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To be clueless about "play dates"

(18 Posts)
Sunshinegirls Sun 02-Jul-17 11:03:28

For instance, how long should a play date last? My daughter is 9 and I want to let her invite friends over to play in the summer hols, how many hours is normal to have someone else's child over. I had a child over last year and her mother said "il pick her up at 5" which meant that I would have her child for 6 hours! Is this normal? I thought 3 hours is enough? Also, my daughter's friends from school all have sleepovers but I think that 9 years old is too young so won't allow mine to participate aibu?

harderandharder2breathe Sun 02-Jul-17 11:07:05

9 is plenty old enough for sleepovers unless your child doesn't want to do them! I have Brownies on sleepovers from 7 years old and for the weekend at 9!

I remember going on my first sleepovers aged about 7 (no family nearby for grandparent or cousin sleepovers).

I wouldn't expect you to need to do much for a visiting 9 year old apart from keep them fed, they're normally good at entertaining themselves, especially if the weathers nice and they can play in the garden

Sunshinegirls Sun 02-Jul-17 11:09:54

I think an organised sleepover for brownies is a bit different than letting my kid go and stay the night at another families house where I barely know the parents though

Floggingmolly Sun 02-Jul-17 11:13:53

The first rule of play dates is that you, and only you, set the time for pickup. Don't allow anyone to swan in announcing when they'll be back!!

WitchSharkadder Sun 02-Jul-17 11:15:12

My older DS has been having sleepovers since age 7. My 6 year old is a bit more clingy and less independent so might be a bit older before he's ready. It's down to the maturity of the child.

As for play dates, length of time varies a lot, but if neither family has other plans, a whole day for 9 year olds is fine. Apart from throwing food at them occasionally, they don't really need adult interaction.

Eolian Sun 02-Jul-17 11:20:42

3 hours is plenty. Has your dd not jad playdates when she was younger? Sort of YANBU about the sleepovers - not that she's too young for them, but they are a pain!

Sunshinegirls Sun 02-Jul-17 11:28:16

Eolian - Not with kids from school where I don't know the family, she's had plenty of play dates with kids of my friends where my friend would come too. Also my younger child has a disability which makes things difficult sometimes.
Having strangers kids over is fresh territory for me!

Sunshinegirls Sun 02-Jul-17 11:29:28

That's also what puts me off about sleepovers, I couldn't reciprocate because of my younger childs disability, nights here are a bit chaotic sometimes!

Eolian Sun 02-Jul-17 11:33:08

How well do you need to know the family though? At primary, I met the parents at the school gates so got a feeling for what they were like and was happy with that. At secondary it's a whole other ball game - you don't normally have occasion to meet the parents at all!

LillyLollyLandy Sun 02-Jul-17 11:35:33

I agree you need to set the length of the play date. It's perfectly acceptable to invite a child over for say, 10am and tell the parent to collect after lunch (1pm).

GreenTulips Sun 02-Jul-17 11:36:26

ok - so somenparents take the mic - especially over the summer and use you for childcare while they work

If you invited you need to set times - hi does Bess want to come and play - about 1-4 ok? Think we may go to the park

Parents should offer some reciprocation - either weekends or evenings - but it's not always 'fair'

You need to concentrate on what your DD is happy with - one or two friends - tea somewhere or Saturday afternoon and not worth too much about it being one sided

Why are you only just doing play dates? Most start going to friends at 4/5 when the start school

Sunshinegirls Sun 02-Jul-17 11:36:46

I'm not bothered that I don't know the families that well, it's just I don't know the rules or play date etiquette. don't want them bitching about me

MaisyPops Sun 02-Jul-17 11:38:07

I'd say play dates (unless you know ow the parents well and BOTH do all day play dates) it's mid morning until just after lunch or after lunch until just before tea.

Personally, I'd be a fan of the afternoon ones because tea time is a nice convenient kicking out time. You decide if they can stay for tea or not.

BertrandRussell Sun 02-Jul-17 11:40:18

Depends on how long you want them for. You decide- and make it clear when you invite. T's easier if you can drop them home, to be honest. "Would x like to come for lunch and a play? Maybe you could bring her about 12, and I'll drop her home at 4ish"

You are being unreasonable about sleepovers though. 9 is fine if she wants to go.

GreenTulips Sun 02-Jul-17 11:43:47

Oh - any everyone's different

DDs friend keeps her sister entertained so the parents allow her a few hours
Another friend is a single child and likes the company all day
One enjoys going swimming so they do that
DS friends all gather at the park then head here for food
My friends with same age kids come over for lunch and head home tea time - we do the same

There's no right or wrong -

Heartoverheadhouse Sun 02-Jul-17 11:46:10

My daughter is 10 and summer play dates last year lasted a good half day. Say 2pm after lunch to 7pm (stay for tea). 3 hours seems a bit short at this age. 3 hours is more of a 5 yr old after school play date. But do what you are comfortable with - but that's the expectation and the norm where we are with my daughters group of friends
Sleepovers started in yr 3 for the 8th birthdays and she's had loads now.

Sunshinegirls Sun 02-Jul-17 12:11:31

Thanks everyone! Great advice smile

RedSkyAtNight Sun 02-Jul-17 12:51:48

In the summer holidays we often had DC (say) 10-5 and took them out for the day. But equally 3 hours in the afternoon would be ok.
Main thing is to be clear over how long you expect them to be saying and whether you will be feeding them.

Round here DC start playing out on their own from age 9 so knowing the parents of the children they are playing with goes out the window.

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