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Hearing that your child has made a new friend is always exciting news. That is, of course, until you realize that there is a whole new set of parents you have to interact with. This is something many people dread. While your kids get to choose who they want to hang out with, you don’t have much of a say when it comes to the parents.
If you’ve had to handle these situations before and aren’t entirely sure that you are going about it the right way, don’t worry. Below you will find all the tips and tricks you need to know how to handle these situations.
You Don’t Have to Be Friends
Just because your kids are friends doesn’t mean that you need to be close. As mentioned, the children got to choose their friendship, the parents didn’t. So, if you don’t feel comfortable inviting them over for dinner, that’s fine.
That being said, it is important to remain cordial with one another. Always be friendly and greet them with a smile. Try to make small talk whenever you meet up as well. The relationship doesn’t have to progress more than this but both parties should be on good terms with one another. This will make your interactions a great deal simpler. Not to mention, your kids will feel better about it as well.
Always Know Who the Parents Are
Playdates are a two-way street. Sometimes the kids will be over at your place while, at other times, they will be at the other parents’ house. Thus, it is incredibly important that you know exactly who your kids are spending time with.
In fact, visiting CheckPeople to do some further digging is a good way to go. After all, most people aren’t forthcoming about the darker aspects of their life or lifestyle. However, a background check will unveil any concerning details that you will need to know about.
It is also a good idea to check out the inside of their home at least once. Make sure that the surroundings are clean and safe. Also, do the parents have any weapons or other dangerous materials inside the house? If so, are they carefully locked up and kept away from the children?
Consider Your Concerns
So, let’s say that you aren’t too impressed with your little one’s friend’s parents. Before taking any action, it is important to think about why you feel this way. Now, if you have a real concern for your child’s safety or if you feel like the parent’s create a toxic environment, then you certainly can intervene. As a parent, it is your right to do so.
However, if you simply feel like the parents are not your kind of people, then you need to be a little more careful. This isn’t grounds for keeping your child away from their friend. After all, you are going to encounter quite a few parents like this. So, if you try to shy away from them all, your child is probably going to end up friendless.
In such a situation, grinning and bearing it is probably your best course of action. Try to keep your interactions brief so you don’t have to deal with them any longer than necessary. However, it is best to not try and make any changes to that friendship.
Talking to Other Parents About Their Kids
Now, if you are fortunate, your kid’s friends are going to be as good as gold. Of course, there is just as much of a chance that this isn’t going to be true. After all, kids are developing and so you are bound to stumble across a few “red flags” along the way.
Perhaps you don’t like the language the friend is using. Or, perhaps they have social media accounts at a much younger age than you are comfortable with. You may be confused about what to do. Should you speak to the parents? Or, is it none of your business?
Well, in instances such as this, think about what you would want if the roles were reversed. Would you want a parent to tell you if your child was exhibiting concerning behavior? If the answer is yes, then you should certainly talk to your kid’s friend’s parent.
At the same time, you do need to be careful about how you broach these topics. As you can imagine, most parents will not be very open to hearing you list out everything that is wrong with their child. So, make sure you take a more delicate approach.
In fact, if possible, try not to seem like you are meddling at all. Instead, casually bring up the topic when speaking to the parent. Say something like, “I noticed that Sarah has her own Instagram account. How do you feel about that?”
Be a Positive Role Model
If a parent rubs you the wrong way, it can be tempting to complain about them in front of your children. This is something you should avoid at all costs. Remember, as the adult, your child is going to look to you as a role model. Thus, they will mimic your behavior.
If you tend to badmouth the parents, there is a chance that your child will behave in a similar fashion with their friends. This is something you obviously don’t want as you need to teach them how to socialize properly.
So, keep your comments to yourself when you are around your kids. Also, unless you have serious concerns about the parents and the manner in which they behave, don’t say anything negative. Follow the sage advice of, “if you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all”.
There is no denying that dealing with your children’s friends’ parents could be a rather uncomfortable or annoying experience. However, for the sake of your kids, you need to handle the situation carefully. The above tips should go a long way in revealing how to behave in an appropriate manner.
WANT TO READ MORE?
Check out this article on The Importance of Pretend Play.
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