Setting up playdates with kids from school - Mothering Forums
Learning at School > Setting up playdates with kids from school
newbymom05's Avatar newbymom05 10:49 AM 01-28-2011

I have a kindergartener, so this is all new to me. I invited a boy from DS's class over to play after school, and the mother (whom I had never met before) came with him and stayed the whole time. That was no problem, and I was glad to meet her, but I wasn't expecting that. Is that the norm? So if I invite another schoolmate, should I plan on the parent coming too? Extend the invitation to them? And if DS gets an invite in return, am I expected to attend? That certainly wouldn't be a problem, but I'm curious if that's what's done in other areas.


Thanks for any input. This sounds like a weird question even to me, but I'm an introvert by nature and the potential awkwardness of a 2 hr playdate for me as well as DS...ugh!

Alyantavid's Avatar Alyantavid 12:01 PM 01-28-2011

If my son was invited to a playdate at the home of people I'd never met before, I'd stay too.  I wouldn't be horribly comfortable hanging out with a woman I didn't know for 2 hours, but I also wouldn't leave my child with someone I didn't know for that amount of time.


I'd assume that's why she stayed.

Emmeline II's Avatar Emmeline II 12:03 PM 01-28-2011



Would you really feel comfortable just dropping your child off at the home of people you have never met?

mama1803's Avatar mama1803 12:28 PM 01-28-2011

I agree with the pp.  My kid's safety is much more important to me than my own comfort. 

KCMichigan's Avatar KCMichigan 12:29 PM 01-28-2011

Originally Posted by Emmeline II View Post



Would you really feel comfortable just dropping your child off at the home of people you have never met?

Yup, same here.


Usually for a first or second 'playdate'...I try to keep it short and in a different location. (out to lunch, park, etc). So you can limit the time and place as well as get to know people (you would be expected to stay).


I would not drop off my K age kids w/ adults I dont know!

newbymom05's Avatar newbymom05 12:39 PM 01-28-2011

Thanks, everyone, that' s helpful. Now I'm wondering if the other kid's mom thought I was a wacko for inviting him. I don't blindly trust anyone else where my kids are concerned so I guess I shouldn't be surprised to have it reciprocated, lol.


My kids have never been to anyone's house w/o me, and the houses we have gone to are people we've known 2+ yrs. The whole public school thing is a whole new ballgame! Now I'm curious as to what age people are comfortable letting their kids go to strange houses. (Strange being that you've never been inside). Like our neighbors, we've been neighbors for 6 yrs and know each other in passing, and our boys are both in kinder, but I always have the boys play here. They've been over here but I've never been in their house, and DS has only been over once for a pop-in to see a new pet. Now that I think about it, maybe it's b/c I don't want to spend hrs w/ the mom, lol.


Previous to this all the friends we've met have been through LLL, or a homeschool group we used to belong to, where most of the activities were family oriented. It's strange now to have my son have friends where the parents are complete unknowns.

Alyantavid's Avatar Alyantavid 12:45 PM 01-28-2011

I think as long as my kids' are in elementary I'll want to at least know the parents before they go to their house.  The one neighbor that my oldest plays with, I always have them come here after a total lack of supervision sleepover failure.  The mom has never been in our house, and doesn't like me, but is totally comfortable sending both of her children to my house and telling them they can stay for hours.  So I guess it all depends on the parents' comfort level.


I'm sure the mom didn't think you were wacko, just wanted to make sure her kid was fine.

shelleyd's Avatar shelleyd 12:45 PM 01-28-2011

I let my 5 yr old dd go to her school friend's house without me.  I have met the parents while volunteering at school but I don't know them very well or anything and I haven't been in their house.  Their dd has come over here and our dd has gone there quite a few times now.  It is a bit scary to let our kids out into the world on their own but I'm convinced that it is in my dd's best interest to allow her to make her own friendships and have a little independence from me.  

sublimeliving's Avatar sublimeliving 01:45 PM 01-28-2011

I think it just depends on the child/mother, and their comfort level. I let my oldest dd go on many playdates w/out me; that started in preschool. I ran into quite a few problems (mostly because I didn't take the time to get to know the parent well enough). In preschool (I think my dd was 3 or 4) my dd went home w/ a mom that I thought I knew pretty well. She had been working out that morning, so she showered while my dd was at her house. I found that odd, but that was just the beginning. She then took my dd to a home to tour it w/ a real estate agent. Then when they got back to her house, she left the girls in the care of her ten-year-old while she took her oldest to gymnastics. The mom wasn't there when I went to pick up my dd. There's something to be said for taking the time to get to know the parents and staying for a couple of playdates. I now send my seven-year-old to playdates w/ a cell phone in her bag. 

K1329's Avatar K1329 10:10 PM 01-29-2011

For me, dd is now in 2nd grade and has been at the school for 4 years. I've gotten to know some of the parents fairly well through playdates and birthday parties. We started by staying at each other's houses for playdates and staying for birthday parties. Then as we got to know one another, graduated to dropping off. I would continue to do playdates - you can even invite someone to a local park, it doesn't have to be at your house, and, then as you get to know each other and figure out who you're comfortable with and who your child enjoys spending time with, you and the other parents will probably feel okay with dropping off/not staying.  

DariusMom's Avatar DariusMom 04:14 AM 01-30-2011
I think there's different "parenting cultures" out there, and a lot can depend on region, city, school, etc.

How it went where DS goes to school is that kids were pretty spontaneous in making playdates themselves and asking if they could play with each other after school. Maybe the first time I would be invited in for coffee or tea and sit for a while and then leave. After that, it was pretty much that kids go off on their own. It's a small neighborhood school and we've probably seen each other at drop off and pick up and chatted casually already. In many cases, the kids went to the same daycare (also in the neighborhood) so we already knew the parents casually, even if we hadn't been to their homes.

To be honest, it would be considered a bit weird and over-protective to stay for the entire play date. However, I live in Europe, so I imagine some of this is cultural, as well.
whatsnextmom's Avatar whatsnextmom 08:27 AM 01-30-2011

In our area, it is customary for a parent of a child that age to stay the first playdate. After that, parents only stay if they really enjoy the company.

Kokopelli-mana's Avatar Kokopelli-mana 02:44 PM 02-10-2011
It's the same here- they stay for the first short play date. After that the kids usually come alone.
I recently learned that it's customary to not come in the house when picking your child up from a play date. ( after you've had several) so that the other mom doesn't have to worry about how the house looks for you. I prefer that, too. The hardest part of play dates for me is cleaning beforehand!