Grandkids jumping on furniture

BeckyOctober 15, 2001

When our grandson comes over (he's 2 years old) he stands on the furniture and runs his toy trucks over the sofa, chairs and coffee table as well. He's freely allowed to do this at home but we prefer he doesn't do it at our house. If he thinks he can do it at 2, when why not at 4, 5, 6 and older? We're not particular, we just don't think he should be allowed to climb and stand on the furniture and drag the toys over it too. Since his parents allow him to do this at home, it's hard to get him to stop at our house.

Am we being too picky about this? We feel we have the right to set reasonable limits in our home but it's hard when those limits aren't imposed at his own home. His parents frequently joke that "he runs the house" at home. He's a very smart, lovable child and we don't want to crush his spirit and make it no fun to go to Grandma's and Grandpa's, but we feel that these are reasonable limits.

What do you think?

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this type of behavior should not be tolerated
set down the rules or give them a time-out

    Bookmark   October 15, 2001 at 11:05PM
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He is old enough to "get" that some places require different behaviors than others. Standing/running/jumping on the furniture -- and through the house -- is flat out unsafe. I know this because I permitted it with my son and wound up at the emergency room when his foot slid between the cushions of the sofa and he fell against the coffee table. Major stitches very close to his eye. And a major wake up call for me. Encouraging joy and creativity is one thing; setting no boundaries is another thing entirely.

Running his toy trucks (I'm assuming they're small toys :) over the furniture is another matter. In his imagination he is going over mountains and through rivers. If it does no damage to the furniture, or if you have no breakables on the table, I really don't see anything wrong with this. It keeps him busy and happy and still under your watchful eye.

    Bookmark   October 16, 2001 at 1:11AM
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You're not at all being too picky--it's your home, you've fixed it nicely, the way you want. A child like that can ruin expensive furniture in the space of a few minutes. I'd definitely impress on him that the rules are different at your house than at his (and you might enlist the help of whichever of his parents is your child). You will be doing him a favor, since eventually he'll be going to school where the rules are more strict and he'll be expected to behave with restraint.

To make things easier, though, how about arranging a special 'play' area for him in your home--a place that's safe, has furniture that won't be hurt by his play. And stock it with fun toys for him.

Don't feel badly, though, you have every right to be the one setting down the rules.

    Bookmark   October 16, 2001 at 4:36PM
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Anyone who visits, small child or whatever, should follow your rules, and this is absolutely out of order.

Its a shame the parents allow this in their house, but you have the right to stop it when he visits you.

    Bookmark   October 17, 2001 at 1:39PM
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I can't believe his parents allow that anywhere. But you shouldn't feel guilty about enforcing different rules at your home. If the parents have a problem with it, they can pay for your furniture when it gets damaged. They should also understand that other people they visit will appalled if they let their child "run amok". As for SherryJ's comment about if it doesn't damage the furniture, you'd be surprised. My mom's cousin (who kept her kids away from the nice furniture and rooms at home) let them run wild in my mom's home. They played with their small die cast cars on my parents' new bedroom set (and, being poor, it took years before my parents could afford some decent furniture) and they scratched up the dresser and end tables pretty bad.

    Bookmark   October 21, 2001 at 12:45PM
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As I said originally, *IF* it does no damage, etc. If there is scratching or other damage, or if there are breakables, that is quite another story.

I grew up in a household where pretty much any sort of playing indoors was forbidden -- even board games because there were too many pieces. I must add in all fairness, that there were quite a few of us, close in age, and our parents were young themselves.

When I had my own child I spent two years (well, he was really walking only one year) with the pendulum swung too far in the other direction. It took an injury to my darling boy for me to find a happy medium. But find one I did. He became an unusually polite child who still had a sense of fun. Lasted only until adolescence of course, but that was a different problem. Only time and patience get you through that. :)

But I have to say, coming from the background I did, when I hear things like "should not be tolerated" or "absolutely out of order" I just cringe inside. The hard line creates a particularly joyless environment. And maybe you didn't mean that exactly, so if I misunderstood, apologies in advance.

That doesn't mean that good behavior shouldn't be expected and taught. It might be easier to teach this by giving him a more appropriate activity as an alternative. Just saying "stop that", "don't do this", "no" without teaching him what is good would just confuse him.

Good luck with your little grandson. I know this could get sticky depending on how his parents react to your corrections. But you ARE entitled to harmony in your own home.

    Bookmark   October 21, 2001 at 3:23PM
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I am a firm believer that the only way a child learns is to teach him and the "joke" about his running their home may not be anything but a fact! You are perfectly right to insist that he not jump on your furniture and rolling his toys on your tables is not what he should be doing. How is he to differentiate what he can and cannot put on the furniture (i.e. metal vs "soft" toys)? Therefore, it is up to you to set the rules in your home and gently but consistently enforce them!!!

    Bookmark   October 27, 2001 at 9:51PM
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Children sometimes run "wild" when at a different place. We no longer enjoy visiting my in-laws cause all we get to do is follow the kids around making sure they don't bump things. It is sad when things become more important than people.

    Bookmark   October 28, 2001 at 8:17PM
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I guess my life has always been on the other end of the scope. When my kids were little, my MIL let them do whatever they wanted in her house. It was me who was the one telling them they couldn't jump on the furniture, run all over the house, etc. She and I had many disagreements over that. She said it was her house and the kids could do whatever they wanted. Needless to say, we didn't visit very often. Good for you for teaching the kids to respect other peoples things. You are doing the right thing.

    Bookmark   October 29, 2001 at 1:01AM
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Pams, I don't know that "things" are more important than "people".....but when you get to be a grandparents age, and have save all your life to have nice things, you want to take care of them. I see nothing wrong with Becky not wanting her Gkids to destroy her nice things. My husband and I have been married 25 years and now that our sons are 23 and 9, we have begun to accumulate some nicer, more expensive furniture. I wouldn't let their children - any more than I would THEM, destroy it or treat it roughly. That doesn't mean I think they are less important than "things", it just means that I'm teaching them to respect other people's property. And I want to have a nice home for them to live in and to come and visit.

    Bookmark   October 29, 2001 at 12:41PM
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I had no problems w/this behavior with my GIRLS when they were little. But my grandSON is certainly allowed to stand, briefly, on our leather couch. He won't stay there anyway; he's too active and will sit down quickly. He is not allowed to put his shoes on our LINEN ANTIQUE sofa, though; even his mother won't permit that. He does, sometimes, GENTLY run his little cars on the tables but he prefers to do it on the floor. There's more room. These are complex problems and I totally understand the stress involved if you have really nice things. If our grandkids just got totally wild we'd just go over their homes instead of inviting them here which is sad but many parents have "primitive" living conditions (like my daughter has)and the children don't understand these limits. binkie

    Bookmark   November 3, 2001 at 12:41PM
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When I was a child I would never jump on anyone's furniture or misbehave in any way. Kids today get away with alot more. Then too, when we were kids we walked more & ran around outside. Kids today are inside on the computer, get driven to & from school. They have alot of energy they need to get out. When the kids come to visit I try to find a game or project to keep them busy. Hopefully the weather is nice and they can run around outside!

    Bookmark   January 6, 2002 at 1:41AM
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My grandchildren tried jumping on the sofa and beds when I babysat them in my home. They learn very fast (ages 2-4) that in Grandmama's house, no one jumps on furniture or eats anything anywhere except the kitchen.

    Bookmark   November 10, 2002 at 12:41AM
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I`m going to shock you all with this: My 2 year-old GD has a history of throwing things when she gets mad about something. Once, when visiting me, she got into a disagreement with her 5 year-old sister over a toy so she hurled it across the room, hitting and destroying an $800 antique lamp. I actually did control myself but I said to her "In this house we do not throw things!. If you throw one more thing in my house you will get a spanking. Do you understand?" She said yes but the next day she hurled something just missing my TV. I turned her over my knee and paddled her with a hairbrush. She never threw anything again.

    Bookmark   November 12, 2002 at 11:33AM
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Way to go, Nancy!

    Bookmark   November 13, 2002 at 8:04PM
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I'm also a firm believer that when someone is in my home, they play by MY rules.... grandchildren or otherwise. If the parents don't correct them, I politely do. I agree with StitchChick. I value my home and my belongings and I think that children should be taught to value them also. I never wanted my children to be the kind that people don't answer their door when they see you coming because is going to be "trash the house time". I believe that this is a simple issue of teaching manners.
Lulie Cosby

    Bookmark   November 20, 2002 at 3:23AM
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Kids can and will learn different rules in different houses! I'm an aunt, not a grandparent. When my sisters' kids were little, they ran wild at home. When they came to my house they tried it too. I corrected them:

We only eat in the kitchen or outside.
We don't run in the house.
We ask if we want to play with something, and put it away when we're done.

Every time they came over, I greeted them with a big hug and then said the rules again in a warm manner. After a few visits, I asked *them* to tell me what the rules were.

Only once did I have a problem after that. They played in my stepdaughter's room and made a huge mess, taking a game with tiny pieces and flinging them all over the room. I also found glass decorative marbles from my bathroom in their pockets. I made them clean up the room and close the door, then told them since they could not respect others' things and play nicely, they were banned from her room.

Since their parents never enforced any rule or punishments, they would head for her room every time they came over after that, and I would remind them they were not allowed in there. After 4 months I allowed them back in with a reminder about what happened and if they played nicely they could have their privelege back. They know I mean business so things were fine. (although I'm sure I'm known as the "mean aunt" sometimes!)

    Bookmark   November 21, 2002 at 10:17AM
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How about this...MIL taught our son to jump on the beds and furniture! She doesn't care because she allows him to jump on the pile of mattresses in the spare room and since there is no frame...she doesn't have to worry about a bed falling apart or anything like that. And she lets him jump on the couch downstairs because it's older and she doesn't care. The bad thing is he carries it home to our house and I'm still having to yell at him 3 years later once in a while for trying it. He's even said, "But Grandma lets me." But she also taught nephew to just wipe his runny nose on his shirt sleeve! I warned my one SIL as soon as the baby was born to watch Grandma because she often teaches the kids stuff you don't want them doing.

    Bookmark   November 21, 2002 at 10:23AM
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Exactly, it's your house, you have a right to enforce the rules. As long as you are consistent. Children are aware of inconsistency. If there is a difference between what they can do in your house and other's, they may have difficulty, but if you are inconsistent as well, it will be doubly confusing. My grandmother was much more lenient than my mother, especially about food. At Grandma's, we could help ourselves to food all the time. At home, food was rationed. I still have issues about snacking.

    Bookmark   November 22, 2002 at 12:18PM
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My house, my rules. Your house, your rules. Kids catch on quickly! They'll test the rules, but they'll understand them.

    Bookmark   January 11, 2003 at 6:48PM
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When families split up, children soon learn that one set of rules apply in Mom's home, others in Dad's.

Yes - they'll test them.

But if they find that they can't get away with breaking the rules, they'll obey them.

Teaches them valuable lessons - that different rules apply in different places.

Don't act in my house like you do in a hockey arena.

Have a great week, all.

joyful guy/Ed

    Bookmark   April 21, 2003 at 10:58AM
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Children LOVE to have limits placed on them. You can place limits in a loving but firm way. It is very secure for a child to know exactly what is expected of him.

When my son was young, some of his playmates would come to the house and behave badly. I would gently put them in a big chair and explain that we did not do things that way in our house and tell them to sit in that chair until they were ready to follow my rules. Rarely did I have to repeat this with the same child - and those kids LOVED to come to our house and play.

    Bookmark   May 15, 2003 at 7:23AM
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OK, this is how it is at our house.
Our house, our rules.
Your house, your parents rules.
Don't get them mixed up.

    Bookmark   June 8, 2003 at 5:34PM
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