As a parent, it can be nerve racking when your child goes to a home that is not your own. What are the house rules? Will your child be comfortable there? Most importantly, will your child be in danger? You know that it is important to talk to the other parents about insuring your child’s safety, but that can be an intimidating conversation to have with someone that you might not know well, or that you have only seen in the carpool lane. It is common to feel nervous about having that conversation, but know that most other parents will appreciate that you are the one to bring it up.
We recommend that you practice having the discussion before meeting the other parent. Know what you want to say, and what points that you want to cover. Check out our sample script below, or write down what topics are important to you. Being prepared will make it easier for you to be confident while having the conversation, which will make it much more comfortable for you.
“Thank you so much for inviting Sally into your home! Since it will be her first time over there, I want to make sure that she and I both have an understanding of what is expected in your house.”
Maybe start small; ask what rules exist in their family, and if there are any pets in the house. Then you can dive into the “scarier” topics.
“I’m sorry if I sound paranoid, but I recently read a statistic that 66% of people misusing prescription drugs obtained them from a friend or relative, and that often these drugs are taken without the person who is prescribed the drugs knowledge. I have talked to Sally about the dangers of using drugs and alcohol, but you know how developing teen brains are… would the kids have access to any drugs or alcohol at your house? What about guns?”
Remember: Most parents will not think that you’re ridiculous when you want to discuss your child’s safety- and if they do, then maybe they don’t have the type of home you want your child spending time in.