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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So, we just moved in the past year to the suburbs. Previously, we lived in the city. Whenever my DSD wanted a friend over, we would have to set up a playdate that had a specific starting and stopping time. Now that we live out here, she has made friends with several girls on our block. It seems to be a non-stop train of kids coming over or DSD going over to their homes. Given that we have her for an entire month this summer, it seems to be a bit overwhelming with the entire thing considering our other children are much younger and require playdates.<br><br>
It is like we have been thrown in the middle of uncharted territory. We are having to make up rules as we go when we realize the situation is not working out for us. So, I am just wondering what kind of rules you have with your children for having friends over or being over at their homes.
 

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If I were you, I'd say exactly what you just said to us to the neighborhood parents. See how they do things. Do they let the kids wander in and out of the house all day? Do they *need* to know where everyone is at all times?<br><br>
Then, if there are things you just don't feel comfortable with, you can make your feelings known directly to the parents (so that when you come looking for your DSD or come returning one of their children, they'll know why).<br><br>
Just for example, DSS is not allowed to have the crowd in our house between the lunch and dinner hours. That is when his brother is napping, and then I'm getting dinner fixed and I just don't need the stampede running through.
 

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I want the kids at our house, so I can keep an eye on them. Sometimes DS (5) goes to a friend's house, but DD just turned 3 and she usually wants to go too, which means I have to go and keep an eye on her. So I like it when the kids come over here. Even if DD was old enough to go, I still like the action to be in my own backyard, at least part of the time.<br><br>
If the kids knock on the door and it's a bad time, I tell them so. I'm nice about it, but I have no problem saying "We can't play right now, but maybe later." Sometimes I let them in the house to play, and sometimes I tell them they have to play in the backyard. There's no rhyme or reason to this, it just depends on my mood. I try to be hospitable, but I also want to honor my own boundaries. Usually those two opposing forces equal themselves out. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"><br><br>
I did go around the neighborhood and introduce myself to the other kids' moms, exchange numbers, etc. I found that helped a lot in fostering positive relations with the other families.
 

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When my life started being dictated by the little misses play with friends in the neighbourhood, we became a bit more strict on where the play happened and when.<br><br>
She has to ask to go play. She has to tell us with who. We give her specific time limits often as to when to check in. She tells the other parents what those are when she goes over. And they other parents do the same.<br><br>
If she has to come in when playing with a friend, I tell her friends that they MUST go into their houses and tell their parents that they are no longer playing with DD1. So that their parents know what is happening.<br><br>
We've started insisting that play happens at our house or in our yard often. So that we have a better handle on what is going on. Understand, that neighbourhood friends ages can be widely varied. My DDs play with kids who are anywhere from 3.5 years old to 10 years old. Differing races, ages, religions, schools, family types.....<br><br>
I too introduced myself to the other parents, and any new parents that have children in the same age group. If the kids start playing, I ask about food issues, snack limitations, exchange phone numbers, etc.<br><br>
I probably sound pretty on it here. Really, I feel like a bumbling fool about the whole thing. I allow a significant amount of latitude in my kids playing, far more than most Mom's of girls it seems. Boys seem to get quite a bit more freedom to play unrestricted than the girls. Oddly though the other parents seem to have more restrictions on the girls, they seem to be FAR less aware of the kid politics in the neighbourhood than we are.<br><br>
I and DH do feel free to step in when things aren't heading in a good direction. There is a couple of children that we've been quite frank about our expectations, or in redirecting behaviour that is aggressive. The kids on the block will specifically look at our house, or at us when they are thinking of doing something that might not be the best choice. The parent's aren't aware, but the kids are aware that we are the parent's who know the real score.<br><br>
I guess I'm telling you that because you are on MDC. I figure that MDCer's might be more likely to be that parent too.<br><br>
If there is problem's brewing between my DDs and the other children....usually in my case my girls being targetted to "not playing with" because one of the other girls has decided that she doesn't think people should (ugh), I have other fun things to do up my sleeve to pull out of a hat on a moment's notice. Not that I hide what it happening to the girls on them, but I take the sting out of it. A "hey, that's okay because we were going to the Creative Kids Museum anyways!" "Oh. That's not great. But hey, I was thinking that we could go swimming." "She said that? Hm. Well I think you are great. And anyways, I need your help with xyz right now!"
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks for all the input. I have met all the parents of the kiddos, and we have one another's numbers. I have actually become somewhat friendly with one of the moms who is more in the MDC type of mindset, so that is nice. I would also prefer them to play at our house, but I am just not up for a marathon playdate everyday.<br><br>
We actually sat down with DSD and laid down some clear rules. She must ask without her friend standing next to her if she can have someone over. When we give a time to come home from a friend's house that does not mean bring your friend back with you to play at our home. She must also be nice to her younger sisters when she has friends over, and she is responsible for her friends also being kind to them. Otherwise playtime with the friend is over. I think that is it for now. I am sure there will be adjustments as we go, though.
 
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