The Role I Play in My Kid's FriendshipsCasey Mullins
We’ve all felt them: the awkward growing pains of new friendships as we become parents. Sometimes the friendships grow apart, occasionally they grow closer, sometimes they’re better without the kids around and other times there’s no friendship left if the little ones aren’t there too. I’ve lost touch with friends who have parenting styles I don’t agree with (or better yet lack of parenting) and I’ve gained a new respect for friends as we navigate these confusing waters of raising kids together.
Addie is at an age where she is making friends of her own at school and around our neighborhood and to be perfectly honest, I just don’t like some of them. Her friends are becoming a huge influence in her life and when that influence is bad? It’s not something I will allow. I read an article earlier about a mom picking her kid’s friends to keep her daughter safe, and while it sounds harsh … I agree with most of what she had to say.
Addie is expected to be kind to everyone she comes in contact with. She knows when to stand up for herself and she knows when to step in and stand up for others. She also knows bullying and unkind words are not tolerated but when it comes to the people allowed in our home and the homes she is allowed into? That’s where I enter the picture. My husband is a small town attorney, he’s well aware of how many people own guns in our area, especially people who own guns and have children. In our house gun safety is of utmost priority, and just like the original author said, “…we live in a rural community where plenty of people have guns in their homes, but not everyone actually locks them up. It tells me that the sex offender registry only accounts for the creeps who have been caught.”
There’s a lot we can do as parents to protect our kids, and it’s our job to do it.
Addie isn’t allowed in the houses of neighbors I don’t know. If I haven’t talked to the parents? She’s not going in their house. I don’t care how nice a kid is at our house, nice kids come from dangerous situations all the time and I’m not about to send my daughter into their house of crazy without checking it out myself first. More and more she’s coming home with tales if “Suzy has this, and Aubrey said this.” She’s picking up on things we don’t allow or speak of in our house (like how hot boys are or that girls need to take off their clothes to kiss boys.) I understand there is a curiosity there, but curiosity in the wrong hands can lead to devastating consequences.
I can assure you that if your kid were to come play at my house there would be no smoking, drinking, drug use nor would there be dangerous medications or guns within reach or sight. We are normal people that don’t swear, don’t watch questionable TV or movies and we eat real food that grows on trees. We’re certainly not perfect, but we love our kids madly and only want the best for yours as well. Thankfully most of the parents I meet feel the same way, but I still can’t and won’t let my guard down. Addie is too important to me.
I wouldn’t say I’m overbearing in my control of who Addie is friends with, but I certainly work hard to supply her with plenty of friends that will allow her to be the best little girl I know she is.
What role do you play in your kids’ friendships?