Wednesday, December 8, 2010

How well do you know your kids friends parents?

How well do you know your kids friends parents? Want to know more?

Kids usually like to hang in groups, no matter how old they are. As they get through elementary school, and then through middle school and high school, the group mentality sticks with them. They usually have a favorite hangout, where they spend most of their off school time. Many times it is the home of one of the friends in the group – someone who either has lenient parents or a full fridge.

It is common to get to know each individual in your child’s social circle. As parents, we want to know how they behave, if they have manners - and make a determination as to whether the child will be a good influence or a bad influence on our own child. We may be very familiar with half a dozen children, know their likes and dislikes, and be well-versed in the trials and tribulations of their young lives.

The children are safe influences, but what about their parents?

How much time is spent getting to know the parents of each of these children, though? There may be parents here and there who naturally hit it off and forge a bond of their own. These lucky parents have the opportunity to share their child’s companionship and an adult friendship all at the same time. However, more often than not, our own lives are too busy to pay much attention to other adults.

Do you know what each of your child’s friend’s parents does for a living? How many are working moms, and how many stay home? What social circles do they belong to? What do they do in their free time? Is there one mom in the group baking cookies for the kids, while another is lost in a cloud of smoke and a bottle of tequila? Would the other parents share liquor and cigarettes with your child, or would they discourage trying such things altogether? Are the parents married? How does the father behave towards the children?

Keep your children safe by arming yourself with knowledge

Looking into the backgrounds of your children’s friend’s parents can be quite eye-opening. You may find just from searching through basic records who is behind on child support payments, who was busted for possessing drugs or contributing to the delinquency of a minor, or whose home is being foreclosed. Search the neighborhood for any sexual predators residing in the area. You may rethink your child’s walk home from school.

Having this basic information helps you make educated decisions about where to allow your child to spend his or her spare time. It will help you determine whether you are comfortable with everyone hanging out at Chuck’s house, or if you would prefer they not spend time at John’s house unless his mother is home.

If you find that one of the PTA moms has multiple drunk driving arrests, you may not want her to drive on the next field trip.

Simple background checks can reveal important details about people’s lives, and these minor details could translate into a major impact on your child’s life. For a simple, yet thorough, way to check your child’s schoolmates, try a specialized investigation service such as Net Detective. It is an inexpensive online database that makes it easy for you to perform a background check on anyone – and keeps your children safe.

Visit information page.

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