May 17, 2018, at 6:00 a.m.
IT’S A STORY I HEAR from parents at nearly every workshop.
In past school years, you and the other parents happily traded off hosting your child and a group of friends. Never knowing how many kids might be coming home with you, it was always a good idea to bring extra snacks to school pickup. But more recently there’s been a quieting of the play date requests. You tried to organize a few get-togethers, but everyone’s busy schedules conflicted, and now that the kids are older, they prefer to arrange their own social plans.
The once subtle changes are now happening faster and faster, growing louder and clearer with every shut door, every whispered conversation and every sleepover that does not include your child. You’re concerned that your child is being excluded from the friend group. And you wonder what this means for your own longstanding friendships with the parents of the other kids as well. You like hanging out with their parents.
In neighborhoods around the country, I see this dilemma play out over and over again.