As your children get older, their friends become more and more important in their lives. Friends greatly influence your kids’ likes, dislikes, hobbies, attitude, etc. As a concerned parent, you want to make sure you know the people your child is hanging out with. Here are four tips for getting to know your kids’ friends.
If you want to get to know your kids’ friends, you should start just as you would when getting to know anyone else: introduce yourself. Have your kids invite their friends over, and when they arrive, introduce yourself and shake their hands. Letting them know what they should call you (Mrs. Jones or Pat) is the first step in making them feel comfortable talking to you. Be friendly and warm, because you are opening up the lines of communication. Often times kids are intimidated by their friends’ parents, but that’s usually because the parents never took the time to properly introduce themselves and say hello.
Open Your Home to Them
In order to get to know your kids’ friends, you have to be around them and have opportunities to get to know them. To do this, you should make your home open to them by always welcoming them and allowing your kids to have their friends over. As your kids get older, they are going to want to spend more and more time with their friends. If you’re concerned about who they may be hanging out with or what they might be doing, allowing them to be at your house together is the best way to keep an eye on your child. Let your kids and their friends know that they’re always welcome, and encourage them to invite their friends over for play dates and sleepovers.
Ask Them about Themselves
Get to know your kids’ friends by asking them about themselves. Asking them questions will give them a chance to open up to you, and you will learn more about them and more quickly by doing this than by waiting to pick things up along the way. Ask them about their interests, their extracurricular activities, their hobbies, where they live, how they like school, etc. You can learn some great information this way, and you’ll get to know them much better.
Get to Know Their Families
Just as important as getting to know your kids’ friends is getting to know your kids’ friends’ families. The home life and background of your kids’ friends makes them who they are and will explain a lot about them. Because your child will probably be spending time at their friends’ houses a lot, you also want to know what that environment is like and who they are with. Reach out to their friends’ parents and at least introduce yourself. See if they’d like to come over the next time their child does or if they’d like to chat sometime. They might be just as eager to get to know you, and you might even make some new friends yourself.
Stacey Margaret is a dedicated mother and blogger who loves to write about kids and anything that encompasses.