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Playdates if you are a ftwm?

(37 Posts)
Lndnmummy Fri 30-Oct-15 10:12:04

Not so much an AIBU but a question:

I am reading so many threads about playdates and how important they are for your dc to form frinedships etc at primary school.
I am worried (warning: PFB) how this will work for us as i work pretty much full time. Will my inability to have kids around for tea after school affect ds ability to make friends?
Advise please or words of wisom?

PennyHasNoSurname Fri 30-Oct-15 10:17:18

DH and I both work ft and dd goes to a CM after school. In my mind that is social interaction with the kids there after a day spent with other kids.

If she has invites to play / tea at someone elses house then she can go if she wants but we cant reciprocate as I can hardly ask the CM to do it.

Weekends we go to the local park / library / soft play. Often there are schoolfriends there but if not she just plays with whoever she takes a fancy to there.

In my mind it makes it easier for her to make friends as she isnt spending days and teatimes with the same small circpe of schoolfriends.

WorraLiberty Fri 30-Oct-15 10:17:45

I don't think it will tbh.

But then again I'm an old fart. I went to school during the 70s and 80s, when it was almost unheard of for parents to engineer/hover over their kid's friendships.

Mostly by year 2 or 3 kids would make pretty firm friends and ask their parents if they could have them over for tea, or over to play on a weekend if after school wasn't possible.

Fast forward to now, and lots of parents seem to be tying themselves up in knots because their 4yr old has been at school for half a term, and not had anyone over to play yet.

I'm sure your child will be fine.

VashtaNerada Fri 30-Oct-15 10:21:06

We have that problem. I tend to invite a load of kids over in one go every so often, on a weekend or in the summer holidays. That way I don't feel too guilty for not always reciprocating invites!

nokidshere Fri 30-Oct-15 10:21:14

None of the children I childmind seem to have any problems catching up with friends, there is plenty of time in holidays and weekends to do so if you wish.

I am happy though to have friends of my mindees over for tea and play as long as I can fit them in my numbers.

wowis Fri 30-Oct-15 10:25:34

I have this problem OP. I work FT and don't get home until 6-6.30. My DD is 5 and is asking for friends to come for tea. They go to their dads on the weekend who lives too far away to facilitate that so I feel for her really. So far she hasn't been invited to anyones house but I do see that others in her class are doing this. I can't really start the process so she gets invited back and although she seems fine at school and gets on with everyone it would be nice to start making one or two better friendships really.

BarbarianMum Fri 30-Oct-15 10:26:15

You'll probably find that she will get less invitations than others if you never reciprocate but it probably won't affect her friendships long term.

WhoKnowsWhereTheTimeG0es Fri 30-Oct-15 10:37:44

There are other ways, I've been off work this week as have a couple of other mums I know so we took all the DCs swimming, picked the "family fun" session and lo and behold half their classes from school were there too. When they were younger we could nearly always find friends at the local park or soft play. After school club and CM provide friendship opportunities. Also biting the bullet and inviting several at once at a weekend is good, especially outdoors with sonewhere to run around. Getting into a FB or Whatsapp group with other parents is a good way of putting a shout out for meeting at the park etc at short notice.

mrsmalcolmreynolds Fri 30-Oct-15 10:45:01

Hi. I don't think it's essential to forming friendships etc. although they do seem to enjoy it and it can be quite a good way to build up networks with other parents (assuming you want to! ).

I have the same issue but try to work round it a bit - e.g. inviting friends for a play at the weekend, using odd days of holiday to get stuff done during the day and then play date after school, reciprocating by offering to pick up from late activities etc.

Bimblywibble Fri 30-Oct-15 10:47:43

A friend of mine does similar to Vashta - accepts invites through the year and every so often earmarks one day in the half term and invited all DC who've had her children over. DC treat it almost like a party.

Having friends round is far from compulsory, but IF your child is struggling socially, they can be a useful tool. There is every chance that your DC will go to school with a gang of friends and do fine. And my DC have extra playtime with their friends at after scool club anyway.

I am in awe of nokids who's prepared for her mindees to bring friends home! That is well outside the expectations for a childminder.

Thurlow Fri 30-Oct-15 10:50:44

I'd just be honest with the parents and say that you'd love to, but as you work f/t you won't be able to reciprocate very often, though you might be able to have them for day in the school holidays etc. At least it explains why you're not reciprocating, and quite honestly, if your DS plays nicely with a child, I can't imagine any parents being as mean as to stop inviting him for playdates purely because his parents work and can't reciprocate in the same way.

grumpysquash Fri 30-Oct-15 10:56:25

When mine were little, they could accept invitations on weekdays (I collected them from friends house on way home from work before/after collecting the others from after school club).
Their friends were invited back on weekends.
It worked quite well.

AnotherCider Fri 30-Oct-15 11:03:01

Its dependant on the school tbh. At a school where lots of parents work, not a issue. If the school is one where the majority are SAHM it can make a big difference. Ut also depends on your child, some need more help forming friendships.

The infant school my DSs went to, they would both have suffered from lack of friendships if i hadn't gone the effort of befriending other mums and organising playdates.

Ideally if you could do 1 or 2 pick ups a week you could organise playdates for then and use that as an opportunity to form a network. There will always be times when your childcare arrangements fall down and having a network of other parents around is hugely helpful. If not, then use weekends, inset days or some of your holidays to do this (and use these days to reciprocate this assistance.). Also, if you can't do any drop offs or pick ups, make sure you make the effort to go to mums night outs etc to meet other mums.

I've heard MANY mums say that juggling work and the first few years of school is harder than juggliing work and childcare after maternity leave.

Goldmandra Fri 30-Oct-15 11:07:23

I am happy though to have friends of my mindees over for tea and play as long as I can fit them in my numbers.

I've always done this too.

It's no trouble to pick up an extra child now and then as you have room in your numbers.

BoomBoomsCousin Fri 30-Oct-15 11:08:16

I'm a sahm and we have friends around who can't reciprocate. It doesn't bother me at all and we wouldn't not invite someone because their parents can't invite back. Having friends round is a boon to me, I don't need the promise of reciprocation to make me do it.

But I don't know that it's so important anyway - I have two of the same age and one is more social than the other. The social one has more play dates because she's friends with more kids and wants them round more. I suspect kids who do well socially tend to have more play dates because they socialize well, rather than the play dates being the cause of good socialization.

Bimblywibble Fri 30-Oct-15 11:18:57

Anothercider is spot on, on all points.

WhoKnowsWhereTheTimeG0es Fri 30-Oct-15 11:30:35

I agree with Anothercider too. Well worth putting in a bit of effort on this. It's not about engineering/hovering, it's about giving the children opportunities to socialise if they want, especially if most of the others are doing it. I think it's a really good ling term strategy to have a network of friends who can help with ad-hoc childcare emergencies, sharing lifts to extra-curricular activities and building a network of trusted adults around your children who will look out for them as they get older and start going out on their own.

Lndnmummy Fri 30-Oct-15 12:45:10

Yes, me and dh have said that between us we will arrange 1-2 puck ups a week and will ensure we make an effort to reciprocate and include children on those days.
Also be sure to be upfront with the situation so other parents know we try.

Hoping the area is mixed with both sahm and working mums. Ds did go to nursery for a while locally and many of his friends from their will go to same school. We already have a report with them and obv they are woeking parents too so will be in the same boat.

After scholl club will also mean he can socially with his friends who are a year older. He will have friends in y1 when he starts reception.

Lndnmummy Fri 30-Oct-15 12:46:44

Sorry about typos bloody iphone

Taytocrisps Fri 30-Oct-15 13:46:25

I return the favour at weekends and holidays.

In any case, a lot of kids have homework and activities after school so playdates after school don't happen so much as the kids get involved in other activities and the homework increases.

SparklyLeprechaun Fri 30-Oct-15 14:07:45

I tend to invite children of other working parents over for dinner, as in I pick them all up from after school club at 6 and they get to play for a couple of hours.

We had a couple of invitations to play dates from sah parents and I reciprocated at the weekend, but I prefer not to. I don't like weekend play dates as we have plenty of other activities and we end up rushing here and there.

AnnaMarlowe Fri 30-Oct-15 14:13:09

We do similar to other posters. Have a big pile of kids every six weeks or so.

We also do regular sleepovers now that they are older.

All their friends parents understand why we can't reciprocate and are fine with it.

Doesn't seem to have impacted their friendships.

MillionToOneChances Fri 30-Oct-15 14:15:29

I've always had an open door policy for play dates and to be honest the biggest issue has been when working parents have felt uncomfortable letting their child come to mine more often than they can reciprocate. Personally, I couldn't give a toss where kids play as long as my kids get to see their friends.

And I'm another childminder happy to occasionally have clients' friends for play dates if my numbers work...

Scholes34 Fri 30-Oct-15 16:50:15

I don't think any parent minds how often a child might come to theirs without return visits being possible if the children get on well and the impact on the household is minimal. I was coerced into a playdate (hate that word) swap for DS1 on a weekly basis when he was in junior school and hated having the friend round as he was disruptive and sneaky - took me ages to get out of that.

If you're a full-time working mum, there will be compromises to be made and not everything is possible. This is one of those instances, but your pfb will cope. There'll be plenty of opportunities to make friends across a bigger age group in an after school club.

Bloomsberry Fri 30-Oct-15 18:52:58

DS is only at pre-school, but as a WOHM, this has never occurred to me as a potential problem. I don't think I know anyone whose children have regular parent-arranged playdates when they're small enough not to socialise semi-independently but then I don't know any SAHPs. Maybe it comes down to what a PP said - that in situations where the default mode is both parents working FT, playdates are comparatively unusual, and the children do their socialising at school/after school club?

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