If you’re anything like myself, I’m sure you’ve reached that point in life where your desire for seeking out new friendships has long since dwindled. I’m sure, the sheer thought of venturing outside of your comfort zone in the efforts of recruiting a chum, falls shy of your desire to fish out a fallen item from a public port-a-potty. Sure you would if it was absolutely necessary. But, more times than not, your answer may closer resemble: “fuck all types of that”. Ironically, this is the exact opposite tendency we should instil in our kids.
Play Dates With Parents
As parents, we’re duty-bound to encourage the interaction between our child(ren) and their peers by facilitating all opportunities that may result in comradery and a chance at a lasting friendship. Just because we’ve grown reclusive and a tad anti-social that should not be reflected onto our children. Well, guess what? As parents, we should also lead by example. And, in order to accommodate many (if not all) of these choice encounters between our child and others, adult accompaniment is often required. Simply put: it’s time for you to play nice with others (other parents, that is).
The Forced Friendships
I know, I know… when did “forced friendships” become a part of “parenting”? Short answer being: the minute that your child decided to buddy-up. If you have toddlers and/or small children, the option of simply sending them to play outside with friends unsupervised is not an option. Therefore; the play date is the next viable alternative. This will, of course, mean, the entertaining of guests in your home and perhaps the clashing of parenting styles manifested under one roof. This may also mean having an unruly lil’ shit-kicker jumping on your furniture, terrorizing your pets and, possibly, attempting to plunder your child’s things like a 2-foot bandit. It’s all a part of the dance. And, like it or not, these people have just descended onto your lives like vultures because you’ll do anything for your child’s happiness.
Allies & Frienemies
Don’t get me wrong, having fellow parents as “forced friends” can be a wonderful thing. If you are lucky, your child’s pals will stem from nice, normal, like-minded parents with an affinity for good music and getting mildly day-drunk while in your loving care. If you are unlucky, however, you may end-up with parents that allow their bad-ass kids to get away with murder with not so much as an eye blink in their general direction. We all know the type, those parents who run a bit too fast and loose in the discipline department and feel that their child’s misbehaviour should be everyone’s problem. These are the kids you have your child disassociate with it immediately. Because frankly, “life is too short to spend time with people that suck the happiness out of you”.
Let’s face it, our world now exists for our child’s benefit and play dates are the bi-product of their social development. My advice would be: smile politely and be gracious until someone gives you a reason to no longer be.