An easy way to expand your child's social circle -- and sense of possibility -- comes to us from Abby W. Schachter. Abby is the author of “No Child Left Alone: Getting the government out of parenting (Encounter, 2016). She is raising four children with her husband in Pittsburgh, PA.
You've Got To Ring those Bells!
I’m a proud mom, this week.
We were almost home from school the other day when my 9-year-old daughter looked out the car window and spied a boy sitting on the stoop of his house. I suggested that she might want to walk around the corner and say hello when we got home.
Instead of going herself, she took her two sisters – 10 and 7 -- with her. Several minutes had passed when the 10-year-old poked her head through the back door asking if they had permission to ring the doorbell of the stranger’s house since the boy was no longer outside. My husband and I agreed, suggesting that they invite the boy outside to play.
About 10 minutes after that the girls were back -- with the boy in tow. The four of them had ridden their scooters around and ended up at our place. They all played in the back until it started to rain and the boy scootered home.
Later, around the dinner table, I asked the girls about their adventure. The general consensus: it was a success. The girls were amused by how often the boy – Owen – said “Sure!” in answer to their questions. Also, they were happy to know someone new in our neighborhood. The 9-year-old who'd spotted Owen in the first place wanted to give her older sister credit for bravely ringing the bell. I suggested that she give herself credit for going out of her way to meet a new kid.
“It’s so strange,” the 10-year-old said. "Something that at first seemed like, ‘Um, no, I can’t do that,’ turned out to be really fun.”
Like I said, I’m a proud mom.
I got another note from Abby a few days later:
P.S. Owen came back the next day with his 6-year-old brother and the kids all played together again.
Minor triumph or major league breakthrough?
Both. - L.