Clearly there was no emergency situation here, and therefore some of the stress that we’d see in that situation wasn’t present.
Yet at the end of the stay there were frayed nerves, kids fighting non-stop, stressed out adults, and overall chaos.
Now don’t get me wrong. It was a good visit, and we’re really glad they came. A great time was had by all. There weren’t any major conflicts, and we were sorry that they had to leave.
But it had me thinking. A simple visit with only one child displaced from their room for a week, and lots of fun activity was disruptive. A visit due to an emergency with no real end in sight and the stresses that go along with that emergency would be completely different.
Some thoughts on dealing with long term house guests in a SHFT situation…
Prepare your kids … when two teenagers that normally don’t share a room suddenly share, there’s bound to be problems during the adjustment phase. Be ready for it, and be ready to intervene and mediate.
Have activities … Games, outings (if the situation allows), crafts, and other activities are critical for maintaining sanity.
Plan for seclusion … Make sure every ‘group’ has a place to hide out if needed. Having a room to retreat to in order to get away from everyone else helps out.
Many hands make for light work … Need I say more?
Be patient and understanding … nerves fray, misunderstandings happen. Communicate, and try to be a little more patient than normal.
Stay connected to your spouse … When you have guests, normal routines tend to change around a bit. This includes some of your normal interactions with your spouse. Make sure to keep that connection good and alive.