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Home Sweet Home: Rules for Having Visitors

In this week’s Triple P blogspot, we discuss helping young children adjust to visitors in their home. 

As parents of preschoolers, it’s crucial to our survival to stay connected with friends and family. Even if it’s just chatting over coffee every couple of weeks, it can be a huge support for our emotional needs.

Having friends or family with similar-aged children can also be a huge perk for both you and your child. However, children sometimes have a hard time sharing their home with visitors.

Have you noticed that your preschooler acts differently when visitors come to your home? You may notice your child acts overly:

  • Silly
  • Shy
  • Noisy
  • Defiant
  • Clingy to you

She may also struggle to share toys, refuse to play with other children, or be extra demanding of your attention.

While it can be hard for kids to share their parents’ attention or let others into their personal space, hosting visitors provides opportunities for young children to practice their social skills. Remember very young children need to learn all these skills for school success—and that takes time and practice. With encouragement, we can teach children how to:

  • Greet visitors: hello, smile, make eye contact.
  • Utilize your family’s polite habits: handshakes, say “please” and “thank you,” and “excuse me.”
  • Play appropriately with their friends.
  • Think about their friend’s needs: What they would like to play, are they hungry or need a drink, are they taking turns?

But first, you may need to lay some groundwork.

Changes In Behavior

There can be a number of reasons that you may see a change in your child’s behavior when a visitor comes over:

  • Preschoolers can find it hard to share their parent’s attention.
  • Children are left to amuse themselves for too long without a parent’s attention.
  • If the visit goes on for too long, children can become tired and irritable when it disrupts their normal routine.

For the full article and more tips on having visitors, visit lanekids.org

This article is brought to you by Parenting Now Parenting Educators and authors Amanda Bedortha, Claire Davis, and Lynne Swartz and consultant Jay Thompson (andupdatemywebsite.com). 

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