Reception year - invites for tea,without parent

(73 Posts)
greener2 Tue 22-Jan-13 19:09:17

Hi,
Just wondering what experiences/thoughts are...
We are new to an area and so have only known people since sept school year although it seems a lot of people have not met prior to school anyway.

My issue is, its reception year, kids are 4 years old and it seems the norm to be sending your child to someones house for tea after school, the other childs parent to walk them home etc and to have someone elses child without the parent.

I havent done this as i dont feel at 4 this is the right age, i dont know anything about the parents either. But i am alone in my thoughts and feel a bit isolated.

Thanks

greener2 Thu 24-Jan-13 12:58:01

Im not bothered if they dry up. I stick to what i feel is right and that is at this age she is too young with people i dont know. Cant believe someone was so competitive to do that with the kids, so funny!!!
I wne to someones last night with my dd and we ended up arranging a night where we go to their house with the husbands for pizza and wine etc on a sat eve so thats turned out well to get to know the parents smile

seeker Thu 24-Jan-13 13:09:26

You may not be bothered if they dry up but your child might be........

LapinDeBois Thu 24-Jan-13 13:15:28

I think it's best to be led by your child, TBH. Although you might be quite happy with invitations 'drying up', your child might not be, if she's trying to make friends. But equally, I don't think you should push her if she doesn't want to. At my son's school (he's also Reception) the kids are always going back to each other's houses for playing/tea - but it's a very small village school (only 15 in the year) and almost all the parents know each other at least a bit, plus quite a lot of it is shared childcare - working parents take it in turns to do the school pick up. I would be delighted for DS to go to playdates alone, but he's not keen yet - he's a bit shy. But we had one of his friends to our house alone the other day, and last week he went (drum roll!!) to a party on his own for the first time, which was fine. So we're just doing baby steps at the moment. TBH I don't really have concerns about safety - I know all the parents a bit, and he's just as likely to have an accident in the school playground or in our garden with his brother as he is at a friend's house. But I'd probably feel differently if it was a parent I really didn't know at all.

LapinDeBois Thu 24-Jan-13 13:18:21

Oh, the other thing I was going to say, is that I do think there's a question of tiredness, too. Even though DS is the oldest in the year, he's still knackered at the end of the day, and I try not to organise too much after school. Yesterday one of our neighbour's children kind of invited herself back to our house to play, and even though DS likes her, he really didn't want her to be there. He'd had a really tiring day, and he just wanted to curl up and do his reading books. She ended up playing with DS2 (aged 2!) instead.

learnandsay Thu 24-Jan-13 13:26:56

Gave the children spelling tests. grin That's the funniest thing I've seen in ages!

2cats2many Thu 24-Jan-13 13:51:24

Playdates are always unaccompanied at my DD's school. I would hate the idea of having to entertain mum/ dad for 3 hours as well as their child. Luckily, I quite like the parents of my daughter's friends, but I wouldn't like to be obliged to spend a lot of time with them IYSWIM.

PrincessScrumpy Fri 25-Jan-13 14:24:09

Dd1 is 4 and she only plays at friends homes without me if I know the parents. People seem happy to ask me to look after their kids but that may be because I work in a school so am crb checked?

piprabbit Fri 25-Jan-13 14:28:17

It's not all or nothing. There is no reason why you can't accompany your DD on the first visit, or make it a very short one (the other parents will be fine that it's a new experience that takes some getting used to). Then you can review how your DD got on, how you felt about it, did you feel the parents were looking after your DD OK and see if you want to try being a little braver next time.

It's meant to be fun for the children, not a major worry. So just see how you both get on.

BackforGood Fri 25-Jan-13 14:50:12

There is no reason why you can't accompany your DD on the first visit

Well, except for the fact the parent hasn't been invited round to play, the child has.
I'd be like this --> hmm if a parent expected me to entertain them when a big part of having someone round to play is that it means they entertain each other and you get to 'get on' with other things for a couple of hours.

piprabbit Fri 25-Jan-13 15:59:28

Whereas I would be happy to compromise a bit about what I normally expect the children to do on a play date, if it meant helping one of my DS's young friends overcome their shyness. I'd hope that if I made things easy on the first visit, there might be more visits in future and if I was lucky my DS might get to go to their house too giving me an afternoon of freedom.

lesmisfan Fri 25-Jan-13 16:15:09

With 3 children at 3 schools I really don't have the time or inclination to start accompanying reception children on playdates. Either they go alone or not at all and I have never had any parents indicate that they want to come too, to my relief. Obviously if I was unsure about the parent I would decline the invitation but that has never happened so far.

DoingItForMyself Fri 25-Jan-13 16:36:04

<bad mother alert> My DCs went to friends' houses & parties unaccompanied aged 3! They would generally pester me about wanting to go, to be fair, so it wasn't as if I forced them, but with 3 DCs you can't accompany them to every party or 'playdate' they're invited to.

I find it quite awkward having to entertain a parent I don't know very well for a couple of hours.

LapinDeBois Fri 25-Jan-13 22:28:05

Gosh, I do think people expect kids to grow up quickly these days. I mean, Reception kids are still really, really small, aren't they? Don't get me wrong, I think it's perfectly fine for them to go to friends' houses alone - I just think it's a bit much to insist that they do so, otherwise no playdate. I know quite a few adults who aren't necessarily very at ease alone in new environments, let alone four year olds. My DS1 is just feeling his way in the world, and needs a fair bit of help and support still, and if that means accompanying him on playdates, then so be it. Thinking about it, I've seen some really self-contradictory signs of maturity/immaturity among some of DS's classmates - dashing off to playdates alone and watching Star Wars on one hand, but clutching comfort toys for dear life and getting very upset before/after school over strange/trivial things on the other. I think starting school is quite a transition for little ones, and I do wonder whether we push them too far too fast....? But then my DS1 is quite a young five, so maybe my experience/outlook is unusual.

lesmisfan Fri 25-Jan-13 23:50:36

Lapin, it is simply not practical to sit drinking tea with someone you don't know after school when you have 2 other children who need picking up, taking to activities and feeding not to mention getting started on their homework. It was much easier when I had a reception child and a 1 year old who could come too but an 11 year old, 8 year old and a reception child, going on playdates just isn't going to happen.

BackforGood Fri 25-Jan-13 23:51:12

I don't think people are advocating that little ones who aren't yet ready to go and play at other people's houses are somehow forced into it, just saying that if someone invites a child round to play, then it's hardly polite to invite yourself.
Not sure about "growing up quickly *these days*" either. I was born in the 60s, and have never come across a parent going with their child when they go to play at a friends - that's either back in the 60s and 70s, or when my dcs were born in the 90s.

MerylStrop Fri 25-Jan-13 23:58:18

My elder two have happily gone to play at school (and actually in DS case nursery) friend's houses from @4, though with DD, handily it turns out that most of her best friends are the little sisters of DS's best friends so I know the parents pretty well by now.

Just as well though because with 3 kids and working accompanying them on playdates is pretty much a non starter.

jellybeans Sat 26-Jan-13 00:03:01

I let my DDs but not my DSs at that age. DTs were delayed and boistrous eg would run in the road and other parents let their kids run ahead etc. They had a couple of awful accidents. DS is 4 and not in school yet but I would not let him go without me yet. Some parents are so relaxed and its just not possible with DS he has no sense of danger! With DTs other than a select few I knew well they were much older before I let them go alone. Trust your gut just make excuses. 4 is tiny still.

HappyMummyOfOne Sat 26-Jan-13 10:56:25

Parents did this when DS was in reception, as I wasnt happy to let him go off alone with an adult I didnt know I did all the hosting. He now goes to a couple of friendss houses but even though he is in juniors now I still wouldnt let him go to a house where i didnt know the parent well.

Hulababy Sat 26-Jan-13 11:14:37

DD went to friend's houses for tea and play after school from the first few weeks in reception. Didn't know them before but had spoken to parents at the school gates. Within a couple of weeks she was going to one friend's house most Tuesdays when I worked late - she was going to go to ASC but the two girls made good friends quickly so I let her go - now really good friends with the family and godchild to their child, girls now in Y6 - so obviously all was ok.

For reception aprties in our school many parents stayed and chatted and got to know one another. By end of year and in Y1 they were usually left unless venue was further out.

roundabout1 Sat 26-Jan-13 16:13:03

When dd was in reception we did a playdate with her best friend but not until the easter term. She is very shy anyway & I didn't know the friends parents. I think 4 is very young to be doing playdates if the children doesn't know the parents, especially if they are the youngest of the year like my dd. We generally dont do any homework while friends are over & sleepovers are usually at the weekend so no problem. Regarding parties, in Reception most children had parents who stayed, in fact depending on the venue some still stay, not because the children need them too but as a social occassion for the mums. Regarding safety, I always host playdates on a school teatime with one particular friend of dd's as I know they let the dd cross the road by herself sometimes & also previously when my dd needed a booster seat they took her on a car journey unbeknown to me without one.

sproingle Sat 26-Jan-13 17:30:14

My DD goes on playdates after nursery without me and we have other children here, some, but not all without parents. She's done this since she was 3.

When she starts at school next year, I won't have an issue. However, at first I only sent her to houses I'd visited with her before. Now I've sent her to play with others provided I've met the parents a few times. I nearly always pick up after she's been there a couple of hours and stay for a cup of tea.

I think, in the end, you need to be comfortable with where she is and who she is with.

DownyEmerald Sat 26-Jan-13 22:21:10

I always had to go with dd, didn't have any choice, until the summer term when someone in the same village invited her, that was ok apparently.

But actually it was good, because I had a built in excuse for these people I'd never met before school. You get a reasonable idea of people chatting to them in the playground, but I've heard enough stories of lovely women with horrendous husbands, or big dogs. And fair enough you can ask "have you got a dog" without offending, but "is your husband scary?" is not really acceptable!

DD is year 2 now, I was quite touched and surprised when a new mum to the school asked if I wanted to come with dd to play at hers. Wish I'd said yes now, as she was the first person who had actually asked up front.

goingmadinthecountry Sat 26-Jan-13 22:23:54

My oldest is 19. She went round to play with people I met at the gate a few times from the age of 3. It didn't seem odd. I really cannot believe how independence has almost disappeared now. Dc4 is just 9 handsome parents still feel the need to stay at parties.

I hate it. Give them some independence.

goingmadinthecountry Sat 26-Jan-13 22:25:37

And some obviously - autoshite obviously thinks I choose handsome friends only

Meglet England Sat 26-Jan-13 22:31:23

DS is Y1 and very confident but there is no way I would let him go on a play date without me. Partly because he has allergies, but TBH if I don't know the parents very well they they could be any old random stranger.

When he's in Y2 I think it will be a bit easier as I'll have known the parents for over 2yrs by then. And as I work I don't get much time to chat to the other parents, I only have a couple of times a week to chat to them at most.

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now