DS Nightmare when playdates are at ours

(13 Posts)
roweeena Fri 03-Jan-14 14:35:35

DS is 26 months I used to work full time but now on mat leave with 12 week old. Since I've been on mat leave I've had two play dates at our house and they have gone horrendously - DS is unable to share his toys, screams at the child shouts and this time was hitting.

It was awful, sometimes he is good but I'm on edge to whole time just waiting for him to explode when the poor child picks up a particular toy he has decided shouldn't be shared.

He is fine at other people's houses, playgroups, childminders etc (the odd wobbly but nothing out of the ordinary) but when its at ours he just becomes awful, its really embarrassing.

I am very hormonal and i'm blaming myself as i went back to work full time so we very rarely have people to play or if they do they are younger (seems absolutely fine with a 1yr old). I would like to avoid more playdates but don't know if that is bad?

Also we can't avoid another as I have invited friends to come and look at our new house next weekend so we have a 5yr old, 3 2yr olds and a 10month old descending - now I'm dreading it!

Any advice? Anyone had similar problems? When they left I told him I was very cross and that he can't hit and there will be no more peppa pig because of hitting. Should I time him out everytime though - so embarrassing when everyone is here.

AwfulMaureen Fri 03-Jan-14 15:19:46

Avoid them like the plague at this age....seriously they're of no real use to a child of 2 as your son is...they're more useful in my experience when they get to over 6 year old. Before that, many kids can't share, get tired of having other DC in their home for extended periods and just don't have a good time.

Socialisation happens best in nursery, playgroups and with extended family.

Your son is just a toddler...he doesn't need playdates.

findingherfeet Fri 03-Jan-14 15:22:09

Maybe it's an age thing..I'm experiencing exactly the same with my little girl and she's also 26 months. I sympathise as it is so embarrassing; she has started literally screaming her head off when a play mate wants to share her toys and usual distraction/calming chat have little effect.

I've found hiding certain toys that will guarantee a hissy fit in advance is sensible (this tends to include her pram and push along truck thing) as she is better with 'we all have one' type games/toys - cars/food/puzzles/crayons etc rather than taking turns with big toys)

I chat to her about sharing before visitors arrive, saying about her friends wanting to play with her and heap on praise for any sharing, which does help a bit but I have also found myself on edge and she probably picks up on it!

When things escalate too much over one specific toy and both children are upset, I've started taking the toy away and give up on trying to reason/encourage taking turns.

I'm half blaming Santa - DD is much less willing to share since she got new things for Xmas which for young children is hardly surprising really.

I'm hoping 'this to shall pass' and am grateful that Xmas is over, so far less socialising to be done hmm .... And I've resorted to bribery at times....you can all have a biscuit if you share your toys works rather well!

plantsitter Fri 03-Jan-14 15:28:21

Just don't bother having playdates at home. Kids this age are rubbish at sharing their toys at home anyway, and if he has just had a baby brother/sister come in and nick all the attention it must feel even worse! He might not even know they will be going away again.

Give yourself a break, I would.

Goldmandra Fri 03-Jan-14 15:43:01

Put away the toys he will find hardest to share. Just leave a few out so things don't get too frantic.

Have a bottle of bubbles to blow because everyone can run after those at the same time. Consider getting a few very cheap identical toys that are new to them all, e.g. party favours, so there is less competition.

Give them lots of space to play separately if possible. This is more appropriate for 2 year olds who tend not to play cooperatively much.

Plan a walk and a snack to limit the time spent playing.

If he hits, respond exactly as you would normally, embarrassing or not, so you are giving him a consistent message. The best thing would be to make him sit away from the others for a moment until he is calmer every time so he learns that hitting gets him less time with his toys, not more.

findingherfeet Fri 03-Jan-14 15:45:11

But it's pretty awkward to tell family and friends with kids not to visit (because my daughter will be a nightmare!) though I avoid at the moment where possible, it's also a bit cheeky to expect friends to host - put on lunch and let their homes get trashed (played in should I say!) and to not return favour....

FinallyGotAnIPhone Fri 03-Jan-14 20:09:16

I have this problem and my DD is 3.7. I just stopped hosting playdates for a while as it was too stressful.

TheGreatHunt Fri 03-Jan-14 20:14:04

It's because it's his home and these people are touching his stuff. If someone started playing with, say, your phone or laptop, you'd be cheesed off?

We have toys in the living room and talk about sharing quite a lot. If it kicks off, I tell them to share or swap etc etc. DS is much better now he's 4 and dd who's 2 is pretty used to it. I do help them negotiate as opposed to them always bring expected to give up toys. Eg suggest the other kid has something instead and they swap later. This is easier if the other parent shares your parenting style!

TheGreatHunt Fri 03-Jan-14 20:14:31

*being not bring

BarbarianMum Fri 03-Jan-14 20:16:35

It's an age thing. 26 months is not a good age for sharing. Ds1 could just about manage 1 child, for a short time, at that age - and then only if we'd put his precious train set away.

LadyMetroland Sat 04-Jan-14 20:42:27

I've just stopped having them. Dd2 is a nightmare. She is 2.7mths. I figure by Easter when she starts preschool and is nearly 3 then I'll start doing them again. Until then she can play with her older sister and go to a couple of music classes each week. That's enough socialization.

Agree with poster upthread - give yourself a break

Sparklyboots Sat 04-Jan-14 21:05:54

My DS is just 3 and I recognise your difficulty. We found any problem or difficult behaviour was really heightened by the arrival of our DD, 7mo. Is that a factor at all, OP? Before playdates, we walk round and ask about every toy, "is x allowed to play with that when s/he comes?" Any that he answers no to are.put away out of sight and if anything happens during the date, I remind him of the conversation. Also we have a swap policy (for DD' s sake really) so if he wants something someone else has got, he has to offer a trade, this doesn't always work for the other child but at least gives him something constructive to.do while the initial flash of feeling passes - even if we get to an impasse, everybody has moved past screeching. If something has got out of hand, I offer the other child an apology and an explanation, somehow hearing me rationalise his yelling and pulling enables him to calm down quicker, it also takes the pressure off as it 'ends' the screechy moment, where standing over him and waiting for him to hand stuff over would just escalate the tension. It is also worth reiterating that his toys remain his whatever happens during the playdate.

Sparklyboots Sat 04-Jan-14 21:09:52

I wanted to add that I really like playdates with two at this sort of age because baby care is quite demanding and boring for the older sibling; and playdates are always more interested in the older one and his toys, where most visitors coo over the baby.

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