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Parents 'It's okay to say "no" to friends

Today was a beautiful day, one of the last great days of summer I presume, considering it is officially Fall. Typically, our house would be filled with the sounds of neighborhood children playing, laughing, crying, arguing, or being unbelievably quiet. The quiet times are when I worry most.

However, today because I made the decision to say "no" to friends my home is filled with much quieter sounds of only my children instead.

Our home is the primary neighborhood gathering point, which most days I completely welcome. I am a parent who prefers to know where my children are, what they are seeing, watching, and hearing. Occasionally though, I have days like today that I enforce an official time out to the neighborhood gang, which I lovingly refer to as a "friend break."

I normally do not mind playing the host, mother, and mediator to my children's friends, but sometimes it is nice to just have a family day. Now my children of course at first resist this idea and whine, "what will I do, who will I play with", and the list goes on. Their friends also have a hard time initially taking this news and will eventually end up stopping by or calling a few hours later to see if the verdict has changed. I've learned when this happens not to cave, to stay strong and stick to my decision. Otherwise if the children detect your weakness they will work unanimously to change your mind. By all means, don't let this happen as if you do you are setting up the tone for your next "failed" friend break.

It is important to be patient and amazingly you will often see an awesome transformation. Your children will start playing with their own siblings, being nice to each other, and having fun. The best part is you can actually enjoy some quality time with your kids since they're no longer concerned with when and whom they can play with next.

Today, because I chose to say "no" to friends for my children, we have enjoyed a beautiful family day. We have played basketball, had intimate chats, buffed, trimmed and painted our nails and truly enjoyed each other's company. It is also refreshing to know that my cupboard is still full with snacks and drink boxes for school tomorrow and won't need to be quickly replenished.

The best part of saying "no" to friends today was that when I sat down to write this article my daughter asked me what an article was. I explained many articles are similar to a story. She was excited at the thought of writing an article too and so she did. It was called, "Why I love my Mom!"

My younger daughter colored a picture of flowers for me and asked how to spell, "I love my Mom". Not bad for a parent who was in the dog house earlier today for calling a "friend break." I suggest you call one someday too!


About the Author

Tina Frazer is the founder of Let's Be Friends.net, a friendship website exclusively for women. Let's Be friends.net promotes and encourages new friendships among women. Meet and make new friends online who share your lifestyle, interests, or values. Perfect for stay-at-home Moms, Working Mothers, empty nesters, young, young at heart and those new to town. Membership available to women 18 and older at http://www.letsbefriends.net


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