Here's how you can make your home a haven for your child and his friends.
Few things matter as much to a child as acceptance amongst his peers. And one way to ensure acceptance is to have friends over often. Here's how you can make your home a haven for your child and his friends.
Make sure your child's bedroom is a place he and his friends will enjoy spending time in. You don't need to do it up ornately or extravagantly. A great child's bedroom is possible even on a low budget. Just make sure you do it up to express your child's personality, and not your own. You may love crystal, but that doesn't mean you decorate your child's bedroom with Swarovski. Take your child's inputs while doing up his room, and give his suggestions serious consideration. If your child wants his bedroom to be red, don't turn a deaf ear and paint it cream. Instead, see how you can work around giving your child what he wants. You could perhaps get one wall painted a duller shade of red, or you could compromise by getting red furnishings.
Similarly, just because you don't like that life sized Justin Timberlake poster doesn't mean you prohibit your daughter her from putting it up in her bedroom. Teenagers love posters as it gives them an opportunity to mark out their territory and express themselves. You could moderate the posters, and limit the pasting of posters to one wall.
Even though you are certain you don't want a bean bag in your room, remember that children love bean bags, and if your child has a few bean bags in his bedroom, his friends will flock to him.
Some children feel uncomfortable if their parents hang around their friends when they are over. If this is the case with you, there is no need to get upset about it. All children need their space. There could be various reasons they don't want you around - which have nothing to do with how much they love you. So after exchanging regular greetings give them their privacy or your child may stop calling friends over, preferring to hang out at some other friend's house.
Encourage your child to offer snacks to their friends. No one likes a person who doesn't share his food. Be generous with your kitchen and don't let your child be stingy with goodies like chocolates. If you have chocolates at home, your child should offer them generously to his friends. If you cannot afford to keep chocolates stocked all the time, go without them for a while, or buy a few for immediate consumption.
If you were thinking of getting a dog, here's yet another reason for getting one. Younger children enjoy visiting friends who have a pet.
And finally, don't interfere too much in your child's relationships with his friends. Remember that children are bound to fight, and you are only hearing your child's side of the story. If you run down your child's friend, your child may get influenced by your words and start believing that he was indeed wronged, thus ending a friendship. Try playing devil's advocate instead. Also interfering may work the other way and your child may gravitate towards precisely those friends you ask him to stay away from.
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