Keeping Up With My Kid’s Friends May Require Me To Alter How I Raise My Child.
It’s possible to balance your child’s social development and the need to enforce regulations through compromise and knowledge of your child’s growing friendships.
Nobody who has a school-aged child has yet to hear the phrase, “Everyone else’s parents let them!” frequently expressed as a whine. Everybody in their class takes candy to school every day, and we’re the cruelest parents ever because we force them to eat just sandwiches and fruit. This isn’t true, but they’ve persuaded me nonetheless.
Understand What He’s Trying to Do
However, despite the cliché, “would you do the same?” to build confidence in one’s individualism, the reality is that we do a lot of conforming as social creatures. In the end, that’s what happens in social organizations and communities. As a result, I appreciate your admission that your son isn’t pressuring you to be like “all the other parents” but rather impress his peers and avoid feeling isolated.
As much as we value originality in parenting and strive to instill confidence in the uniqueness of each of our children, we also want them to have friends and be able to get along with others. It’s important to identify something in common with your peers if you grow into a well-rounded adult with excellent social skills. Research demonstrates that from the time a child is born, they are drawn to people who look like them.
In their quest to be social beings, our children’s desire to be like their peers is natural and healthy. We don’t have to give kids candy in their lunches or let them play video games all day, but we can realize how important it is for them to feel like they belong and find exceptions to our rules when necessary.
Discuss and agree upon a set of house rules.
He sounds happy with his non-video game environment when it’s not about having buddies around. Considering how difficult it is to raise children in today’s world, you should be proud of yourself. Once you have these guidelines in place, think about how you may flex them to accommodate your son’s social life.
He can work with you to develop a strategy that strikes a balance between the two extremes of screen usage: none at all and hours upon hours of screen time. Is there a way for him to introduce his classmates to what he enjoys doing at home, like assembling Legos? In light of the difficulty of switching to something other than a screen, it could be best, to begin with, a video game to see how things go before breaking out the consoles.
Take on the role of your child’s mentor.
This is also when you have the authority to listen in on others’ conversations. You have a unique opportunity to see the reactions of your son’s peers and the way he responds to them. As a result, you can get an idea of how much support and guidance he needs to deal with the pressures of his peers.
In the best possible scenario? He has a group of people who admire him for who he is, not what he can offer. You and he both find out about it. Both in his home as a great hangout for friends and in himself as a friend, he grows in self-assurance. There will likely be other debates and tinkering because the picture isn’t as straightforward as it seems. In any case, it’s a chance to learn about making friends and developing one’s sense of self while simultaneously being a part of something larger than oneself.
The End of the Story
When my daughter, 10, begs to watch “grown-up shows” like Stranger Things, I’ve heard her thank me for setting up limits for her. As much as she wants to push the boundaries, at least a part of her recognizes that those boundaries keep her safe. Your kid may appreciate your restrictions and the haven they provide. Still, he may also appreciate your willingness to be flexible around his friends because of your openness.