Up until now, the adults we see on a frequent basis are adults I would trust my kids with. Up until now there has not been an adult in my kids' lives that they are not required to obey. And to respect. Aunts, Uncles, Grandmas, Grandpas, our adult friends. If an adult asks you to do something, you hop to.
So it has been interesting having an adult living with us that our children must respect, because she's an adult and a person, but not always obey. The kiddos are having to learn to think about what she asks them, and if it seems strange, come find us. They will be disobeying her, BUT that is good. Poor kids are a bit confused.
If we are watching TV in Lois' room and she asks Mikey to not wear shoes on her bed, then of course he should listen and obey. If we are at the dinner table and she asks Elia to pass her the potatoes, then Elia should obey. If I'm in the kitchen and Lois asks Elia to take a walk with her, then Elia should NOT obey, because Lois has dementia and can't go out without an adult. If the kids are having a sugary treat and Lois finishes her sugar-free treat and then asks them to share theirs with her, they should NOT obey because of her diabetes.
The girls are doing great with it. The boys are having a little trouble. If they don't have to obey her some of the time, then it stands to reason they don't have to obey her all of the time, right?
Another interesting aspect to welcoming a stranger into your home is that you cannot always predict the personality of said stranger. Our children are learning that just because someone who lives here uses certain language, they can not. Lois loves the kids and is incredibly aware of her language around them and she is very careful not to say anything bad.
She frequently, frequently, all the time, says, "Oh, my God!". As in, "Oh my God, this dinner looks good!". Many people don't see this as swearing. But we do. We have mentioned this to her, and her wounded expression that we would even think of getting after her for something that to her mind is not even cussing is just so sad.
So our kids are learning discernment in their speaking. Some people say things that we don't say. We can't always change the language others use, but we can make sure our language is correct. And we are finding that the way we speak sometimes influences others. Lois knows certain words are not used here and she makes a real effort to not say them. When she forgets a gentle reminder is all she needs.
And she tries to be helpful too.
Case in point:
We were watching a movie last night and a character said the word "Ass". He was not discussing donkeys.
Josie : What is that?!
Me : A crude word for butt. We don-
Lois : We don't say that word in this house. Hell, no!
....yeah, that was helpful...