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Playdates with schoolmates

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 
Our DD (age 7) just had a schoolmate over for a playdate and they went swimming. It went really well and I like the little girl.

I don't know the family at all. I've met the Mom once at a class function and she seemed nice enough. So, her teenage sister dropped her off and I took her home. I was shocked that the parents did not come to our door to say "hi". They just waited in the car while the sister came to our door.

My question is this---I have never been to their home and don't know how I'll react if the little girl invites my DD over. I'm not comfortable just dropping her at a friend's home if I don't know the parents well. How would you approach the situation if it comes up?
post #2 of 16
We've had a few schoolmate playdates (at our house) where we don't know the parents at all really. I'm always amazed that parents will send their kids home with me just with exchanged phone numbers, and a "have fun, see you at 5".

I am not comfortable with the reverse. It hasn't come up yet, but I have no problems being honest about it - I am overprotective b/c of my childhood (abuse), and I prefer playdates at our house unless I know the family well.

I expect this to be more of an issue too with sleepovers, teens, etc. I'm hoping ours will become the "hangout" house, as dh's parents house was when he was growing up. To be honest it's one of the reasons we arrange things to have a parent home after school, instead of babysitter/daycare, so that we can host the playdates.
post #3 of 16
That is a hard one b/c a lot of times there's just really no opportunity to meet the other parent. I volunteer quite a bit at my kids' school so if I don't know about someone else's parents I get a feel from the child at school or ask the teacher. Then I usually have the child here and then at least try to talk to the parent(s) on the phone to get a feel.
post #4 of 16
I'll be reading this thread with interest, because I've been wondering the same thing. I recently had a mom drop off her son at my house when I had assumed they would both be coming over after school. It was fine with me to have the boy over, but to be honest I was looking forward to getting to know the mom, and couldn't help thinking that she barely knows me at all -- I was surprised that she'd feel comfortable doing that.

So I hope some other posters have some good suggestions for you!
post #5 of 16
My dd had a hideous playdate with a family that I thought I did know well and some very wonderful ones with a single dad who I didn't know at all. I think that to some extent you need to try to extend some trust to people. I am starting to become more relaxed about these things though because the only way kids in my area develop friendships is by going on playdates. It is really sad but that is life here and I want my dd to make friends. I have been thinking about getting her a pre-paid phone with my number programmed in so she can call me to get her from a playdate if she needs to. Now that I am working out of the house again there aren't a lot of times when a playdate can work out, but if that changes I want her to have fun while still being able to reach me when she needs me.
post #6 of 16
I'm sure things are different here because I live in Europe (in a country where guns are more or less outlawed, for one thing!), but DS has playdates with all sorts of kids whose parents I don't know particularly well and who don't know me well.

DS goes to a neighborhood school and I generally know many parents by sight or a brief word at drop off or pick up. If the kids want to play together after school, the parent might walk/bike along with me to my house or me to their's . . . or not . . . and arrange a time to come pick the kid up. Every once in a while, we'll have coffee or tea together, but not often.

DS just wouldn't have any playdates if I felt the need to get to know all parents and families well before he went to their houses. It's actually by the kids beginning to play together that we've gotten to know families well! And, really, how often have we heard of accidents, molestation, etc. occurring with trusted family members and friends? Not meant to scare people . .. everyone has their own comfort zone . .. . but I'm not sure what people are so scared about.
post #7 of 16
For me its not so much about who my dc w/ be spending time w/ w/o me or dh around.... such as a drop off playdate or time w/ a relative. Its are my dc ready to watch out for them selves? are they able saying NO to an adult when they feel uncomfortable? Do they understand about "bad touching".... honestly I think statistics speak for themselves that these horrible things we hear about in the news happen when children are with "trusted" relatives vs the occasional drop off at a friends house.
post #8 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by DariusMom View Post
And, really, how often have we heard of accidents, molestation, etc. occurring with trusted family members and friends? Not meant to scare people . .. everyone has their own comfort zone . .. . but I'm not sure what people are so scared about.
For me, I want to know that the parent will provide what I think is an appropriate level of supervision (and my view may be skewed younger because my DS is only 5 and just beginning to have playdates). In going to birthday parties, I've observed some parenting styles that I just wouldn't want my kid to have to handle on his own (excessive berating, letting their kid wander off near roads or pools, etc.).

I realize I won't always have the luxury of control, and that's fine, but while he's very young and new to the whole playdate thing, I'm okay with being picky about where he goes.
post #9 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by limabean View Post
For me, I want to know that the parent will provide what I think is an appropriate level of supervision (and my view may be skewed younger because my DS is only 5 and just beginning to have playdates). In going to birthday parties, I've observed some parenting styles that I just wouldn't want my kid to have to handle on his own (excessive berating, letting their kid wander off near roads or pools, etc.).

I realize I won't always have the luxury of control, and that's fine, but while he's very young and new to the whole playdate thing, I'm okay with being picky about where he goes.
I also have a 5 y/o and agree w/ this. TV, video/computer games, ideas of appropriate language/behavior--don't even get me started on food! If I don't know the family, I have no idea if their idea of a supervised playdate meshes w/ mine.
post #10 of 16
It isn't a playdate to me if the kid gets dropped off and the parents leave. To me, that's babysitting.

I met some parents at my daughter's preschool, and the ones I bonded with, and my child enjoyed being around, we made playdates. Thankfully, we've gotten along, and had a lot of fun. But I would never drop my child off and drive away. Not at this stage.
post #11 of 16
Quote:
It isn't a playdate to me if the kid gets dropped off and the parents leave. To me, that's babysitting.
I just have to say, this is definitely not true as your child moves into elementary school. Kids enjoy playing together and they develop relationships outside of the parents.
-e
post #12 of 16
Thread Starter 
This is definitely true. And that's when we have to start letting them go (little by little). It's hard...

Quote:
Originally Posted by LuckyMommaToo View Post
I just have to say, this is definitely not true as your child moves into elementary school. Kids enjoy playing together and they develop relationships outside of the parents.
-e
post #13 of 16
I'm so glad that I found this thread here! My 6yo dd is crossing over from playdates with me and the other mom present to drop off playdates. So far she's had one, but the first time we all had the playdate together.

I don't know what I'll do yet when she's invited somewhere and I don't know the parent well. I suppose I will just have to be up front and tell the parent that I have to spend some time with her/him before the first playdate. I'm always afraid of offending people, but I don't plan on being rude, I want to befriend the parents somewhat and establish a rapport with them.

I like the suggestion of the phone card - I need to tell my dd to call me if she needs to.
post #14 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by MissNo View Post
It isn't a playdate to me if the kid gets dropped off and the parents leave. To me, that's babysitting.
Not true by elementary (later kindergarten/1st grade). I would honestly feel as though I were babysitting the mom or dad if I had to have a "playdate" that the other kid's parents sat in on!

It's one thing if a friend comes over with her kids, but, by this stage (DS is 7) he has made his own friends and, while he will play with the kids of my friends, they go to different schools, are slightly younger, and/or they just don't click as much.

I have no need to be entertained by someone I don't know and I certainly don't want to entertain someone I don't know just so I can check them out or so they can check me out.

If I were to have any doubt or suspicion, then DS just wouldn't go to that kid's house and we'd invite him here instead. Otherwise, I feel confident enough that he'll be fine, he knows what he needs to know if a situation is uncomfortable, and he can always come home if he's not having a good time (we live in a neighborhood that is very walk/bike friendly)
post #15 of 16
we solve this by having the first playdate at the park where the mom chats and the children play.

or i go ask the mom and in the process of asking i get to know her a little bit. i grab every chance i get. i ask other moms if they know the mom's family.

but usually i know every child in my dd's class. i know the general background of the type of houses the children come from. and i trust. my instincts as well as my dd's instincts. there are not that many kids my dd can have playdates with as most of the parents work and their weekends are busy too.
post #16 of 16
Thread Starter 
I think this is key.

[QUOTE=DariusMom;15548954]
If I were to have any doubt or suspicion, then DS just wouldn't go to that kid's house and we'd invite him here instead.
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