My daughter has just now reached the age (she is 5) when people start asking her on play-dates that don't include me. So far, they've only been with other parents who I know very well and for a long time, but I know there is a time in the not-so-distant future when my daughter will want to play at someone's home and I won't know them. Scary!
This is why stories like this one where a dad accidentally put on his own porn instead of the Smurfs movie he had intended to show at a child's birthday party scare me to death.
If I were the parent of one of the kids at the birthday party, I would be livid, and this is a classic example of how hard it is to trust other people with your kids. This is why I have a plan.
My plan is multifaceted. First, I plan to BE the cool hangout pad. Oh yes, I will have all the Tang and cookies my kids could want. I will provide red paper for Valentine's and plenty of candy and fun. My house will be the place to be for kids after school.
My mom was the queen of this herself and I almost never went over to anyone else's house after school because she was so cool and all my friends wanted to be around MY mom. It's a genius plan, really.
My other plan is to really get to know parents of my kid's friends. This past January first, we invited one of my daughter's friends and her whole family up to my family lake house. We did skiing and snowshoeing and ice skating. At night, we put the kids to bed and we got to know the parents.
Now I consider them somewhat good friends of ours and it was really a very simple thing. The fact is, I want my daughter and son to make many, many good friends. But I also want to know the parents. I am never going to be comfortable sending my child over to a stranger's house. That would just not be me.
So I have to bake a lot of cookies, make my house super appealing, and be prepared to make a lot of new friends.
Do you trust other kids' parents?