Monday, July 13, 2015

Do You Get to Know the Parents of Your Child's Friends?

If you don't, you should. It is every parent's responsibility to get to know their children's friends, including the parents of those friends. This is especially important if you allow your children to go to their friends' homes to play or hangout. Doing so provides clues as to how safe your child will be in their home and whether there will be positive or negative things that could  influence your children while they're in the care of these other adults.

One day, a father dropping off his daughter to play with ours, immediately began backing out of the driveway after his little girl got out of the car. I quickly approached the car to introduce myself and without saying a word, he rolled down the window and just stared at me. I was stunned when he responded in a manner that said, "So what." He reluctantly said his name and quickly drove away. I could not believe that he was dropping his sweet little 9-year-old daughter off at a house he had never been inside of, nor met the adults who live there! 

How could a parent be so trusting or not care enough to want to know what kinds of things or activities his daughter might see or experience while at that home? Lucky for him, my wife and I are trusting, caring and responsible parents, but what if we weren't? Why does it seem that so few parents take the time and effort to check out the adults who will be responsible for their child's safety and care?

One day my 7-year-old son revealed that he was watching R-rated HBO movies on a large screen TV in the bedroom of one of his neighborhood playmates. I was shocked and told him that I would need to speak with his mother before he could go back over to that home to play with his friend. 

A few days later, I saw that boys mom outside, working in the garden. I approached her and revealed what I had learned. I shouldn't have been surprised when she reacted in a way that told me she didn't see a problem with it. She then uttered two very classic but annoying statements: "Boys will be boys," and "They are going to see it all somewhere so why not let them see it in their own home."

Today's progressive entertainment industry has made it known that they are not responsible for what our children see and hear. They are in the business to make money and to sell what many adults want to buy. Many parents are in denial that they themselves are responsible for managing what their children are exposed to. And if they aren't in denial, then they just haven't yet come to terms with this responsibility, a responsibility their parents didn't have. These two factors alone have contributed to the inappropriate accelerated maturity of our children.

Bill Corbett has a degree in clinical psychology and has been chosen to deliver the keynote

address at a large education conference in Holland this Fall.  He is happily married with three grown children, three grandchildren, and three step children, and resides in Enfield, CT.  You can see his published books by CLICKING THIS LINK.

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