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Playdates etc. How often?

(14 Posts)
Playdates Wed 11-Oct-17 12:59:21

I have a child, almost 7yrs old. Who has only been invited on 2 Playdates after school (Last year in y1) one of these was a reciprocal playdate. (Has also always been invited to class parties. However, these seemed to be less last year. Assume a birthday treat with a small group of closer friends invited).

He has friends at school but no really close friends. Also goes to a few clubs a week outside of school and happily plays with the children there. Some from school, others not.

He doesn't ask for friends to come round (I work full time and it's difficult). Therefore, I'm unsure if it's because it's not something I encourage or talk about.

At this age is this unusual? I don't get to do drop offs or collections so only on a smile/hello basis with some of the other Parents.

I have heard other parents in each year group arranging Playdates. At this age is it generally still arranged with the parents that are friends with each other?

Is it something I should be encouraging more? For closer friendships? As he'll still happily playing with some children in his year, as well as yr1 and reception children. This will unfortunately have to change when he moves to Juniors next year.

MrsOverTheRoad Wed 11-Oct-17 13:16:08

He sounds happy...so I wouldn't worry at this stage. At 7, the parents are still very much organising playdates and I think that boys especially aren't likely to do much asking for them.

When they get older, more like 9 upwards, then the children seem to take over a lot with regards to who they want.

I remember (my girls are 13 and 9) when we were in year 2 and 3 and I did every pick up...Mothers would approach me asking for a playdate more because their child had mentioned mine and they might have liked the look of them or of me!

It's all a bit awful really..one Mother, new to the school in year 2, asked every single girl round in turn...and then focused on the two wealthiest families as "suitable friends" for her DD!

Either way...when your DS is a bit older, he'll probably start asking more. I never have enjoyed playdates and tried to avoid them a bit...mine are fine and both manage well socially.

Now mine are older I don't hate playdates so much as they're less bother!

headintheproverbial Wed 11-Oct-17 13:17:31

It's really hard if you work full time but yes at this age I think there still has to be quite a bit of input from you in arranging. It's tough but in order to be invited you often have to extend an invitation first. I'd ask him who he'd really like to have round to play and then contact the parents. If time is tight maybe invite two friends at once. I'm always delighted to be asked (as is DS) so you're unlikely to be met with anything other than a yes!

I'd say the danger in not doing this is that he ends up feeling left out. Not because his peers don't like him but because the parents haven't got to know him/ you. When they're older they'll sort it out themselves I guess!

MrsOverTheRoad Wed 11-Oct-17 13:20:24

Yes...head is probably right that you should make some effort. I did make some effort. It's not easy if you're working full time though so I noticed a lot of full time working parents would ask for playdates during half terms.

If you can get numbers that is...do you ever get to school during the week?

MissWilmottsGhost Wed 11-Oct-17 13:29:03

DD has quite a lot of playdates but they tend to be on-the-spot decisions rather than planned. She comes out of class yelling "can x come to our house? Please, please, please!", and I say "if his/her parent says ok". It is also more likely to happen if I know the parent well. Unfortunately working full time probably means your DC misses out on spontaneous play dates like these.

Do you see other parents at pickup and drop off at all? When I do breakfast or after school club I know I am less likely to meet the other parents, and if I do we are all more rushed and less likely to chat. You might just need to be a bit more proactive.

Playdates Wed 11-Oct-17 13:33:27

Thank you both. So not particularly unusual but I should make a bit more effort.
I have asked about his friends and who he'd like to come to his house but they seem to change daily and he isn't really fussed about someone coming over.
I at least have the majority of the parents numbers from party invites.
(I had also been concerned that although I'm rarely ever at the gates I may not be liked for a reason unknown to myself). We're unfortunately not rich grin
My son is kind and friendly and doing well academically. Always well behaved at school so it's certainly not that parents wouldn't want him friends with their children. (He is also happy playing by himself at times, although not a loner).

Playdates Wed 11-Oct-17 13:38:37

Thanks also MWG. No, I rarely get to drop off or pick up. It's generally a morning booked off work on the 1st day back to school and an afternoon off on the last day. Other than special assemblys, sports day etc. I'm also not friends with any of the parents due to not being able to get to know any at drop off/collection.

midnightmisssuki Wed 11-Oct-17 13:48:41

no hard and fast rule - my daughter is young (3) and alot of her friends live on our estate so we have quite a few of these. She's in a new school now (kindergarten since sept) and has been invited a few times, i work full time and i have a 1 year old do its pretty hard to juggle everything, and i think at this age its the mums who organise most of the dates anyway. You dc sounds absoloutely fine they way he is and unless he akss i wouldnt force anything on him smile

FlakeBook Wed 11-Oct-17 14:54:17

I hate the off the cuff playdates (because I've already dragged myself up to school and could have stayed at home if it was arranged in advance). But definitely arranged by parents. And I would take the initiative because they seem to bond differently 1:1 and cement friendships.

GeraltsSilverSword Wed 11-Oct-17 20:14:15

My son is 6 and sounds similar to yours. He has friends at school but never asks if they can come over. I also work full time, and until very recently didn't do the school drop-offs/pick-ups. Been doing them for the past few months after my husband's hours changed. I'm not a very outgoing, confident person but as my son is an only child at the moment, I've bitten the bullet and made the first move - had a couple of the boys he plays with over, and it's been great for him (if nerve racking for me!). Hopefully it will be reciprocated, but even if it isn't, I feel like at least he is having a bit of social contact with school friends outside of the classroom. Good luck with it smile

MadMags Wed 11-Oct-17 20:18:32

I hate, hate, HATE play days but I do them because I have to.

I do think they're beneficial and I do think af that age they need to be arranged.

Ttbb Wed 11-Oct-17 20:22:27

At that age my parents arranged most of my play dates for me. I would ask for maybe 5% of them. My parents worked full time so we never did play dates after school (I don't actually know anyone who did/does that) so all play dates were on weekends.

LouLouLove Wed 11-Oct-17 20:34:29

This could be me! i work full time and my son in Yr 2 does after school club until 6pm so we don't have any play dates. I am not sure how to manage this but there must be plenty of people in same situation! We try and organise stuff at weekends but we have activities and family to fit into those two days as well so it is hard! To be honest he doesn't ask but I still worry!

cuckooplusone Wed 11-Oct-17 20:37:17

I only did one drop off/pick up and struggled with play dates too. I found that it was good to chat a bit at parties. I tended to arrange things for half-term.

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