This is a very touchy subject. It was the Good Question the other night and it put me right back into parenthood. There are just some things you never seem to forget. It’s funny, I can’t remember what I went into a room for or where I set down my cherry pepsi but I can remember things like this.
What if you just couldn’t stand one of your kids friends?
I agree with Dr. David Walsh, a nationally known parenting expert and the author of “No: Why Kids of All Ages Need to Hear It and Ways Parents Can Say It.” He says that forbidding friends can backfire. He also says, “Once we start to put kids on the do-not-call list, for teenagers in particular, that can even make them more attractive,” he explained.
I really do believe that. The minute you tell a kid not to do something, it makes them want to do it all the more. It’s the same the other way around also, you tell them to do something and they don’t.
Jason really only had one friend, and I use the term “friend” very lightly, that neither Paul or I could stand. He was the Eddie Haskel kind of kid. Very polite and talky, very slick and polished. So much so that any adult would see that. I worked at the school and Paul coached him in baseball and basketball so we did know him well. He wasn’t a “bad” kid, just very sneaky. I’d love to know where he ended up. But one day money came up missing after he was over and it upset us all A LOT! We all knew who did it, we didn’t steal from each other so we “knew.” We just told Jason that he could still be friends with him but he wasn’t to come inside our home. Kickball, a game of horse in the driveway was fine. He could go to his house but come on, he stole from us. Jason knew stealing was wrong and understood.
But Dr. Walsh also stated that if something looks “dangerous” for your child or you “know” stuff is going on, you may have to step in. We did have to do this with Toby and I hated to do it because Toby didn’t “see it.” He got “chummy” with someone who I would bet right now is in jail. That is if he’s still alive. My poor kids just didn’t stand a chance of getting anything get by us though. I worked in the school and Paul was involved in every sport. He coached them through their lives. One day Toby was walking to school with “so and so” and a teacher I knew was driving by and “so and so” was smoking so she told me. I went through Toby’s room with a fine tooth comb that afternoon praying to God that I wouldn’t find ANYTHING bad and I didn’t. But I did have to tell him his days with “so and so” were over and done. Finite!
He tried getting on the bus and getting off at “so and so’s” house ONCE but little did he know I was watching him. I got in my car and drove by them and said “hey guys, want a ride?” Neither of them said a word and it didn’t happen again. You may think I was a buttinsky and you’d be right. I was. Toby really had no choice since there was my bright shiny face at school and dad’s bright shiny face at baseball. I felt (and knew) this kid was a bad influence and I felt I had no other choice. He was years and years to young to be even thinking of smoking and heaven knows what else. He didn’t hate us or anything and really never created a ruckus over it. I also was very careful what “fights to pick” with the boys so they pretty much knew if I did say no, I meant it and there were really no questions asked.
Have you ever had to do this? If your kids are to young, do you think you would do something like this?