Reception year - invites for tea,without parent(73 Posts)
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.
agree with going mad, my oldest is also 19 and i, along with literally all the other parents let them go off for tea at other childrens' houses as soon as they started reception. Never mind making them grow up more quickly these days, it is all about babying them incessantly, another couple of years and we will have NT kids starting secondary in nappies
Now, Most of the time, I have vaguely known & chatted with the other parent for years so few issues with them not really knowing us.
I am thinking that when we were brand new to the area (rural East Anglia), we held a birthday party at home which probably helped enough parents get to know us and encouraged parents to feel safe to send their DC here.
DC never get invited to play in reception year so I can't comment about what others expect, only that I wanted kids to come play so asking around for afternoon play was the only way to make that happen; one mum always stopped with her DS apologetically until he was 8 (clingy boy), but I never minded and have encouraged other parents to stop if they want. Since nursery I leave DC4 at parties for spells without me but for lots of reasons I never did that with other DC, many other parents stay at parties, still.
I so hate the expression "get a grip" but seriously? Not letting a child who wants to go to a friends house for a couple of hours because you "want to keep them safe"? What do you think is going to happen? And, more to the point, has anyone ever heard of anything bad happening to a child at a freind's house between the hours of 3.30 and 5.30?
I think it's easy to say if you don't have a 'bolter' or accident prone child with no sense of danger! With my 2 DDs it was fine from nursery age. But my DSs were a different matter! One of them had a serious accident playing at a friends and ended up in resuss and having brain scans. All because they weren't being watched and got rowdy on the stairs. One also is visually impared and one hyperactive with no road sense. I let them go at 4 where I knew they would be watched and held hands crossing the road etc. I got better when they got to about 7 and they went on cub camps etc. But with DS3 there is no way I could let him go with most parents at nursery as they are so laid back and with DS3 you literally need eyes in back of your head. It simply depends on the child.
Last year for DS 8th birthday outing we invited "Jack" whose parents politely declined (?text). I always felt a little like it was a snub (DS struggles for friends, anyway). I found out yesterday that Jack has a severe food allergy so his parents don't like letting him go anywhere without them or trained staff. I understand now, just unfortunate for DS.
If your child is happy why would you hold them back? I get the impression that some parents would like to see a CRB check, inspect the kitchen and have a written essay on parenting philosophy!
The whole point is having a child back to tea is that they amuse themselves-the last thing you want at that time of day is having the mother tag along and having to entertain her too!
exotic and safety check all the windows, possible ponds, distance to nearby busy roads .
I like going on the odd playdate, it's a rare chance to chat to an adult, so unless DS grows out his allergies then he's stuck with me.
'safety check all the windows, possible ponds, distance to nearby busy roads'
Those things don't matter if children are being supervised and your child understands them. But there are some parents who let their kids do things that I wouldn't dream of letting mine do. Eg my 10 YO DSs were at a friends recently and were playing 18 games..I also have a friend whose son is Coeliac and she found out parents were still thinking 'it was OK' if he had small amounts of biscuits etc. You have to be able to trust a parent surely!
I wasn't suggesting that children shouldn't be allowed to go on playdates alone if they want to, just that it seems a bit mean to insist they go alone if they're not happy about it. And I guess I don't really know whether things have changed or not over the years - I don't think I went on playdates alone until I was 8 or so, but I don't know what other kids did. It just seems that a lot of kids that DS knows are constantly at other people's houses because it's what suits the parent, not the child. Fair enough if the child really likes it - equally, sometimes you have to do what suits you even if it's not brilliant for your child - but I suspect there are some children who would benefit from a bit more chill-out time with parents/siblings at home. I stayed with DS at a party the other day (I barely saw DS, and I suspect he won't need me to stay again, which is fab), and I spent almost the whole time comforting another child who was terribly shy and basically cried through most of the party. Made me quite sad.
And, more to the point, has anyone ever heard of anything bad happening to a child at a friend's house between the hours of 3.30 and 5.30?
No, but my friend locked my mother out of our house when she came to play. DM had to go next door and go over the fence!
Well I'm a bit of a strange one on this.
Mine was injured - not a terribly injury - it required hospital treatment - the nature of it was really upsetting.
This was whilst I was in the next room with a bunch of 3 year olds playing with my dd.
I think you have to trust to some extent. But largely your dc will tell you if they feel uncomfortable/frightened.
There were sometimes my dd was happy to go on her own to other's houses in reception and other times she said no, not without me. I think go by what they feel. They will soon tell you if they've had a terrible time. If they insist on you going - communicate that to the mum and if accepted, go along too.
But ime you can largely just not do it until they're a bit older and it has not an iota of effect of their social experience/popularity in life.
My DS also had a serious injury (requiring time in hospital, brain scans, tests and horrific stress) playing unsupervised at a friends age 6.
' It just seems that a lot of kids that DS knows are constantly at other people's houses because it's what suits the parent, not the child.'
I totally agree with this. Many have said on this thread it keeps their kids busy so they can get on with things. It used to really annoy me when the same mums mithered to have my DC 2-3 times a week and I found it too much. I do want to see my own DC! They also expected me to have theirs back the same even though I have 5 of my own and was going through bad health problems. I am lucky that mine all get on and entertain each other so I don't need other kids here although I do it for DC it is more monthly than weekly for each child. DD spent quite a lot of time with her friend who is an only child but her mum never expected the same amount back given that I had 5 DC and was very busy. And she didn't do it more than once a week/fortnight!
The only serious injuries my children have ever had have been while in the care of either me or thier father. Does this mean we shouldn't be allowed to look after them?
gosh I am surprised at how many don't. Since pre-school my kids and their friends have done unaccompanied playdates, where we take our child plus theirs home for the afternoon. Often we brought them back up to school at school pick up when we came to get older siblongs and then we handed them back. If there were no older sibs then we dropped them off or they were picked up. We actually do it less now as they are so tired after school.
I really don't think it is too young. It really is fine. But it does depend on the child, one of dds friends never did this, mum always came too. he was shy and not confident without mum. That was fine too.
But I think if you want to get to know the families first, then be upfront. Say I would love to get to know you are your dc. I like to get to know parents before kids do unaccompanied play, so would you and your dc like to come round after school for cup of tea and a play?
Or just start with having them at your house. Offer to drop home, and then chat for a minute at the door, you will gte to know who you are comfortable with.
Or even ask the mums round for coffee after drop off without the kids and get to know them
Good point Steppemum. Don't know if OP has any other kids, but I've done a couple of coffee mornings with Reception mums who have toddlers the same age as my youngest, which has been a chance to get to know them (and for the little ones to play). In terms of practicalities with older siblings, one Reception mum waits until her oldest has a playdate, then makes an arrangement for the younger to have a playdate where she can accompany him on the same day (so she doesn't have to bring the older sibling along as well). Also, I would say to those who aren't keen on accompanied playdates, that it's not like it's long term - DS has only had two playdates (accompanied) since he started school, but I reckon after another maybe one or two he'll be happy to go on his own .
Also, I wonder whether there's an element of WOHM/SAHM here (not in a confrontational sense!!)? Most of the kids I know who are really confident doing playdates alone have parents who both work, and for years they have been quite used to various forms of childcare (childminder/nursery/other parent looking after if childcare breaks down etc). Whereas DS and some of the other more reticent kids have SAHMs and haven't experienced this degree of flexibility (DS was in pre-school for two years, but it was always the same place and he never had anyone else doing pick up/drop off etc). Just a thought.
I wouldn't like that idea at all. Not so much what happens at their house but the fact that the journey home amd therefore road safety would be out of my control. I wouldn't agree to it TBH but it would be tricky to do it without offending.
lapin - sorry not at all!! I am SAHM and all 3 of mine have happily swanned off on playdates since they were tiny. And we always have loads of kids round here on playdates too.
The shy boy I referred to above was a WOHM. dd2 2 close friends who she does lots of playdates with are both WOHM and are both much less confident at playdates than any of my 3.
I think it is to do with family and personality. and there are kids of all types in both camps
minieggs - the thing is that when you walk someone elses child home, ime parents are much more careful. eg, we walk about 100yds along a fairy busy road. My dcs just walk it, I don't need to say anything, thye are allowed quite a long way ahead, they know the rules and I know they will stay on the pavement.
But visitor child in my care has to walk that bit next to me, as I have no idea if they have any road sense, or if they are safe.
I find other parents are the same. But also I know my dcs are road safe because they have to walk that stretch, so wouldn't worry about them walking with someone else
steppemum ok, that did for that theory . MiniEggs in DS's class, I know several times that kids have been happy to be at their friends' houses on their own, but they still want their mum to take them (not sure if it's because they don't want to go in strange car etc, or they just still want that five mins of comfort and reassurance at the transition from school to hometime). So you can still do a playdate where you're in charge of transport. As for the road safety thing, it's something I'm quite conscious of, because we have to walk a couple of hundred yards to school along a fairly busy road with no pavement. I occasionally do it with neighbours' kids and I hate, hate, hate it. Obv I'm extra careful, but I can't control what drivers might do.
TBH I think you can work it any way you like as long as you ask/suggest nicely with a smile.
I think we get tied in knots about the right or wrong way to do things and actually they are just other mums like us, who are happy to work something out that works for everyone.
Don't do what you are not happy to do, and offer/suggest what you would like.
we do playdates many different ways according to families and kids
' But also I know my dcs are road safe because they have to walk that stretch, so wouldn't worry about them walking with someone else'
That's the difference, I knew my DDs were OK but not DSs. They have no road sense at all. In fact when he (DS3) was with a friend's Mum he did walk out into the road (luckily was very quiet) as they were walking in front, the mum thought they were OK as her DD was usually fine by the road and had never held hands etc. I did get around this with DTs at that age by dropping them off at a friends. At the end of the day though some parents like playdates more than others. I find most people like them on occasion with a few doing them far too much and some refusing them altogether. I certainly won't be letting DS3 go until I feel ready though and don't care what other parents think. If they want weekly playdates there are probably other Mums happy to join them in that.
Join the discussion
Please login first.