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proexpert37, Educator/Life Coach
Category: Parenting
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Experience:  Teacher 20+ years, Parent, Expert Mentor
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I am concerned about my six year old son. How often should

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I am concerned about my six year old son. How often should he be playing with other kids his age? He is in before school/after school care, where he does socialize with other kids his age. His teachers say he gets along well with others. But he rarely gets invited over to other kids houses. When I was in the first grade, I was always over at my friend Missy's house. I don't know what to make of this? Have times changed? Should I push more to help him make connections?
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Parenting
Expert:  proexpert37 replied 5 years ago.
As long as your son is sociable at school and relating well with others, there is no need for concern. You are exactly right in that times have changed. Fewer parents set up play dates at their homes. We have become much less social and inviting to others over to our homes. My son is 11 and has only been to a few friends' houses for birthdays. My other two sons are teen agers and they did not branch out to other friends' houses until middle school. So there is no need to worry. It is just a sign of the changing times. There is no need to push to make connections. They will happen naturally as your son matures and especially becomes involved in outside of school activities like sports.

Customer: replied 5 years ago.
But here's the only wrinkle....You have 3 sons. They probably had each other to play with. My son is an only child. He is often bored on weekends. His dad and I both work full-time. On weekends we have cleaning, yard work and chores to do. We play with him as much as we can. But I don't think (in fact I know) playing with us isn't the same as playing with a peer. I don't think it's healthy that his parents are his only playmates on weekends. So, I WISH he had friends to visit with. I would gladly have them to our house. But when I question him, about who his friends are, or he he plays with at school, he seems hard pressed to answer......
Expert:  proexpert37 replied 5 years ago.
Ok...then tell your son to name his favorite top three friends at day care or at school. Then seek the friends' telephone numbers as the first step in reaching out. Contact the parents. You may want to go to the park first with the parents and children to build trust and get to know each other....or even a kid friendly restaurant or arcade. Then invite your son's friends over to your house. They will have a great time. It is making that initial step that is the hardest because you are not sure how the parents may respond. You can even have like a Valentines Day Party or Easter Egg hunt party which can happen sooner some that more parents and children can be involved. They can get to know you and you can get to know the children. Parents today are so much onto their own schedules that they fail to realize the importance of staying socially connected with other families with children.
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