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How to stop play date requests

(198 Posts)
ByeGermsByeWorries Tue 23-Jan-18 10:37:44

This sounds horrible, and I absolutely know I am a horrible person for this post, but my son has a friend from school (primary) who's mum is asking for play dates that I don't want to reciprocate. At first I thought it was a great idea, she asked for my son to come over on a Saturday, and I said it would be fine so on Saturday away he went and came back a few hours later. He has learning difficulties so he wasn't really able to explain in detail how he felt but he said it was "ok"

As soon as DS was dropped Home the friend asked if he could come over to ours on the next Saturday, I was out immediately on the spot so I agreed, and Saturday came, and the little boy came over.

I asked them to play nicely in DS room, but for the entire three hours the boy ran up and down the stairs in and out of my office where DH was working, and spent a lot of time staring at my computer and games console and asking to use them, which I declined for the reason that I do not have any suitable children's games because my son has no interest in either of them. My son tells me the boy does not have an Xbox at home.

I could hear my son saying different variations of "please play with me" and he desperately tried to initiate several activities but all the boy kept saying to him is "I want to play that Xbox I don't want to play toys" and continuing to roam about the house.

Another thing which annoyed me was that he kept repeatedly coming into my office over to my dog asleep in his crate and kept saying "Urgh why have you got a dog it's disgusting" and then the final time he hit the side of the dogs crate with his first, startling him. I know he is just a child so I did not become angry, I simply said firmly "leave the dog alone, please go and play with DS in his room as you asked to come over and play with him and he's waiting to have fun with you."

Eventually my little boy was sat on his bedroom floor crying because he just couldn't get the friend to do anything at all with him. Luckily by now the time had finally come for the boy to go home.

I can see my son did not enjoy himself whatsoever, the friend was fixated on the computers, the Xbox, and frightening the dog. I didn't want to sound horrible to the boys mum so I didn't complain about his behaviour, and just made a note not to have the boy over again. She asked for her son to come and play a few weekends later and I made excuses about work and had managed to avoid it again thus far but she's just asked again.

How do you let someone know in the least hurtful/rude way possible that you don't want to have their child over again?

CommunistLegoBloc Tue 23-Jan-18 10:43:39

You don’t sound horrible at all.

You have two choices: just keep deferring and avoiding until eventually she gives up. I’m not sure that’d be my preferred option, as the mother may feel she’s done something wrong. You see a lot of posts on here with mothers agonising over what they could possibly have done when another parent slights them.

Option 2: explain how her son’s behaviour negatively affected your child and that, for the time being, you don’t think they’re best matched for play dates. Be kind and understanding, as I think you’ve been on here. Be open to solutions. Clearly 1:1 play isn’t working, but maybe a trip out all together to strengthen their friendship in a supervised way etc. But of course, you are within your rights to write this off and move on - you have no obligation to ‘work’ on this friendship.

scotchpie Tue 23-Jan-18 10:46:07

First, your not horrible! You made observations on how the boy acted in your home, he clearly didn't want to do anything your DS wanted at any time.

It's hard with kids because some will just follow and still enjoy the time. Others want to be Alpha and expect followers.

However, your DS seemed to get nothing from this play date. The other boy sounds challenging 'with little boundaries' no wonder the Mum is pushing for another date.

It's hard to be so direct, so
I'd probably say that her DS really didn't seem to be having a good time so you would rather not.

Seeline Tue 23-Jan-18 10:47:04

How old are the boys?
I think young children often need some 'help' to get them playing rather than just be left to get on with it.
Also in your own home you are allowed to set rules and boundaries - tell him if he is not allowed into a certain room. Make it clear that if he continues to break those rules, you will phone his mum to come and collect him.

Oly5 Tue 23-Jan-18 10:49:28

How old are they? This boy’s behaviour doesn’t sound that abnormal for a 5/6 year old. Could you do an activity with them? Baking/craft?
Not sure this warrants not having the kid over tbh

Labradoodliedoodoo Tue 23-Jan-18 10:52:26

I would only consider playdstes if you could take him to the park for an hour after school. Then drop him home after. You could always say that you’re not sure the boys get on that well

cherryontopp Tue 23-Jan-18 10:52:40

I would have just told his mum the truth to be honest.
She'll just keep asking you now until you cant think of any more excuses.
I'd have said something along the lines of "yeah it seemed like X didnt really want to play with DS. He was just wondering around the house and wanting to go on the xbox"

CappuccinoCake Tue 23-Jan-18 10:54:43

It's usual to invite a child over and then just ignore them and expect them to play in the child's room without going anywhere else in the house in my experience. If the adults were in rooms with dogs and computers I think it would be normal to show interest in both!! Maybe take the fog for a walk together or show the child how to let it for example.

Have you had playdates before? You certainly don't need to do anything you don't want to do but I've found facilitating playdates can help with friendships etc but you can't just expect to ignore them at a young age. Especially on a Saturday, mine would want to DO something. Go out on bikes/take dogs for a walk/play something/bake etc.

CappuccinoCake Tue 23-Jan-18 10:55:23

It's unusual not usual!!

CappuccinoCake Tue 23-Jan-18 10:56:16

Arg. Phone autocorrect is crazy - take dog for a walk or show how to pet it is what I meant to say!!

slippermaiden Tue 23-Jan-18 10:56:55

You could meet at the park for an hour instead? You could have the boy round after school for just an hour? Boys this young are rough and tumble and likely to turn your house upside down! Keep play dates short...in our house the rule is weekends are for family only so we don't have this 😆

Bellamuerte Tue 23-Jan-18 10:57:41

I'd tell the mum the truth - the boys aren't playing together and her son is just running up and down the stairs, so perhaps it's best if they don't have any more play dates because they don't seem to get on that well.

fudgefeet Tue 23-Jan-18 10:59:41

You shouldn't feel obligated to continue with these play dates. If they are friends at school it shouldn't require too much effort on your behalf to keep them entertained although we have had a fair few play date disasters with best friends when it just wasn't the right time for some reason or other. They might be tired from school, needing a bit of time alone or just more suited to being out and about.

When my eldest first started school she made a friend who's mother invited my dd over for a play date which went really well. The next day she text me a long list of dates asking if her dd could come and play on these days as she had to work. I went along with it at first but soon realised that our girls were not at all compatible and I spent most of the evenings keeping them occupied separately. The night this girl composed and sang a song about best friends and that my daughter is not one of them was the day I decided I couldn't help out with child care anymore. I was a bit of a soft touch at the time but I have toughened up over the years.
Sorry, went off on one there but your post reminded me of being cornered into this situation.

Sparkletastic Tue 23-Jan-18 11:01:34

Tell her they didn't get on well last time so it's not a good plan.

DriggleDraggle Tue 23-Jan-18 11:01:42

you could always say you dont think it is a good idea because they didnt actually play together and he seemed rather unsettled by the dog.

if you want to go supertactful.

i would be honest about it and just tell her what happened and that you dont think it is fair to either child.

FluffyWuffy100 Tue 23-Jan-18 11:03:30

Ok so it didn’t work the first time, but usually children need a bit of direction to set them up with something to play/do.

But if you don’t want to do it again just say the boys didn’t seem to play very well together so maybe a meet up in the park would be better?

MyOtherProfile Tue 23-Jan-18 11:05:02

I don't think I'd have left them to try and play together for long. I would have got them to join me for something... a board game or an activity. They don't seem to know how to play together but that doesn't mean it's a right off. With some input it could work out well.

ShastaTrinity Tue 23-Jan-18 11:06:01

Just say no, many families are busy over the weekend, kids doing sport and competition, meeting family members, or just being away.

You can organise a meeting in a park or softplay next half term.

ByeGermsByeWorries Tue 23-Jan-18 11:06:38

Sorry I've missed out the important part. The boys are 7

WoodenCat Tue 23-Jan-18 11:08:22

She’s asking you for more play dates, at your house, on a Saturday? Sounds like she wants you to babysit tbh. You’re not obliged to have her kid over again but offering a post school trip to the park for an hour would be a good compromise if you think your son would like to. Otherwise just say saturdays don’t work for you

JennyOnAPlate Tue 23-Jan-18 11:08:33

I would just simply say that the boys don’t seem to have much in common and didn’t get on well together.

My 8 year old has a friend a bit like this. She isn’t allowed access to screens at home so whenever she comes over to ours she only wants to be on dds tablet or watching tv! I always say no but the pestering is annoying and it’s frustrating for dd. We still have the occasional play date when dd asks, but it’s not a regular arrangement.

Notevilstepmother Tue 23-Jan-18 11:13:08

I think I’d go with a dog related excuse.

mummmy2017 Tue 23-Jan-18 11:18:55

I think the pick up from school and park for an hour, maybe fish and chips as well then take him home.
So your in charge of timing.
This way you can see if he plays well when no IT to distract him.
Tell her your husband has to work from home on a Saturday, and he has said no playdays.

rocketgirl22 Tue 23-Jan-18 11:21:28

I would say you are very busy for the next few weeks and arrange a play date outside of your home for next term and see how it goes.

Not all first play dates go well, but with some help and direction they usually work out.

I would not get into detail, you will just hurt the mothers feelings they are only 7.

GwenStaceyRocks Tue 23-Jan-18 11:21:48

I wouldn't expect 7-yr-olds to stay in the one room playing by themselves without any direction. tbh I think you could have been more proactive and then both the boys would have had fun. I'm a little shocked that you let it deteriorate to the point where your DS was crying on the floor rather than intervene in a positive way to lead their playing.

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