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..... And Guests I Won't Let In!!!


Coco
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I guess we always hope they have matured and become human beings - now, hopefully, the kids have such a miserable time they'll refuse to come back!

A propos my earlier remarks, my husband has just pointed out that most English kids are too obese to go up chimneys

Chrissie (81)

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I have been reading this thread with great interest as a mother of six & a new comer to running a B&B!

Fortunatley  having older children to stay  isnt an option for us as we only have a double room with travel cot ( under two's only)

Personally I wouldnt have taken any of my chidren to stay in a B&B before i could guarentte they sleep through the night

We took our children out for meals from a very young age & often had the 'oh no not kids ' look from fellow diners but our children behaved impeccably and on  more  than one occasion we were complimented on having such well behaved children

I put this down to mastering 'the look' & making it very clear what was expected of our children

it does make you wonder how such children behave in their own homes when they are so disrespectful of other peoples properties

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Probably worse!  Our kids are used to eating out in restaurants and also attending big 'family dinners' with mixed company, so maybe its partly the experience that helps, along with being given strong boundaries.  Our kids go to bed at 7 (stretching to 8pm just lately as they are starting to need less sleep) so we get our 'adult time'.  Staying up later than that would make their behaviour deteriorate anyway.  Maybe these kids don't get out much!  Only when they are on holiday, and then they stay up later and so behave worse than usual - so you poor guys get to cope with their excitement at being out, up late AND the results of their being allowed to run riot at home!

Kids under 7 are/have been learning how to behave and constantly push their boundaries.  Its not their fault if they haven't been given clear guidance.  Its a shame too, because they enjoy being 'out' much more if they know how to behave nicely and therefore don't get told off all the time. 

At this age they are still 'retrievable' as human beings, though!  We've had yet another little girl around to play and other parents looked at me, shook their heads as if to say 'you'll learn'.  After an initial wild 10 mins or so and a quiet word about how we do things in our house, she was fine for two hours.  That is, until her Mum turned up to pick her up and she suddenly turned into this obnoxious child, charging about, throwing things, winding my kids up - all while her Mum was trying to talk to me.  She was the kind who gave the ineffectual, tired, whine too 'oh come on x, behave....please?'.  It was clear who was the boss in their house!  The Mum was very apologetic and said 'this is why she doesn't get invited to people's houses much'.  I think she thought I was being polite when I told her she'd been fine up until she arrived!  Let's face it - kids will run riot at that age: if they can.

Its awkward because I don't really feel you can discipline other people's children if the parents are there - its their job.  I wouldn't be happy if someone tried it with mine so I wouldn't expect to have to do it with theirs.  But what do you do if you're in Coco's situation and they are in your house and the parents do nothing?  I'd have to have a word with the parents and tell them its not acceptable and they would have to leave if they didn't sort it out (which, as a parent, I would be horrified if someone said that to me and they would be sorted out sharpish!) but when you're in a B&B business and it affects your living, it must be hard.  However, if you feel you can avoid bookings from children in future, can't you turn them away once you have them if the situation isn't acceptable?  I know its turning business away but you might lose all the other guests if you don't and then you lose money AND still have to put up with the brats from hell!

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Back to the original posting.It does appear from the many posts, that the problem is mainly with UK children [and a few adults,]Having just had 10 French visitors with 1 Vietnamese boy about 8-9yrs old,We would happily have kept him for ourselves.

When we drive around the local villages, we note that they all seem to have good sports facilities/football pitches/judo clubs/ping-pong etc.and that most of these facilities are open out of school hours and term time. Also most village fetes/Fest Noz/Kermesse etc seem to be much more of a family affair.Every restaurant we have been in seem to welcome children of any age,it is all business after all.

All this brings me back to a point

we try to press home to our lot in the UK with our various grandchildren.Turn off the TV. and all sit at the table to have your dinner and don't get up untill everyone has finished.At least you talk to each other then. Amazing how many people sit with a plate on their laps,watching TV. and stuffing their food down.

My wife says if I was fatter, I would have made a good MR.Bumble.More!! More!!

REgards.Nr St.Malo.Back to Chamberpotting the Boss calls.
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Letting the children stay up late 'for a treat' is something I'm sure many of have done, and then faced the consequences of, not just that evening, but the next day too.

There is some merit in acknowledging that children (and parents) arriving after a long journey are whacked out, deranged in a sense, and the behaviour of both can reflect that.

The tale Debra tells about the little girl rings a lot of bells with me. I mentioned my sisters children running riot before, but this is really only when she is there, the rest of the time, and in all sorts of situations, they are thoroughly delightful, charming, polite children. My own son was the same - I remember picking him up from friends/family who would say he had been as good as gold, even as he reverted to his more normal 'wild boy' act with me (I said before I Blame The Parents, and I include myself absolutely in that).

As to 'disciplining' other peoples children, 'the look' may work well on first encounters, and a few well chosen positive words directly to the children ('these are the rooms/parts of the garden you can go in.... it's best to walk in the house, but you can run in the garden all you like....'). Do it in front of the parents, make sure they get the message too.

I know it is really the parents responsibility, but if people are really faced with this problem frequently it may be worth a try.

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If kids misbehave, rather than try and control them yourself, wouldn't it be easier to take the parents to one side and tell them what is expected(perhaps you'll embarass them, although I doubt it). If it doesn't get better, give them their money back and throw them out! At worst, they'll never come again (isn't that what you want anyway?)
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People with DOGS any shape, colour, size of pooch ! 

My sincere apologies to all of you who do go on holiday with them, PLEASE avoid my address by miles!!

When I hear on the end of the phone a potential booking with : 'We also have a dog but it is so well behaved' that I say 'sorry but I am fully booked!' 

The last dog allowed in my gite made such a mess of it. When pointing it out to the owners of the beast, they thought of me as a very unreasonnable person!!

Their dog (a Heinz57 jack russel type) had scratched the paint off the front door and the wallpaper off in the hall and made HIS mess on the carpet in the hall ! I saw it there when looking through the letter box!! ! biggest barker's egg!!  !!

On their last day at the gite they were going to visit somewhere which did not allow dogs and did not want to leave theirs in the car to wait as it was a very hot day! It was not very far and they would visit and come back straight away for lunch! So they told me!... They did not reappear until very late that evening and ALL day long that dog barked himself into such a    frenzy!! I did not dare enter the property to let him go for a little relieving wander in case it jumped at me in anger and just disappeared in the blue yonders, then risk a mad loose dog chasing sheep about the farm! My OH would be SO happy for yet more sheep being mawled at by stray dogs!   I was so relieved to see the owners come back and all seem quiet now for a good night sleep....

Morning of the departure, before giving them a farewell handshake etc..., I have a quick look around if they have left anything in etc... which is when I discovered the damage! Absolutely NO apologies of any kind or any offer to pay for damages!      They simply bawled at me that it was not THEIR fault as they had been delayed on the road by some traffic incident ! They just got in the car and drove off!! 

That just about did it for me and never again a dog has entered or will enter the premises!!

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Sad to say but I have to agree, when we have english children staying I worry about the crockery being broken at breakfast but never when we have french children staying even at the age of 2.

I think they are more used to sitting around a table for meals and with grown ups.

Luckily I haven't had any accidents yet.

 

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I dont know if this is a touchy subject to some or not but my thinkiing is that ..the day that punishment was banned in schools (the strap/belt) was the day that respect flew out the window and THAT generation suddenly thought we can do what we like as there is no punishment for bad behavior! THAT generation have now produced this generation who couldnt care less about respect or manners.This is from someone who would have been too scared to go home and tell my parents i had been given the strap for misbehaving. A look from my dad was all my brother and sister and i needed and NO he never had to lift his hand to us, ever,we had far too much respect for him and our teacher. Respect starts in the home and if children dont get it there what hope do the teachers have with them when they start school,I know of one 5 year old who thought it was ok to pick up a chair and throw it at the teacher because he was being told what to do ,this was not ASD,this was a little boy who came from parents who think MY Johnny wouldnt do that !!! because THEY let him rule them!! ......AND THE PARENTS.......... THEY CAME FROM THE GENERATION WHO KNEW BAD BEHAVIOR COULDNT BE PUNISHED......But dont get me wrong, there are brilliant kids out there who are being brought up with the correct ideas that we have to respect others and treat people the way we would like to be treated ourselves............With respect and kindness.
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[quote]Hayley, you, me and several other posters acknowledge the power of 'the look'. Please let's leave the belt and strap you refer to in the past, where they belong.[/quote]

I agree totally, Tresco.  Never heard of the strap or belt but we had detention or the cane when we were at school (hubby who went to school in the NW had the slipper and the cane) and we used to get a letter to take home to our parents for them to sign to say it was OK - I used to forge my parent's signature rather than tell them!  The cane never frightened me but the LOOK from my Dad did!  Also, both parents would lecture me for hours if I behaved unacceptably!  The look worked more with my Dad - we took a lend of Mum a bit with her being around all day so we occasionally got a slap on the legs from her, but I don't do that with my kids.  Hubby threatens to smack ours a lot but never actually does (I mention quietly that he can't do that - its illegal, just in case he ever decides to follow through with the threat!) - they haven't clicked yet that he never actually does it (aged 8, 7 and 5 so it won't be long). 

There are other ways of 'punishment' that weren't available in my parent's day because we never had so many things to be deprived of!  A chat about disapproval of behaviour really upsets my lot (my equivalent of the lectures from my Mum and Dad) and encourages them to conform.  If all else fails, to bed with no video or withdrawal of playstation privileges absolutely devastates them!  When these strategies stop working, we've still got the idea of losing pocket money in reserve or at least relating it positively to good behaviour (rather than the negative of deducting it for bad behaviour)!  Mind you - ours get 50p a week, but I know some kids who get £10 a week - madness!

I don't understand this stuff about kids not sitting down with the family at mealtimes.  We've always sat at the table for at least one meal a day as a whole family (dinner, when Dad gets home) and lunch is at the table with Mum (apart from schooldays, when they used to go to school).  Family dinners with all generations used to happen on Sundays before my Mum moved to France (and obviously do at home since - we're too far away to invite the same crowd as my Mum used to), so our kids know how to behave at table.  Even when they were still in a high chair, they would be in it but at a place at the table.  When they didn't need the highchair tray it would be removed and they'd be at the table but strapped into the highchair - until they were big enough and stable enough to sit in a booster seat on a normal chair at the table.  Don't people generally do this?  Must be something to do with me being an 'older parent'!

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If the parents of today want to let their children run wild - and what a life for them - they can do what they like at home.  It won't affect anyone else. 

The trouble starts when they come tumbling out of the door.

The key word of course, is respect.  Letting other go first, standing back, helping, letting people speak and have their own opinions even if you don't agree......

This talk of straps/belts/canes/slipper/table tennis bat in schools did actually work.  You only got hit once.  You wouldn't play up your teacher again.  Not unless you were completely stupid.  It was always a threat and I and millions of other survived under this threat.  None of us were traumatised for life.

We knew the rules.  If you behaved you were safe.  If you didn't, you deserved to be punished.

Then, of course, you had to go home and tell your parents you had been punished...

Nobody is saying kids should be beaten to a pulp every day but all these laws about not even being allowed to slap their legs are rubbish.  Again, one smack is enough.  I only had to ask if they wanted a smack and they were as good as gold

If 'the look' hadn't worked

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"...........This talk of straps/belts/canes/slipper/table tennis bat in schools did actually work. You only got hit once"

Yer 'aving a grin Alexis, once was for wimps

".....You wouldn't play up your teacher again. Not unless you were completely stupid."

Doh.......................I fawt I woz clever an all !!!

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".....You wouldn't play up your teacher again. Not unless you were completely stupid."

Doh.......................I fawt I woz clever an all !!!

In school my twin brother, who woz clever an all, used to get the cane all the time (six of the best was the description). For him once was certainly not enough. The punishment was repeated when he got home, sometimes so viciously that it would be called 'cruel and unusual punishment' now. Did it not occur to anyone a different tack was needed?

All my older sisters were smacked frequently and hit with an astonishing assortment of implements too. My dad wore himself out roundabout the time I was 14 and he broke my nose by wacking me across the face. My transgression? I complained because my younger brother (12) had said 'shut up' in front of my mother! It's still not acceptable to say things like that in our family to this day. 

We were good children on the whole (apart from evil twin) but the punishments meted out were inconsistent, disproportionate and often very violent, as they were in school, to a lesser extent.

Hayley said earlier:

But dont get me wrong, there are brilliant kids out there who are being brought up with the correct ideas that we have to respect others and treat people the way we would like to be treated ourselves............With respect and kindness.

I still have problems understanding where the 'respect and kindness' part fitted in with being hit with a 3ft cane, or a belt, strap, plate, wooden spoon.....

I have some problems also relating respect and kindness to smacking someone a quarter the size of you round the legs, on the hand etc. I did it myself for a few months (between 4 and 5) and gave it up as a bad job. My son is very like my twin brother

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I'm with missyetbut on the dogs following an "incident" last year that cost a considerable amount of time and expense to clean up.

French dog owners can be very, very insistent that they are bring their dogs in even if they've not even mentioned them and know that you don't accept them. One family brought theirs along, said nothing and only an hour or so later did we notice the dog. They refused to leave and we had to call the gendarme to get rid of them!

Incidently, I'm thoroughly impressed with the speed of response of the gendarme to our call. Going by the time they arrived, they must have put the phone down and got straight into their car!

 

Arnold

 

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[quote]I'm with missyetbut on the dogs following an "incident" last year that cost a considerable amount of time and expense to clean up. French dog owners can be very, very insistent that they are bring th...[/quote]

These people with that dog in my self-catering/gite were British!!! of the nation of dog lovers!!

Never mind the owners nationality of these 4 legged things :

I blame the irresponsability, irreverant and irrespecting attitude some people seem to have genetically bred within themselves : whether they are owners of 4 or 2 legged beasties!!

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I have read this thread with interest.

I brought my children up to respect other peoples property and to behave when they went out. My youngest son went to a freinds house for tea, when I went to collect him I was complimented on his good manners.

Sadly when the children became parents themselves things changed, am I the only Grandparent who acknowledges that her eldest Grand-daughter was, and still is obnoxious.... she is now 21 and believe it or not holds a resposible position as a customer service rep for a large travel firm, how? well I really do not know, she is rude, swears like a trooper, even to her parents, never to me though she knows better than to try it on with me.......and drinks like a fish.... thinks it is funny to come rolling home p***** as a f*** most weekends.

Second son has two children who run riot at the sllightest opportunity.

The only saving grace is my youngest daughter who has two children, both of whom are a delight to be with, we have just taken them away for the weekend and they behaved perfectly, did excactly as they were told, ate all that was put in front of them and sent us a note when they got home. They do have their moments especially Alex who is very like his half Italian father in many respects, he can sulk for England if he wants to, I should add that my daughter seperated from the childrens father when Alex was 2 and Alice 4, so she has brought them up on her own and made a very good job of it too. I well remember when 1st grand-daughter was small my youngest daughter saying ' no child of mine will behave like that' and to her credit they have not.

I was at a lunch party at the weekend where there were several children present, at one point I was in the kitchen and one of the children came through and started opening the cupboard doors, I asked him what he was looking for, nothing, was the reply I just wanted to see what was in the cupboards, later I had reason to go upstairs and the same child was going through the drawers in one of the bedrooms and throwing the stuff on the floor. I did not say anything but went down and spoke to the person whose room it was, as it happened the daughter of the house..... she went charging upstairs and fortunately for me he was still in the room going through her handbag..... if I say she went ballistic at the childs parents you will know what I mean!!!! The parents just shrugged their shoulders and continued their conversation...........at which point daughter of the house went upstairs made the child put every thing back and locked all the upstairs doors except the bathroom and put the keys in her pocket.

We go away in our caravan quite a bit and I must admit we hate it when we get a family pitch right next to us, we have started using adult only sites, not that we do not like children but because we cannot stand their behaviour. a sad reflection on todays society.

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Its not the children it is the families.

Have you ever noticed while disembarking from the plane how some rows look like a bomb has hit them, with almost as much food on the seats and floor as might be on several plates ? Whereas other rows need to be cleaned but are nothing like as bad, even if they have children in as well.

Having said that is it right to expect very young children to be 'buttoned up' on best behaviour for long periods of time ? I think not.  A meal perhaps, a couple of days inside a hotel/CdH perhaps not.  Young children need the space of campsites or gites surely?

Without banning kids from your CdH you could emphasise its tranquil nature. 'Accentuate the positive' or some such phrase.

Cheers

John

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John, You are so right - we took our two Eurocamping for years, they loved it. The sites were frequented mostly by families, activities were provided if you wanted them.

Our worst experience was stopping overnight in an hotel in Gace on the way to a Eurocamp site. I think our son was about 3 years old then - he just wouldn't stop crying - he wanted to go home. On the way back he cried because he wanted to go back to our 'holiday home'......kids
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Well since my original posting we've had another family to stay, with even younger children!!!  Two very sweet little girls aged 3 and 5.  Pleasant surprise that even at that age, running in and out from the garden they both automatically stopped by the front door and took their shoes off before coming in.  HOWEVER, their dad was Dutch!!  So looks like my theory still holds.

The parents were incredibly interesting, having lived with tribes in Amazonian rainforests of Equador and the time and patience they had with the little girls (plus discipline when the older one started to get a bit carried away with the p**h word )was proof of what creates well behaved children.  I even started to think that my previous decision for next year was a little harsh when BANG, the table lamp in the living room was knocked off the table and broken.  It wasn't down to naughtiness, it was a complete accident, the little girl was very upset and the parents very apologetic, but no offer of financial recompense was forthcoming!

Soooo, we're still thinking, no young children next year, even the cute ones end up costing us money!  It seems we're getting a bit more than our fair share this year

And to top it all, the other couple (childless) who are staying here for a couple of nights en route from their permanent home in Spain for the bi-annual visit to relatives in the UK, and therefore potential return business do not seem at all impressed.... and we've got another lot of 5, 8 and 11 checking in tonight!!

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"...It wasn't down to naughtiness, it was a complete accident, the little girl was very upset and the parents very apologetic, but no offer of financial recompense was forthcoming!"

It is human nature with guests (or anyone), that in the majority of cases with any breakages, accidental or not, people will wait, until asked for recompense. You can count on one hand the number of guests in many years in the CdH side of things, that have ever offered to pay for any breakages, sometimes, you are lucky if they even tell you !!.

YOU have to demand payment for anything you feel was valuable enough for you to replace the item like for like. We know of French owners with Gîtes or Caravans for hire on sites, who even have a list of prices for breakages and it is expected by the French, that they will simply have to pay it and that is even down to a tumbler !

We talked about this at a meeting some years ago and some folks generally agreed, that it is probably best, only to have in the rooms something that one can possibly accept having being broke but others said that if they wanted to offer something that can be seen as nice quality and thereby upgrade the prices, one really would have to charge for breakages.

Some then said, if kids were in the room, would you want to have that kind of item in there. Now this is where it gets in to a catch 22 type syndrome...The people with kids still want the nice "things" in the rooms but most will not pay for the breakages, (if the item is expensive especially)....then you put in cheaper items, where you will not worry so much about breakages, then the client feels the room is a bit cheap but alternatively, would be happy that he is not charged for broken items.

In other words, the owner is a in a no win situation .................unless one sticks to their guns, puts in quality items BUT insist, that breakages (accidental or not) are paid for.

This is what happens in Gîtes and a Gîte is till CdH in the real meaning of such.

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Coco, I personally feel that you might enhance your business by having an 'adults only' rule.

We are caravanners and, at least within the UK, there are a number of sites that are adult only, including a few sites of the largest club.

There are moans on the caravan forums along the lines of 'why can't I take my children there'.

We try to book this type of site, or the ones with no children facilities so that we avoid the type you describe. There are some children who are polite and do as they are told. However, it would seem the majority are not.

Yesterday we visited my sister and brother-in-law who have a caravan permanently sited. There was a touring caravan full of kids yelling and screaming and the mother was yelling and sceaming at them - the result, a load of noise and nothing else.

If we were looking for accommodation, came across yours and it said 'adults only' we would book - go for it.

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