Friday, October 17, 2008

We Have Certain Rules

Today my first grader invited 2 of his friends over to our house after school. They are both kids in our neighborhood and they are all in the same class. I had some wooden Halloween masks that I bought a while ago and thought it would make a good project to keep the kids busy.

They were excited to see the project and couldn't' wait for me to clear off the table and get the paints ready. They grew louder and louder each second until finally all 4 (2 friends and my 2 kids) were screaming so loud that I couldn't hear myself when I calmly asked them to settle down. So I did what any calm parent would do. I stamped my foot so that I was louder than their screaming. When that got their attention. I explained that we are not allowed to scream in our house and that if they wanted to do the project, they would have to stop yelling.

All 4 kids made a "sorry" face and I was able to get everything set up. A few minutes later when everyone was very into the painting, one of neighbor kids looks at me and the conversation went like this:

6 year old neighbor kid: I don't like your rules.

Me: What do you mean? (I had already forgotten about the screaming a few minutes ago.)

6 year old neighbor kid: When I go to my other friend's house, we're allowed to scream. I think I should be allowed to scream here too.

Me: Well, I'm sorry you don't like it, but we are not allowed to scream in this house.

6 year old neighbor kid: I think you should change that rule.

Me: I'm sorry. I guess that means that you don't want to come and play here again?

6 year old neighbor kid: Uh... I do.

Me: Ok, so there will be no screaming.

I was shocked! I may sound old when I say this, but I'm going to say it anyway. When I was a kid, I would never have dreamed of speaking to an adult like that! I'm still shocked. Just shocked. Oh, and I'm also very glad it wasn't my kid who said it! (whew!)


Michelle said...

Yeah... we've had some of those same conversations when I've babysat kids in my babysitting co-op. This isn't your house. My house has my rules, and I expect you to follow them while you're here. Ohhh the shocked faces on them (but general compliance). Good luck with the playdates!

girlytwins said...

Ha. So funny. I remember my mom's house always had more rules than other friends houses. I think my house will be the same :)