How do you handle it when…?


How do you handle it when you are a guest in a home that is not ‘child-proofed’?


Well, I stay with my child and make them successful. I take them away from the nos and redirect to the yeses. If it gets too much, I leave.

Also, I have – often – been at people’s homes where something is precious and down, and I just pick it up and graciously say, “Is there somewhere safe we can put this? I don’t want to have anything happen to it and I’m not wanting to take away from our time visiting to make sure it stays safe. I can put it down before we leave.” And I make sure I do that.

Most people are very happy to protect their things from little hands. Very rarely, they will offer the unsolicited advice about spanking or smacking hands, and I let them know, “We don’t hit in our family. Eventually she will be ready to have it down, but today she isn’t, so I’d rather keep both her and your things safe.” If they really have a problem with this, then I’d leave – no point staying where I’m being judged and where we aren’t really welcome.

Because I’m very quick to tell my kids yes or no about things when we’re in someone’s home, by age 2 they will usually look at me or get me to ask before touching/exploring something at someone else’s house.


What do you do if your child breaks something while a guest in another home? My daughter accidentally broke one of my mother-in-law’s collectibles the other day, and I didn’t know how to handle it.


First of all, I do my best to prevent it. For example, with books and things that can’t be moved, I opt for putting something big and heavy in front of it (like a table chair). If necessary, I position myself in front of it.

As for replacing things – I’m always prepared to replace anything that gets broken. For this reason, in the case with your mother in law, I would have stated clearly that I was not comfortable with your daughter playing with the things from the case because I wasn’t in a position to pay to replace anything that got broken. Then, if she still chose to let her play with them, she has taken the responsibility for the risk herself, in my opinion.

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