AJ77

Partner Brings Kids Visiting Teaching: Seeking Advice

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I'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.

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Well this might be just me, but I would not like it nor would I continue to agree to visits if one of my visiting teachers was bringing her three children.  My kids are grown and I enjoy being able to have some women time when they come to visit.  I get it if one had to bring a newborn.  In fact I'd love that.  But not three children who could be running around my house.

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You might have to come right out and tell her that some of the sisters you visit would prefer that her kids don't come.  Unfortunately sometimes the bluntness is what someone needs.  I realize it's hard sometimes when you have kids, but not everyone wants to accommodate the kids either especially when their kids are grown and gone and their home is no longer "kid proof."  Or perhaps speak with the Relief Society Presidency and tell them that there is that problem.  Maybe they can assign her some other responsibilities aside from visiting teaching.

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If this was me this is what I would do:

"Hi Sister X, I'd like to schedule our visiting teaching visits on a specific day of every month - I suggest the first Tuesday of every month for Sister Y and Z and the 3rd Tuesday of every month for Sister A.  Let me know if this works out for you.  I'll help you find a great baby sitter for your younglings if your husband will not be home on those days."

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1 hour ago, anatess2 said:

If this was me this is what I would do:

"Hi Sister X, I'd like to schedule our visiting teaching visits on a specific day of every month - I suggest the first Tuesday of every month for Sister Y and Z and the 3rd Tuesday of every month for Sister A.  Let me know if this works out for you.  I'll help you find a great baby sitter for your younglings if your husband will not be home on those days."

And hopefully she won't say..."Oh that won't be necessary.  I'll just take them with me."

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13 hours ago, AJ77 said:

 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... I

Sounds like her kids are monsters or their mother does not discipline them at all.

What's her husband doing while you guys are out visiting teaching she need to leave the kids with him.

Advice time. Sometimes people are to concerned with hurting other people feelings and while we should make an effort to be sensitive to the needs of others, she (your VT partner) is not being sensitive to you or to the people you visit with her at her insistence. You need to tell her to LEAVE THE KIDS AT HOME (FYI there is not "nice "way to say this). If she won't do it tell the RS president and get a new companion.  

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19 minutes ago, pam said:

And hopefully she won't say..."Oh that won't be necessary.  I'll just take them with me."

If she says that then this is what I would say:

"It is necessary so we can concentrate on ministering to our sisters so let's find somebody."

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9 minutes ago, omegaseamaster75 said:

Sounds like her kids are monsters or their mother does not discipline them at all.

What's her husband doing while you guys are out visiting teaching she need to leave the kids with him.

Advice time. Sometimes people are to concerned with hurting other people feelings and while we should make an effort to be sensitive to the needs of others, she (your VT partner) is not being sensitive to you or to the people you visit with her at her insistence. You need to tell her to LEAVE THE KIDS AT HOME (FYI there is not "nice "way to say this). If she won't do it tell the RS president and get a new companion.  

Pretty much what I said.  :)   

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2 hours ago, zil said:

Interestingly, when men go home teaching they have no problem leaving the children at home with mom, so, um....

This is true and relevant, but much visiting teaching is done during the daytime when hubby is away at work. Home teaching is almost always done during the evening, or perhaps Sunday afternoon, when wifey is typically available to care for the children.

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3 minutes ago, Vort said:

This is true and relevant, but much visiting teaching is done during the daytime when hubby is away at work. Home teaching is almost always done during the evening, or perhaps Sunday afternoon, when wifey is typically available to care for the children.

The norm doesn't matter, IMO.  What works matters.  If what works is to leave the kids at home with dad, then leave them home with dad (he's supposed to be spending quality time with his kids anyway).  Some days, I really wish the Lord would just give us what we want and do away with VTing (to our condemnation).

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8 minutes ago, zil said:

The norm doesn't matter, IMO.  What works matters.  If what works is to leave the kids at home with dad, then leave them home with dad (he's supposed to be spending quality time with his kids anyway).

Agreed, but if the sister wants to be visited at lunchtime, this is likely not to work for dad -- unless you think he should be taking time off of work every month to stay with the children during VT time. In some cases, this might actually be a reasonable request, but in others, I expect it would not work well.

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All traditional gender roles aside, in this case 3 of the 4 individuals work outside the home. Her husband is home most days because he works some kind of swing shift or something and he has 2 full days off of work per week. Me and my hubby work FT. M-F. Maybe that's part of the problem... Maybe if my partner had a partner that wasn't at work during the day and had sisters that could be visited during the day, it would be easier? I might bring that up with my VT supervisor if we can't seem to get it together.

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17 minutes ago, Vort said:

Agreed, but if the sister wants to be visited at lunchtime, this is likely not to work for dad -- unless you think he should be taking time off of work every month to stay with the children during VT time. In some cases, this might actually be a reasonable request, but in others, I expect it would not work well.

The elephant in the room is, of course, how nobody else could take the kids.  Grandma, other family, neighbors, friends, ward members, The Little Gym...

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34 minutes ago, anatess2 said:

The elephant in the room is, of course, how nobody else could take the kids.  Grandma, other family, neighbors, friends, ward members, The Little Gym...

The other elephant in the room is why the sister receiving the VTer and her children doesn't just get herself a doberman and assign him to keep the children in the corner by the door until the visit is over.

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5 minutes ago, zil said:

The other elephant in the room is why the sister receiving the VTer and her children doesn't just get herself a doberman and assign him to keep the children in the corner by the door until the visit is over.

Because a doberman couldn't possibly fit in the room with 2 elephants in it.  Duh.

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36 minutes ago, mordorbund said:

Oh goody!! Are we doing elephant jokes now?

Q:  How do you put an elephant in a refrigerator?
A:  You open the door, shove the elephant in, then close the door.

Q:  How do you put a giraffe in a a refrigerator?
A:  You open the door, take the elephant out, shove the giraffe in, then close the door.

Q:  When Noah called the animals to get on the ark, all the animals came in pairs except for one.  Which animal is it?
A:  The giraffe.  His partner is in the refrigerator.

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There may be more than meets the eye in this situation. We don't always know the underlying reasons why people do what they do. Maybe your partner needs a switch. I would talk to the visiting teaching coordinator or the relief society president about this. It might be better for her to visit a sister who has kids the same age and would be happy to have playmates come over. I'm not sure if you feel hesitant to bring this up with leaders. Sometimes we are worried about coming across as a complainer. If you communicate from the position that you're concerned about the situation for the sake of the sisters you teach and for the sake of your companion, you've done right, in my opinion.

Edited by jodester

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IMO, before asking a leader to solve the problem, it's better to try to solve the problem oneself.  This sister may have a completely different idea of what's acceptable.  And she's never going to know that other people have a different idea of what's acceptable unless someone tells her.  There's nothing wrong with telling her, and it can be done in a kind way, that the visitee is concerned both for the property in her own home, and the safety of the children since her home is not childproofed, and would therefore appreciate it if the VTer in question either left the kids at home / with a sitter, or ensured they behaved politely while at visitee's home.

I cannot imagine how this is a problem, and if it is a problem, someone, please shoot me now.

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3 hours ago, zil said:

IMO, before asking a leader to solve the problem, it's better to try to solve the problem oneself.  This sister may have a completely different idea of what's acceptable.  And she's never going to know that other people have a different idea of what's acceptable unless someone tells her.  There's nothing wrong with telling her, and it can be done in a kind way, that the visitee is concerned both for the property in her own home, and the safety of the children since her home is not childproofed, and would therefore appreciate it if the VTer in question either left the kids at home / with a sitter, or ensured they behaved politely while at visitee's home.

I cannot imagine how this is a problem, and if it is a problem, someone, please shoot me now.

We can't.  A pair of elephants are in the way.

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I have had some interesting Visiting Teaching experiences and I bet you have too! Sigh. But also some uplighting and inspiring ones! You too! 

One thing I have noticed, though I hate this policy with the fury of a blunt axe, is how effective it is to assign an inactive sister to be a visiting teacher. It is amazing how much some people love to teach even when they are inactive.

Edited by Sunday21

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On 2/1/2018 at 8:20 PM, AJ77 said:

I'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.

If you're looking for a passive aggressive way to deal with the situation... Tell her you would like to get together with just her so you can counsel together on how to minister to your sisters. Make it a lunch date, after bedtime ice cream stop, invite her to your place, whatever. Get her in the habit of not having all 3 children in tow. (The baby is probably okay, as I'm assuming just the one little is a manageable distraction.) Offer, insist if necessary, to pick her up for these visits. Gradually work in your regular visits during these time slots.

Or you could pull the ol' "you deserve some kid-free time" reasoning. 

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