What's my problem with playdates? - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 25 Old 08-30-2010, 09:58 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Am I the only mom who barely ever sets up playdates?
I feel like everyone in my neighborhood always has a kid to pick up or drop off somewhere.
I admit Im introverted, but is there anything bad about the fact that my DD only had 4 playdates this summer?
I have a 7yr old, 5yr old, and 4 month old baby. I dont have the time to take a shower most days let alone plan a social calender for kids.
If I have someone over to play with one child, the other feels left out and it makes more work for me. I dont trust anyone enough to leave my children at their houses. We stay pretty busy around here with our own activities and time just flies by.
I guess Im feeling a little guilty and wonder if anyone else has the same situation.
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#2 of 25 Old 08-30-2010, 10:09 PM
 
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I am in the same situation. I don't do many playdates. I have a 6, 4 and 2 yr old. I find in order to have a playdate the rest of my day has to stop so I try to just take the kids to busy parks or meet up a parks with kids they know. Then I don't need to entertain parents and no one is trashing my house worse than it already is.
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#3 of 25 Old 08-30-2010, 11:38 PM
 
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I'm with you. I have a 7yr old, 5 yr old and 18 mnth old. I prefer to plan to meet people at places like the park. My oldest has asked me to go to his friend's house from school. I really don't trust his friend's mom for one thing, and I wouldn't know what to do with his younger brother even if I was okay with it. It tends to get tougher in the winter time. I stick with people with parents who stay with their kids and don't mind me staying with mine. We spend a lot of time doing things as a family, though.

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#4 of 25 Old 08-30-2010, 11:41 PM
 
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I don't like playdates. Granted I'm and introvert and not inclined to set up much that's social but I also have twins and 3 is just a bad number of 5 yo girls; someone's always feeling left out. I will go along when cornered (by another parent) but so far my girls aren't really asking so I've been able to stay out of it mostly.
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#5 of 25 Old 08-30-2010, 11:52 PM
 
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Meh, I didn't do many either. My life got in the way this summer! They're 7, 5, and 3, they can play with each other. I don't worry about it too much. We did have a lot of grownups over (guys who work w/dh, relatives associated w/a funeral, neighbors), and they hung out with them, too. So it's not like they're totally isolated.

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#6 of 25 Old 08-30-2010, 11:58 PM
 
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Well, I have an only child (6.5) and I rarely set up playdates - different situation in that I work full time so she is in a social setting most of the time anyway and I like doing the family thing on the weekends -

Although I have not read the book - a friend of mine explains that the author of "protecting the gift" (or something like that) thinks that the more you stress friendships with peers (facilitated through playdates of course) the less connected with family and more at risk they become as tweens and teens... don't know the research behind that but makes sense to me and I certainly don't feel bad - when she asks, I really put more of the onus on her to get the phone number and then, like a pp, I prefer to meet at the park or something
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#7 of 25 Old 08-31-2010, 10:42 AM
 
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We have never done a play date. DS goes to preschool 5 days a week so he gets enough socialization there.

Weekends are family time, period. DH, for good or bad, would not tolerate DS spending time at someone else's house over the weekend. We are active as a family. DH is always up for anything (except shopping or playdates) maybe I would feel differently if DH wasn't 100% willing to do anything. I have friends whose partners like to sit and watch TV or go hunting/fishing all the time. If DH was like that, I might be more inclined to do the play date thing.

I realize this will change as DS matures and friends become more important to him. DH and I are already preparing for our house to be the "kid" house.

I have always worked full time so even if I wanted to do the play date thing, I wouldn't have had the time. I continue to be amazed to hear about how much time and effort my SAHM and part-time working friends put into making sure their kids have play dates ALL THE TIME.

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#8 of 25 Old 08-31-2010, 10:56 AM
 
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I'm the same way. All my mom friends talk about their kid being over at someone else's house or having kids over to their house and I just have no desire to do that. My kids do get to play with other kids outside of school and daycare, but its usually a whole group thing with some friends and their kids.

It's so hard when kids do come over though. Especially when it's one of ds1's friends. Ds2 doesn't want to be left out and he follows them everywhere, which bugs ds1 and its just stressful on all of us.
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#9 of 25 Old 08-31-2010, 11:07 AM
 
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I rarely do playdates. Actually I have not had a single one this summer. The only kid I have over is a close friend of my DD who she went to kindergarten with and now goes to a different school. The two girls area really low maintaince though. My DS has asked to have a few friends over. I have talked with a the parents a few times but it always seems like too much work particularly when he sees them everyday.
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#10 of 25 Old 08-31-2010, 02:33 PM
 
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I've done both sides...

I used to never do playdates - I have 2 DDs close in age and they (in theory) play well together. Besides I just don't want the added responsibility sometimes. I was often so tired in my day that I just didn't want to go there.

I started more playdates when my oldest turned 6 as her 4 yr old sister just wasn't doing it for her any more. The 6 yr old's level of vocab, inventive play and developmental 'girlie' needs far exceeded what her sister could deliver. My 6 yr old was in her glory with a peer, and at that age, they really are no problem, and quite well behaved. The upside is that once in a while, when I'm stuck for childcare, I ask a mom to help out with a playdate - and they do as well. It's a common thing around here, and pulled me out of my shell a bit.
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#11 of 25 Old 08-31-2010, 07:43 PM
 
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My kids have lots of kids nearby to play with so there are a lot of impromptu playdates going on. I also make the effort to arrange playdates when the kids ask to see their friends. I think it is important for them to spend time apart, and I notice that they start to argue and fight a lot when they've spent a lot of consecutive time together under the same roof (this is my 9yo and 6yo). I like playdates and my kids enjoy them. I also do get to know and trust their friends' parents over time.

4 kids under 10
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#12 of 25 Old 08-31-2010, 07:57 PM
 
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I love play dates! DS is 8 yo, an only child, and home schooled. Most of his friends are in school and it is the only time he gets to see them. Plus at their age, it's often less work to have the two kids play, then entertain DS.

Most of his play dates are with families we know well. Sometimes, if I'm friends with the mom, we hang out, but most of the time the kids are dropped off. The trick, I found is to meet the parents in public place the first few times with an exit plan to make a quick get away if I can't stand the parents. I do prefer the spontaneous play dates with neighborhood kids, it's just less work.
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#13 of 25 Old 08-31-2010, 10:59 PM
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Originally Posted by bonamarq View Post
Well, I have an only child (6.5) and I rarely set up playdates - different situation in that I work full time so she is in a social setting most of the time anyway and I like doing the family thing on the weekends -

Although I have not read the book - a friend of mine explains that the author of "protecting the gift" (or something like that) thinks that the more you stress friendships with peers (facilitated through playdates of course) the less connected with family and more at risk they become as tweens and teens... don't know the research behind that but makes sense to me and I certainly don't feel bad - when she asks, I really put more of the onus on her to get the phone number and then, like a pp, I prefer to meet at the park or something
I think that's actually more Hold On To Your Kids. Both are good books!

We don't do a lot of playdates, although we go to AP playgroups at the park about once a week these days. I've been having mamas and kiddos over to our place since I've been rather disabled this pregnancy, too. But with lots of kids in the house, I would worry even less than I do for my so-far only.
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#14 of 25 Old 08-31-2010, 11:09 PM
 
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We've never had a playdate where we have a child over without his/her mom and my child's never gone to another house to play without me. He's 4.5 and I'm not ready for that yet.
We do lots of playdates though. I have an amazing group of momma friends; all the kids are born within 2 months of each other and have known each other since 3mos old and we get together often at somebody's house or a park. We usually have a once a week standing date - the activity/location changes and whoever can make it makes it. For me it's my fun too b/c the parents are so great. I couldn't survive without these playdates.
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#15 of 25 Old 09-01-2010, 01:40 AM
 
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I don't do playdates really.

Maybe we should start a tribe .

I always think that we should, but our lives are pretty busy, our schedules are weird, and I always feel funny calling the other mom. We just don't seem to get to them much.

I never do the drop my kid at someone else's house kind, either as the host or the dropper. It is always a stay at the house deal or a meet them at a park deal.

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#16 of 25 Old 10-20-2010, 07:56 PM
 
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I have two boys (5 and 3) and I have never hosted a playdate (other than having the kids' cousins over a couple of times). I joined a playgroup when my oldest turned 3 because I bought into the whole "kids need socialization by the time they can walk or they'll grow up to be weird" idea and tried to go to at least two of them a week. It turned out that it was more like a "Mom's Group" because 99% of the moms sat around and talked while their kids played and beat each other up. I was usually one of the only moms who actually played with my kids. In fact, I think I was only able to actually sit down and chat for a total of one hour when you combine the 20 or so play dates I attended. My oldest son has always been a little shy and tends to get overwhelmed when he's thrown into a large group of kids. He wouldn't let me out of his sight and his little brother had just learned to walk so I had to keep my eye on him constantly. Honestly, I was worn out by the time the play dates were over and the kids were overstimulated and cranky. So, after a year of that we stopped going and none of us have missed them AT ALL. My boys play very well together and we take them to the zoo, park, McDonald's playground, Science Center, etc. quite often so they have plenty of time with other kids - just not the same ones all the time. It was actually the "Hold Onto Your Kids" book that really opened my eyes about the whole socialization thing. I highly recommend it. It's by Gordon Neufeld (I think that's how you spell it). I don't think there is anything wrong with not having play dates.
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#17 of 25 Old 10-20-2010, 08:04 PM
 
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interesting. i have 5 children and have set up play dates all along. i could give a hoot if i shower. lol i just put on deodorant and brush my teeth and hair. we tend to do alot of things outside though so it isn't that much of a hassle for either party, the kids run around outside together and the moms chill and watch what is going on. i usually bring plenty of food and water and we could be out all day. that way you can plan something for multiple kids at once. set up a park day with a couple moms with kids your kids ages.
i have totally gotten over my issues with other people having my kids over too, that helps when you get to know the other families by hanging out together. you see how they respond to their kids and how they are in general as people.

oh and i guess i am one of those moms who doesn't play with my kid at a playdate. i do that at home, when we hang with other kids the kids play together, and the moms chat. of course we don't let the kids beat each other up. maybe i just how stumbled on a really great group of people more then once. lol
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#18 of 25 Old 10-20-2010, 08:22 PM
 
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I avoid play dates too. I don't know why though. my ds plays with my best friend's daughter who is about the same age, but that's it. I don't think it's a big deal.
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#19 of 25 Old 10-20-2010, 08:54 PM
 
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I don't really play date. I've done a couple of them. I don't really care for em. For me to be comfortable, I have to know the mom (or dad, since one of my DD's friends has a SAHD) who I'm going to be spending time with. DD goes to preschool and spending all the time cleaning/preparing etc to get ready for having someone over just for them to be here for a little more than an hour just doesn't appeal to me.

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#20 of 25 Old 10-20-2010, 11:00 PM
 
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DSD who is almost 7 has gone to a few over the past few years, but we haven't set any up ourselves. I emailed one woman, the mother of one of her favorite friends from her pre-school, but she never got back to me. I work full-time plus I just don't know what the big deal is; we didn't have "play dates" growing up did we? And we turned out ok. The only thing I feel bad about regarding her social life is that we rent and there aren't any kids (at least not her age) in the apartment complex, and she goes to private school (she's one of 8 kids in her class and none live in our town, and only one kid in the entire school does) so we don't even have neighborhood kids for her to play with. At our last apartment, the person right next to us had a daughter the same age, and there was a 4 and 8 year old brothers upstairs. The 3 or 4 of them played all the time. They bought a house and then we moved out too. We just went to the girl's birthday party after not seeing them in the past 10 months (they live 20 minutes from us) and we said we'd get them together soon, but we'll see how that goes. Now there's nobody for SD to play with. She is essentially an only child since her 1/2 brother and sister are older (about to turn 18 and 14) and live with their mom, so sometimes I feel bad. I hate feeling pressure to be her social director and that I'm somehow failing as a mom because I don't do more.
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#21 of 25 Old 10-20-2010, 11:29 PM
 
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Children who have siblings have 'play dates' 24/7. No need to organize outside activities if you don't want to.
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#22 of 25 Old 10-20-2010, 11:40 PM
 
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You have 3 kids! That's a playdate at your house already...and your older two seem to be of an age where they could play together well. In a few years, your little one might want to bond with some kids closer to their age...but maybe not!

I have a 5 year old only, and yes, we do playdates! But, I don't have other kids fo her to play with right here in my house. (I am lucky in that my neighbor has 4 kids so she just plays with them a lot.)
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#23 of 25 Old 10-21-2010, 10:10 AM
 
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MamaofThree, I didn't mean to come across like a jerk when I said most of the moms didn't play with their kids at the play dates I attended. I hope I didn't offend you. I was just trying to point out that I joined the group for the kids but it ended up being for the moms and because there were so many people and so many unsupervised kids, it didn't work out too well for us. There was one mom in particular who had pretty aggressive children and she was totally checked out. She would yell at her kids if they bothered her when she was having a conversation. She was yelling at her boys so loudly at one play date that she scared my children. I could see the fear on my oldest son's face so we talked about it when we got in the car. It just wasn't for us. I think there is a big difference between keeping one eye on your kids and chatting with other moms and completely ignoring them while they beat up other kids. From your post I can tell you don't fall in the latter category!
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#24 of 25 Old 10-21-2010, 10:40 AM - Thread Starter
 
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MamaofThree, I didn't mean to come across like a jerk when I said most of the moms didn't play with their kids at the play dates I attended. I hope I didn't offend you. I was just trying to point out that I joined the group for the kids but it ended up being for the moms and because there were so many people and so many unsupervised kids, it didn't work out too well for us. There was one mom in particular who had pretty aggressive children and she was totally checked out. She would yell at her kids if they bothered her when she was having a conversation. She was yelling at her boys so loudly at one play date that she scared my children. I could see the fear on my oldest son's face so we talked about it when we got in the car. It just wasn't for us. I think there is a big difference between keeping one eye on your kids and chatting with other moms and completely ignoring them while they beat up other kids. From your post I can tell you don't fall in the latter category!
You just havent found the right group of women yet.
There is a way to have playgroups where the moms and kids all interact, play, and chat and have an amazing time.
Even though I have some friends like this. We are all so busy with day to day life and having little babies that it is hard to get together.
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#25 of 25 Old 10-21-2010, 11:06 AM - Thread Starter
 
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interesting. i have 5 children and have set up play dates all along. i could give a hoot if i shower. lol i just put on deodorant and brush my teeth and hair. we tend to do alot of things outside though so it isn't that much of a hassle for either party, the kids run around outside together and the moms chill and watch what is going on. i usually bring plenty of food and water and we could be out all day. that way you can plan something for multiple kids at once. set up a park day with a couple moms with kids your kids ages.
As far as the shower goes- that's not why I dont have time for playdates.

I really like playgroups at parks or taking turns having them in our back yards.
It's the playdate thing that drives me crazy. One kid is upset and wants to join it, the other kids wants time alone with their friend. I have to cook and take care of baby......
It's just not worth the hassle sometimes. And DD and DS do play together for hours.




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i have totally gotten over my issues with other people having my kids over too, that helps when you get to know the other families by hanging out together. you see how they respond to their kids and how they are in general as people.

I will not ever get over those issues.
My mother was very protective of us as young children and Im as annoying as it was, I am very grateful.
I had a friend in 4th grade and my mother new her father for a few years. he was a very man whos wife passed away a while back.
She felt it was ok to let us have a playdate and dropped me off.
About an hour into the playdate the father was drunk and throwing darts at his younger daughter. I should not have had to see that. I was always upset and didnt know how to handle it when I saw this friend in school, so I couldnt talk to her.
My sister was on a playdate when she was around 10 with a very nice catholic family. We knew them from school and church. The girl had an older brother (19) who would pass by the girls while they played and say little things to my sister.
She was 10, loved the attention, didnt see harm in it, didnt tell my mother.
So, after 5 years of these monthly playdates, they were having sex. That's right she was 15 and he was 24.
They were a "nice family, all acted well together, no reason anyone in the neighborhood would think anything but the best of them.

As much as you think you know a family, you really have to be sure.
I only have one family that I REALLY know that I could leave one of my children with.
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