"Wow, that does sound incredibly frustrating, especially since you don't really understand why they're resisting your policy (since they themselves subscribe to the same ideals). But let's not worry about motives, let's focus on action.
Whatever your family's feelings are about shoes off or on in the house, the fact remains that they are coming into your home and therefore should respect your rules. It sounds like you've done all you can in the moment and to no avail. I think it's time to take a next step: a preemptive strike.
Before their next visit, either call them on the phone or write an email and explain that you're concerned about dirt in the living room because your son is at that lick-the-floor age so you and your husband have decided that all visitors need to immediately remove their shoes at the door. Suggest that they bring along a pair of slippers or house shoes to put on if they want (and maybe leave them at your house if they visit often)."
Monday, September 07, 2015
Apartment Therapy: Alice, My Relatives Won't Take Off Their Shoes