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To think parents should reciprocate when DC invited to play?

(404 Posts)
Picturesofmatchstickmen Fri 11-Mar-16 19:20:22

Genuinely interested in what others think...DH just shrugs but he's very laid back! Notice this particularly with DD2 (9) I often have her friends over at weekends, take them out to places, also always happy to help out if people need a lift to a school or club event. DD hardly seems to ever get invited anywhere though. These are girls she is good friends with, plays with at school every day. Plus parents are always more than happy for their DD to come to ours, so I don't think it's that they don't like her. I do know these parents, not close friends, but I cannot think of a reason why they don't reciprocate.

DD has written a list of who she would like to come to her birthday, and it's all her usual friends but as I was looking through it, it struck me how few of these girls have ever invited her to play. There is one girl she has been friends with for four years and I've had her over several times, and DD has not been invited over once. I know space is tight at their place, but I also know if DD had ever been invited to the park with them, where they go most weekends, she would have jumped at it! It just seems a lot of parents if the girls my DD plays with are happy for their DC to go on play dates but don't want anyone else coming to them. if DD is invited somewhere i always try and reciprocate some time over the coming months, I wouldn't regularly accept invites and never reciprocate. Has anyone else experienced this? AIBU?

Iliveinalighthousewiththeghost Fri 11-Mar-16 20:46:16

I know what you mean. It didn't really bother me though, if the favour wasn't returned, but I remember one time. This particular child we'll call Aggie had been to mine about 3 times for tea, and then a few days later DD comes out and says. Maggie is going to Aggie's for tea. I thought that's nice. Aggies been to mine 3 times. I was made up when she went to the big school.
There's no cliques, parties ect, eg. I'm not invited to this party, that party.

bornwithaplasticspoon Fri 11-Mar-16 20:47:16

I think at age 9 the 'play dates' do tend to die off a bit. After school activities get a bit more serious and homework steps up a gear so it's nice to have some free evenings to relax. My dd tends to be invited to a friends maybe once a month now and we have someone once a month too. We'll probably do it a bit more in the summer when they can play outside.

arethereanyleftatall Fri 11-Mar-16 20:49:54

I think it's really rude to not reciprocate. And if you work so can't mon - fri, then you should on the weekend.

Thudercatsrule Fri 11-Mar-16 20:51:41

My DS8 has had loads of friends round for playdates and he has never been invited back. It is frustrating, especially as DS10 friends always reciprocate. I try not to let it bother me, but it does and there's nothing I can do.

UmbongoUnchained Fri 11-Mar-16 20:52:48

They could all be like my mum and just hate children?

WonderingAspie Fri 11-Mar-16 20:55:28

YANBU. I am finding this a lot with DS. Only 1 friend seems to reciprocate.

1 friend got 'taken over' by another child (as in physically dragged away from DS until DS gave up trying to play with him) and DS never got invited over despite us having him.

2nd friend has a mum who works a lot and she did mention about getting them together of a weekend as her DC is always complaining they never get to have friends over, hasn't happened yet.

3rd friend, I have actually heard him asking his mum twice for DS to go to theirs, she keeps fobbing him off and having other children over. I know full well she doesn't like DS, if she thinks she is hiding it then she is doing a shit job of it.

4th friend, lives nearby, is often at his dads but his mum did say recently she needs to have DS over (DS very excited) but it hasn't happened yet and I don't know how to say it without saying "so when is DS coming to yours then?" She is a friend of mine, as are all of these tbh so i do get annoyed about it.

DS is polite, friendly, well behaved at others houses, always get told he has never been a problem (which I know is true as he doesn't even like to ask for a drink, he certainly isn't confident to the point of annoying cocky like some of his friends) so I just don't understand it and I feel very sad for him.

lalalalyra Fri 11-Mar-16 20:58:14

I think it depends on the practical and financial situation of the other parent. I very, very rarely take another child somewhere for a day out when we go because there's normally no room in the car. Occasionally there may be a space, but I'd still have 4 or 5 kids already including 2 with health problems that could take over the day at any point so I don't really need or want another one who doesn't know our routine added into the mix.

For the same health reasons most play dates that DD2 and DS2 had/have take place in our house (or their cousins house) and that never bothers me.

If space is tight at their place and they go to the park at weekends then they may not have a lot of spare cash. They may have no spare money at all and feel that if they do invite that's another child to feed or buy a drink. Or it may be the case that they don't have much family time so want to make the most of it.

There could be a myriad of reasons and it doesn't bother me as long as mine are happy.

rewardformissingmojo Fri 11-Mar-16 20:59:48

yanbu. I like to reciprocate within the week if possible, or the following week - no later!

In fact we have refused several playdates because I would have been unable to reciprocate appropriately (or unwilling).

Hairyfairy01 Fri 11-Mar-16 21:02:33

I'm probably a bit guilty of this. However I work full time, kids have lots of activities on the Saturday, dancing, swimming etc, so Sunday is the only time I could do play dates but equally it's the only time I get with my dc. I do try and invite people over, but I'm aware I probably 'owe' other people play dates. In most cases it's either sahms, those who work part time or those with only one child that arrange lots of play dates. Having been in each of those situations, it much easier then to have people over.

shebird Fri 11-Mar-16 21:03:21

I am guilty of not reciprocating immediately blush although I do my best to get around to it at some point. I'm always honest about this to other parents.

I work and have DCs at different schools. They each have different activities in the week and at weekends. This coupled with homework and life in general makes play dates difficult to fit in unless we do Sunday's and I draw the line there for my sanity sake.

glamourousgranny42 Fri 11-Mar-16 21:05:54

My god!! YASBUN. maybe they have other plans at the weekend. Maybe they work all work and can't have kids after school. Maybe they only have 1 quiet day a week and don't want to look after other people's children! Do you only have kids over to get invites for your own kids?! When mine were little and I worked full time the last thing I wanted was other children to mind on my days off. School holidays were ok as I had time off but term time was really difficult. And if you don't get to do school pick you really get left out of the loop.

booitsme Fri 11-Mar-16 21:07:27

I agree if you accept a play date you should return it. Someone said to me recently that parents at school are thrown together and often have completely different morals, believes, principles... And the only connection is kids the same age. My 8 year old has had a party every year and I always invite whole class or all the boys. Recently a mum who had only had one previous party, threw a party for most of the boys and my son wasn't invited. It was after school so all kids chattering all day about it... I struggled to understand how she was happy to accept an invite every year for her son from us (knowing his birthday is soon again) and then do that to my son. Bet she will accept an invite to my sons party with no qualms. Feel your pain!

booitsme Fri 11-Mar-16 21:08:03

*beliefs not believes

bornwithaplasticspoon Fri 11-Mar-16 21:12:57

I see it differently. I don't have dd's friends over just so she'll get invited in return. If she does get an invite it's a bonus.

arethereanyleftatall Fri 11-Mar-16 21:17:07

The op never said that the reason she has friends over was so that her dc get invited back.
She simply said it's rude not to.
Which is correct.
It is rude to accept free childcare plus food plus possibly outings and never return the favour.

Sallyhasleftthebuilding Fri 11-Mar-16 21:17:58

It's harder when you have more than one

DS friends are a large group and we have various combinations all year - fairly even -

DD arranges her own now and is often out and about

DD 2 we held a summer activity for her group that I organised for the beginning of summer PITA as everyone away different weeks etc - no return invites all summer - found out several different groups would meet up without her - maybe it was me

She moved schools and now her new friends pop by whenever (most days)

She's happy - it's lovely

NotCitrus Fri 11-Mar-16 21:19:30

Ideally, sure.

In real life, some parents are going to have a number of younger children or other people to care for and not feel they can be responsible for another child, or the parent is ill/has invisible disability and isn't up to extra childcare, or they feel they don't have space or are embarrassed at their living conditions (say 4 kids, parents and grandparents in a small 2-bed flat, in the case of one of ds's schoolmates), or the kid is at childminders/afterschool care every evening until just before bedtime...

BertrandRussell Fri 11-Mar-16 21:19:41

Why would you want them to reciprocate? It's your child having a friend to play- not childcare. or is it?

I have plenty of room, I do not work outside the home much, I have no other children with disabilities and I actively like having other children round.

Makes perfect sense for my dc's friends to come here.

Iggi999 Fri 11-Mar-16 21:21:23

My son really notices that he's not been to other children's houses, when they have been to ours. He thinks it's his fault.

GiraffeHouse Fri 11-Mar-16 21:21:42

It's not always easy to reciprocate especially not as quickly as some would like. I work full time during the week and one on every 3 or 4 weekends so it's not easy to invite people back.
I would really like to do more if I could, I feel I am letting my kids down a bit and hampering their social life. Certainly they don't get as many party invitations as other kids and I think it's because I don't know the other parents.
Perhaps cut people some slack if they can't reciprocate quickly or sometimes even at all, their circumstances may be difficult. I had friends when I was at school who didn't do play dates because of various housing issues and other caring responsibilities, it just wasn't appropriate to have others in the house.

RockUnit Fri 11-Mar-16 21:21:55

I think it's nice if they're reciprocated, but I don't mind when. In fact if it's very soon, like next week, I might sometimes wonder whether the parents were looking to make it a very regular event, and feel a bit pressured.

Pico2 Fri 11-Mar-16 21:23:51

I reciprocate, but it can take a while to find a suitable slot as DD does a lot of activities.

But I don't count the other way particularly. That's because I really appreciate people lending me their children to keep DD amused and I worry about what she says at other people's houses.

BertrandRussell Fri 11-Mar-16 21:27:35

Iggi- easy to explain why some people can't. Don't let him go on thinking it's his fault.

BackforGood Fri 11-Mar-16 21:28:06


When my dc invited people to play, it was because they wanted that person to come and play, it was never to book a return time when my dc would go there.

For a combination of reasons we rarely had anyone round during termtime - dh and I were at work, dc in after school care, weekends packed with all the things we do as well as household jobs, etc. - it was rarely possible to fit arrangements with other dc in too, but I wouldn't have been so unlind as to say "No, my dc can't come and play" when they were asked, because of this idea all has to be reciprocated. At the weekends and during the evenings, my dc would be mixing with other dc that did the same hobbies as them.

I'm always happy to help with lifts too, but don't see that's connected with going to play. But then I seem to be in a minorty on MN with that too - I'm happy to give a lift if I'm going somewhere, I don't feel the other family can only have a lift if they offer one back. Sometimes life doesn't work out like that.

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