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To want to take 6 year old on playdate without mum?

(28 Posts)
hatebeingmummy Thu 22-Sep-11 08:49:32

For those with Reception/Yr 1 - do you go along on playdates?

The reason I ask is that evry 2 or 3 weeks I invite on of DD's friends to do things with us at the weekend, for example; soft play centres, events at my gym etc. The reason is that I struggle with "playing" with her and after a few weeks of doing this with DD I need a little break. I want to take the children to the soft play and let them run off while I read a book and have a quiet coffee.
But whenever I do this, the mum always comes along! So, I have to spend a couple of hours in chit chat with someone I wouldn't necessarily choose to have coffee with, while the kids play.
Or even worse, they want to join in with the children's play and then I feel bad if i don't join in too, so my little escape turns in to a session in the ball pit and sliding down slides which I absolutely can't stand..

So, AIBU? Do people just not like to entrust their children to others? Maybe they enjoy the outing too and that's why they want to come... What do you do?

ireallyagreewithyou Thu 22-Sep-11 08:51:12

piss off mothers!

ireallyagreewithyou Thu 22-Sep-11 08:51:50

same with parties fgs - mothers hogging space, expecting food
ramming cocktails sausage sin gobs and wrenching ANYTHING at all enjoyable from their kids as it might pollute them

fuck off mothers

hatebeingmummy Thu 22-Sep-11 09:01:58

Oh god yes, the parties! I had a 4th birthday party for DD at my house. It's a reasonable size but not huge and although it was supposed to be a garden party it had rained so we were all inside. I invited 12 children.
EVERY SINGLE MOTHER (and in one case, mother AND father) stayed! Muddy footprints all over the house, not enought food... even drinking wine that I had got in for the adults who had been invited (my mum, best friend etc) despite the fact they hadn't brought any of their own.
Most of them were glued to their child's side and even squeezed themselves in to the dining room which i had kitted out for a magician to entertain the kids meaning that some of the kids themselves could barely fit in the room to watch.
And then there was the blatant outrage that i had bought in fruitshoots (DD drinks nothing but water all year but for a birthday party...) Asking for glasses of water because their child didn't like fruitshoot - although I'm sure had the child be there alone they would have drunk it.


savoycabbage Thu 22-Sep-11 09:02:21

There is an eight year old in my dd's class whose Dad goes on playdates etc with him.

I kidnapped a child from nursery about a month ago. I asked her Mum if her dd wanted to come to my house after nursery. She said yes, that would be lovely. So I swoop them both up after the session and strap them in my car and drive away. Then I saw the mother parking her car so I stopped. Turned out she had not thought I meant without the mother and it had never crossed my mind.

hatebeingmummy Thu 22-Sep-11 09:03:20

Ha ha savoy that's so funny.

2rebecca Thu 22-Sep-11 09:09:33

At 6 a child should be capable of playing with another child with an adult supervising without mummy as well. I never had this problem with kids coming for tea or parties. If I did suggest a kid come to play with one of mine I'd just say "drop him off at 2 and pick him up at 4 , does that sound OK?". If they go on about staying I'd then say that in that case they can leave it until their child is happy to go out to play without a parent.
On party invites I'd maybe put a bit about it being a children's party and adults not being expected to stay as I have enough adult helpers on the invite. I think some parents do need to get their own life a bit.

hatebeingmummy Thu 22-Sep-11 09:12:04

2rebecca, yes i think i will put it on the invites after the issues at her 4th! I think I need to be more assertive when they want to come along.

itisnearlysummer Thu 22-Sep-11 09:15:05

Wouldn't occur to me to attend a playdate for a school aged child.

When DD was in Reception I offered to stay at house parties and only stopped if the mum specifically wanted an extra pair of hands, or if the parents have been invited to stop, but have to stay at external parties otherwise DD won't stop either - yet.

I don't understand why more mum's don't say "yes, a couple of hours for me!!".

And I certainly wouldn't eat food unless parents have provided parent food (which some have) or am offered. It's just rude.

Sallystevo Thu 22-Sep-11 11:03:36

Aha, I thought this was just me!

I actually had the reverse - my DD went on a playdate and the Mum was shocked when I waved her off...'are you not coming!?', she made me feel awful!

Faffalina Thu 22-Sep-11 11:10:06

Erm... But then you should just say that?? I mean, if I took a child to a party and just buggered off, the parents might have expected me to stay. I would feel a bit cheeky leaving the parents with 12 children...

Totally get you just wanting to read your book and not clamber about on the toys :-)

Chopstheduck Thu 22-Sep-11 11:30:46

I wonder if you are saying things like a play centre activity, that the parents are getting the idea that it is more of a social event. I let mine go to tea dates or whatever alone, but if a parent said about a soft play centre at that age, I wouldn't have really expected them to jsut want my child tbh.

As for parties, we've had invited that have politely pointed out that parents aren't required to stay, and I think that's great! I've also been asked to stay and help out on occasion. Maybe people really should say what they want rather than leaving it to parents to guess and then moan!

Loonytoonie Thu 22-Sep-11 11:43:15

Depends how you word it surely?

"Do you fancy coming up to the park with us on the weekend? The little one's can go wild in the playing fields and we can have a cuppa."

Does Jessica/Emily/Josh fancy coming to the park on Saturday? I'm taking my two so they can all play together. You can have a few hours of peace."

hmm Have never had this problem really.

Loonytoonie Thu 22-Sep-11 11:46:20

As for parties, if it's not clear, then I've always offered to stay and help. Parties that I've had in my home - I always state on the invite that the child can be collected at x o clock.

I find that lots of parents don't have much of a social life outside their kids social circle so parties are seen as an event to mingle.

CocktailQueen Thu 22-Sep-11 11:48:17

It's tricky - since about half way through Reception, age 5.5, my dd has gone on playdates etc by herself but certainly at the age of 4 she would NOT have been happy to do so, so I would stay with her. I wouldn't necessarily trust another mother, who I don;t know from Adam, to strap her into her car seat and look after her like I wold. God, that sounds very pfb, doesn't it?!

At ds's 4th birthday party there was a strict division between the 'drop and dump' mums and the 'stay and play' ones smile About 50:50. I had planned on most staying so it was fine. I have stayed at most of ds's 4th bday parties as well.

DeWe Thu 22-Sep-11 12:05:47

At that age, if I was asked if they wanted to do things, I'd probably have thought they meant with me.
Maybe you should ask. They may be thinking what a hassle it is having to go with you.
Say "would you like me to take * to where ever. I'm happy to pay (or not) and I'll bring them back after lunch/2 hours/when we've had enough".
If they're not happy with it they'll say, but I suspect you'll find that some will be thrilled.

WhoseGotMyEyebrows Thu 22-Sep-11 12:31:47

I think you have to find a way to phrase it so they parent knows from the beginning that you are happy to look after them both. "I'm taking dc to playcentre on Saturday and wondered if x would like to come as well, don't worry I'll keep an eye on them both" (although technically you'll have your eye in a book)

As for the parties, put it on the invite "Not enough room for parents to stay but will have enough adult helpers"

Mandy2003 Thu 22-Sep-11 12:46:49

I went on the first playdate my DS had in Reception because I was not sure that he would behave himself. But he was fine so I never accompanied him again. Parties, I was always "drop & dump", although I would always ask the birthday mum if she needed any help.

hatebeingmummy Thu 22-Sep-11 12:50:28

I definitely need to be more direct!

DorisIsAPinkDragon Thu 22-Sep-11 12:57:11

YABU at the 4 year old party as some of your dd's friends would probably have been only 3 and even those who are 4 may be unhappy being left with a stranger. tbh some stay for the 5th year birthdays but most leave for the 6th. I think you need to accept that different children have different needs (as do the parents).

As for the playdates you're obviously not phrasing it right. Would little johnny like to go to X I can pick HIM up at blah and drop HIM back at bLAH!

Sarah8729 Thu 22-Sep-11 12:57:24

What age do you start letting your kids go on playdates without you?
My DS has just turned 4, started a new nursery in a new area (we don't know anyone) I was wondering about this as he has one friend in particular that he plays with so I ended up speaking to the mum of this child and she said "i'll take them to kidzone one day so they can play if you want" ... I personally would prefer to meet her there one day with my DS and and then next time let her take him on her own. My son would probably be more than happy to go with her but I don't know her at all and would feel more comfortable for the first time at least to be there.
With a childrens party, so far I haven't left him at one on his own but nor have any other parents left their children, I think I would be happy to do it when he gets a little older and it was made clear that he was to be left, I would feel more rude leaving my child than staying if it wasn't specified.

Marymaryalittlecontrary Thu 22-Sep-11 13:00:21

I don't have kids yet but can't imagine going with them if they were invited to someone's house or out with them for the day. That just didn't happen when I was younger - the children played and the other mother collected at a certain time, or her child was dropped off at that time. I think if the mums are friends or want to become friends then fair enough, but if the invite is just for the child then the mum shouldn't muscle in!

Birthday parties as well have changed so much since I was little. For a start before the age of 5 it was rare to have parties, and if they did happen they were small events held in the child's home with just a few friends. I know when my brother was invited to friends' 4th birthday parties my mum told the mothers that my brother couldn't go as he wouldn't stay without her. However, she was well known through helping at playgroup etc for being well organised so most mums said it was fine to stay, and then she ended up organising all the games etc! When my brother went into Reception my mum told him that mums weren't allowed to stay at parties anymore so if he didn't want to stay by himself then he couldn't go. He accepted that and was happy to stay by himself.

After my childhood I obviously didn't attend many children's parties, so when I went to help at my niece's 5th birthday party I was shocked when all of the mums or dads stayed! It was in a Church hall, with an entertainer and traditional party games so not particularly thrilling! I couldn't understand why all these adults who weren't related to the birthday child wanted to be there!

The next year, on her 6th, I assumed that after the kids had been at school for a year and a half all the parents would leave them, but no, again they stayed! And having parents there makes it much more difficult to speak to any child who is misbehaving! At one point, while they were all sitting watching the entertainer 3 of them got up and started running around shrieking and their parents laughed! Then during the games the same kids wouldn't play and just ran around. At one point they went into a corridor away from the others so I went out and told them they either had to play the games or go and sit with their mums. They joined in beautifully after that!

Bonsoir Thu 22-Sep-11 13:03:02

For my DD, the year that the transition from mothers staying with children to mothers leaving children at parties/playdates etc was Moyenne Section (equivalent of Reception). And sleepovers started in earnest in CP (Year 2).

bellybuttons Thu 22-Sep-11 13:05:44

I never stayed when DD went on a playdate and would have hated other parents staying at mine!! I imagine I asked if that was ok!! Same with parties - always asked if they needed help and always glad to be told no!!! Since getting to know the parents more there are some you are happy to socialise with but we prefer this to be an evening out without the kids on the booze

bellybuttons Thu 22-Sep-11 13:07:26

Clearly don't mean the kids on the booze just incase that reads wrong!

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