Can You Choose your Child’s Friends?

Posted: November 23, 2011

Now that I am officially a mother and all that…I am thinking…can one choose the friends that your child has? Let’s start with our building. There are some kids of R’s age, one slightly older and most of them much older between 7 to 12 years. The older kids usually just say hello to R and continue to play…the kids of R’s age dont come down before 9 in the night (R is in snoozeland by then) and the only kid who actually plays with R is the one who is slightly older to her, I think about 5.

She plays with her maid who is about 13 or 14. The maid is a really sweet girl who keeps trying to include R in the games if R is downstairs (RD or I are always with R when she goes down to play..somehow I think she is too young to be left alone). I sit aside while the three of them play…

The older girl dominates over R and her maid. She calls her maid by name and addresses her as tu, while I insist that R calls the maid didi and addresses  her as aap. When R tries to argue with me saying, ‘S didi also calls J didi as J’ I give her ‘the look’ which is pretty effective…

And then in R’s daycare…R has been there since she was 1 year old and hence most of her friends are also of her age…some are slightly older but they all are together in it. R’s friends are mainly boys. There are fewer girls of her age in the daycare and R is pretty comfortable with the guys…she is basically a tomboy (albeit a careful one..she won’t just jump off the bench without thought!) and she gels well with the boys.

Anyways, these guys seem to be teaching her funny things nowadays, including the horrible obscene steps of Dabbang’s title song, how Salman Khan is amazing, how to call each other ‘takla’ and stuff….

Someone told me that the children learn good at a daycare, but also the bad and ugly..and slowly I am realising it…

R speaks words which shouldn’t be spoken, bad words, or calling people ‘tu’ or by their names or saying ‘katti’ (will not talk to you) at everything…of course I am kinda over reacting to the situation because most of the stuff she does is definitely out of innocence. I am thinking how can I control this, but I don’t think its right to control the friends she makes..

I don’t remember my parents EVER commenting on my friends…because they were so sure of their upbringing they knew that bro and I won’t do anything wrong…I do remember a phase when my mom was worried about my language, but it was not too long. I know R is too young for me to worry about her falling into bad company and stuff…but I am just wondering..

As your child grows older, do you really worry about the friends or do you have enough faith in your child that they will choose the right ones ? Even if they choose the wrong friends (can there be wrong friends?) will you tell them to stop interacting with them?

I thought for a while and then decided:

1) I don’t think I am going to have a say on the kind of friends R makes, because at the end of the day, if we have given her the right values, it really doesn’t matter.

2) If her friends are really rude or out of place, I may intervene and then tell her why I think they are right or wrong….

3) Listen, listen, listen…that’s the most important part of parenting I think

Why am I getting so hyper about  a 3 year old you must wonder. Well I don’t know myself…this thought just came to my mind and took form of a post 🙂

R’s Mom is a working mother in Mumbai trying to balance work, home and

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  1. Pingback: Can I choose my child’s friends? « Perceptions

  2. Had much to say about this topic so wrote a post and cross linked 🙂

  3. RM, I have had similar experiences, and I do think that we, as parents can guide them towards/away from friends – if we are concerned about their influence. At the very least, if they do pick up worng behaviour, we can explain why it is wrong – even if everybody else does it.

    I agree with the three points you listed. And I think yours is a very valid concern. Daughter and I spend hours speaking about school and stuff – and I think it helps, it gives me an insight into what happens around her at school..

  4. Yours parents’ way was so right and see how you are finding friends even through your blogs! I also think it is important to see with whom our kids are making friend but we should control making judgemental remarks on their friends as that can have negative impact on decision making ability of our kids too. But if we see that our kids are constantly tormented emotionally or physically by their friends/friend then it is time to act.
    Another thing you wrote is about a maid of 13-14 year of age – child worker right? The family she is working for is okay with that? Bad this is. Isn’t it?

  5. I don’t think that worrying about your child’s friends / company that she keeps is too much..I mean who will not think on this front? You talking about thinking on this front for a 3 years old? Look at me..I keep wondering at times about how C will chose her friends or what types of peers she’ll get around,and this when she is merely 8 months,huh 😀

    I’ve recently started watching,religiously,one tele serial on parenting which has started on Sony TV…all in the name of looking at the scenarios as a third person and trying to understand all four corners 🙂

  6. Pingback: Mad (at)About Madras | R's Mom

  7. @Deeps: Hopping over 🙂

    @Smitha: You know I kinda learnt it after reading your blog..about sitting and talking to your child about school and stuff…I think its making a difference..thank you 🙂

    @Chandrima: Aww! thats sweet of you to say that..hopping over to that link..
    oh yaa..that family maid..I was kinda upset..but again I dont think I can say much..the family definitely loves her and doesnt mis treat her..but still I am not very positive about maids below the age of 18

    @Scribby: Well honestly 3 is young to worry about your child’s friends (C being 8 months is VERY young!) but like you say..I do sometimes worry 🙂

  8. As a parent we have this perennial qualms and endless queries as to – are we doing the right thing for our child. It never actually ends I guess, as our parents do worry even now!
    And myself as a mother of 2 teenage boys, (bless ure stars you havent reached there yet!), now look back and am sure i never got around to telling them who or how to choose their friends, but yes maybe did point out the good points or maybe gave a gentle push towards a particular friend, but it was never obviously spelt out in the open. And as in current situation of mine, you are just in the periphery when it comes to decision making, and esp ‘friends’ – it is a major sensitive protected area, which belongs exclusively to them! 🙂 so enjoy the times now, leave behind these worries for later years, they come by the dozen!! 😉
    And moreover thinking over, we would never name any of our childhood friends as bad, i guess, if they were we wouldnt ve made them our friend. so simple as that, with your kids too.

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