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to think this playdate etiquette was unfair?

(42 Posts)
peterrabbitismyfriend Wed 03-Oct-12 19:02:31

DD just started reception, and we've had a 'friend' over, let's call her Jane, last week. This week DD went back to her house.

I went over at the end to pick up DD and had a chat with Jane's Mum while they had their tea. As I arrived, Jane was decorating a cat from a brand new craft packet, whilst DD was being given paper to draw on.

Jane's Mum says "oh sorry, Jane grabbed the only cat, there was nothing I could do".

DD was given a go only after all the best bits were done.

When tea was served it was very clear Jane was top dog, given first choice on everything.

It just went on and on like this.

In my day, when I went to someone's house or they came to mine, the 'guest' was always treated as royalty and the host gave them the choice of what they wanted to play, eat, watch on TV etc.

Have things changed? Please let me know as next time I have Jane, DD will very much come first. I feel like I've given her the message that she's less important than Jane. And that's not my intention at all. I can't criticise Jane or Jane's Mum to DD for obvious reasons but how can I let her know that I don't agree with the way things were done?

MrsTerryPratchett Wed 03-Oct-12 19:04:02

I work on the equal principle. One cat = no one gets a cat, they both get paper.

Sparklingbrook Wed 03-Oct-12 19:05:54

YANBU. DS' friends get treated royally round here. They get to be Player 1 on the PS3 and choose what they would like for tea. grin

I haven't been told if things have changed. sad

pigletmania Wed 03-Oct-12 19:05:56

The mum totally wrong, she should have made them share the cat or no cat at all. Yes guests are generally treated more favourbally

BillyBollyBandy Wed 03-Oct-12 19:06:04

Just say "in our house we let guests choose" and leave it at that. When dd inevitably pipes up with "Jane doesn't" then just say everyone is different.

I think you are right in the sense that the guest should have the first option on stuff, unless it is the dc's fav plate/cup etc and they are still little - which I count reception children to be.

I had this with dd1 with the host's dm actually taking things off 3 year old dd to keep her child happy. Infuriating, but my dd now shares and her dd not so much.

thebody Wed 03-Oct-12 19:08:01

Not sure if you should ask 'Jane' back for tea if your attitude is your dd will be top dog.

Isn't that the exact attitude you are criticising so why would you copy it??

I understand though why you were a bit cross but don't sink to her level, sounds like the mum was feeling bad but Jane might be a bit of a spoilt brat.

My advice is get your dd to make lots of friends and move on.

Ruthchan Wed 03-Oct-12 19:09:09

No, you're right. I don't think common courtesy has changed that much.
If there's only one cat etc, I tell my children to play with something different that can be shared equally and do the cat after their friend has gone home.
When eating tea etc, it is always made clear that guests should be served first.

When Jane and her mum come to play at your house next time, can you strongly emphasise when you put Jane first so that her mum notices what you're doing?
If that doesn't seem to work, you can even bring up a subtle conversation about how important you think it is to instill in the children than guests should come first. And doesn't she agree?!!!

Strawhatpirate Wed 03-Oct-12 19:13:11

YANBU If I were in your shoes I would probably avoid more playdates with Jane. Otherwise you'll be saddled with the PITA mother forever. In my opinion it should have been cats for both or paper for both.

lisaro Wed 03-Oct-12 19:14:06

So the top dog got to decorate the cat?

YouMayLogOut Wed 03-Oct-12 19:15:13


AmazingBouncingFerret Wed 03-Oct-12 19:17:13

lisaro grin

Happygirl77 Wed 03-Oct-12 19:18:49

YANBU. I agree with the posts above smile

NoIdeaWhyTheNameChange Wed 03-Oct-12 19:19:07

I'm not sure I would be inviting Jane around for tea again any time soon.

I certainly wouldn't be inviting Jane, and treating my own DD as "top dog". I wouldn't want to be reinforcing this attitude to my own child.

Guest are always offered things first, unless they are the kind of guest that live in your road and are constantly in your house.

NoIdeaWhyTheNameChange Wed 03-Oct-12 19:20:13

Actually, I would probably still serve that guest first, five them first choice, etc. If I was that fed up with them, I'd send them home for tea.

Molehillmountain Wed 03-Oct-12 19:21:11

I don't make dd share stuff she doesn't want to but she doesn't get to play with it when guests are around either if that's the case. Guests get treated somewhere in between royalty and family. And if I possibly can I take them to the park as it seems to work better.

StellaNova Wed 03-Oct-12 19:23:36

I still remember that when I had guests for sleepovers, they had to sleep in my bed and I slept on the floor, and when I went round friends for sleepovers...they slept in their own beds and I slept on the floor. Floor-child, that's what I was.

If Jane comes round, show her and DD that episode of Mike the Knight where Mike's mum says a guest has to be made to feel special and the guest gets the biggest bit of pie etc grin

diddl Wed 03-Oct-12 19:27:57

Why wouldn´t you just treat them equally?confused

peterrabbitismyfriend Wed 03-Oct-12 19:52:53

I'm saying, IF things have changed, THEN I will treat my DD as topdog. Cause and event!

But judging by the responses on here, everyone seems to agree with my POV and things have not changed.

Phew! Clearly it was just a bad experience. We'll get over it and no I don't think we'll be having Jane back for quite some time ever grin

BetterBeAnonThen Wed 03-Oct-12 20:02:20

Not convinced it was wrong. If the craft set was Jane's then why should she sacrifice it? Its all a bit too much like when toddlers snatch and the mum rushes over and hands the toy to the snatcher with a 'lets share' to their poor wronged child, just to be seen to be doing 'the right thing.' Thats not sharing, thats mugging. I never force my children to hand over their special toys. I understand that maybe child of OP felt hard done by, but isnt that just an opportunity to explain that we can't always have what we want, and yes, sometimes people have nicer things than us? Plus mum apologised so whats the issue?

DameFanny Wed 03-Oct-12 20:05:37

Betterbe - if that's the case then you whip round beforehand removing things that aren't for sharing surely?

Pandemoniaa Wed 03-Oct-12 20:09:47

If the craft set was Jane's then why should she sacrifice it?

If the craft set was so precious that sacrifice was in order then it should have been kept for after the OP's dd had gone home. I don't believe that everything has to be shared but I do believe that guests should be treated equally and if it isn't possible to share a certain item then best it isn't got out at all.

You can't always have what you want but it is basic good manners to treat guests fairly. Round here, guests get first choice at things. They don't come a very poor second.

janji Wed 03-Oct-12 20:15:16

The phrase "family hold back" was always the mantra in my house when I was growing up. Whenever any of my dc or myself visit friends we always take a small gift (cheapie craft projects for kids, cake etc for adults).
Politeness and etiquette don't seem to be a priority these days.

HolyAutumnGoldBatman Wed 03-Oct-12 20:18:27

If they've just started reception I assume Jane is 4 or just turned 5? I think it's probably a bit early to write her off as someone never to invite for tea tbh.

Was your DD bothered that Jane was 'topdog' or did she enjoy herself?

If your DD felt upset/annoyed that Jane got treated differently to her then she won't want to go to Jane's house and she won't want Jane to come to hers. Problem solved.

If she wants to go back to Janes house or wants Jane to come to her house then maybe she isn't fussed who got to pick what was for tea!

peterrabbitismyfriend Wed 03-Oct-12 20:19:30

thank you Pandemoniaa

I agree entirely.

Why bring out a brand new toy such as the craft item, with only ONE thing to play with in it, just as a new friend turns up.

I would have expected the Mum to help them both share it. It's a bit like me inviting you over for coffee and getting out a brand new tin of biscuits and not sharing them with you or offering you one.

DD knows how to share so I will take heart and try to forget about this now.

ProphetOfDoom Wed 03-Oct-12 20:19:43

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

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