Reception year - invites for tea,without parent

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

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.


OwlCatMouse Tue 22-Jan-13 19:14:18

What happens for parties?

Our school seems to be one of those where everybody does parties/tea without the parent, its fine. My nephew is at a school where nobody would dream of doing this.

If you don't want to leave your DC then don't, you could invite a friend over instead?

Lexiesinclair Tue 22-Jan-13 19:14:24

I only did this once I knew the other parent(s) well enough to feel comfortable with it. Initially I would go along too, or invite the Mum and DCs round for tea until the DD felt comfortable enough to go on her own. My DD is quite shy so it took a while!

alarkaspree Tue 22-Jan-13 19:16:05

I'm sure you're not the only one. My dd was okay with going over to friends' houses unaccompanied at that age but ds had to have me there. I just invited his friends over to ours instead, with their parents or nanny if they wanted them there. If you do that, you can invite the parents in for a cup of tea when they come to pick their child up, then you have met them and maybe you'll feel comfortable with your dc going to their house next time.

DD1 is in reception, just turned 5 and has just come back from her first ever <spit> playdate with a child that I don't really know. It seems to be the done thing here. We've had playdates and sleepovers with a friend whose father we know well so I guess that got us used to the whole thing. I surprised myself by not batting an eyelid today.

Jinsei Tue 22-Jan-13 19:19:52

I had no issue with this at all when I'd had a chance to get to know the parents a bit, but another parent in dd's class responded to our invite by asking if she could stay with her dd as she wasn't used to going to other people's houses without her parents. I wasn't remotely offended, we had a nice coffee and a chat while the children played, and the next time, she felt ok to let her dd come alone (though I'd have been quite happy for her to come again and offered the same).

greener2 Tue 22-Jan-13 19:19:54

Its not my dd, its me. I dont know the parents as yet, what their standards are/saftey etc (dont know a nice way to put it). I know my friends and would leave my dd with them but dont know the new people as yet so dont know why i would just leave my dd with people i dont know iuswim...

What parts of the country is everyone, wonderinf if its a locality thing?

Jinsei Tue 22-Jan-13 19:20:30

Meant to ask, could you not just ask to stay?

ILikeToMoveItMoveIt Tue 22-Jan-13 19:24:38

I would be the same as you. I would need to be able to trust the other parents before I let my dc go to their house unaccompanied.

So I felt comfortable I would say that I would accompany my dc the first time they visited the house so that my dc was comfortable in new surroundings.

greener2 Tue 22-Jan-13 19:29:53

Yes i can stay thats not the problem and is fine, just feel i dont fit in with other parents so feel odd one out whereas my friends i left behind where i used to live were like minded so a bit sad

Jinsei Tue 22-Jan-13 19:56:25

Yes, I can understand that. I'm fortunate to be surrounded by a group of very likeminded parents, which made it much easier for me with regard to playdates etc. Mind you, I think it also helped that we all invested a lot of time in getting to know each other better at the start of reception, do none of them were "strangers" when it came to kids visiting each other's houses etc.

Karoleann Wed 23-Jan-13 13:03:25

My son hasn't done any unaccompanied play dates yet, but its rather that he doesn't know any of the other parents that well yet, rather than me not knowing them. He's a july birthday, his speech isn't that clear and I don't think he'd settle well without me.
We've had other children round to play without their parents though.
Why don't you invite some of the other parents round for coffee so you can get to know them?

middlesqueezed Wed 23-Jan-13 13:22:35

Tell the inviting parent that DD is a bit shy and ask if it's OK for you to come too. Then have a cup of coffee with the parent and if you and she are happy leave for an hour or so, otherwise stay. From what I've seen there's a lot of variation at that age and nobody minds either way.

UrbanSpaceMum Wed 23-Jan-13 13:40:31

Something I noticed with my daughter who is now five and a half: her closest friends are those whose parents have been round to ours for coffee and we've been round there. Where she makes other close friends, we always find we have loads in common with the parents.

I wouldn't worry about seeming the odd one out, I'd use it as a filter: if you are offended by me wanting to come in for a coffee then ... come to think of it, it's not very friendly is it? But I do tend to invite the kid and forget that the parent doesn't know me, as my daughter has usually told me all sorts of interesting and amusing detail about them, bless...

pumpkinsweetieMasPudding Wed 23-Jan-13 13:54:24

You are not alone in not feeling comfortable with it.
I prefer to know the parent first on a first name basis and know a bit about them and their home etc before i'd allow visits for tea vice-versa.

We do this (in fact, tonight!) but only when we know the parents more than just in passing.

I like not having to do the school run sometimes, and DS1 thinks it is just about the best fun one can have.

spookycatandfluffydog Wed 23-Jan-13 14:04:45

I am with you OP. This happens at our school as well. My DC is still a bit "young" and first born so not sure if this is affecting my view of the world.

greener2 Wed 23-Jan-13 20:29:41

Yeah i just dont get it if im honest, i feel its for year one maybe not reception year, shes still my baby smile
Nothing wrong in them being young and waiting to grow up a bit!

One Mum couldn't wait to have DS1 back to hers for tea the week after they started in Reception. She went on to have quite a few children round. It came out much later that she gave the visiting child spelling and maths tests disguised as 'playing schools'. She wanted to see where her DS was in comparison. sad

Tgger Wed 23-Jan-13 21:04:36

Trust your instincts. I was the same when I moved area, but after a while we settled in and DS had one or two select play-dates in YR by himself, and then has spread his wings more in Y1. I am more confident as I know most of his friends Mums (at least to make small talk with if not that well). It's a bit of a rite of passage for parent and child I think. Also they get more confident as they get older, go to parties by themselves and are more mature socially so know how to ask other adults for help if they need it.

BackforGood Wed 23-Jan-13 23:05:32

I've only ever heard of this on MN.

My eldest is 16 now, and with all 3 of mine, I can honestly say I've never, ever heard of a parent going round to play at their child's friend's house. It just seems such a wierd idea. With sep Nursery from Infant school, and then a house move, that's across 3 different schools and a span of about 10 years of 'going round to play at a friend's house after school', so a fair amount of experience, before I even start to count all the children I've taught and their arrangements.
Ultimately if you think ever person you don't know is therefore an unsafe person to let your child spend a couple of hours with, then it's for you to say no, but you do realise that invitations dry up once they've been turned down a couple of times, don't you?

PowerPants Wed 23-Jan-13 23:11:28

sparkling brook - that is hilarious! How insecure do you have to be, to do that?

I know Power. It was a good while later when chatting to the other Mums that it came to light. DS1 didn't mention it. Having never been back to school friends for tea before he must have thought that's what you did. confused Bet she had a good rummage through his book bag too.

seeker Thu 24-Jan-13 07:03:33

I always had to go with my dd when she was in Reception. It was a royal pain in the neck, but her friends' parents got used to it.

Ds would cheerfully go home with the child catcher if it meant someone else's toys and someone else's mum's ( or, even better, someone else's dad's) cooking, that was all right.

Oh, and look me in the eyes you lot, and tell me that if your child was doing homework with a friend at the kitchen table, you wouldn't sit at the table with a cup of tea and offer any help needed............

shock Sparkling !

I must admit that yesterday I had a wee struggle - normally DS does his reading as soon as we get home otherwise it doesn't get done at all and I had a real anxious "but if I make DS read I'll have to hear Friend too"... so we didn't read at all.

What does one do when it's a sleepover? Presumably reading/spellings/writing has to be done then?

::finds the very idea of sleepovers utterly terrifying and is resisting even if the other children are starting them in Y1::

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 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.

Loshad Sat 26-Jan-13 22:53:06

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 hmm

lljkk Sun 27-Jan-13 09:39:02

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.

seeker Sun 27-Jan-13 10:18:43

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?

jellybeans Sun 27-Jan-13 19:00:07

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.

lljkk Sun 27-Jan-13 19:06:28

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.

exoticfruits Sun 27-Jan-13 19:12:53

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!

exoticfruits Sun 27-Jan-13 19:17:36

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!

Meglet Sun 27-Jan-13 19:27:02

exotic and safety check all the windows, possible ponds, distance to nearby busy roads blush.

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.

jellybeans Sun 27-Jan-13 19:56:16

'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!

LapinDeBois Sun 27-Jan-13 20:51:56

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!

hrrumph Sun 27-Jan-13 21:24:06

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.

jellybeans Sun 27-Jan-13 22:37:06

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!

seeker Sun 27-Jan-13 22:59:49

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?

steppemum Sun 27-Jan-13 23:12:43

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

LapinDeBois Sun 27-Jan-13 23:20:37

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 smile.

LapinDeBois Sun 27-Jan-13 23:25:45

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.

MiniEggsinJanuary Sun 27-Jan-13 23:30:38

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.

steppemum Sun 27-Jan-13 23:37:10

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

steppemum Sun 27-Jan-13 23:42:37

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

LapinDeBois Sun 27-Jan-13 23:59:04

steppemum ok, that did for that theory grin. 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.

steppemum Mon 28-Jan-13 00:25:37

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

jellybeans Mon 28-Jan-13 11:06:48

' 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.

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