Ask Natalie

How to Deal With Difficult Kids

DEAR NATALIE: What do you do when your friends bring over their spoiled bratty kids to your home unannounced? I'm talking about parents who do not correct their kids' bad behavior and allow them to wreak havoc in someone else's home. Is it my responsibility to discipline their children? -- ANNOYED FRIEND

DEAR ANNOYED FRIEND: No, it is definitely not your responsibility to discipline their children. You may want to admonish the parents instead. I'm all for parents bringing children to friends' homes when they are invited to do so or when they ask if they can. But, to bring kids to your home without an invite (and then for those kids to be ill-mannered) is unacceptable. I would pull my friends aside if they did this to me and gently remind them that while you love their child/children (hey, we all lie sometimes) you would like a heads-up in the future so you can kid-proof the home. Let them know that you saw their kids playing with things that could be dangerous, and you wouldn't want little Olive or Milo to hurt themselves. Perish the thought.

Natalie's Networking Tip of the Week: Don't be afraid to follow up. If you gave some people your business card and they said they would contact you, but they didn't, don't assume this means they aren't interested. We all get busy and overwhelmed. Instead, look them up on Facebook, LinkedIn or Twitter and reach out to them. They will be flattered that you took the time to do so!

Please send your relationship and lifestyle questions to nbencivenga@post-gazette.com or tweet them to @NBSeen. You can also send postal letters to Natalie Bencivenga, 358 North Shore Drive, Pittsburgh, PA 15212

(This column was originally published by the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.)

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