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Etiquette for Visiting Family

Category Family
Make sure you are a welcomed visitor and will not cause hardship to your family members, when you plan to visit. This is a page about etiquette for visiting family.


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By 0 found this helpful
July 29, 2019

My sister was coming to visit me, I told her to ask our mother to come too so we could all spend the weekend together. My mother claims I violated etiquette and should have invited her myself.

Did I violate etiquette?


July 29, 20190 found this helpful

Things are not the same as when I was growing up and etiquette is just about a thing of the past which makes me heartsick!

So yes, technically, in the old fashioned world, you should extend invitations to all parties to invite them to your home--whether by phone, email, text, or my favorite, paper. That is the old school of thinking. I know that because millennials tell me that all the time. SO SAD.

It sounds like your sister would be bringing your mom and maybe even talks to her more often than you do, so you suggested just to bring her along. That to me is fine in the new world of etiquette, but sometimes you have to treat people they way THEY want to be treated, not the way you want to be treated (this is called the Platinum Rule).


If you want to keep peace, I suggest you call your mom, tell her how much you love her and want to see her and that you feel bad if she took offense at you not asking her directly, but you had hoped to save a little time by asking (your sister) to extend the invitation.

Hopefully this will keep the peace and you can all have a nice visit!!

Post back with an update!! Blessings to all!!

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July 29, 20190 found this helpful

I like to get a personal invitation. That way I know the host or hostess really wants me to come.

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July 29, 20190 found this helpful

If she said that, her own etiquette probably differs from yours since you are asking. We all have our own views and she was probably hurt you did not invite her yourself. Just keep that in mind; we all learn about people and their ways eventually so you just learned about hers :) Next time, invite her yourself.

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July 30, 20190 found this helpful

It would be nice if you invited your mother also.

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August 1, 20190 found this helpful

Each generation is different. Remember not to bet yourself up over this.This is a lesson learned, next time mention you want to have family over, and I will need to look in to who else is available for the visit.

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September 27, 20140 found this helpful

So today my sister and mother did me the favor of picking my baby up from daycare. I asked if they could stay and babysit (at my house) until my husband came home from work. So while I'm at work I'm thinking it's just my sister, my mom, and baby at my house. When my husband got home he called me at work. He sounded upset. (My husband works 12+ hours a day.) So he asked me "How come you didn't let me know your other sister and her family were coming over too?" I was like, what? What do you mean? Not again.


This is not the first time this has happened. My mom always invites my older sister, my sister's husband, and their little boy over to my house. I just think it's rude her coming over without even asking me if she can come over. I think she should at least let me know. And the only way I find out is because my husband tells me. I just don't think it's right them coming over uninvited.

How would you feel coming home tried and you find all those people you didn't expect having over. Today my husband was sitting on our sofa and my mom, my two sisters, and my nephew went into our bedroom and closed the bedroom door. My husband got really upset cause they didn't even ask if they could go in. He felt violated in his own house. I just don't know how to tell them that I don't want them to come over if I'm not home. And she never tells me that she came over while I was at work. I always find out from my husband. I just think it's rude. I need help. Am I being mean? My mom thinks that just cause she's babysitting that she can have my sister and her family over too. I don't mine them coming over, but at least ask or let me know.


By Liz G


September 27, 20140 found this helpful

This is a boundaries issue. Your boundaries are being violated. You're correct in thinking this is not normal.
You're really just going to have to sit down with your mom and tell her the new rules: No more inviting anybody that you, personally, didn't invite. No snooping in your bedroom. No dropping by unexpectedly herself, at least call first.
You'll also have to tell the others. You can call on the phone, but don't email. That way they can't say they didn't know.
This may be difficult and they may complain, call you selfish, etc. but in the end it's your home and this is disrespectful.

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September 29, 20140 found this helpful

You'll have to speak up as I did but the relationship will change. I have a Brother who used to call me saying "we're on vacation and we'll be coming for a visit". That was him, his wife and two kids. Their visit was for several days; they didn't pick up after themselves, didn't help cook and nearly ate us out of house and home. Next few times he called telling me they would be coming I told him it wasn't a good time. He finally got the message.


I also have a sister that would come to visit when her small children had eaten candy in her car and she wouldn't even clean their hands of the chocolate. After speaking up about chocolate hand prints on the walls and furniture and a couple of burned holes in carpet from smoking the relationship has never been the same. I was told she didn't feel comfortable in my home because I was too particular. We may love our relatives but can't put up with them for any length of time, nor should be have too.

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September 29, 20140 found this helpful

You are not overreacting at all. While it was very kind of your Mom and sister to stay and wait with your little one till your hubby came home. It is inappropriate and a bit presumptuous for her to continuously invite extra family members over. I totally see why this would make you uncomfortable. Especially since your un invited guests don't seem to have any boundaries when over.


I think you should definitely talk to your Mom about this. You can approach it in a very non-accusatory way though, and she will be more likely to respond favorably. Start off by telling her how much you appreciate her kindness and help. Then explain how the extra house guests are putting a strain on you and hubby. If your Mom is sweet enough to help you with your little one when asked, she is no doubt mature enough to understand your point of view. Hang in there, wishing you all the best!:)

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