Friday June 7 2013 700 am
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Not long ago, I received an email invitation for eleven-year-old “Jack.” The mother of one of Jack’s friends was inviting him to a sleepover party. The invitation included the usual details: date, time, activities planned and so on.
One line grabbed my attention: “Please let us know if your child has any allergies, special food requirements, off-limits video games, etc…” (Emphasis added.)
I was surprised–and impressed.
Of all the invitations Jack has received, this is the first one that essentially said, “We may have different rules in our house than you do, and we want to give you the opportunity to weigh in before your child is exposed to something you would prefer he not be.” In fairness, many, if not most, of Jack’s friends parents don’t have these games in their houses, so such a question in other invitations might not be necessary. But in a world where it seems fewer people consider others’ points of view every day, I give major credit to this mom for recognizing that what’s okay with her, for her kids, might not be acceptable to her kid’s friends’ parents and for reaching out to them to ask.
The result? Jack’s friend’s mom told me that about half of the parents (including me) reported that violent video games were off-limits for their kids, and so those games were not part of the sleepover party.
This mom and I disagree about whether violent video games are okay for kids. But I respect and appreciate her for being considerate enough to ask about my kid.