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Discussion Starter #1
Do any of you have "guidelines" in your households around impromptu playdates? The last couple of days have been like birthday parties around here with several of the neighborhood kids coming over to play with DS. It's been anywhere between 1 and 5 kids (they come and go), and pretty much for the entire afternoon. They've been outside, so it's not <i>that</i> bad, but some of them do require more constant supervision, and I'm hoping not to have things ongoing all summer this way. DS (5 y.o.) is needing kids to play with, and I'm OK with it, but not so many kids and for such long hours! I was talking with him tonight about how we could make a rule about only having two friends over at once, and he seemed to think that would work. I'll also have to put some limits on the length of time that they can stay, though, or I will be <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/dizzy.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Dizzy">: by next week. I'm a bit undecided about what would be reasonable, and I'm wondering if any of you have already come up with something that you'd be willing to share.
 

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I'm not sure and I can see how this might drive you batty. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol"> But I just wanted to point out not to forget the advantages to being the house where all the kids hang out (i.e. you know what they are up to).
 

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At that age, it sounds like less of a playdate situation, and more like you providing free babysitting for the neighborhood. Maybe tell the other kids that you are happy to see them, they're welcome to stay, but they need to bring a parent along to help supervise the activities. Yeah, busy mom will really like that idea. Not.<br><br>
If the parent calls to set up a playdate, then you could say sure, and what day would be good for you to have little Johny over to your place?<br><br>
Not that I think all play has to be formal and organized (as in "playdate"), but if it's not neutral territory like the park, or if the kids aren't old enough to need nothing more than a room and a snack, then I think it's not fair to the suckered mom.
 

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In the warmer months when everyone plays outisde I don't care how many are over. I also have no problems sending them home for lunch or snacks if they are hungry. I tell them we are going in to eat now and they are welcome to come back later.<br><br>
In the colder months there are no drop ins. Everyone calls first.
 

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My dh and I argue about this.<br><br>
I don't mind it because I like knowing what my dd is doing. And I like knowing her friends. I think both are worth the inconvenience (and noise!) However, she is 9 so they really don't need any supervision. One family has 4 girls my dd's age, so when they come over plus a couple more it is a party.<br><br>
We did have problems when we first moved here with the 2 and 3 yo who lived behind us running all over the neighborhood. And I did feel like I was supervising them all the time. If the kids are younger than 5-6, I would probably say something. If I need to send a kid home at mealtime it doesn't bother me at all.<br>
As for snacks, since we don't generally have "cool" snacks that is not an issue. I do have to talk with my daughter about not eating a bunch of junk food at other people's houses.
 

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I don't mind the kids coming over here to play. With my 3 and babysitting the neighbor's kids I almost always have 5. Even if I'm not babysitting them they seem to end up here(or the 5 of them over there). My oldest has a couple friends who will come over too. The 1 girl I babysit is the same age & grade as them so they all know each other.<br><br>
There are times where I'll say, okay all of the friends need to go home now. Or if they just pop in(or phone) I'll say my kids can't play now but maybe later. If they phone I'll usually give a time frame.
 

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I don't tend to put limits on the number of kids as they need lots of kids to play basketball, jumprope, kickball etc. It's not fuin to play kickball, fi, if there are only 2 kids.<br><br>
The very healthy people might not like this, but in summer, I tend to buy large boxes of 'citrus' pops. We go through about a box of 24 a week, but it seems a small price to pay to know the kids are right there and having fun.<br><br>
I don't have any problem sending kids home, or saying 'no kids playing in the house right now".<br><br>
I do however, tend to find lots of popsicle sticks around my house. Which is fine, because my youngest makes stuff from them. lol
 

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LOL, UUMom...I am pretty crispy in general, but summer in TX is the one time I don't care how many popsicles the kids go thru. They eat so well all the time, but I do try to avoid the red popsicles, and I do make TONS of my own.<br><br>
There are times when our neighbors have several of their grandkids over, and they all run back and forth (a few hrs at each house at a time) between the houses, and playing outside. I LOVE it! Maybe I need more kids of my own, rofl. I love to hear all the fun they have. In between those times, we have neighbors down the road w/several kids and they often come to the door to play.<br><br>
We have new neighbors moving in today. They are a family w/4 kids, 7 and under. Should soon be very interesting, should we all hit it off!<br><br>
The only thing I'd have to say that bothers me about all the kids is the snacks. I really do not mind providing snacks, and they are usually pretty healthy snacks, but kids can woof down everything in the house in a matter of minutes. Looks like a storm of grasshoppers....Once in awhile, I ask the other moms to send some snacks or drinks over if the kids are playing all day (or I'll send one kid back home to fetch some grub--we live in the country and it's safe to walk that far).
 

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I have no problem wth having the gang here. I alo love that you can say to a kid- time to go home now! And there are no weird feelings. You can't say that to an adult! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile">
 

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we've been through this-my oldest is 7 and when she was 4, 5 and 6 yars old neighborhood kids would come over, ring the bell, and drive me crazy! These kids were also 4-6 years old at the time and played around the neighborhood without any supervision whatsoever. Honestly-I got tired of them ringing the bell, freaking the dog out, waking up my youngest and then having to supervise and ref them without knowing or having ever laid eyes on their parents! (they aren't very nice kids anyway and dd didn't really want to be around them) that I told them they needed to have their parent come over and say it's ok to play and to please stop ringing the doorbell umpteen times a day! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol"> No surprise that no parents materialized-and for the most part the kids have stopped ringing the bell. They do come over if they see my dds playing outside.
 

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we often have 5 or 6 boys playing in the basement I do have a few flexible rules<br><br>
1) you must be nice to our younger kids if you play here, all the time no exceptions, we are not mean to the little ones in the house<br><br>
2) I pretty much require that they play outside if its nice out I think from 230 to 5 oclock is outdoor time.<br><br>
3) my boys (8 and 10 years) do their homework after dinner, so while school is in session we don't have kids over after dinner.<br><br>
I like having the kids here so I can keep track of their activities. But having a wide age range in our house (10 years, down to new baby coming any day) it does require some flexibility, if the baby is sleeping they need to play outside.<br><br>
also I rarely feed snacks to the drop in kids, I can't really afford it, if we are eating I send them home
 

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Our house has kind of turned into one of the neighborhood meeting grounds. Ds is only 3 and the other kids range from 5-7. I don't really mind them being over cause ds enjoys it, and I would be outside with ds anyway. I mostly keep them outside but I definately have to grow a spine when it comes to snacks. I just feel bad for some of the kids.<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/greensad.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="greensad"> Their parents let them out early in the morning and rarely even check on them, much less tell them its time to come home for lunch.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Oh boy, what a week! I've been checking in, but only for a few minutes at a time...not long enough to write and reply! Since I'm awake in the middle of the night and worrying about it, I have some time now. Thanks so much for all of your replies. Neighborhood "kids" has turned out to be "kid"... and yeah, I'm getting tired of it. He has been here ringing my doorbell every day, several times a day, and I'm really just torn. I mean, DS is an only, and he is lonesome and wanting to play with other kids, but geez, I'm not running a day-home here. This kid's parents really just throw the doors open wide and he's gone for the day. I remember when we first moved here, he would be outside playing in the street in his diaper, probably not more than 18 mo. old...not a parent in sight. His sister (maybe 8?) seems to do the parenting when she's not at school. So, needless to say, he's receiving no guidance from his end, and there's no way in hell DS is going over there to play! I'm sort of dreading the weekend...especially if the weather is yucky! I don't know what we'll come up with. I hear you and agree about knowing what they're up to when they're here. I guess, though, I've never been really good at having company (makes me uneasy) and "short" company is no exception! I guess we'll just have to figure out where the line needs to go in our world. Thanks again and wish me luck!
 
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