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As my children get older and start to do various group activities and school, I know they will eventually get to the point where they will be invited over to play at other kids’ houses. With all the crazy stuff you see on the news these days, I feel really nervous about this! How do you handle your older children going to friend’s houses if you don’t know the parents well? I need some advice. -- Julie, StrongMoms Facilitator
Julie-You post made me smile thinking back to my own childhood. I grew up in a very small town-everyone knows each other. To boot my mom was an elementary school teacher-so well known. Well the 1st time my now BFF of 30 years spent the night at my house her mom packed a smoke detector/fire alarm in the top of her overnight bag. Oh gosh I remember the three of us-my mom, Anna and I all laughing and laughing that night when we found it in there. To this day we still tease her mom about that.
I think it's fine to maybe arrange to have coffee or tea while the kids play a bit, that way you can get to know the family better.
I think that you start small. You invite the boy to your house to play and then talk to his mother. Then you let your child play over at their house for an hour or two. Gradually, you build a relationship with the mom etc. Plus you learn to trust your child. You talk to your child about safety, stranger danger, inappropriate touching, etc... and you teach them how to navigate the world without you--slowly! It is scary but not impossible.