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Planning a play date with the dad instead of the mom?

post #1 of 81
Thread Starter 
My DD, who is in kindergarten, has made good friends with a little girl in her class and wants to set up a play date after school one day. The girl's dad is the one who picks her up every day, so we introduced ourselves and exchanged numbers.

I suggested meeting at the park, and he gave a vague answer and said something about how my DD was welcome to come play at his house too. He seems very nice, I don't get any weird vibes, but there's no way I'm sending my DD home with anyone I don't know well.

Normally I would just come along and visit with the mom while the kids played in this sort of situation, but I feel weird going over to their home when it's the dad I'd be hanging out with instead of the mom.

What would you do? How do I politely insist that we meet at the park? The girls really like each other, so I want to handle it well in case this ends up being a long-term friendship for them.
post #2 of 81

I don't think you need to feel weird about going to his house.  I've taken my kids to playdates with dads.  Unless your husband is unreasonably jealous or you're so attracted to this guy that you don't trust yourself to be alone with him, going to his house seems like no big deal.  I mean, your kids will be right there with you.  I wouldn't insist on the park; I would just treat the guy like any other parent and go to his house.

post #3 of 81
I'd invite them to the park or another indoor play area with a specific day and time a few times then consider playdates if they still get along. Having the first few at your house may also work and you can offer him a beverage if he wants to stay. I wouldn't expect to be invited to stay for a kindergarten playdate whether it was mom or dad at this age. After preschool it is very rare for a parent to stick around whether a mom is hosting or not. I think having to host kills the joy of having another child around for your kid to play with so I tended not to invite the parents who couldn't detach from their kids after the first couple playdates. Not allowing the other family to host also comes with a cost and I wouldn't go that route if I had it to do over again.
post #4 of 81
Could you phrase it as an invitation? "Dd is always hyper after school, so we're going to the park! Want to join us?"
Though I must say I prefer playdates with the Dads myself...
post #5 of 81
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the replies! Daffodil, logically I know that I should treat it no differently than if it were the mom, but for some reason it just feels odd. There are definitely no attraction or jealousy issues.

One_Girl, I agree that having to host the other parent all the time ruins the ease of a play date. But this guy and I don't know each other at all, so we're still in the timeframe where it's normal to accompany our kids and get to know each other.

Hmm. I'm definitely more comfortable having the park be our first meet-up place. Come to think of it, even with my 4th grader I can't think of a time when we've gone to someone's house (or had them to our house) without having met up a few times at a neutral place first -- that just seems to be the norm around here. There's a park right next to the school, so that just seems to be how most people do it. I think I'll just tell him we're going to the park on such-and-such day and invite them to join us.
post #6 of 81

Even if it was a mom I would want to meet at the park.

post #7 of 81

I treat dads and moms the same. I'm a student SAHP so for play dates I tend to migrate to parents in similar situations - just because of time availability. I also tend to enjoy home-based playdates. I say, go, and enjoy yourself with this dad. The chances of him being pleasant to hang out with are just as likely as another mom being pleasant to hang out with, IME. 

post #8 of 81

He's the parent, treat him like one-unless you want to be accused of being sexist. For the record, some kids prefer playdates in the home. What if the dad's child wanted to have the playdate at his/or was it her house? 'Sorry honey, your friends mom is a woman, and im a man, so we  have to go to the park'...you see how silly that is....or what if its too cold' sorry honey, im a man, your friends mom is a woman, so you cant have a playdate with your friend'

 

I mean, the playdate is for the kids, not the adults. Put them first. Thats how i see it.

post #9 of 81
Thread Starter 
contactmaya, thanks for your post. I don't disagree with you. I'm not sure if you saw my post #5, but in it I said that I've never gone directly to the home of a new friend without having a few meet-ups at a park or other neutral location first. I think that's my primary issue, rather than the fact that it's a guy. The way it's typically gone in the past is that we meet up at parks and stuff a few times, and then once us parents are comfortable with each other, we start having home-based play dates where one parent just drops off their kid and picks him/her up later. (Whether isn't usually an issue where I live -- we use parks year-round.)

Anyway, I texted him to say that my DD and I are going to the park after school tomorrow if they'd like to join us. I'm not sure if my feelings are coming from a place of sexism or just wanting to get to know the family better in a neutral place, but I gotta go with what feels most comfortable for now.
post #10 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by limabean View Post


Anyway, I texted him to say that my DD and I are going to the park after school tomorrow if they'd like to join us. I'm not sure if my feelings are coming from a place of sexism or just wanting to get to know the family better in a neutral place, but I gotta go with what feels most comfortable for now.

Regardless of where it is coming from, you can be straight-forward too.  Just say that in the past you have always had a couple "trial" playdates at a local park to see how the kids interact before you leave them alone at another family's home.  In our area, peole do everything you can think of. . . from sitting (uninvited through a long playdate) to driving off before even seeing the child get in the front door.  Granted, I kinda fall in the middle. . . but if I notice that a parent seems hesitant to drop off, I do a casual invite along the lines of "would you like to come in for a few minutes until they get settled" -- that way I don't end up entertaining a parent for the afternoon.  At the same time, if my dd is feeling shy/hesitant (or if it is me) and I am the person dropping my child off, I will often step in and state that I will be staying for 5-10 minutes to make sure dd gets acclimated.  I don't want to impose on the host, but I do want myself and my child to feel comfortable.  

 

Amy

post #11 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by limabean View Post
 
Anyway, I texted him to say that my DD and I are going to the park after school tomorrow if they'd like to join us. I'm not sure if my feelings are coming from a place of sexism or just wanting to get to know the family better in a neutral place, but I gotta go with what feels most comfortable for now.

I think that  if you did this regardless of the  parents gender, then its not sexist, just what you usually do so to speak.

post #12 of 81

There may be a small problem here. Do you think his wife might have a problem with any of this? You don't know if she is the jealous type, or if she might not like the idea of her husband inviting a woman to their house for the play date. Out of respect for the wife, I would schedule a play date at a public place, not the house. If you knew her very well, and were sure she was ok with the situation, then that's different.

post #13 of 81
I'm with BeckyBird. I don't think there's anything strange or sexist about not being totally sure how to handle this. There was a SAHD I met that I wanted to invite to a playground once but I honestly didn't know if it was appropriate! I just didn't know what to do.

Normally I invite folks over to the house. I like hosting, I guess!!
post #14 of 81

Maybe this has to do with how frequently we come across SAHDs...?  To me, this is just a no-brainer that you treat the dad just the way you would treat a mom.  At least to me, it would feel like a discredit to me, my marriage and my partner if another woman didn't hang out with my partner because of a presumed jealousy problem. For me the whole mom/female solidarity thing (which I value) would be expressed by assuming that this woman speaks with her partner and everyone is on the same page. 

 

And, if you have a pretty diverse group of friends, this kind of thing will continue to become an issue, no?  It has for me. My oldest is 12 and in most of her friend's families all the parents work out of the home in some capacity. Everyone divides responsibilities differently and when an event is planned and parents are involved it's not like we get to pick which parent attends and in what capacity. I've been on two overnights where it was the father attending and many, many get togethers where the father drove, stayed for drinks and we had a great time. This always makes me feel closer to the entire family. 

 

This is not to say, Lima, that it didn't take a slight adjustment for me when this first happened to us!  I still have to check myself that I'm not defaulting to the mother all the time when it comes to arranging stuff. My instinct is to go for the mom's email and I know that's a source of frustration for some families in my community. But, if we all help get out of that mindset -- I think it's better for everyone. 

post #15 of 81

I agree with Becky also. Plus I don't know if it's a man thing or what but my husband is lax on mentioning things that others would normally point out and if his wife is the jealous type that could get weird as in.... Kid: X came by with her mom today and they stayed to play all afternoon. Mom: Who was here? The mom? All afternoon? Mom to Dad: Who is that? Why didn't you tell me? Dad: I don't know.   Especially if she isn't the kind of mom to stay with her kid at someone's house it may look awfully strange to her as to why you were there and stayed. LOL yep could get weird. I'm just saying my DH forgets to mention things all the time that I think would be mention worthy. 

 

Personally I don't let my kids go to ANYone's house without me getting to know them first. Anyone. I wouldn't feel anymore comfortable leaving my kid with the mom either. As for home visits I wouldn't want to stay and visit with a dad without knowing how the mom felt about that. I'd prefer neutral playdates (that I always start with) until I was comfortable with dad/kid and then the 5-10 min settle my child in at their home and leave for the home play date once comfortable. This is for the kid as well as the parents though... I want to get to know the kid some to make sure it's a friendship I would even want to encourage also. 

post #16 of 81

To be humbly honest...  the idea that mothers won't do something with another father because they are worried about another woman being jealous makes me kind of sad.  It feels like the opposite of solidarity to me. 

 

Some of my favorite music is about the subject of jealousy...but in practice I find that adult relationships with SO much more to focus on (like little children) there just isn't time or energy.  And, besides, who am I to make (what I consider to be) a negative assumption about some other woman. Nope, not for me. 

 

In general, I think it best that we not assume other women are jealous types.

post #17 of 81
I done think the possibility of a spouse feeling jealous is a factor to consider when deciding where to have a playdate. This is probably just the independent single mom in me, but I really don't get how it possibly make sense to assume that all sahds have a psycho jealous wife and to avoid certain venuew because of this. Are we also assuming this for lesbian couples or is it just the straight guys who made a poor choice when it came to picking a spouse?
post #18 of 81

How do you know women who invite you to their houses don't have jealous, controlling husbands who don't want them to have any friends?  Out of respect for people's (possibly crazy) husbands, should you also avoid going to women's houses unless you know for sure their husbands are okay with it?

post #19 of 81

I'm guessing the last few posts were directed at me? If someone feels comfortable going to other people's houses at random that's up to them. I don't think of it in terms of losing a womanhood bond by thinking another woman may be jealous instead I view as a respect for her feelings either way but that's just me. Like I said even besides the jealousy issue though I still think neutral playdates are preferred first regardless of it you're dealing with the mother or father. I don't like my kids in anyone's house that I don't know first or around kids I don't know that much either.

post #20 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by IdentityCrisisMama View Post
 

To be humbly honest...  the idea that mothers won't do something with another father because they are worried about another woman being jealous makes me kind of sad.  It feels like the opposite of solidarity to me. 

 

Yeah that. 

 

Id like to think that when we arrange playdates its for our  kids, not because we are looking to get laid. Seriously. Im not rearranging my own childs  playdating life on the whims of a imagined jealous spouse.  You have to see how petty this is (not aimed at the OP but the posts that came afterwards)

 

Men are not just sex machines rearing to get laid, using their children as a means to find other women. Women are not automatically irrational jealous types who fear losing their husband whenever he has an interaction with another woman.

 

Can we assume that most people are not like this?

 

This imagined jealous spouse makes the whole thing doubly sexist.

 

Above all, put the kids first, they just want a playdate.

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