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Do You Make Your Child’s Friend Help Clean Up?

Your son or daughter really loves playing with a certain special friend, but when the play date is at your house, your little guest is never asked to clean up by his/her mom or dad before heading home.

Moms Talk is a weekly feature on all Lehigh Valley Patches in which local parents, caregivers and other members of the community are invited to share opinions and advice on parenting topics.

This week’s Moms Talk question relates to playdate clean-up etiquette.

This week’s Moms Talk question comes to us from one of our Moms Council members who needs help with a recurring problem at her house: a child who comes over to play but never puts away any of the toys before heading home. This seemingly small dilemma is fraught with lots of hidden and not-so-hidden landmines ranging from her own child/children who are angered at having to clean up the mess after the playmate leaves to our disgruntled Moms Council member who is a bit peeved at the other parent for not making her child pick up at least some of the toys.

So, here’s what we want to know:

Do you make your children’s friends clean up before they head home? When your kids are at their friends' houses, do you check to see if there’s any cleanup that needs to be done before you leave? And, how would you handle our Moms Council member’s problem? 

Our Moms Council members include: 

  • Lisa Amey of Upper Milford Township is a stay-at-home mom to an 8-year-old boy and a 5-year-old girl. A past president of the MOMS Club of Emmaus and longtime member of MOPs (Mothers of Preschoolers), Lisa is an Independent Consultant for Arbonne International. 
  • Lisa Drew of Emmaus is a certified nutritionist and personal trainer, wellness and fitness coach with more than 17 years of experience. She is the mother of a 13-year-old girl and a 9-year-old boy.
  • Jennifer Elston of Emmaus has almost two decades of professional experience in child development and counseling. She is currently a stay-at-home mom to two beautiful girls. Together with her husband, Chris, she owns Christopher Elston Photography.
  • Jeanne Lombardo of Nazareth is the mother of a 10-year-old boy and a 5-year-old girl. She’s new to the Lehigh Valley, having moved to Nazareth from Bergen County, NJ in January.
  • Lisa Merk of Lower Macungie is a stay-at-home mother of four boys – a 12-year-old and 6-year-old triplets. Lisa is a past president of the MOMS Club of Lower Macungie East. In her “spare” time, Lisa teaches piano to school-age children.
  • Zoila Bonilla Paul of Bethlehem is a stay-at-home mom to two girls – a 5-year-old and a 14-month-old. Zoila is a member of her local “moms’ club” and says she is “well-versed in the fun that children can bring.”
  • Beth Sharpless of Emmaus works part time in a local emergency department as a nurse and part time from home as a customer support specialist. She has two children -- a boy who is almost 2 and a 5-year-old girl. She says they love spending time outdoors and dancing.

If you would like to become a part of the Moms Council and/or have ideas for future Moms Talk questions, please email jennifer.marangos@patch.com.

Sheila Corley July 17, 2012 at 11:16 PM
As WOMEN and MOMS.....I wish we could support one another not judge. We're all doing our best in the moment and I find the support and encouraging words of a "Mom who's been there" to be wonderful (which is often why I read this thread). The summary of what we're all doing wrong in todays age is really so unhelpful. I am sure you some of you ladies raised wonderful children and have some helpful advice on how you handled different things. Many of us do subscribe to a "softer and gentler" parenting style these days but that doesn't mean that we aren't raising good kids too. There is more than one way to reach a goal. :)
Mary Anne Looby July 17, 2012 at 11:23 PM
Got it, Christine.
Jennifer Elston July 18, 2012 at 03:53 PM
Just to clarify: I wasn't saying I ask the adults to clean up.
Mary Anne Looby July 18, 2012 at 04:58 PM
This is what I really hate about internet chats and emails. 5 people can read one comment and come away with 5 different thoughts. My husband, who has been a COO multimillion dollar companies hates emails for that reason. You have no nuance or emotion in emails or chats and they can be interpreted differently by different readers.
Jennifer Elston July 18, 2012 at 06:59 PM
After I reread my comment it sounded as if I ask all guests to clean up my home. I mistyped.

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