It’s important for parents to be a part of their children’s lives without overdoing it. One way is to get to know your children’s friends. You may be able to help children learn the social skills needed to develop and maintain positive friendships.
These suggestions will help your children make friends who will enrich their lives and yours, too.
Encourage your children to join school or church activities, become a volunteer or join a hobby group to meet new people and develop friendships.
Let children bring friends home from time to time so you can get to know them. You may want to plan a pizza party, have a game night, rent a popular movie or have a sleep over. Make yourself available, but don’t intrude on the children and their friends.
You also might want to include children’s friends in family outings such as a camping or fishing trip, an evening bowling, or trip to a zoo, aquarium, museum or amusement park.
Allow your children to visit their friends’ homes. You might want to accompany them on the first visit to meet the parents of their friends.
Try not to be too critical of their friends. Children and teenagers tend to be drawn to people parents criticize. Make it a point to emphasize positive things about their friends.
By example, show your children that you enjoy having friends, too. Perhaps you could include older children in appropriate activities with your friends.
Source: Gary Hansen
For more information, contact the Logan County Cooperative Extension Service.