Make Your Home the “Go-To House” Encourage Positive Friendships
© Judy Helm Wright aka Auntie Artichoke—http://www.judyhwright.com
As parents and caregivers (lots of Aunties and Uncles out there) we want to encourage positive friendships with the children we love. We also like an orderly house and a minimum of noise and confusion in our house. Sometimes we have to let go of dreams of having neat homes and go with comfortable and inviting.
In order to make your home the go-to-house and encourage other kids to mingle at your home, you will need to create a safe haven with food, fun and acceptance.
Peer pressure, along with bullying and drugs frightens many parents.
Make your home the "go-to-house" in the neighborhood and school. Provide a safe haven for kids to gather in positive friendships.
When your child is in a group it is easy to “group think” and make decisions, they would not normally do on an individual basis. When they are in your home, you have a pulse on what is going on and can intercede if necessary.
The more you know the other parents of your child’s friends they more they will have an extended tribe of adults who are looking out for their backs. Encourage group activities that are well chaperoned and with a purpose, rather than just “hanging out.”
Some Tips On Building Community and Strengthening Kids
1. Make Your Home the “Go-To House.” When you invite your children’s friends to spend time in your home, you create a safe harbor for many children who are afraid to go home. Make them feel welcome and try to get to know them and help them see how healthy, happy families operate. Include them in some of your family activities. Don’t worry about how much you are spending on groceries. Consider it an investment in the future.
2. Affirm Positive Friendships. Talk to your kids about their friends. Find out what they like about this friend. Help them to develop into the friend they would like to have. Rather than over-praise individual kids, talk about what a nice group of kids they are. If your child has difficulty making and keeping friends, be sure to go the website http://www.theleftoutchild.com to find ways to help them be more likeable.
3. Don’t Criticize or Focus on One Friend. Resist the urge to criticize or refuse to allow your child to hang out with one particular person. Many kids will get defensive over friends their parent’s don’t like. We always found that when we criticized one friend that our child tended to choose one that was worse!!!
4. Don’t Blame Your Child’s Friend for His Parents. Many outstanding heroes and excellent individuals have come from horrible home situations. Just one positive mentor and example can change the life of a young person. You will be teaching respect, kindness and compassion to your child as well as the friend.
Nurturing Adults Needed to Mentor and Guide Young People