The Mommy Chronicles: The Art of Finding Your Child’s Playmate

Sweet, sun-kissed friends Beaux William and Lydia Reese, taking a break at the Tuscaloosa River Walk. The Tuscaloosa River Walk is prime ground for children and their parents, as activities range from walking or jogging on the trail, grilling, grabbing frozen yogurt, or visiting a wide-range of vendors at the River Market. Sweet, sun-kissed friends Beaux William and Lydia Reese, taking a break at the Tuscaloosa River Walk. The Tuscaloosa River Walk is prime ground for children and their parents, as activities range from walking or jogging on the trail, grilling, grabbing frozen yogurt, or visiting a wide-range of vendors at the River Market. Marlena Rice

Have you ever wanted to take a picture of your child, advertising his or her stats, and soliciting for a playmate? Something like this …  

Name: Beaux William 

Age:  Four 

Likes: (Not limited to): Race cars, monster trucks, “Blaze and the Monster Machines” 

Snacks: Bojangles’ dirty rice, whole milk, and gummies 

Temperament: Reformed biter, very easy to get along with

And the list could go on, depending upon your desperation level for your child to socialize. It’s not surprising that in a social media-driven society, we sometimes face a hard time while trying to help our children find and build lasting, quality relationships. It’s hard to find those perfectly matched friendships because we are all looking for perfection. You know, the one child in the world that will not teach yours ANY bad habits. Oh, and don’t forget, a perfect mom needs to come along in the packaging, meaning she loves to meet up, gush about the great things her kids are doing while enjoying your own stories, while being equally as busy as you so neither of you is too dependent on the other. 

Good luck with that. 

As the new school term becomes a reality, I’ve asked myself this question: How can I make sure my son is well-rounded in his friendships when the freedom of lazy summer days and vacations (which are prime breeding grounds for friendship building) are over?

Find a like-minded mom. And while there are many of us, sometimes work schedules are the enemy when it comes to recreational time. Seek out friends with children your age at work and church, as well as within your circle of friends and family. Sometimes, we’re just looking for an hour for our kids to play a few each week, while we get to have some “adult time.” Additionally, our kids genuinely need to spend time with other littles because they are only children. Find a mom in a similar situation – and linking up should come naturally!

But what about the whole “bad habits” worry? Mom Meghan Royster said her son has been friends with children who didn’t display the best behavior – and she has a parenting tip.

“My husband and I use that as a teaching moment for him,” Royster said. “We’re constantly telling him to be a leader and not a follower and don’t allow someone else to ‘get you in trouble.’”

Make it a group thing. Many area churches recommend fellowship with other women in the form of small groups. Get together a group from your church, or any local church, and take the time to fellowship and bible study while your children are doing the same.

Meet all your neighbors. Sometimes the shy neighbor down the street is thinking the same thing you are: “Maybe I should stop by one evening and ask about getting the kids together? You may just be surprised. You and your children may be missing out on a great opportunity for friendship. 

And as I mentioned earlier, in a day and age when everything is seemingly driven by electronics, mom Michelle Erdman has a suggestion.

“Electronics are limited in our house. Devices have had a horrible effect on adults, they no longer make eye contact with strangers or say a simple hello,” Erdman said. “I don’t want to raise my children to hide behind a keyboard, I want them to be able to enjoy life.”

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Marlena Rice

Marlena Rice is a busy mom and writer who lives in Tuscaloosa with her husband, Rod, and their son, Beaux William. Her new book, “Pacifiers, Flatbeds and Barn Wood Thingamajigs, a ‘Come to Jesus Guide’ for the New, Southern Mom,” will be available on Amazon.com soon. 

Website: www.linkedin.com/in/marlena-rice-37975b40

Druid City Living (DCL) is Tuscaloosa, Alabama's premier community newspaper, covering the great people, places and activities of the area.

 

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