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Community Get-Togethers for Parents and Children

November 6, 2015

As the saying goes, it takes a village to raise a child. Surrounding a kid with love and support can make all the difference; however, it’s not just the kids that can benefit from the extra encouragement. Play dates and get-togethers can help both parents and kids.

Many experts agree that such play dates are crucial to helping kids adjust socially. It’s a great way for children to make new friends their age. It’s an opportunity for them to learn important things like social etiquette and life lessons like sharing and compromising. It can also help further develop their mental skills.

These get-togethers are also beneficial for the parents. Just like the kids, parents can take this chance to make new friends. Adults can connect with others who are probably experiencing similar parenting challenges. It’s also the perfect time to ask for advice and share stories. Meanwhile, as you network you’re building a small village for you and kids.

For Mindful first play date tips consider these suggestions:

  1. Who to invite? Little cousins and your friend’s children are a great addition, but don’t forget to invite people you and your kids would like to get to know better. For instance, try inviting neighbors, coworkers, or new members at your religious center.
  2. Choose the location wisely. Meeting on common ground is always a plus for first time play dates. Outdoor parks or indoor play areas are great, but don’t dismiss the idea of having a play date at someone’s home. Neutral ground does have its benefits, but a home environment can be comforting and flexible for both parents and kids. 
  3. Activities, activities, activities. The kids will probably bring their own toys to share, but fights or arguments may breakout if compromises can’t be made. So, be sure to have other activities prepared like videos or board games.
  4. Brief but fun. The length of a first play date depends on the age of the kids and how well they know each other. For kids that are only briefly acquainted consider a one-hour meeting for introductions. If they’re older or known each other longer consider a play date that’s no longer than three hours.
  5. Plan for the adults too. Depending on the age of the kids, some of the parents may feel obliged to bring their kids to your play date and leave. So let the parents know before hand that you would love it if they stayed. Have refreshments on hand and conversation topics ready. Try to get to know each other better and build your little village.

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