Originally Posted by pdamom
i do not feel obligated to have a social relationship with my childrne' friends parents, but i do expect a respectful one. i have more of an issue if i think they are unsafe in some capacity versus someone who rubs me the wrong way b/c of gossip kwim?
I think this is spot on and basically how I feel and how we do things. Once DS started pre-k (when he was 4) he started making friends on his own, got invited to parties of kids whose parents we didn't really know, etc.
We live in Europe, so maybe it's different here, but most kids start going on play dates without their parents between four and five years of age. I might stop in and have a cup of coffee or tea when dropping DS off (or might invite parent in if parent is dropping kid off at my place) but I certainly feel no obligation to stay for the whole afternoon or whatever! Same with birthday parties.
I'm asking this respectfully, but why would you, as parent, need to actually hang out with the parents that you don't like? Couldn't you just phone or email, arrange something, and then drop off your kid (or have kid dropped off at your place)? By the age of five, why would you need to stay for the whole play date? What other interaction does the kids' friendship entail? (maybe I'm reading the OP's post wrong, though, and that's not what she's talking about. If so, sorry!)