Dr. Kenney shares some tips on ways to avoid conflicts with your children's friends.
As a mom who honestly has like sleepovers every weekend and often eight children in my home, and a psychologist, I often think, “Do you have to love every kid your kid brings home?” And the answer is no, not everybody loves you. You don’t got to love everybody else.
Do you have to be polite, kind, respectful and responsive? Well yeah, but how can you take those opportunities when you don’t really like a kid or you are not that thrilled about having them over? How can you turn that into a positive for your family? This is what I have noticed:
If I feel uncomfortable about a child coming over what I can do is identify what about that child or that situation makes me feel uncomfortable and then I can go about changing that, okay, and I will give you a real life example.
After I’ve worked all week I am not that excited about children screaming in my house till 1:00 in the morning, okay? So what I can do in that situation is instead of becoming what I call a ‘tell over mom’ I can say to the kids, “Listen, when so and so comes over I noticed the house gets really noisy. Is there a way that we can play noisily and have a blast until like 10 o’clock, and then from 10:00 to 12:00 can we have quiet time or movie time, and then can we agree that at 12 o’clock lights are out?”
So, if you are having kids in your home and maybe there’s a certain child who gets on your nerves or maybe there’s a certain situation that you don’t like, look inside yourself. Ask what you are really needing to change about that and then setup the situation as an opportunity for success and you will find all of a sudden you are liking most of your kids’ friends a lot more and you are going to feel a lot less stressed out because you are being proactive and planning and you are getting out of damage control.
About Dr. Lynne Kenney, Psy.D.:
Lynne Kenney, Psy.D., is a mother of two, a practicing pediatric psychologist in Scottsdale, AZ, and the author of The Family Coach Method (St Lynn’s Press, Sept 2009). She has advanced fellowship training in forensic psychology and developmental pediatric psychology from Massachusetts General Hospital/Harvard Medical School and Harbor-UCLA/UCLA Medical School. Dr. Kenney is currently a featured expert for Momtastic.com and Parentsask.com.