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AIBU to say No More Play dates

(59 Posts)
mummymummums Fri 12-May-17 20:54:12

Feeling really fed up tonight. I've always hosted play dates for both my DC quite regularly - DD is 10, and DS about to be 9. Both had a friend round today.
I just feel that this afternoon's play date is the straw that broke this camel's back and I just don't want to do them any more.
All started well. Then the following:
1. DD disappears upstairs for ages - I go and check and find her grizzling because her friend is playing with the boys too much.
2. DS and friend go in garden - DS kicking ball around our small but high fenced garden and despite promises to only kick in one direction ball ends up next door almost instantly. I tell him in no uncertain terms to stop kicking balls but next thing a further two balls have gone next door while I went to loo. Neighbour is plainly fed up by this as he always takes ages (several days) to return balls which is fine. We have a large trampoline, playframe and various garden games but DS repeatedly only wants to kick balls (always next door) despite having no interest in playing football or joining a football club any other time. Shed and balls usually locked due to balls issue but today he found key so I allowed him to kick on promise that he'd keep it away from neighbour fence.
3. I walk into living room to find DS firing powerful (as in fires hard) nerf gun up living room. I tell him to stop but have to dash to telephone which rings and return to him still firing. Then he stops after a further talking to.
4. Manage to stop DS showing his friend something with swearing in that he apparently found on you tube recently.
5. DS completely accidentally knocks a model DD built yesterday - needs small repair when we can sit down and do it but entirely fixable. DD starts muttering about revenge and I warn her sternly against that.
6. This is the biggie for me. DD grabs abandoned nerf gun and fires it at point blank range at DS. It hits him in throat and he's in significant pain - vivid red mark on windpipe and DD darkly gloating that she got her revenge. I lost it and sent her upstairs for next 40 mins and she became remorseful. Just thanking my lucky stars it wasn't DS's eye, or one of the friends.
7. Ask DS and friend to tidy balls from garden ( they'd emptied an entire sack of ball pit style balls over garden). I chivvy and ask 6-8 times whilst dinner is ready - eventually they do it and come in.
8. Mealtime. All seems to be going well and much friendly chat at table so I sat on settee. Get up 5 mins later to find that the entire carpet around table is covered in shredded tiny bits of bread as DD's friend had decided to tear the middle out of her sub roll and 'make dough balls' by rolling it between hands but DD joined in and pretty much two large bread rolls were all over floor.
Both guests hid from their parents at home time and all I could think was 'please please just go'. Not that they'd done much wrong - it was nearly all my own two DC.
To put in context, this is first play date they've had in a couple of months mainly because my Dad is very unwell and probably won't be with us much longer and I frequently make urgent dashes to be with him so I avoided play dates. But then I thought it'd be nice for the children to have one and I ought to make the effort. I feel such a mug, and I feel like not bothering any more. I realise that most is quite minor stuff and v normal but the nerf gun thing could've been very serious. I don't want to overreact but I feel cross that my two behaved so badly. I'm feeling they're spoilt.
In the summer we put up a 14 foot pool and host loads of play dates. I just don't want to do it any more. I'm always positive and happy but after today I just feel so fed up with trying to do it all, to get rewarded by this crap behaviour and unnecessary stress. I never have a minute to myself with working, caring for parents and the DC who each do 3 clubs a week.
So WIBU to put an end to play dates for the DC?

gamerchick Fri 12-May-17 21:09:30

I wouldn't say you wbu at all, I would rather grate my face off than do any of that shit, sounds like great fun grin

Of course you'll get those posting in an minute saying how your kids will be social pariahs and you'll never be invited to the yummy mummy club if you don't do them because they're soooooooo important. wink

lilydaisyrose Fri 12-May-17 21:13:37

You sound very patient. I don't really do many playdates as we're a family of five in a 2 bedroomed flat and there's just no room for extra kids to play!

Can you speak to your children calmly tomorrow about their behaviour?

DearyDearyDeary Fri 12-May-17 21:13:50

Uhhm - #8 - you sat them down for a meal then went off to the sofa? WTAF were you expecting??

PeaFaceMcgee Fri 12-May-17 21:14:38

It sounds like you have a lot going on so yanbu to minimise stress for now. I do think kids can have too much 'fun' sometimes!

Sorry to hear about your dad flowers

kalinkafoxtrot45 Fri 12-May-17 21:16:16

Time to get rid of the nerf gun for starters.

BaDumShh Fri 12-May-17 21:17:03

DearyDearyDeary you would expect children of that age to be able to eat a meal unaccompanied. They are 9 and 10, not 3.

Willyorwonte Fri 12-May-17 21:17:29

Hate hate the term "play dates" it makes me cringe!
Anyway..
Ask yourself why? Why do you host?
Do you enjoy it? Really?
It doesn't sound like fun to me.
If not, why do to. Why put yourself through the stress?
You say you host a lot. Why?

mummymummums Fri 12-May-17 21:19:07

Deary - they're 9 and 10. I thought I could sit down and let them eat together. I was 10 ft away but wasn't watching I admit. I don't usually sit at table with my children and their friends during play date meals. I usually hover in kitchen but very tired today.

mummymummums Fri 12-May-17 21:19:51

Thank you Peaface.

RebornSlippy Fri 12-May-17 21:20:00

DearyDeary, they're 9 and 10. WTAF are you thinking that they couldn't be expected to behave while at the dinner table? They are not toddlers.

jumpingthroughpuddles Fri 12-May-17 21:22:16

I think at 10 and 9 your DC are old enough to understand that you are a person and should be treated with respect. I'd definitely have a ban on playdates if I was feeling as close to the end of my rope as it sounds like you are. My normal strategy be to say that there would be no play dates until they had demonstrated for 10 days (or however long seems reasonable) that they could treat me and each other with respect. Probably need to have some very clear targets about not being physically abusive towards each other and no balls in the neighbour's garden etc. and keep a chart so you can focus on the positive but YA definitely NBU to ban play dates

missyB1 Fri 12-May-17 21:22:36

I only do about two a year it's all I can cope with. Definitely get rid of that nerf gun your kids have proven they can't be trusted with it. And tell them their behaviour was so silly that there won't be any play dates for a long time now.

mummymummums Fri 12-May-17 21:23:12

Willy - those are the exact questions I'm asking myself. I guess I do it for the DC - DS is very shy and I think it's helped him socially.
But now I'm thinking sod it, esp as they were such brats today.

backwardnames Fri 12-May-17 21:25:19

My new strategy for play dates: all children who come here get initiated with 10 minutes on how to behave in my house. If my children or other children break those rules it's home time. Since I started doing this my house has been less destroyed and children have been better behaved.

mummymummums Fri 12-May-17 21:26:43

Thank you for all comments - and I am wondering why I didn't think to confiscate nerf gun. I'm off to get it now. I think I'm not seeing the wood for the trees today!
We have reward charts and I always carry out any threats/consequences, but I can see there is a respect issue.

Napoliforte Fri 12-May-17 21:30:06

Playdates on a Friday are always bad because they're knackered from school. Tuesday is a good day. And you can ship the other kids off with a cheery "it's a school night, byeeee".

Friday playdates are the mistake of an amateur.grin

mummymummums Fri 12-May-17 21:30:18

Glad I'm not overreacting - I wondered if I was on shorter fuse due to my Dad. But I think I can conclude that I really have been pushed too far.
There will be frank discussions tomorrow and a rather dull weekend for DC I've decided. I tend to charge about trying to do fun stuff, when I'm not with Dad, but they can do what suits me this weekend. And play dates are definitely off the agenda for a considerable time.

pickleypockley Fri 12-May-17 21:30:27

I think maybe it all seems worse because of what you are going through with your poor Dad. My kids always get hyper when they have friends round, and I don't sit with them at meal time either. X

mummymummums Fri 12-May-17 21:31:21

Ah - it was a Friday thing blush

Willyorwonte Fri 12-May-17 21:31:46

Mummy.. I suspected you did it for your children's sake and that is lovely but, there is no appreciation for the extra work, time and stress that you put in.
If you must do it... give them something to do. A picnic tea, they make their own sandwiches and eat it in garden and never on a school night.
I'm sorry for the news re your dad, be kind to yourself and make some shortcuts. Drop the friends over for tea for a bit. In fact I know a mum who says "so and so is welcome to play at ours for a could of hours but I can't offer tea, is that ok!".

NoMudNoLotus2 Fri 12-May-17 21:33:03

I feel your pain. Last time my dc had a "play date" (hate them term) my eldest dd (11) and her friend decided it would be fun to soak my youngest dd (9) and her friend with the hose pipe! I had to take her home in my dd's clothes and explain why she was soaked. I could have killed my eldest dd that day.

I always find there is too much showing off and disruption so I can't stand to have play dates anymore. I figure when they go to secondary school they will have plenty of social opportunity with their mates anyway. Who remembers or cares about primary "playdates" eh.

Ratatatouille Fri 12-May-17 21:33:17

YANBU. That sounds hellish.

I think I would sit down with both DC tomorrow night for a serious talk. Tell them that you have a lot on your plate at the moment (presumably they know about grandad not being well?) and that at their ages they should be considerate of that, not making things harder for you. Hammer home that play dates are a privilege, not a right. You expect far better behaviour from them at their ages and should be able to rely on them to stop doing things or tidy up immediately when asked. You also should be able to trust them not to do things like throw food around and shoot each other in the throat. I would say that given their very poor behaviour there will be no more play dates for a certain period of time (1 month? Depends how often you normally host them) and if they do not demonstrate vastly improved behaviour after that, you will no longer host any play dates in your house.

christinarossetti Fri 12-May-17 21:33:21

YANBU at all. I always used to have my dc's friends around, partly I think to compensate for not being allowed friends around when I was a child. My dc a similar age to yours now.

Sheer and utter hell. Hysteria, fallings out, things getting broken, my children and some of their friends refusing to do as I asked eg sit at the table to eat.

One day I realised that actually I didn't have to do it anymore. And I don't. They do still have friends round sometimes, but nowhere near as much as before, and I realise that it's fine for me to think actually I'm knackered today and just fancy some peace and quiet so I'm going to say no.

pickleypockley Fri 12-May-17 21:33:32

Punishment for my ds would be a morning at b&q he hates it 😂

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