1. Parenting

Playing With Friends

Making time for kids to play with friends is an important task for parents. Work-at-home moms, in particular, may be reluctant to host play dates because it might interfere with work. But the social skills kids learn from their friends are something parents can't teach by themselves. Plus, it's just fun to have a friend over to play.

Kid Swap
If you work only part-time, it often doesn't make financial sense to hire child care. Yet sometimes you need a little alone time. Talk to other like-minded work-at-home and stay-at-home moms about a kid swap.

Kid Play Date Protocol
Successful play dates with youngsters typically don't just "happen," explains About.com's Guide to Child Care. Rather, to make sure everyone leaves happy and ready to do it again at a later date requires planning and communication with the other child's parents prior to a kid visit at either your place or theirs.

Finding Friends: Parents Can Play A Role
Many kids make friends easily and need no adult assistance in finding pals and going on play dates. Others need some gentle guidance and encouragement from parents. After all, finding and keeping friends often requires practice, and it doesn't always come naturally. About.com's Guide to Child Care lists some ways you can help.

Kids and Friends
Having a best friend and going to birthday parties and sleepovers are some of the things that are routine for most kids. But some children have trouble making and keeping friends. Dr. Vincent Iannelli, About.com's Guide to Pediatrics, gives parents tips on how to help their kids make and keep friends.

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