Knowing Your Kid’s Friends

  • My son is going to start school soon. I’m anticipating that he will get play date offers and party invitations. I can’t imagine him going to someone’s house that I don’t know – it makes me nervous to think about! Do you insist on getting to know the parents of your kid’s friends before letting them go over to their houses? -- Julie, Strongmoms Facilitator

  • I think that you absolutely need to know the parents of a young child. As they get older, it gets trickier to know the parents very well, but by then you can have a talk with your children about what is appropriate and not appropriate behavior etc. When they are young, I try to encourage playdates that allow me to at least stay for a little while. I used to bring my son when he was 5 to a play date and stay around to talk to the mom for an hour or so. Then if they were doing well and I didn't see any major problems, I would leave to go run an errand or something. Then the next time he went to play, I only stayed for 30 minutes talking etc…You can ease into it. :)

  • YES YES YES you need to know the family!  A funny story-I grew up in a very small town and my mom was an elementary school teacher in the town.  To spite this, the first time my BFF got to spend the night at my house, when we opened her suitcase (I think we were in the 1st grade) we found that her mom had packed a fire alarm!  Little red flashing indicating the batteries were fully charged and ready to go!  Oh my gosh, we all still laugh at that memory to this day.

    Now, you don't need to pack a fire alarm (most likely), but i think it's important you know the kids, family, etc.  

    -Jess

  • Ah, nice tip. :-) I've had a few play date situations myself and I've actually just tried to be proactive and invite my little guy's friend and his mother to coffee or a play date where I pick the location so that we can all hang out and get to know each other. I'll remember the ease-into-it idea, though!