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to bin off play dates?

(56 Posts)
pianomadness Sat 01-Apr-17 11:35:46

Since Xmas I've manage 2. Both ended in fractious kids crying or squabbling and just seemed like a faff.

Ds is 6 and only child. School full time obvs but also does breakfast club 5 mornings a week, after school club 3/4 times a week till 5, spends time with grandparents/cousins, does sports clubs between 2-4 times a week and we are 'out' a lot at the park / pool / beach etc.

I work near full time as does dh and both of us are in talking busy jobs where we come home talked out and the last thing I can be bothered with is sorting out this minefield.

Ds doesn't specifically ask to meet up with friends, he's busy doing plenty of stuff with other kids (not necessarily those in his friendship/class group though) and isn't that into close friendships, likes to do his own thing etc.

I feel I'm not BU to not organise them, let him sort his own social life as he gets older and cares but the curse of seeing Facebook's glittering social lives make me feel guilty that I should try harder.....

PinkCrystal Sat 01-Apr-17 11:51:49

Yanbu. My DS is very similar. He gets to play with friends unstructured at after school club. Loves quiet time at home too. We only bother with very occasional play dates. Some mums pester but I just make excuses. Ds doesn't want to go to some as they are bossy amd agressive and he is quiet and sensitive. Luckily his close friends mums are like me they aren't really into play dates. The cliquey ones tend to do obsessively amd try to micromanage friendship groups.

JonesyAndTheSalad Sat 01-Apr-17 12:17:13

YANBU. I found them a pain and only did them when I'd been nagged for a while.

To be perfectly honest they're just not needed if your child is so busy...the best ones are when they're older and form proper close friendships and ask for them to happen.

My DD is 9 now and she has great times when her mates come. When she was 6 it wasn't so easy! My older DD the same.

BarbarianMum Sat 01-Apr-17 12:22:40

I think it's fine but I also think you should make it clear that you won't be reciprocating if you accept invitations from others.

JonesyAndTheSalad Sat 01-Apr-17 12:23:58

Also, tell DS that if he wants to, he can ask to invite someone over but you won't be organising them. I do think it's important to give them the chance now and then.

BhajiAllTheWay Sat 01-Apr-17 13:41:13

I used to dread them really. Some were ok and passed quickly. Some I counted down the minutes before they went home as they were impossible to entertain, went through cupboards, asked if they could " take this home as bhaji jnr has two watches and I dont" ...kind of stressful but we did have decent ones too. Tricky if you're busy though, there were some I never could reciprocate.

JonesyAndTheSalad Sat 01-Apr-17 14:33:43

Looking back it's an awful thing to put yourself through! Inviting kids you don't really know into your home...meaning their parents have to come to your home too!

I always felt anxious people might judge my house!

pianomadness Sat 01-Apr-17 15:02:25

I'm glad I'm not the only one! Whilst he doesn't socialise outside of school with most of his class mates, he does lots of things with other children and we are always busy so it's just another thing to add in for the sake of it!

I only have 1 pick up every few weeks so trying to organise something on that one and only day is a nightmare and takes forever, and then I don't really want to spend that time with other people's children or without my own.

There aren't vast amounts of invites coming his way, he's more on the periphery of lots of friendship groups and quite happy with that, I think that's why he doesn't request them. I think as he gets older he'll sort his own social life out!

Tinkerbec Sat 01-Apr-17 15:29:10

It will get easier though. My dd is 8 and has her friends for sleepovers. They generally entertain themselves.
When I check on them I am politely told to go away they are fine. Dd is actually less demanding when she has friends.

chastenedButStillSmiling Sat 01-Apr-17 15:33:14

I find this rather sad.... My DD adored cementing her friendships this way at that age, and couldn't have done it without my help. I also worked almost full time, she did breakfast and afterschool clubs as well as activities, cousins and GPs.

I feel a bit sorry for your DS

pianomadness Sat 01-Apr-17 16:47:58

Chaste - when did you do play dates within your week and did your children want them?

Please don't pity my child.

Lowdoorinthewal1 Sat 01-Apr-17 16:54:17

My DS is also 6 and an only. He only has actual playdates with the children of MY friends so I can see them- basically cup of tea dates for me. grin

He plays outside with the neighbours kids. This is far less stressful because they organise it themselves and if it goes a bit wrong he can just bring himself home. We are lucky that we live in a gated place though so it is completely safe.

Itsjustaphase2016 Sat 01-Apr-17 17:17:46

Can't you bin some of the other stuff and have a few more play dates? He seems to do so much! When do you just hang out with him chatting,drawing, doing homework?
My dd5 does one activity that she loves weekly, then a play date every 2 weeks I would say. This seems adequate to cement friendships and have fun but not enough to interfere with the week too much. Has he actually said he doesn't want them?

nogrip Sat 01-Apr-17 17:34:25

I pity your DC too. You can't be arsed to host playdates so your son misses out.
It doesn't sound like he does a lot of socialising, visiting GP and family is normal and expected and breakfast and after school club is for your benefit not his and isn't socialising either.
I get that he's on the perifery of friendships but perhaps that's why. It's part of parenting, you have to make the effort

pianomadness Sat 01-Apr-17 17:41:50

Well I can't stop work! So the breakfast club 5 days and after school clubs have to stay. GPs do pick ups as well so that's where that come in.

He does swimming once a week always and currently a sports class at school with friends. Then he can go to a few sports clubs if he wants to. Sometimes he does and sometimes he doesn't, we're led by him.

In between those he's reading with us, we play board games, he loves drawing and playing Star Wars stuff or football in the garden. He loves downtime playing with toys and Lego in peace in his bedroom but I think that's common with only children.

He plays with people but having lots of friends doesn't seem to interest him yet. I've spoken to the school who watch him and are happy that this is his personality - he's very academic and sporty and self motivated and wants to get on with that.

I've offered to have friends round and generally he's not bothered. He would be even more annoyed if he had to drop some of his other things to have a friend round.

Then I have to fit that situation in to the 1 evening every fortnight I'm around to do it and most other people aren't readily available (Fridays - everyone is tired etc)

I just think it's ok not to worry about it. If he asks me to have a friend over I would 100% organise it.

pianomadness Sat 01-Apr-17 17:46:44

Nogrip - you have no idea about him. You are judging based on your own experiences and beliefs. You are trying to blame me not trying enough to have play dates to account for him not having the right kind of friendships - thanks.

He socialises a lot. He has friends. He's just not interested in having lots of close friends and doing stuff all the time with them. I posted about this a few weeks ago and the consensus was I should let him be who he is and not to make him feel bad for it.

Screwinthetuna Sat 01-Apr-17 18:06:13

YANBU. Playdates are a pretty new thing here, it's more what American people do. We used to play out in the street, haha.
He sounds like he socialises plenty. I'd wait until he asks if a best friend can come round in a year or so

BackforGood Sat 01-Apr-17 18:12:24

I can't see why anyone is pitying him - he has lots of opportunities to socialise.
My dc (20, 18, and 15) made friends at wrap around school care - its like having friends to play every day of the week.
The op's ds also does swimming and other sports - yet more opportunities to be with friends.
OP - you just need to step away from social media. Most working parents dont fit in regular invitations to have other children round. Its not practical if you aren't getting in until 6ish.

minionsrule Sat 01-Apr-17 18:37:18

Another one here who dreaded them but mainly cos I work FT and DS went to After school 5 days a week so no chance during the week.
Weekends were my haven and I did not want to spend them monitoring 2 boys who were squabbling.
Of course we did them sometimes but not regularly, if DS asked we would agree but TBH I rarely suggested it myself. Some were easier than others, depended on the friend DS invited. It did get easier as he got older as they didn't need holding apart grin.
OP ignore people pitying your DS - they are deliberately trying to make you feel bad so they feel good about themselves.

ittakes2 Sat 01-Apr-17 18:48:36

The trick is to find a child who is easy going and gets on so well with your child that a play date goes smoothly. Unfortunately, sounds like you haven't found that child yet!
If a play date is a nightmare don't invite that child back as things won't change.

eddiemairswife Sat 01-Apr-17 18:48:44

He seems to do plenty already, and if he's not bothered don't worry about it. Thank goodness these organised play dates weren't the in thing when mine were little. They just went out to play or friends came round to play, but nothing formal. No-one the worried about their children's 'social life'.

chastenedButStillSmiling Sat 01-Apr-17 19:06:56

One wonders why OP asks the question. Twice, apparently, if she isn't interested in any views which don't confirm what she currently does?

pianomadness Sat 01-Apr-17 19:09:24

Where have I asked twice?

And isn't that the point of AIBU - people want to be told they aren't.

Anyway, most people agree I'm not so it seems you're BU and you've come back to make a point to make yourself feel superior.

bookwormnerd Sat 01-Apr-17 19:20:36

I only really do playdates when daughter asks. To be honest alot of the kids are at clubs after school or parents working so difficult. Im fine with having whichever child over. We in summer do alot of park meet ups so both parents there and kids just running around which helps limit arguments. In reception daughter had playdate a week at park, not so many now as she is happy socially at school now, is alot tierder and has homework. We do go to every school party invited to and she regularly plays with other children out side of school and plays with her brother at home. She is a bit of an introvert like me so I let her lead. You know whats best for your child. I never had many play dates as a child and never bothered me

junebirthdaygirl Sat 01-Apr-17 19:26:50

I was coming on to say your ds sounds happy enough so l wouldnt worry bit your tone in the last post is quite rude and unnecessary.

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