Kids are wonderful bundles of joy to their parents. They bring great happiness to those who want and have them. However, there can be conflicts in one's adult relationships when it comes to friends who neither have nor want - or even like - children. So, what happens when you decide to put off having children - or perhaps decide you don't even want them at all? Do your friendships with your friends who are parents suffer? The answer to those questions are complicated and they always depend upon the people involved. Therefore, we are putting together a handy little blog post for those of you struggling to preserve relationships with people with children when you have none. After all - your friends' kids are important to them, and they will become important parts of your life as well.
Do Little Things To Make The Children At Ease With You
Children are very different creatures from adults. After all, they are still developing and learning about the world around them. Meeting new people is one way in which they learn, and spending time with you can help them with that. There are ways in which you can help them warm up to you. Those ways may include taking an interest in their school work or social lives if they are older children, or perhaps video games or other interests if they are younger. Children crave attention, and if you give it to them, they will likely warm up to you.
Another way is to do things like take them out to lunch or something, and maybe even befriend them in a mentoring type way if they are older. This could be very helpful to you, and to your friend who is a parent. Children, especially in adolescence, become secretive and moody sometimes. Perhaps another influential adult would be a good thing. Further, many people who act as mentors report that it is rewarding for them as well.
Pick Fun, Kid-Friendly Activities That Everyone Can Enjoy
There are plenty of things that children and adults alike can enjoy. You could suggest to your friends with children that they take a trip to the local zoo, or perhaps an amusement park. You could even go to the movies or the mall if the children are old enough to behave well in public. Find out what your friend's kids' interests are, and try and make a little time to learn about them.
And don't be shy - adults often underestimate kids. If you are like me and really don't have a lot of interaction with children, you might not always know what to do. So, do what you would do with anyone: ask. Ask them what they like to do, and what they think is fun. You might be surprised. They might enjoy some of the same things you do.
Balance Adult Time Versus Kid Time With Your Friends
It is important to make an effort to be loving toward your friends' kids. Let's face it - having children changes a person's life in very profound ways. They will always come first, as they should. However, busy moms need grown-up time, too. So, spend grown-up time with your friends who are also moms. Maybe hang out and have a quiet glass of wine in her house while her kids sleep. She might need advice or help with her kids. She might just need to vent. Being a mom isn't easy. This can be great bonding time for your friendship, and your friend might need you, which in turn helps her kids.
Learn To Love Children
Let's face it, kids can be a handful. Some of us might not even like them, hence the childfree movement.