By Pam Dillon
Do you pick your kids’ friends?
Do you steer them away from miscreants-in-the-making and put the kibosh on play dates with class troublemakers?
Odds are – whether you realize it or not – you’re aiming to ensure the youngsters your kids play with are a positive influence.
After all, young Max may have come to your place for a sleepover. Remember him? He’s the one who lit a fire in the bathroom after making ketchup-mustard-relish pudding in his juice glass at the dinner table and putting his knee through the living room wall while doing a handspring off the couch.
Max is on the STAY CLEAR list – at least for sleepovers. If he’s part of a well-supervised group outing to the movie theatre, it might be another matter altogether. It’s worth remembering that peers can positively influence Max as well.
A number of friends-with-influence came to mind when I watched the talk-show video of British TV star Katie Hopkins discussing how she culls her kids’ companions. Katie plays a name game. More specifically, if your kid’s name happens to be Tyler, Charmaine, Chardonnay or Chantelle, this mom doesn’t want him or her around.
“A name, for me, is a shortcut, a really efficient way of working out what class that child comes from and do I want my children to play with them,” Katie explained to the horrified talk show hosts.
“I think children that have intelligent names tend to have fairly intelligent parents and they make much better play dates.”
At my kid’s seventh birthday, there were a whopping 15 kids and not a Tyler, Charmaine, Chardonnay or Chantelle in the crowd. So I have to wonder why they were all so bonkers?
Oh … I get it … the name Pamela must be hovering somewhere on Katie’s short-on-brains list. (Really. What kind of parent lets a kid invite 15 six-year-olds to a party?)
However, on the talk show another guest deemed Katie’s opinion “snotworthy” and I think that’s a good name for it.
Certainly I know a Charmaine and a Tyler: she’s a smart, accomplished and respected professional; he wins awards at school. On the other hand, it doesn’t seem very intelligent to centre yourself – and your kids – out on a talk show in the name of small-minded snobbery.
Nonetheless, the reality star and mother of three has her standards: “I don’t like footballer names; I don’t like names after seasons of the year; I don’t like geographical location names… “
By the way, her kids’ names happen to be India, Poppy and Maximillian.
What do you think of the Katie method?