I love seeing my kids play with other kids. The laughter, the fun, the imagination. I love to just listen to them talk and play. The stuff they come up with is always so funny! (And often enlightening to how they perceive the world, if you pay attention.) Isn’t is funny how we get nervous for our kids when they go some place new? I never knew that when I was a kid. That nervous feeling inside when you are going into a new place, and have to face a new group of children that you know nothing about, and wonder if they will like you or not. Or if you’ll be able to make a friend… Yeah, I never realized until I had kids of my own that I would feel it for them too every time. I remember when my oldest was in pre-k. We went to the first parent teacher conference and we could walk around and look at things they had made, and the little play areas, etc. There was a couple near me that started to talk to the teacher. She was telling them about their child’s behavior and such at school (good report, not negative) and the mom anxiously interrupted her and asked “Does she have friends?” It was interesting to me. Of course we want them to have friends. It’s lonely for a kid to be at a place with lots of children yet feel alone. And that whole “just be yourself” bit makes complete sense to us once we are grown, but it’s not so easy for the young and insecure. I guess the best we can do is teach them confidence and hope it takes.
It’s definitely easier when you just take your kids with you to a friend’s house who has kids. Funny because we just expect them to get along with our friend’s children. I guess it makes ok sense though. It’s almost like family, and you expect them to get along with cousins in the same way. It also happens in reverse sometimes when we start talking to their friend’s parents. We become friends too and then they get to see them when we get together. I’m glad I’ve liked the moms I’ve met so far. That would really stink if your child formed a really great relationship with another child and their parents got on your nerves, or you just flat didn’t like them! I would assume that will happen to me at some point, but I’m thankful it hasn’t yet. Although that might be something I’ll ask some people about and write a future post on, because I think it would cause some interesting scenario’s! I guess not if you don’t spend much time with, or talk to, their friends parents. But I can’t, in good concience, let my child go anywhere with an adult that I know nothing about. Sometimes you can feel a bit goofy. Like it’s no big deal and you’re being “the weird one” but I don’t care. I take safety very seriously, and though I do realize you don’t truly know a person by having a few casual conversations with them, I still like to try to get to know them at least a bit. Of course you can also have that difficult situation where you know and trust the parent, but you know they are just enough different than you that you worry about the influence when your kid’s there. That’s a hard one. I’m ok with my children being around people that are different that me, that’s like, living life 101, right? But I’m pretty conservative in a lot of ways and being around people that think the things I worry about are no big deal, could influence my child in a way I’d prefer not. Of course if another adult ever told my child that I’m wrong and being too strict, my kid wouldn’t spend time with them with out me anymore! But they can still pick up on little attitudes and stuff.
It’s hard isn’t it?! We can’t keep them in a bubble, we want them to enjoy life and get to have fun and have friend’s. But man, there’s so much to think about! I probably over think it. But I’m a mom, that’s my job! LOL! Anyway, do you have any helpful advice you give your kiddos about making friends and being a good friend themselves? And what interesting situations have you encountered involving your child making friends? I’d love to know!
Smile through the Trials,