So your son, Gregory, comes home and tells you about this new friend he made at school named Timmy. He tells you about all the fun they had at school and how Timmy likes the same games that Gregory likes, etc. Your son is so overjoyed that he wants Timmy and his parents to come over for family fun night on Friday. Friday night arrives and a delightful Timmy shows up along with his nightmare parents. What do you do? Timmy is a great boy and a good friend to your son, but his parents are the complete opposite.
Let’s face it, just because we can make babies doesn’t necessarily mean that we will be good parents. There are some great kids out there who have horrible parents. I could go through a list of what a horrible parent looks like, but that would be my own view. Everyone has their own view of a horrible parent, so for the sake of words let’s just say that parent is coming to dinner.
It can be difficult to tell your child that little Timmy can no longer be your friend because his parents are a bad influence. But sadly this does happen. The child is absolutely amazing, however his parents are far from amazing.
So what do you do when your child’s new best friend has horrible parents…
#1 Keep Things in Your Court – When you know that Timmy’s parents are a bad influence try to keep the play dates on your terms. In other words beat them to the punch. Don’t wait for them to call you about a play date. Your child and little Timmy are bound to want to get together so go ahead and set up a play date you deem is appropriate.
#2 Don’t Be Afraid to Say No – If for some reason they invite your child to spend the night, it’s okay to say no if you are uncomfortable with that. The sooner you set boundaries the better off you will be in the long run of this friendship.
#3 Be Honest – Depending upon the age of your child, it would be beneficial to explain to your child the things that Timmy’s parents do that are not acceptable. For example, if Timmy’s parents cuss regularly, make sure that you explain to Timmy that cussing is intolerable in your home. This will reinforce the core values you have put into your child.
#4 Find Gregory Some New Friends – If it’s just not working out, then take the initiative to find your child a new friend. Reach out to some of your friends or parents you affiliate with.
#5 Do Nothing – As long as your child practices what you have taught him, there is nothing to worry about. As your child gets older, you may or may not ever meet the parents of your child’s friends. So simply continue to reinforce those core values with your child.