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Play dates and school gate mums

(84 Posts)
Anditstartsagain Sat 25-Mar-17 17:46:26

Ds1 has a group of 5 friends they are all very close since meeting at nursery and have been friends for 2.5 years. The mums are not friends however we all chat and arrange play dates.

One of the boys is newer to the group than the rest and until school started went to a child minders from nursery so never done play dates (he was invited) now he has started coming it turns out his mum is quite strict on somethings which has become a problem for the rest of the mums. The things are listed here
No unsupervised play outside in the garden or upstairs.
No processed foods or snacks
No TV or games consols
She has phrases she wants used when he's not behaving

It's all fair enough nothing shocking however I have a 7 month old baby and just can't watch the older ones every moment also my go to play date food tends to be pizza or chicken nuggets and I usually let the boys play on the Xbox at play dates as a result of our very different play dates styles I've avoided making any play dates with her, the other mums took the chance and done the same not that anyone has said so but it's been obvious.

Now the mum is upset that her boy is being left out which really is horrible and was not my intention I was just hoping to avoid it until ds2 was a little bugger and I had more time. I really don't know where to go from here I feel my actions have kicked it off so I should try to fix it.

AIBU in telling the mum I can't commit to her rules and her son can only come if he can join in with our normal? Or do I just find a way to make her rules work?

JigglyTuff Sat 25-Mar-17 17:50:49

Your house so your rules apply. If she isn't happy with how you look after children in your home, then her child doesn't come. Don't allow her to dictate.

But I'm intrigued how this happened - did she reel off a list of conditions when you invited her DS?

HiMyNameIsUnknown Sat 25-Mar-17 17:51:41

I would tell her which rules you can and can't stick to and give her the option of allowing him to come or not attend. Perhaps she doesn't realise that some of her rules are difficult to adhere to or is worried gardens are unsafe. A discussion may help

dietcokeandwine Sat 25-Mar-17 17:55:28

I think your first option is the most sensible, op.

Fine for her to adhere strictly to those rules if other DC come to her house if that's how she wants to run things. Not fine to expect other mothers to be as strict when in their own houses!

If you feel comfortable to do so, I would try to have a chat with the mum. Explain that you'd love to have her DS over, that he's a lovely boy etc etc, but that your worry is that your differing parenting styles will be a problem as you will not be able to follow her rules.

Then see what she says.

It is her strictness that is going to cause a problem for her ds and she needs to recognise that. I have to say that in nearly 13 years of parenting boys I have never known a mum be that strict about telling other mums what their child can and cannot do when on play dates (apart from dos and don'ts where allergies or medical needs are concerned). Your approach is by far the most common.

Your house, your rules, as the saying goes!

tinyterrors Sat 25-Mar-17 17:55:34

I'd tell her that you'd love to invite her son over but her rules are too restrictive given your younger ds.

I treat playdates like a party so I expect them to eat things that are slightly less healthy like nuggets/pizza and that's what I serve when my dc's have friends over.

As a compromise on the no processed food could you make your own chicken nuggets? It's a bit of a faff but easy enough and can be prepared during the day and kept in the fridge until needed. I usually slice chicken bread into thin straps, coat in seasoned flour, then egg, and breadcrumbs and bake in the oven for 25 minutes. Or buy pizza bases and let them make their own pizza which is healthier than frozen pizza.

supermoon100 Sat 25-Mar-17 17:56:07

Blimey what an uptight woman. I would never dictate to someone how they look after my kids. I always assume people to be reasonable human beings who don't need dictating to

BigMamaFratelli Sat 25-Mar-17 17:58:57

I'm on the fence really. I think the no unsupervised play thing is a bit OTT. But I don't think pasta and a few carrot sticks is a big ask, even with a small baby. And I agree with her on the no games consoles and TV - why go to a friends house and not engage with them?

I can understand why she's upset if you're all excluding her ds.

ThouShallNotPass Sat 25-Mar-17 18:02:21

Just tell her that unfortunately you don't feel comfortable having a child around that requires close physical supervision.

If her kid needs monitoring in an enclosed garden or upstairs (WTF?) then I couldn't and wouldn't trust them in my home.

And processed food is part and parcel of going to friend's houses. I mainly cook fresh food for my kids but when they have their mates over it's Pizza, chips, nuggets, waffles and any other processed crap you can think of. My kids like it, their kids like it... win win.

Pigface1 Sat 25-Mar-17 18:03:23

It's fine for her to have those rules in her own home. It's not fair to expect another mum to abide by them in her home.

As other posters have said, I think you just need to explain that her boy is lovely and very welcome at play dates but unfortunately due to having a very small baby you simply can't commit to following her rules.

Also - she is presumably welcome to invite your boy and the others over to her house! Then she can supervise them and feed them quinoa to her heart's content!!

StewieGMum Sat 25-Mar-17 18:05:17

I would be honest: you'd love to have him to play but her rules aren't possible when you have a small child. Unless he has good sensitivities or allergies, her rules around food are simply untenable. He can come to play as long she understands that dinner may involve chicken nuggets and unsupervised play is normal.

passmethewineplease Sat 25-Mar-17 18:06:26

She expects you to use certain phrases if he is misbehaving in your care? confused

YANBU OP, I wouldn't bother trying to make her 'rules' work!

shouldwestayorshouldwego Sat 25-Mar-17 18:12:47

Have you explored the reasons for the rules? One of mine won't eat any 'traditional children's food' it's not through lack of exposure but just won't eat it. It does become tricky with playdates but our go to is pasta and slow cooked Bolognese sauce which is quite easy. Would she come too and supervise her child? Or playdates at the park in summer - everyone bring picnic.

TheRealPooTroll Sat 25-Mar-17 18:16:03

Just tell the mum that you can't supervise her child as much as required and that he is welcome to come over but he needs to follow your house rules the same as you expect your son to follow her house rules when he is in her house.
Although to be honest I doubt a woman so spectacularly entitled as to tell you what your child can do in their own home is able to be reasoned with.
It's a shame really as she will have to get used to him being left out. Even though she is entitled to have whatever rules she likes in her own home I ca't see kids tripping over themselves to want to go and play there.

dangermouseisace Sat 25-Mar-17 18:20:07

She sounds a bit PFB. I think you're completely entitled to say he can only come over if he sticks to your rules. Her list of demands make it seem like she doesn't trust anyone else to be able to look after her child competently.

HelloDeer Sat 25-Mar-17 18:22:15

Fuck that! I definitely wouldn't be having her child over again! What a cheeky, rude cow

tinypop4 Sat 25-Mar-17 18:22:59

She sounds like hard work. I would tell her that you'd love to have her son but you cannot change your rules for one play date. Tell her what you plan for the play date food and activity wise and if she doesn't like it it's her choice not to send, but he's very much invited.

Anditstartsagain Sat 25-Mar-17 18:24:12

It came about slowly for all of us things like oh he had a tummy ache after eating the pizza I actually don't allow him to eat anything processed, is he OK to play outside -yes as long as you don't leave them alone. The phrases thing was another mum who told him he needed to share he wasn't being nice she told us he was really upset as he wasn't used to that language. It's funny she's not horrible about it she's nice but at the same time has made it clear that she doesn't want these things to happen again.

The Xbox one I was mortified he played and then next time he came he told me he couldn't play because it was really bad for him blush. I usually let them on it right after school for about half an hour then turn it off its not on for the full 2/3 hours.

She is a nice person and a good mum she's just a bit up tight she once told me sh3 struggled to have him and just wanted to do it right so I think she's just trying to do her best. I just feel awful about the whole thing I hoped I could fly under the radar for a few months and it's all become an issue. Actually I think the other mums maybe feel a bit judged by her rules as in your not good enough I'm to sleep deprived to care luckily.

Laura0806 Sat 25-Mar-17 18:24:55

I'm usually keen to accomodate what other people want but I think she is being ridiculous. I think it is a shame she is upset but she can't impose rules like that. I feel sorry for her child as he will continue to miss out on all sorts of treats because noone wants to accomodate all those instructions!

Trb17 Sat 25-Mar-17 18:26:31

The only rule I ever expressed when DD was going on play dates was to let people know that I didn't let her play out on the street. Only because I knew some Mums did allow it and I thought DD too young at the time. Aside from that I'd never impose food rules or be so ridiculous as to say no unsupervised play upstairs (seriously wtf?!). I'd simply say, "I'm sorry but I can't stick to all your rules as that's not how we live so I'll totally understand if you don't want him to come play" ... then it's only her that's stopping her DS from having friends.

TheRealPooTroll Sat 25-Mar-17 18:26:42

Do you think she might mean she doesn't want him playing unsupervised on the street rather than in an enclosed garden? That's how I'd interpret that. How old are they all? And what did she say about playing upstairs?

BackforGood Sat 25-Mar-17 18:27:17

Of course YANBU. I'd just let the Mum know that your dc would like to invite him, but that obviously whilst in your care, you can't commit to some pre-given set of rules. He is welcome to come and play, but your house, your rules, in exactly the same way as you would expect your dc to follow any house rules at his.
If she can't cope with that, she's going to have a little boy who doesn't gt invited to anything which seems a shame for the boy but it's her that needs to realise that.

thatwouldbeanecumenicalmatter Sat 25-Mar-17 18:28:34

Although to be honest I doubt a woman so spectacularly entitled as to tell you what your child can do in their own home is able to be reasoned with.

Is the correct answer.

chastenedButStillSmiling Sat 25-Mar-17 18:29:14

I'd suggest the most important thing is how much your DS and the other kids like him? If they're keen, worth bothering with/persevering/finding a compromise. If they're all a bit "meh" then why worry? I feel a bit sorry for other mum, she's just being PFB, and rather precious. But maybe she'll find some more like-minded mothers who are more like her and will be more comfortable.

Mehfruittea Sat 25-Mar-17 18:30:14

Agree - your house your rules. I'm new to the whole play dates thing and am quite strict. But it's a treat, and DS knows the difference between a treat and everyday. It because of the structure I have at home that means when the rules are relaxed (by us or others on play dates or grandparents etc) DS enjoys the treat but then readily accepts the rules are back in place. He understands the boundaries IYSWIM. Other kids' mum needs to chill out a bit more and trust that her style of parenting will prevail, but is not an absolute 100% necessity all the time. Her son is losing out because of it.

EweAreHere Sat 25-Mar-17 18:31:25

I knew a parent like that when my children were a bit younger. She won't change. She was also a very nice person and a good mum, but her uptightness and approach to raising her son was absolutely isolating for him and he was quite odd because of it. He himself finally had enough of it, too, and went to live with his father when he turned about 8.

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