How To Be Considerate New Parents
3. Consideration for the Hostess.
The hostess has prepared her home and heart to receive you. Prepare yourself and your family to be well received. Offer your gratitude in word and in deed. Inquire about the family routine, follow suit when in Rome, offer to help with anything you can (doing is even nicer than offering), promptly clean up the food and any other messes created by your children (until they are old enough to do this themselves), and be as thoughtful as possible regarding how you would best execute The Golden Rule in every avenue of your stay. Then, exceed that kindness.
Your hosts may have children too. The mother may feed her family differently, and she may raise her children differently. Her children may wear a different style of clothing or hair from your children. Whatever feedback you offer, unless it is to prevent harm or injury to any of the children, be sure that it is positive and supportive. Whatever you do, endeavor to ensure that your children are a positive, considerate example. It would not be considerate for your children to negatively influence the children of your hosts.
Be clear in your communication regarding the length of your stay, including the time and day of your departure. Do not put your hostess in such a position as to have to ask you how long you would be staying. Communicate with the woman of the house as you would the hostess in a restaurant, or a hotel concierge. (After all, she is doing more than they do to accommodate you, and this is her home, not just her place of work.) Do not intend to lengthen your stay, or be open-ended about your departure. Also, be sure to ask if your visit’s timeline would best be altered, so that you are not an imposition on the schedule of your hosts. Realize that unless you are an only child, and your hosts are your parents, you are not the center of their universe. Acknowledge that they have other important family, friends, work, and life pursuits to which they tend. Even if you are an only child visiting your parents with their only grandchild(ren), it would be nice for you to be considerate. Remember, you are teaching your children by example.
The term hostess is used here with purpose. Be respectful of the hostess no matter what your relationship may be with her, or your host. Respectfulness and consideration are virtuous qualities regardless of blood relationship, familiarity, or years of friendship. The more considerate and respectful you are, the more pleasant it is to have you, and the more welcome you will be to return.
“The fragrance of what you give away stays with you.” ~ Unknown
What are some sagacious tips you have for being a considerate new parent? Please share!