Play dates are not a usual thing that we single dads do. We may, but is it the only way for our children to have friends? It is kinda awkward to ask random parents for kids’ play dates.
Your child needs to learn how to socialize at an early age. But how do we get them to be social? The best things to do while not getting awkward with other parents are letting them join clubs, introducing relatives or friends’ children at their age and simply interact with school activities.
Letting your child play alone may cause them to have social problems in the future. I remember my elementary days when I had classmates who got bullied frequently for being shy and antisocial.
It’s even hard for us parents to see our child grow up without friends and acquaintances. They may feel lonely or sad seeing other kids at their age having lots of friends.
But how can we get them social if we’re single parents? We have tight schedules, we can’t just ask other parents to set time for the children’s play dates and watch them for hours.
Most parents in our society who are taking care of the little ones are mothers. You can hardly find single dads out there taking care of their young children.
With that said, it’s unlikely that we can easily go to other parents’ or single mom’s houses and let children play with each other.
Fortunately, there are activities for your kids to get active and social at the same time without busting into some stranger’s house and play with toys.
While letting your kids go through some of these activities, they don’t just learn to socialize, they also learn good values which is valuable while they grow up.
Simultaneously, while kids are doing some activities, you can also get to do what you want. Maybe have a nap, date, talk to friends or relatives or can can just simply relax for a while.
So let’s talk about playdate alternatives single dads can do to get our kids to socialize.
Martial arts schools are the best alternatives to playdates for your kids. They can meet other kids to play with and learn discipline at the same time.
Some kids nowadays are spoiled by their parents. It is a hard thing to discipline children in this era.
They get what they want and do what they want. This is a value you should implement in your child in his/her early stage of life.
Another thing martial arts teach kids is respect. When children attend this martial arts classes, they will learn to respect authorities and one another.
Children will understand that everyone has strengths and weaknesses. These schools also teaches them that every person are created equal.
This time, kids will be listening and do need to follow rules. Key traits in becoming a future leader.
If your child does well in these classes, there’s a high chance that they will adopt the value of martial arts in their lives.
Discipline, respect, listening and following rules. You want these intact in your child and will help them become a responsible adult in the future.
And also, Karate, Taekwondo or whatever art you choose, they will not implement violence in children and will teach them the opposite. Peace, and control.
If you ever tell your kids to exercise, would they do it? What if you tell them to play? Probably they would go running.
Building up our kids’ stamina and enhance their muscles in exercises should not be a trouble. Get him/her into sports!
This is a good exercise and if you still have the energy, why not join them?
Like martial arts, sports also teaches good values they can adopt in life. Sportsmanship, teamwork, leadership skills and even becoming strategic in life. These are traits they will learn in sports.
Sports build up self esteem and confidence whether in children or adults.
A lot of kids are into sports so they will meet a lot of friends in these type of clubs. A lot of friends and a good exercise for your child, not good enough?
Playgrounds are probably the best place to socialize for your kids. Teaching them how to approach other kids is a good way to practice them.
Tell them how to say things like “Hi! I’m [your child’s name], how about you?” or “That looks fun! Can we play?”
There’s also lots of chance to meet kids with the same age as your child there and they’re also there to play and meet new friends.
Playgrounds also lets your child express their imagination and gives them mental and physical freedom.
Experts also says that playing outdoors has been shown to reduce anxiety, and children without any anxiety are known to have more focus and an increased attention span.
Playgrounds provide a break from the pace of modern, daily lives, even when we don’t realize we needed that break.
Playing outside gives your child exposure to sunlight and increases their immune system.
Visiting Friends and Relatives
Visiting relatives helps your child know more of their cousins and their relationship with them. They can be instant friends without any effort.
You can also visit your friends with kids, get to chill with old acquaintances while your child plays with other kids.
Having family friends can broaden your support group as a single parent. We all know single parents really need friends to hold on to.
Friends and relatives can build long term friendships to your son because you can always keep in touch with them.
This way, your child doesn’t need to find another friend everytime his/her friend’s family decides to move the other kid into another school or stop them on activities they do together.
Encourage your child to get a lot of friends at school, they can do homeworks and projects together at your home or the classmates home.
You can set time on when to drop them off and pick them up. Schedule them some time for weekend study / experiments.
Talk to the parents of your child’s classmates whether they do homework at you house or theirs. Both sides would feel safer on this kind of set up.
Ask your child about their closest friends and write a letter for their parents to make a deal.
In my childhood days, I’ve made a lot of friends in school and we made lots of homework and projects. And guess what? We now make upgraded projects!
Single parents like you and me sometimes have hard times on introducing play dates to other parents more often when we’re not close to them. But your child can learn to socialize in a lot more ways than I listed.
We just want our kids to nurture their social skills, have a lot of friends and make good memories together.
Note: These are just my opinions and things I have tried for my son. You can do whatever you think is best for yours. Goodluck and I hope your kids get a lot of friends like us. Cheers!
How about you, do you have an idea to add here? Put that in the comment box and let’s help other single parents out there!
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