Friendship Etiquette

My Third Grader’s social life is really starting to blossom, just as a dear friend said would be the case for this particular grade. Hanging out with friends is becoming his favorite thing to do on the weekends. While we are excited for this newfound camaraderie and these budding relationships—and we are grateful that he’s calling friends and even extending invitations—there were a few pointers we felt like we needed to offer Saturday:

1. Don’t invite yourself over. Requesting to spend time with people, inviting someone to your home or perhaps even suggesting another venue is a great idea. However, inviting yourself to someone else’s pad? Not necessarily so. Here’s the text message I discovered that my 9-year-old sent to his friend’s dad Saturday morning: “Can I go to your house for about five to six hours.” (We also mentioned that it’s not actually necessary to include a duration of time.)

2. Don’t call another friend while you’re playing with one. After years of being the lone house on the cul-de-sac, it is inspiring to see neighborhood friendships starting to flourish. But when you’re hanging out with someone from the ‘hood, it’s not the wisest idea to call another classmate – it could be interpreted as rude somewhere along the line.

3. Don’t say “I like hanging out with so-and-so better than so-and-so.” It’s important to embrace and enjoy a variety of friendships, however expressing a preference while you’re in the company of another can be hurtful. Some comments are better reserved for a conversation with your parents…or even kept to to yourself.

As our son wades into the friendship waters, we are thrilled to watch this once-reserved boy delve even deeper — and glad that he’s receptive to a few of mom and dad’s hard-earned tips in the process.

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2 thoughts on “Friendship Etiquette

  1. Great pointers! I think friendships has been one of the hardest parts of parenting for me, especially since I have such social children. Trying to explain why you shouldn’t invite yourself over to another’s house has been a challenge to explain to a 5 year old!

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