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To Act, Or To React?

To Act, Or To React?

The good news is, they’re coming for Thanksgiving. The bad news is, you might not recognize your grown-up little darlings. To assure minimal head-butting during holiday visits, set clear limits up front. This goes double for parents, in-laws, colleagues and old friends from college.

When kids return home after a period of independence, it’s natural for them to resist your authority. They’ve been living without your rules just fine, thanks. Why would they need them now? For other guests, similar sentiments apply–they may not realize that you have a particular way of doing things in your home (such as wearing pants at the breakfast table.)

While "my way or the highway" rules rarely work, you can try setting some simple expectations like no loud music or conversations after 10:00 p.m., replace something if you use the last of it (or leave a note so the host knows to replace it) and pick up after yourself in common areas. By taking action when sharing your home, you give yourself the freedom to act like a gracious host instead of react like a snarling drill sargent. Proactive measures mean more fun and better relationships all around. How do you set expectations in your home throughout the year?

Posted: 11/9/08
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When I react, it never goes well. I react before thinking the situation through. Also by reacting to someone else I freely give them my power, and serenity. I've worked to hard for them .


It's definitely a good idea to communicate the rules of the house. It can be done in a nice way, while you're setting them up with everything they need. I like to leave a little note explaining how to use the cable box and things like that.

  • By bstarr
  • on 11/9/08 9:08 AM EST