When Your Child Returns From a Playdate, and That Nagging Feeling Won’t Leave You

So how does a mama develop “fearless” questions? Questions that give you the information you need to know to discern if it was a safe playdate?

The first thing I have to do is examine my fears, then, give them the boot. And the best way I’ve found to cause fear to dissipate is to put on my “mama boots”, ask a wise friend to don hers, and together wade into the fear bubbles. We pop them one at a time. And we giggle and shed tears depending on what emerges.

Admitting fear and then staring it in the face chases it away or at least tethers it to reality. And mama, I find reality is a whole lot easier to navigate than fiction. It’s easier to pop a contained bubble than a floating one.

Once my fears are attended to, I ask my child two questions, bob and weave with her answers, and listen closely:

What did you like most about the party?

What did you like least at the party?

Then, I allow her feelings to lead me to the reality of what her playdate was like. I allow that reality to lead me toward my decision regarding the next playdate. And I am free to let out the rope, year by year, popping my fear bubbles along the way.

How do you deal with your fears? What fearless questions do you ask your child to determine if a playdate was safe?

This article originally appeared at RiseandShineMovement.org.

Carolyn Ruch
Carolyn Ruch
Carolyn Byers Ruch is an author, speaker, child advocate, and founder of the RiseAndShineMovement.org where she equips parents to protect kids. But her role as a mother is where she’s had her most joyous successes, her most painful failures. She’s protected and won. She’s protected and lost. From nearly thirty years of parenting and over a decade of prevention training, she joins you in the trenches, fighting with you for the safety of your children and her own. Because sexual abuse is never a child’s fault. And prevention is always an adult responsibility.

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