One child's playdate "hostage" to the other child? - Mothering Forums

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Old 02-22-2012, 04:12 PM - Thread Starter
 
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My DD has a good neighborhood friend she loves to play with.  Recently, when my DD has tried to arrange playtime with friend, mother has said the girls could only play if my son also played with her son, because the boy is jealous of the girl's time together.  Problem is, my son is 12 and her's is 7, so they are not a particularly good pair.  While my son is patient and kind when the other boy is visiting, he wouldn't normally choose to play with the younger child.  So DD can't have a playdate without her brother sacrificing his afternoon as well.  Not to mention my having to supervise another child who is, um, more difficult than I am used to.  How the heck do I deal with this?  Either way it plays out it seems unfair to one of my children.

 

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Old 02-22-2012, 04:25 PM
 
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I try to only arrange play date where both my kids are included or the non-play date child has other fun plans. My dc are very close and only 2 yrs apart. At this age, it is emotionally devastating for one to get to go play while the other can't. YES, when they are older, it will be a situation where they just have to learn to deal with it. So maybe this mom/kids have a similar situation?

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Old 02-22-2012, 05:01 PM
 
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It's perfectly appropriate to just tell the mom that your 12 year old isn't interested in playing with her 7 year old. It's not a play-date, it's free babysitting! The way I see it, your son is being taken advantage of. Does the mom allow her daughter to go to houses where there isn't a brother for her son to play with?

 

If that's too harsh, then how old are the girls? If there's not much of an age gap there, I might suggest that they could include the 7 year old in whatever they're playing. Your DD gets the benefit of having her friend over, if the brother is to be included then it makes sense that she is the one entertaining him. 


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Old 02-22-2012, 05:18 PM - Thread Starter
 
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The girls are 9.  The brother is 7.  The problem with girls including him is that he is difficult.  Mostly, he hits.  My daughter doesn't even like to go play at their house because she gets hurt so often.  Or he ruins whatever they have been working on building or creating.  Rips the doll clothes.  That sort of thing.

 

I would think that at 7 he should be able to handle his sister going down the street to play, but maybe the age difference is at play here?  My kids are 3 1/2 years apart, so this was almost never an issue for us.

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Old 02-22-2012, 05:25 PM
 
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Honestly, I'd just tell the mom that doesn't work. She needs to find him his own playdate.. she's using you to get the afternoon off.
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Old 02-22-2012, 05:35 PM
 
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My big kids are 2 1/2 years apart... DS is 10 and DD is 7, so a similar gap to her kids. I think its more an issue of how the mom is handling it. It sounds sort of like she just wants time off! Both of mine will complain a bit that they're bored or whatever when the other has a play date, but my response is "Too bad, so sad!" Usually I remind them of the last time they got to go play at a friends, or suggest that they invite one of their own friends over to our place. Sometimes I'll think of something interesting to do with the kid that's 'stuck at home' and take advantage of the one-on-one time. Other times I'll let them do something I normally wouldn't... DD went on a sleepover and DH and I watched a movie with DS that would have been too scary for her, for example. 

 

Maybe you could say that the girl is welcome to ask to come over whenever the little guy has a play-date at one of his friends houses... or maybe that's the problem... if he's hitting and causing problems, maybe he doesn't get invites. That really isn't your problem though... it's a tough situation to be sure! If  he IS going to be over at your place, maybe play needs to be more structured than it would otherwise... I get my kids to decide on an activity when a difficult kid or many kids are coming over... DD likes tea parties or making cupcakes. These kind of visits tend to be shorter and there's not as much opportunity for problems to crop up as they've got a game-plan.


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Old 02-22-2012, 05:36 PM
 
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I agree with Mummuth. My dd1 and dd2 are 9 and 7. When one has a friend over, typically they have to include the other. However, if one included stops being nice, I have no problem pulling her out of playing. Also, I would never expect another family to accommodate my other daughter when one is invited to play. I have a 14 year old stepdaughter and would never ask her to entertain a 9 year old so that my dd could have a play date.

Now, would I say that to the other mom? Probably not. I'm not good at being direct. I might say that your ds is very busy with school work or activities and won't be able to play. If the mom still insists on her ds coming over, you may have to cancel. Sorry- it's a tough situation!

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Old 02-23-2012, 02:04 AM
 
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All I can say is it sounds like its just not worth it. Your son/you are being used for her to get time off from what sounds like a difficult child.

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Old 02-23-2012, 04:22 AM
 
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Originally Posted by jeteaa View Post

I try to only arrange play date where both my kids are included or the non-play date child has other fun plans. My dc are very close and only 2 yrs apart. At this age, it is emotionally devastating for one to get to go play while the other can't. YES, when they are older, it will be a situation where they just have to learn to deal with it. So maybe this mom/kids have a similar situation?



I just have to say I totally disagree with that. I have 3 girls (8,8, 6.5) and they often go off one without the other (yes, even when they were 2, 3, 4). Kids need to learn that everyone gets sometimes, and just because my sister / brother has a playdate this time, doesn't mean I won't get one next time. Yes, it's hard to work through with kids, but worth it. It has helped my kids develop their own friends and their own interests.


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Old 02-23-2012, 08:33 AM
 
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I'm all about kids being inclusive. My 10 yo routinely includes his friend's 5 yo sister. But the mom needs to find a different method of dealing with her son. If she can't coordinate a different playdate, she can plan a special activity with him. Or she can pay the 12 yo to babysit.


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Old 02-23-2012, 08:38 AM
 
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There is no requirement to have every kid in a family over if you have a playdate. I'm not sure how I'd handle this. Maybe tell them mom, "Then I guess there won't be any playdates for the time being." Though at that age my kids stopped having "playdates" and just ran around with other kids.
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Old 02-23-2012, 09:02 AM
 
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Originally Posted by 4evermom View Post

I'm all about kids being inclusive. My 10 yo routinely includes his friend's 5 yo sister. But the mom needs to find a different method of dealing with her son. If she can't coordinate a different playdate, she can plan a special activity with him. Or she can pay the 12 yo to babysit.



That might be a good way to bring it up with the other mom next time this happens.  "Ds and I talked about this and we've decided he's old enough to start baby-sitting.  This seems like the perfect opportunity -after all ds is already five years older than your son.  Ds's rate is $20 an hour." orngbiggrin.gif


 

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There is no requirement to have every kid in a family over if you have a playdate. I'm not sure how I'd handle this. Maybe tell them mom, "Then I guess there won't be any playdates for the time being." Though at that age my kids stopped having "playdates" and just ran around with other kids.


 

Yeah, this occurred to me as well.  When I was a kid we didn't have playdates with the neighbor kids, we just played with each other, mostly showing up at each other's front door and asking if so and so could come out.  And we were doing this at a much younger age, more like 6 years old.  A different time, to be sure.  I didn't hear the term 'playdate' till I was a teen.


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Old 02-23-2012, 09:12 AM
 
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That might be a good way to bring it up with the other mom next time this happens.  "Ds and I talked about this and we've decided he's old enough to start baby-sitting.  This seems like the perfect opportunity -after all ds is already five years older than your son.  Ds's rate is $20 an hour." orngbiggrin.gif


 

 

Heh, I like this idea. lol.gif

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Old 02-23-2012, 10:02 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Yeah, this occurred to me as well.  When I was a kid we didn't have playdates with the neighbor kids, we just played with each other, mostly showing up at each other's front door and asking if so and so could come out.  And we were doing this at a much younger age, more like 6 years old.  A different time, to be sure.  I didn't hear the term 'playdate' till I was a teen.


Well, "neighborhood" is relative here.  There are no children of the appropriate age that close by.  In this case, one of us has to drive the other to the playdate house, so it definitely takes a phone call and coordination between the other mom and myself.

 

I honestly don't think she's trying to get the afternoon off.  I've seen the boy in full tantrum mode and its not pretty.  So I think she is really trying to make sure he isn't upset/disappointed.  I'm sure its obvious here that I don't agree with the way she is handling this -- IMHO a 7 YO should be learning to handle disappointment, not having mom arrange life so he never experiences it.  But, that's not my call or my concern.  I just want my daughter to be able to play with her friend without making my son play with a child he doesn't particularly like and doesn't share too many interests with.

 

While I like the babysitting idea (or at least "mother's helper"), the other family has a "no male sitters" rule.  Sigh.  I think the whole think is really beginning to sound like my daughter needs to find more friends so she doesn't want to play with this girl as much. Which is sad in its own way.

 

 

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Old 02-23-2012, 10:47 AM
 
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While I like the babysitting idea (or at least "mother's helper"), the other family has a "no male sitters" rule.  Sigh.  I think the whole think is really beginning to sound like my daughter needs to find more friends so she doesn't want to play with this girl as much. Which is sad in its own way.

 

 



Pretend you don't remember that rule. Then she gets to insult you by rejecting your son as a babysitter and you get to suggest that perhaps if she feels that way about older boys she shouldn't bring her ds over and expose him to one;-)


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Old 02-23-2012, 11:08 AM
 
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Pretend you don't remember that rule. Then she gets to insult you by rejecting your son as a babysitter and you get to suggest that perhaps if she feels that way about older boys she shouldn't bring her ds over and expose him to one;-)



Very smart indeed.

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Old 02-23-2012, 11:49 AM
 
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"I'm sorry, but including your 7 year old just doesn't work with my son. He's 12 and doesn't share many interests with your son. It's not fair to him or the girls." Rinse, lather, repeat. Yeah, your daughter may lose this friend over this, but if her mom isn't seeing reason, you don't want to be hostage to the 7 year old. It's a completely ridiculous requirement.

 

You can try adding the babysitting thing, but I think you just need to be firm and clear. You need to have the bad few minutes with this mom explaining to her that you can't meet her needs.


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Old 02-23-2012, 11:52 AM
 
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"I'm sorry, but including your 7 year old just doesn't work with my son. He's 12 and doesn't share many interests with your son. It's not fair to him or the girls." Rinse, lather, repeat. Yeah, your daughter may lose this friend over this, but if her mom isn't seeing reason, you don't want to be hostage to the 7 year old. It's a completely ridiculous requirement.

You can try adding the babysitting thing, but I think you just need to be firm and clear. You need to have the bad few minutes with this mom explaining to her that you can't meet her needs.

Kept thinking of this post this-morning.

And just think how awkward it will be when the boy turns 13... a 13 year old and a 7 year old? I think some parents I know would be worried if there 13 year olds were playing on a regular basis with a 7 year old at that age.
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Old 02-23-2012, 12:55 PM
 
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"I'm sorry, but including your 7 year old just doesn't work with my son. He's 12 and doesn't share many interests with your son. It's not fair to him or the girls." Rinse, lather, repeat. Yeah, your daughter may lose this friend over this, but if her mom isn't seeing reason, you don't want to be hostage to the 7 year old. It's a completely ridiculous requirement.

You can try adding the babysitting thing, but I think you just need to be firm and clear. You need to have the bad few minutes with this mom explaining to her that you can't meet her needs.

I agree.
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Old 02-23-2012, 09:14 PM
 
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"I'm sorry, but including your 7 year old just doesn't work with my son. He's 12 and doesn't share many interests with your son. It's not fair to him or the girls." Rinse, lather, repeat. Yeah, your daughter may lose this friend over this, but if her mom isn't seeing reason, you don't want to be hostage to the 7 year old. It's a completely ridiculous requirement.

 

You can try adding the babysitting thing, but I think you just need to be firm and clear. You need to have the bad few minutes with this mom explaining to her that you can't meet her needs.


I agree with this poster.  I also agree with your assessment that she's not trying to score a free afternoon, but rather trying to protect her son from disappointment (and herself from the ensuing tantrum).  She was straight with you about her reasons, so I think it's reasonable to be direct in return.  I would probably phrase it something like this:  "DD asked again for a playdate with your DD, and I've given some thought to what you said when we asked last time.  I understand that your DS feels left out and you want to save his feelings, but fairness is hard to mete out.  While it seems unfair to your DS not to get to come play, it's equally unfair to the girls to not get to enjoy each other's company.  The solution of having my DS play with yours isn't really a realistic solution since the two boys are five years apart and it would be more of a babysitting type situation for my son.  I can't fairly request that of him.  You have to make the decision that's right for you, but I wanted to share my perspective, and ask you to reconsider."

 

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Old 02-24-2012, 07:30 AM
 
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Honestly, I'd just tell the mom that doesn't work. She needs to find him his own playdate.. she's using you to get the afternoon off.


That's what I was thinking.  She loves that you take both of her kids.

 

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Old 02-24-2012, 08:01 AM
 
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That's what I was thinking.  She loves that you take both of her kids.

 



That's what I got also, she's using her to take what sounds like, a rather difficult child to have all the time.

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Old 02-27-2012, 08:11 AM
 
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We have several kids in the neighborhood all around the same age as my kids withing a year or so. That said, my daughter who will be 10, has different interests than the girl who is a year older than my youngest. This girl likes to play with my older daughter, but my oldest gets tired of this kid after a while and wants to play with her friends who are the same age. The mother if the kids understands, the father- he has a complete fit that my older one wont play with his kid. Even though there is a huge amount of other kids HER age incl my youngest.

 

Just tell the mom, your older son is not interested in playing with a 7 yr old and it would be more of a sitter situation and since she dosent want any male sitters, dont send him over. This mom could be at her wits end with this child too since he no doubt has trouble with other kids. Maybe she thought an older boy would be a good example but that is of course not fair of your son unless he is game but he is not.


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Old 02-27-2012, 01:16 PM
 
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The girls are 9.  The brother is 7.  The problem with girls including him is that he is difficult.  Mostly, he hits.  My daughter doesn't even like to go play at their house because she gets hurt so often.  Or he ruins whatever they have been working on building or creating.  Rips the doll clothes.  That sort of thing.

 

I would think that at 7 he should be able to handle his sister going down the street to play, but maybe the age difference is at play here?  My kids are 3 1/2 years apart, so this was almost never an issue for us.


I don't think your son should be held hostage for a playdate. But, I have similar issues going on with ds2, right down the behavioural issues, and the unwilingness of other kids to play with him. He's been tentatively diagnosed with ADD, but I suspect something like Aspberger's Syndrome. He has anxiety issues, which took me a long time to figure out, because of the way they manifest. There are about 8-9 kids in the neighbourhood who come by wanting to play with dd1. There are two who come by to play with ds2, and one of them only does so if everybody else (including dd1) is already busy. DS2 can't handle his sister going down the street to play, because he feels chronically left out, rejected and helpless.

 

I don't agree with the way the other mom is handling this. But, I do sympathize. It's hard to watch one of your kids take off for playdates and sleepovers, while another child is at home hitting himself in the face, and saying, "I'm a jerk and an idiot and nobody likes me, and I don't blame them, because I don't like myself, either". It's heartbreaking to see ds2 light up when someone comes to the door, only to have that person ask for dd1, and then say, "no, thanks" when ds2 says "I'll play with you" with a big smile. I can't make other kids play with him (and I even understand why they often don't want to)...but I understand the temptation to try.


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