Boorish Behavior: Setting rules for the kids at home

by Daniel Post Senning on June 19, 2013

Q: My boyfriend’s son comes from college to visit and when he brings his friends into our home, he feels that there are no rules. He brings home friends, alcohol, girls, and last but not least, his father has to run about to introduce himself to his son’s friends. Do you think these actions are appropriate?

A: It is to be expected that when your boyfriend’s son brings friends to visit he first asks permission, and then of course introduces them when they arrive. It is also perfectly correct to have house rules about hours, alcohol and behavior. You need to work this through with your boyfriend however, sharing your feelings and your expectations. It is important to keep in mind that if underage youths are drinking in your home, you are liable, for it is against the law. Any problems that occur would be your problems. It may be that your boyfriend is hesitant to “lay down the law” for he wants his son to visit, but it is perfectly acceptable to have standards and expect his son to abide by them, and they all need to listen to and respect your wishes when this is discussed.

{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

Dee Johnson June 19, 2013 at 9:22 am

Recently I was at a party getting ready to leave when I saw that the hostess (my sister in law) was talking to a group of people. I felt that I should say goodbye and I did, however later on I wondered if I had done the wrong thing, as I believe I interrupted a conversation in which she was involved. What would have been the best way to handle the situation?


Cyra June 19, 2013 at 11:37 am

It was definitely right of you to say good-bye to your hostess. If she was deep in a serious conversation it would have been polite for you to wait for a break, but if she was just in general party-style conversation I think it was perfectly fine for you to come up and say, “I’m so sorry to interrupt, but I just wanted to say thank you for this lovely party” as long as you didn’t then keep her out of her conversation for the next ten minutes.


Sienna June 19, 2013 at 2:20 pm

After a lengthy courtship, my boyfriend and I recently got engaged! The response from our friends and family has been fantastic — they’re just as thrilled as we are — however, a few people have made comments along the lines of ‘it’s about time!’ or ‘what took him so long?’ How should we respond to these snide comments?


Alicia June 19, 2013 at 2:53 pm

“Well we think the timing is perfect!” Said with a grin


Cyra June 19, 2013 at 3:07 pm

Since those comments are incredibly rude, you could choose to just ignore them. Put a shocked look on your face for a moment, then change the subject!


Elizabeth June 19, 2013 at 6:23 pm

The aspect of “what took him so long” that I would most take issue with is the implication that it was solely your fiance’s decision whether to marry you, and you were just waiting the whole time for him to pop the question. Therefore, I would say, “Oh no, it was a joint decision!” or, “No, we decided together actually…”

With respect to “it’s about time!” I would just say, “Well, we weren’t on a timetable…” or “We weren’t in any rush…” I also like Alicia’s idea of phrasing it in the positive “Actually the timing suited us perfectly!”

However, if you don’t want to engage these comments, the best thing to do is ignore them.


Mariette's Back to Basics June 19, 2013 at 9:46 pm

The above question about Boorish behavior got perfectly answered. AMEN to that. Discipline is always harder to follow through with when setting certain standards for young people; but it is the only way to go! Trying to be popular and creating an ‘easy living’ will work as a boomerang in the end.
Great subject!


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