. But the young teens ALWAYS comment or say something rude and usually only move to the veeeerrrrrry edge of our property line and then procede to fish into our property, but aren't technically standing on it.

When I was a child, we NEVER went into other's yards uninvited and we never talked back to an adult - especially one we did not know (and we knew what would happen to us if we tried it with one we DID know) - and especially if we knew we were in the wrong!

As you can see, this is a hot-button issue for me as well. I'll stop here, because I'm sure I could go on and on. But suffice it to say, for THIS modern-day mother, manners and respect are extremely important in our family.