My son (who is 4) made friends with a kid who lives right across the street from us (G, who is 5). They were on the same soccer team and his mom works for my dad.
First I thought it was nice, the boys could run across the street to play together at their house or ours. (its a super safe neighborhood and obviously an adult on either side of the street double checks for cars first!). Mostly they were playing outside at first - soccer, bikes, skateboards, giant cardboard boxes on the lawn... And I did let ds go over to their house and play for a while inside, he came home after a short while because G took out a toy weapon to play with (sounds like it was a nerf gun thing), and ds knows I don't approve so he left.
We do have a lot of parenting differences - I know G has an older brother (teenage), they watch a TON of TV/movies many violent, G plays with toy weapons, lots of fighting type games. Someone has taught G that there are rules for boys vs. girls as far as toys/games that are ok to play, G goes to school as well (kindergarden)
Anyway, G came over to our house and made fun of ds for having "girl" toys (the toy in question was a small plastic purple slingshot that came in a grab bag from the dollar store that grandma brought). He also complained we dont have enough toys (ds doesnt really play with toys, so we have only a few and most are "imagination required" type things). And whenever ds didn't do what he wanted he threatened to go home (which lead my ds to comply even if he didnt want to).
And this morning ds was getting dressed and said "I'm so sexy" while shaking his butt. Shocked, I asked him "what does that mean?", his response was "its when you dance naked". Where did you hear that? "G told me about it".
The boys have a lot of fun together, and its really nice that they live so close, but I feel like I don't want ds to hang out with him. Should I ban it altogether? Or limit it to our house with my supervision only? Or only to outdoor play? (they mostly race bikes so less conversation and no toy issues, although ds's bike is purple so he gets flack for that). Or do I talk to his mom? (I am not very good at talking to people!)
We do have several 4-5yr old boys in our neighborhood within walking distance but far enough that the kids would have to be escorted to one another's house at this age, harder too b/c we can't see if they are hanging outside ready to play so it requires a phone call/planning. He plays with a kid who is 3months older than him who is a nice kid, but is the type to not want to participate in everything which is frustrating for ds. Another kid behind us is also 4 and their family is far more 'crunchy' (cloth diapers, baby wearing, homeschool, etc), but they have 5 kids including a baby and 2yr old, so it seems like they don't have time. There are 2 other 4-5yr old boys that we've talked to but havent gotten to know yet, and there are 2 others that look about that age that I've never talked to. So its not like there is a lack of playmates!
Sorry that got long!