Me- why are you coming home (after playing) so late? It is so dark outside
Brother- You only said naa that I should come home the moment the street lights are turned on- they have been switched on now only
(Can you beat it- there was a power shutdown therefore the street lights were switched on late!)
We had two simple rules when we were growing up
- Come back home by 6 ish/ when the street lights get on and Dads in general come back home from office.
- If we are playing in frined's home during the morning hours, then we have to come back home for lunch. No eating lunch in neighbour's place uninvited or without prior information
Recently I came to know about someone whose 3 year old daughter spends hours together in her neighbour's home- and her parents do not bother to get her home even during lunch time. When all kids her age will go home after playing, this kid will walk into her neighbour's house. Our manners prevent us from refusing a child entry into our homes. But irrespective of that, I have my own set of rules
1. Incase a child comes home, I first inform the parent that the child is in my home. This is basically to ensure that the mother knows about the whereabouts and she is not searching all over the complex for her child.
2. When the child leaves, I drop the child to his or her home or inform the parent to pick the child up even if it is the next door neighbour.
3. Incase I am offering food I check with the mom- it should not interfere with the meal that she has prepared at her home
4. If my kids are playing in the neighbour's home unsupervised- I keep checking on them personally just in case they are creating trouble there
5. I insist that my kids help in putting the toys away after playing or else I pitch in before leaving
6. Since we live in an apartment block with secured play area, I am flexible about timing of play as long as they are doing it in the play area. But if they are in the neighbour's house, they have to be back by 7.30 latest. (offcourse depends on the neighbour also)
7. I am yet to have a situation wherein my kids go to someone's house without informing me. Somehow they have bypassed that milestone altogether. Let's wait and watch!