December 7, 2010
Two months ago your daughter and her family bought the house next door. While you're thrilled to have family close by, they have a key and drop by any time they want. How do you tell them to respect your privacy?
This is difficult because you don't want to alienate your family or make them feel unwelcome. Try beginning as gently as you can. Something like: "Jennifer, you know I love having you guys close by, and I enjoy your company at home. But, there have been a couple of times when a little more warning would be nice. Do you think we can arrange for you to call before you come over? That way I can make sure I'm ready."
You may get a response along the lines of "Oh Mom, you don't need to do anything to get ready for us!" If so, you'll have to stay strong and be firm. "I know that. But I would like to just have a little warning that you're coming over in case I'm napping or in the middle of something. I'd prefer it to you coming over unexpectedly. Can you give me a call before you come over?" This should do the trick. If they continue dropping by unexpectedly, repeat the conversation.
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