My kids love to go play with friends or have them come over to our house. The way so many parents are protective, most often they have to go to their friends’ houses rather than invite them over, which is frustrating, but that’s the way it goes.
But why do so many parents insist on their kids just having one friend over at a time? I’d rather invite a crowd!
There’s nothing wrong with some one on one playtime, but there’s a lot to be said for having several friends over at once. Better games of tag or hide and go seek, for starters.
“Sorry, they already have a friend over.”
The kids also learn more about dealing with each other in a group. How do you keep from leaving anyone out of the fun? How can you all agree on what to do, more or less?
I can’t tell you how often my kids have asked if a friend can play, only to be told, “Sorry, they already have a friend over.”
I know having several friends over is harder on the parents. I do get that. It’s more chances for arguments and hurt feelings.
These things are a natural part of childhood. Headache they may be, but you don’t need to mediate every little disagreement. Make sure it doesn’t get out of hand, and you’re doing plenty.
If feeding the kids is an issue, talk to the other parents. If you take turns having groups of kids over, you aren’t going to be getting hit too badly by the quantity of snacks consumed overall.
Best of all, once you can trust the kids, there’s safety in numbers. You can let a group of kids play out front or go to the park together once they’re old enough and responsible enough. A group of kids is very safe so long as the neighborhood itself isn’t dangerous, and most aren’t.
Yes, you’re going to want to know enough about your child’s friends and their parents to know you can trust them. Yes, there may be some of the negative effects of peer pressure.
Kids need these challenges as they grow up. It helps them to deal with the greater challenges they’ll deal with as adults.
Besides, if you get known as the mom who lets all the friends come over, you’ll know where your own kids are more often. As they get older, it may not always be going outside to play, but that’s okay. It’s just another way to keep up with your children’s lives and to know more about their friends. Personally, I like that idea!