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Partner Brings Kids Visiting Teaching: Seeking Advice
AJ77 posted a topic in Relief SocietyI'm looking for some ideas about a challenge that I have with my visiting teaching partner. My partner and I have been visiting teaching together for about 5 months. We have 3 ladies that we visit. None of the ladies that we visit have small children. Their children are either young adults that live with them or grown and out of the house. My partner and I both have kids living at home. I have a tween and a toddler. She has 3 kids ranging from 10-1. When we go visiting teaching she almost always brings all 3 of her kids with us. Her kids are cute, and good kids, but they're pretty rambunctious and don't have a lot of boundaries when it comes to other people's homes. They won't sit quietly or read a book and wait. They like to wonder all over the person's home, ask for things, climb and jump around on the furniture, interrupt while you are trying to visit, touch things, knock things over, play fetch with the person's dog etc... It's very hard to 'minister to' our ladies while all of this is going on. Our ladies are always very sweet with her kids, but I can tell, it's a bit stressful for them, and I don't think they enjoy having us visit them. Often, the woman whose home we are in has to ask my partner to please not allow her kids to go upstairs, or has to ask my partner's kids to please not touch things over and over. I've tried a few things to creatively address this issue. At first, I volunteered to have her kids play at my house while we go and have my husband watch them. We did this and it was great for us, but pretty stressful for my husband. He was a good sport, but I could tell it was stressful for him. I could volunteer to have them at my house again, I'm just not sure I want to stick my husband with her kids every time. I'm hoping I can find a better solution. This last month, I tried having her set up the appointments, thinking that maybe it's a scheduling issue and that if she set up the appointments, she would set them up when her husband is home to watch the kids. That didn't work. She scheduled them, and then brought all 3 of her kids. I have also suggested that we just send a text/email to our ladies, but my partner felt that a face-to-face visit in the person's home was necessary. With the new changes to visiting teaching in 2018, I'm hoping I can find some ideas on how we can meet the needs of our ladies that may not require a traditional sit-down visit, as maybe a possible solution so, today I sent my partner a text asking her to read with me the "Learning to Minister" article on LDS.org and asked her if we could get together to go over the changes together and brainstorm ways we can implement them with our ladies. I asked her when she would like to meet. She told me a day and time later this week. After we set it up she texted back and said "I'll have to bring my kids." :). (It's fine. I'm happy to have them play with mine, I guess. I was just hoping we could have a productive discussion without a lot of distraction.) So, I told her "Ok. They can play with my kids while we meet up." I know her husband and her have awkward schedules. It's not your typical 9-5 M-F, but he has 1-2 nights a week when he's home. My husband and I both work M-F 9-5. I want to handle this situation the right way. I don't want to hurt her feelings, or make her feel weird. Do you guys have any advice or good ideas? What would you do if you were me? Thanks in advance.