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Planning a play date with the dad instead of the mom? - Page 3

post #41 of 81

Totally nothing to do with gender but I would find it a bit uncomfortable to send a kid home with another parent I don't know, without ever having been to their house.  Maybe if the child was Grade 4 or older, but not for a little one.  My daughter is 4 and in pre-kindergarten and has been talking about playing with classmates after school, but I think I would want to accompany her - at least to see her in the door and stay for 5 minutes of chit-chat before leaving her.  I would also probably leave it open ended how long we would be able to stay that day so that you can leave early if there feels like a reason to.  Having said that, I know that in the natural way things happen, there are some of my daughter's friends who invariably end up using our house as the meet-up place, and very rarely play at the other kids' place, and then there are other friends where my daughter would always go to their place rather than them come to ours - it just seems to happen that way.  It could be that for the first several times, you could have the play date at your place, and then maybe offer to drive the other child home, and let the kids have a little play once they get there - giving you a chance to scope the place out, but without any expectation that you would be leaving your kid there that time. 

 

Then again, I don't think I would be insulted if someone said "hey, that's great that you are so able to let your daughter go like that - I think I'm building up to it but am not quite there yet - mind if I come with her for the first couple of visits?"  If someone said that to me, I'd totally get it - every parent has different thresholds.  Another possibility is that since the gender issue did become such a big thing here, it could be that he's been rebuffed in the past if he's tried to offer to host moms who thought that was weird.  Not to paint with a broad brush, but a lot of guys are less into reading into everything and more into just talking about it, so maybe that's the best way to go!

post #42 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by limabean View Post

Anyway, gender aside, any advice for declining the dad's offers for my DD to go home with them after school? Do I just come along as though I'm invited? Do I go back to suggesting park days? Do I just keep offering to host and hope that the appeal of an afternoon off will outweigh the desire to reciprocate for him? Do I just flat out tell him that I need to get to know him better before DD can come over without me?

 

First and foremost, embrace this as an opportunity to start learning to navigate this sort of  thing because this is just the beginning of a long future of you having slightly different comfort levels about parent supervision compared to other parents. I can't stress that enough. My oldest is 12 and I still feel like the big differences are yet to come. 

 

I would say it doesn't really matter how you do it -- just be authentic with yourself. And expect fellow parents to respect your comfort levels and be sure to respect theirs in return. How you arrange things at that point just really depends on your circumstances, I think.  

post #43 of 81
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by manysplinters View Post

Then again, I don't think I would be insulted if someone said "hey, that's great that you are so able to let your daughter go like that - I think I'm building up to it but am not quite there yet - mind if I come with her for the first couple of visits?"  If someone said that to me, I'd totally get it - every parent has different thresholds.

This is great wording -- thank you so much!

It's weird that this has never come up for me before, since I have a 4th grade DS. With him, all the friendships have just progressed so organically, starting with group get-togethers and park days, then moving to home play dates after the parents had had lots of time to chat and get comfortable with each other. It's really just been in the past year or so that he's started to get invited to the houses of families I don't know super well, and even with them there are years of familiarity just from having the same classes, etc.

The upper grades have early release on Wednesdays, so there's only about 1.5 hours between kindergarten pick-up and upper grade pick-up that day -- not much time to go home, but too much time to wait around campus. So I was thinking of sending an email to the whole class inviting whoever wants to join us to come to the park on Wednesdays. That might give us kindergarten parents a venue to get to know each other in a group setting to help with this kind of stuff going forward.
post #44 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by limabean View Post


It's weird that this has never come up for me before, since I have a 4th grade DS. With him, all the friendships have just progressed so organically, starting with group get-togethers and park days, then moving to home play dates after the parents had had lots of time to chat and get comfortable with each other.

This really started to become apparent to us starting around 4th grade. Some parents were letting kids walk in their neighborhoods or shopping centers. Now in 6th grade there is a BIG difference of comfort level only now it's me who is kind of ready for my DC to have some more independence (ideally along with some of her friends) and a lot of family friends aren't ready. Sigh. I hope our group finds themselves on more common ground in the next couple of years because as I recall that was the big stuff from my childhood (concerts, overnights, curfews and etc.)  

post #45 of 81
Quote:
 
Anyway, gender aside, any advice for declining the dad's offers for my DD to go home with them after school? Do I just come along as though I'm invited? Do I go back to suggesting park days? Do I just keep offering to host and hope that the appeal of an afternoon off will outweigh the desire to reciprocate for him? Do I just flat out tell him that I need to get to know him better before DD can come over without me?

Actually, its nice to have kids over, but if i had a preference, it would be that they go to the other parents place.  Then i dont have to rush to pick them up, and get an extra hour or two at the end of the day.

 

What im trying to say is, maybe the Dad is being polite, but would secretly be happy to see you host the playdate again....you could present it that way. He might take your offer...

post #46 of 81

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by limabean View Post

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.

 

I have always been that way and I don't see that changing while my kids are still young.  I don't think you're doing anything wrong and like you said, you need to do what feels most comfortable. 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by contactmaya View Post
 

They know each other well enough to want a playdate. What do you want, a background check? Credit history perhaps?

 

(some people require that before they begin dating nowadays)

 

I'm not entirely sure why you're giving such an unnecessarily snarky response.  Just because my kids hang out with someone doesn't mean I want them hanging out in their home.

post #47 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mulvah View Post
 

I'm not entirely sure why you're giving such an unnecessarily snarky response.  Just because my kids hang out with someone doesn't mean I want them hanging out in their home.

I don't really think snark is called for, but I can share with others about the way my opinion about parent supervision has changed over the years. I have a 12 year old and parent supervision in my community is still very conservative (for lack of a better word). I 100% think that it is a parent's choice about how and when to allow playdates without the parent, but this choice does eventually affect others. It becomes the community norm. I've been on BOTH ends of the spectrum where this is concerned. I've been the one not quite ready for unsupervised playdates and I'm currently the one sort of frustrated because I think my 12 year old is ready to do some things out with her friends, most of whom have families who aren't ready. I guess at this point in my parenting journey, I think it's a good thing to let the community you've chosen for yourself and your kids be an influence in this regard. And, to be sure that the reasons we're making our choices are made on rational decision making and the developmental needs of our children. 

 

I think the original comment about not allowing a child to play unsupervised with other children is an interesting one. It certainly goes with the child's age. But, at some point, we do run the danger of being a parent who does not provide opportunities for our kids to grow as a result of making their way without us. I'm not saying that is anyone here but saying that this is a worthy part of the discussion. 

post #48 of 81
Personally, I would cop out at this point. Can your husband happen to pick up your dd on the day the playdate is at the other girls' house? Let the husbands meet, go ahead and let it be a family.trying, and then the ice is broken and its no big deal. You dont have to hang out at some guy's house, and you also don't have to let her go unattended the first time. Your dh doesn't have the awkwardness of the girl just coming with him, so it wouldn't seem natural to just send your dd with them.

Alternatively, you could need to run a quick errand on playdate day so that you have to drop off your dd at their house.

While there is definitely a place for straight honesty in a relationship, I reserve making my.problems.someone else's problems for when I have to. I'm prone to just figuring out how to make it a win win and avoid drama.
post #49 of 81
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by IdentityCrisisMama View Post

I don't really think snark is called for, but I can share with others about the way my opinion about parent supervision has changed over the years. I have a 12 year old and parent supervision in my community is still very conservative (for lack of a better word). I 100% think that it is a parent's choice about how and when to allow playdates without the parent, but this choice does eventually affect others. It becomes the community norm. I've been on BOTH ends of the spectrum where this is concerned. I've been the one not quite ready for unsupervised playdates and I'm currently the one sort of frustrated because I think my 12 year old is ready to do some things out with her friends, most of whom have families who aren't ready. I guess at this point in my parenting journey, I think it's a good thing to let the community you've chosen for yourself and your kids be an influence in this regard. And, to be sure that the reasons we're making our choices are made on rational decision making and the developmental needs of our children. 

I think the original comment about not allowing a child to play unsupervised with other children is an interesting one. It certainly goes with the child's age. But, at some point, we do run the danger of being a parent who does not provide opportunities for our kids to grow as a result of making their way without us. I'm not saying that is anyone here but saying that this is a worthy part of the discussion. 

I don't disagree with you, and maybe you're just speaking theoretically about the general subject, but as the OP I'm thinking about all the replies in relation to my 5yo DD, so the above just isn't a concern for me right now.

My comfort level and rules have already begun to change regarding my 9yo DS, so I don't really have any worries about being perceived as an overprotective mom going forward.

My experience so far is that my parenting style fits right in with that of my community. The fact that this is the first time this scenario has happened to me in 9 years of parenting speaks to that.
post #50 of 81
Yea! Sorry if my off topic rant. :-)
post #51 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mulvah View Post
 

 

 

 

I'm not entirely sure why you're giving such an unnecessarily snarky response.  Just because my kids hang out with someone doesn't mean I want them hanging out in their home.

The snarkiness was not directed at you specifically. But i do have a snarky feeling about judging young children and deeming them worthwhile playmates for your own children. My point is, if my kids get on  with them, then that means they have something going for them. Maybe they are nice kids. One poster here mentioned that her son befriended a bully.  I feel its judgmental of her to dismiss this other child as a bully.  I dislike bullyish behavior as much as anyone else, but i am not judge and jury.  If you child is befriending a genuine bully, then what does that say about your child? If you have faith in your chld, then maybe that  shows the 'bully' has redeeming features, or isnt  such  bully after all.

 

By which standards do you  judge that a child is allowed in your home?  Is it the parents you have to approve of?  No being snarky here, but really, a  background check? I dont understand how parents judge other children other than by sheer prejudice.  And i do have a problem with prejudice, especially of children.

 

My standards are- my children get on with each other. Thats already proof enough to me that the child is ok.

 

Whether you desire the playdate to take place in your home is a whole other issue. Maybe you just dont want  other kids in your home. But not allowing a friend of your childs in your home on the basis of disliking a child on dubious grounds, is  foreign thinking to me

post #52 of 81
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by contactmaya View Post

The snarkiness was not directed at you specifically. But i do have a snarky feeling about judging young children and deeming them worthwhile playmates for your own children. My point is, if my kids get on  with them, then that means they have something going for them. Maybe they are nice kids. One poster here mentioned that her son befriended a bully.  I feel its judgmental of her to dismiss this other child as a bully.  I dislike bullyish behavior as much as anyone else, but i am not judge and jury.  If you child is befriending a genuine bully, then what does that say about your child? If you have faith in your chld, then maybe that  shows the 'bully' has redeeming features, or isnt  such  bully after all.

By which standards do you  judge that a child is allowed in your home?  Is it the parents you have to approve of?  No being snarky here, but really, a  background check? I dont understand how parents judge other children other than by sheer prejudice.  And i do have a problem with prejudice, especially of children.

My standards are- my children get on with each other. Thats already proof enough to me that the child is ok.

Whether you desire the playdate to take place in your home is a whole other issue. Maybe you just dont want  other kids in your home. But not allowing a friend of your childs in your home on the basis of disliking a child on dubious grounds, is  foreign thinking to me

The post your "background check" comment was in reference to was this one:
Quote:
Originally Posted by crazyms: 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.

It wasn't about which kids parents allow in their own homes. It was about which houses parents allow their children to GO to unattended. For me, not allowing my kids to visit the homes of families I've never met has nothing to do with whether I deem a child or their parent worthy of being friends.

I can see how the second part of the sentence quoted above could be interpreted the way you did, however. I let my kids pick their own friends. If my kid likes and wants to spend time with another kid, that in itself is reason enough for me to be willing to invest a bit of time getting to know that family.
post #53 of 81

When my kids were 5 I definitely wanted to get to know the other family first before I let my kids go to their house w/o me. It doesn't have anything to do with the other child. It has to do with the safety of my kid. If I haven't met the other parent I don't know if they have unsecured guns or drugs in their home, etc, or could be an abusive parent. It's not like in the good old days parents let their kids go home with just anybody. They knew the other parents. I think that's a really reasonable expectation. It's perfectly fine to get to know the other parents at a neutral location, too. You're asking this other parent to do childcare for you, so yes, definitely, you should do some sort of "background check" on them even if it's just talking to a mutual friend about them. You'd do the same for a baby-sitter wouldn't you?

 

For an older child who is more responsible I am more comfortable with less of a "background check", since I trust my kid not to play with unsecured guns or take drugs and I trust that my older kid would be able to call me if they felt uncomfortable. I would still like to meet the parent first, though, and make sure I get a good vibe from them. 

 

I think the wording that manysplinters gave is very good. You could also change it to more of a "we" statement instead of an "I" statement if you like, so more "I think we're building up to it but aren't quite there yet". I know that my 5 year olds would definitely not have wanted to be dropped off at all. How does yours feel about it? Even if my kids weren't playing in the same room that I was in they wanted me to be available — 5 yr old dd1 definitely would have been no farther than 10 feet from me at all times. I was a big human security blanket, and just knowing I was in the next room made them feel ok.

 

(And, ftr, I'm with the WTF team on the jealous wife bit. Not my business and I would be annoyed if the tables were turned and someone asked that of my DH. I know my DH would be disgusted to be asked if he had my permission for anything, much less if it was okay for him to host a playdate while I was away, and his opinion of the person who asked such a question would plummet.)


Edited by beanma - 1/25/14 at 2:20pm
post #54 of 81

 I agree.  Leaving your child unattended ( or with someone you  dont know) is a whole different matter. I had in mind that the  both parents would be present at the initial playdate, and the dilemma involved the gender of the other parent.

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by limabean View Post

 
It wasn't about which kids parents allow in their own homes. It was about which houses parents allow their children to GO to unattended. For me, not allowing my kids to visit the homes of families I've never met has nothing to do with whether I deem a child or their parent worthy of being friends.
 
post #55 of 81
I used to be the parent who refused to let my dd do a playdate at their home until I got to know the parents but I've really moved past that and come to believe that having the kids over is a much better way to get to know the parenting style and whether I want my dd in that house. I've also come to realize that when people show they trust you by allowing you to have their child over they get suspicious really quickly if you don't reciprocate and their children take it personally. It may be different depending on the area but I definitely would try to get around this issue in a way that doesn't openly announce your lack of trust while also moving towards getting to know what you feel you need to know quickly enough that it doesn't violate social norms in your area si much that your child loses connections.
post #56 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by BeckyBird View Post
 

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.

yeah but if he's a SAHD then playdates come with the territory, and most of those will be with women!

 

I would personally expect her to be used to dealing with this, but also, if she wasn't, I wouldn't be concerning myself. As others have said its just a playdate!

post #57 of 81

I think that any family with small kids who chooses to have a father be involved with childcare knows that he will be in contact with mothers of other children. The idea of contacting the mother is so completely ludicrous! Could you imagine contacting a SAHM's husband for permission for a playdate? You make negotiations with the parent that is present. Mystery solved. 

 

That being said, it is fine to tell the dad directly "I prefer to be with my child the first few times she plays at a new friend's house. If that doesn't work for you, you can drop the kid off at my house". In most cases, Dads respond well to really direct communication and are less likely to over-think things the way many moms do. 

I imagine my DH in this situation, and he would probably say "Oh, my house isn't in shape for adult company today. How about Ashley* goes to your house this Wednesday, and you and Brittany* come over to our place next Wednesday. Do you like board games?"

My DH would have a mental plan of an afternoon with another kid in the house, and would need mental time to prepare for a change in plans involving another adult in the house. He could give kindergarteners goldfish crackers in tupperware if the dishwasher needed to be run, but wouldn't want to do that when an adult came to visit!

 

*obviously invented names are obviously invented

post #58 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by contactmaya View Post
 

The snarkiness was not directed at you specifically. But i do have a snarky feeling about judging young children and deeming them worthwhile playmates for your own children. My point is, if my kids get on  with them, then that means they have something going for them. Maybe they are nice kids. One poster here mentioned that her son befriended a bully.  I feel its judgmental of her to dismiss this other child as a bully.  I dislike bullyish behavior as much as anyone else, but i am not judge and jury.  If you child is befriending a genuine bully, then what does that say about your child? If you have faith in your chld, then maybe that  shows the 'bully' has redeeming features, or isnt  such  bully after all.

 

By which standards do you  judge that a child is allowed in your home?  Is it the parents you have to approve of?  No being snarky here, but really, a  background check? I dont understand how parents judge other children other than by sheer prejudice.  And i do have a problem with prejudice, especially of children.

 

My standards are- my children get on with each other. Thats already proof enough to me that the child is ok.

 

Whether you desire the playdate to take place in your home is a whole other issue. Maybe you just dont want  other kids in your home. But not allowing a friend of your childs in your home on the basis of disliking a child on dubious grounds, is  foreign thinking to me

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mulvah View Post
 

 

I'm not entirely sure why you're giving such an unnecessarily snarky response.  Just because my kids hang out with someone doesn't mean I want them hanging out in their home.

 

Mulvah like limabean said  this was directed at me not you.

 

I know everyone has differing opinions and comfort levels with their children which changes by age and maturity of the individual child as well. I offered my opinion to the OP and that's it. I'm perfectly okay with any or everyone having a different view on the matter. I don't think it's fair to attack me for my opinion or judge my child for it either. I don't let my children off with unknown people or to unknown places. I live in a very dangerous area and unfortunately bad things happen here. Unfortunately we even have children that are involved in dangerous activities. I don't trust my 5 year old to make those kind of judgement calls at his age and maturity level and I'm not willing to risk his safety until he's ready to do so. I hope everyone here can live with less stress over the safety of their children. Unfortunately that is not my current situation.

post #59 of 81

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by crazyms View Post
 

I'm perfectly okay with any or everyone having a different view on the matter. I don't think it's fair to attack me for my opinion or judge my child for it either. I don't let my children off with unknown people or to unknown places. I live in a very dangerous area and unfortunately bad things happen here. Unfortunately we even have children that are involved in dangerous activities. I don't trust my 5 year old to make those kind of judgement calls at his age and maturity level and I'm not willing to risk his safety until he's ready to do so. I hope everyone here can live with less stress over the safety of their children. Unfortunately that is not my current situation.

 

This is just a general comment about safety and perception...

 

It's not clear to me what sort of extra supervision you are providing that isn't the cultural norm in other parts of (I assume) N. America (?), but perhaps especially in high-crime areas I think it it's important to really look at these issues and be sure that we're evaluating safety conditions with a level head. If we're talking about 5 year olds, I'm assuming that we are not talking about criminals. ;-)  Of course, some 5 year olds are still developing impulse control and learning about their world and need extra supervision. But I would keep it in that realm because that is the case everywhere. 

 

I don't think a great case can be made that 5 year olds are more dangerous depending on the crime stats of various areas. And I do tend to agree with Contactmaya here that thinking in these terms can have some significant negative consequences. 

 

*ETA: thinking more on this, I imagine a case COULD be made for increased behavior problems in early childhood in the presence of community crime. But, in this case, if you are also living in this area, that would include your child in the lump of statistics. So, perhaps the better way of phrasing it (to avoid the "us/them" problem) would be to say that your community faces disadvantaging conditions that contribute to increased behavior challenges in even young children, therefore increased supervision is required. 

 

And I say this as someone who lives in a high crime area. 

 

**ETA:  I want to edit again to explain more why I posted this... 

 

I think the stress we feel when living in a high-crime area is really complex. I'm not sure where you live, CM, but in the States we have a problem with perception of crime because of our media. NO crime is OK. The conditions of crime, violence in the home, poverty, and etc. are so very hard to deal with for all of us and especially those of us living in high-crime areas.  We absolutely must make accommodations for living in those conditions. 

 

Having just experienced attempted robbery by what I think was a group of boys ranging from 15 to 10 :( I think I understand the sadness and stress you feel with living where you do. 

 

When I was posting, it has more to do with a place of understanding. And from a place of sharing with you what works for me to alleviate that stress. For me, thinking of this as "my" community helps. And it helps a great deal if I can take some time every now and then to evaluate crime from a really objective place. It's a fact that I live in a high-crime city. But violent crime is way down, in fact. And other things...perhaps a thread about parenting in high-crime areas would be interesting and helpful for those of us struggling to stay save and build healthy communities. 

post #60 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by crazyms View Post
 

 

 

Mulvah like limabean said  this was directed at me not you.

 

I know everyone has differing opinions and comfort levels with their children which changes by age and maturity of the individual child as well. I offered my opinion to the OP and that's it. I'm perfectly okay with any or everyone having a different view on the matter. I don't think it's fair to attack me for my opinion or judge my child for it either. I don't let my children off with unknown people or to unknown places.

 

This is understandable and probably what most parents do. In such a situation, it would  seem normal to accompany your child  on the playdate, or have the child over where there is supervision. Just fyi, noone is judging your child.

 

 

I live in a very dangerous area and unfortunately bad things happen here. Unfortunately we even have children that are involved in dangerous activities. I don't trust my 5 year old to make those kind of judgement calls at his age and maturity level and I'm not willing to risk his safety until he's ready to do so. I hope everyone here can live with less stress over the safety of their children. Unfortunately that is not my current situation.

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