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Create A Positive AND Productive Visit In A Home With Small Children

Oct 12, 2007
Breakfast, lunch, and dinner on the deck with tall pines all around
A cool breeze blowing through the house
Distant water views
Hikes through mountain-covered areas
Kayaking in still waters
Sounds like a stay at a wonderful resort, doesn't it?

Yes, my stay in the Northwest for ten weeks away from the hot Phoenix sun was delightful. I had the opportunity to get to know three of my grandsons very well. It was great sharing in family outings. I continued to work in my business as an exuberant productivity coach.

Anticipating the visit, I had concerns as to how I would be able to keep up with my business. Although I wanted to help with the children, I know I needed some structure to know when I was responsible and when I would not be. Giving thought to how to make the time enjoyable for everyone made all the difference!

Whether you are visiting with your children and grandchildren or with other friends or family who have small children, here are seven tips for making the shared time a wonderful experience:


Take the time to discuss expectations for the visit with the parents of the children.
How can you be a support to the family while you are visiting?
Would it be helpful to watch the children so that they can have time to do things they don't usually do?
What work obligations will you have during your stay?
What kind of working conditions do you need to arrange?
What are the options available for an office environment in the home or somewhere in the area?


Take earplugs with you and let the family know you will be using them at night or when you would like quiet time in your room. This not only gives you a break from the constant activity that goes along with small children, but eases their concern of the children being excessively noisy at inconvenient times.


If you'll be staying for a while, you may want to buy your own phone so that you won't be carrying their cordless phone into your room for a call. It's easy to forget to return it to its usual location and family members may be frustrated trying to find it when a call comes in. Also, if you'll be making long distance calls, buy a phone card and use it so that your long distance charges don't show up on their account. Using a cell phone is even better. That way you are not tying up the family phone line.


Decide with the family which meals will be eaten together and when there will be a night where the children eat early and everyone else just pulls together whatever is interesting to eat.

Offer to prepare some of the meals and find out what foods are most appealing to all members of the family. Be certain to clean up after any food preparation.

Rules And Routine

Learn what the rules of the house are for the children and what routines they are used to. This is important so that you can keep with what they are used to. Being respectful of their rules will not only be appreciated by the parents, but will also help the children feel more comfortable with having a guest if expectations are consistent.


Be respectful of your own time as well as the hosts. It is important that you do what you need to do to take care of yourself and your business obligations. It is easy to feel that you need to put aside your needs for the benefit of the household. This creates uneasiness for everyone if you are not being responsible for yourself.


Retiring to your room for a period of time before actually going to sleep is a great way to unwind for everyone in the house. It gives the parents time to themselves and gives you time just to be with yourself. You might want to put in your earplugs or IPOD and read or watch a DVD on your laptop with headphones so as not to disturb anyone else.
About the Author
If you are having challenges in connecting with your adult children and grandchildren, it may be helpful to create some strategies with a coach. Suzanne Holman is your productivity coach, located at http://www.exuberantproductivity.com.
Exuberant Productivity.com Visit the site for free resources including a strategy session to get you started!
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