It can be stressful and a little scary for both you and your child when he goes over to a new friend's house for the first time. By setting some ground rules ahead of time, you will feel more comfortable and secure about your child's well being. These rules will also let your child understand what is expected of him when having a good time at his friend's house.
Tips for keeping your child safe when he visits a new friend's house
- Set reasonable time limits for how long and how often your child visits a friend's house.
- Make sure your child knows to ask you before he goes over to a friend's house. Also, tell your child he should not change his plans and go somewhere else without discussing it with you first.
- Make sure you know your child's friend and the friend's parents before your child goes to their home. Always make sure a trusted adult will be at the house while your child is visiting.
- Before your child visits another home, ask the adults there whether they have guns and, if so, whether these are securely and safely stored. This may feel like an uncomfortable question to ask. You can start the discussion by saying; "If you have any weapons in your home, I assume that they are locked and out of reach of our children."
- Check out the neighborhood where your child's friend lives. Make sure that your child feels safe in the neighborhood.
- Just as it is important for you to know where your child is and how to reach him, be sure your child knows where you are and how to reach you.
- Set up clear rules for play after school, on weekends, and during summer and holiday times. Review them regularly with your child.