Play date behaviour - advice(81 Posts)
Not really AIBU I know, but I am looking for a wide range of advice tbh
I have a DD who has just started having play dates and one thing I find tricky to manoeuvre is how to deal with bad behaviour of the other child?
So far 2 mums have dropped their kids off at my door and have left me in charge, this is fine and not an issue but if the child is cheeky, domineering, rude or badly behaved I feel like there must be a way of dealing with it without putting the kids off from wanting to return!
I am a primary school teacher lol I don’t know if I am setting my standards too high but I’m just looking for more experienced mums to share any useful tips on this?
Cheeky /domineering - I don't think it's in your remit to address at a playdate tbh
Really rude or naughty to the point that someone is getting hurt, I would tackle with distraction or more supervision eg moving them from just playing in the bedroom to a structured supervised activity like baking/craft
My son had a particularly horrible classmate over on a play date. His behaviour was awful, crying, refusing food, throwing things and sulking. At pick up time I told his Mum ' Johnny didn't enjoy himself I'm afraid, he refused to eat anything, didn't want to play with DS and ended up in tears, I'm not sure why... Is he OK?
Hmmm just based on these two replies I’m already inclined to think I’m being too harsh lol
Cheeky and domineering is just kind of hard to stomach tbh but not awful
One wee girl charged round my house in all the rooms telling me it stank (it was cleaning stuff)
Refusing to put shoes on, trying to steal toys etc
I just want my little girl to have a nice time and it’s been such a long road to get here to the point she has play dates and I’m maybe a bit wary of addressing things with mums etc, I don’t want to put the kids or the parents off
I usually say don't do that/ say that in our house please, with a look, and that's enough.
I have over the years told several children that if they have no respect for the people who live in the house they can go home, and asked whether I should call their parents.
This has always worked, and never put anyone off, though a couple of children have commented to my DC that I'm strict. This is fine as it means teen and preteen mass sleep overs remain under control!
I do believe it's your remit in your house to make it clear if something is unacceptable, and children actually like boundaries as long as they're sensible ones. Sometimes they're just testing whether they can get away with something they couldn't at home and are relieved to find they're as safe as yours as at home because you (an adult) are in charge. They'll still come to me for help if they're hurt or anything, or send the DC hosting to fetch me if they miss their mum in the night on a 7 or 8 year old sleepover.
Reconsidering what my actual question is .... I suppose, do you let a lot of stuff “go” as it’s a playdate and as it’s not your child?
So far I have addressed any issues in a smiley but firm way, it’s the looks I’ve had off of these kids! Like they aren’t impressed lol well they wouldn’t be would they? I’m over thinking this as I’m so keen for my wee girl to widen her circle
Sassenach85 I have 3 children, My eldest is 15, youngest 9, and I've been having unaccompanied playdates since dc1 was 3.
I really, really disagree that you let playdate guests run riot and be rude and distract them by playing children's entertainer.
I've always had the attitude that playdates occupy my children and I'm there for safety, food provision and hands off supervision to step in only if needed.
You've got to think long haul - these kids might be in your house for the next 12 years - don't teach them that you're a doormat they can treat like a servant. They won't respect you or your house or your DD, and that'll get worse as time goes by.
Yes I let a lot of stuff go. Its not my job to ensure the playdate grows into a decent human being just that they have a nice enough time.
If not sharing or arguing then i would say "everyone has to share" or "what would your mum say if she knew ......" or if trashing the place.
Poor manners, not eating, saying the house stank might make me say something "that's bleach because I have been cleaning" or if I know the child well a jokey "did you just say my house stinks?? Cheeky monkey, you'll not be back"
I also follow up later with my own dd "that was really rude, you would never say that at a play date would you?"
Poor manners and not eating would be ignored I mean.
Thanks for the replies, I feel I have probably handled it as expected then, I was firm and I mentioned sharing and told the wee girl it was bleach and chatted to DD about manners afterwards, I wasn’t just letting things go but I feel like perhaps the kids are used to play dates being a free for all and could see myself being the moany mum - oh don’t go there her mum is a moan lol
Dd is 6 btw
Not eating is fine - nobody should be forced to eat.
Saying rude things about the food gets them told not to be rude though.
A little girl once told me I should hoover my stairs, and I told her that it's rude for guests to say things like that. That was nine years ago and she still comes over most weeks.
I never really needed to tell kids off, but I have a way of putting them on the spot with pointed questions like, "Hang on a minute--is that an ok thing to say?," or "Is that something you do at home?"
Usually that's enough to make them reconsider their behaviour but I have explained that we don't do certain things in our house. If siblings or parents are present, I don't allow visiting kids to cheek them either.
If they behave badly more than once then I don't really want my kids hanging out with them, so they aren't invited back.
I absolutely would tackle outright bad behaviour, like I do at soft play or something when someone's unattended child is misbehaving. I don't really subscribe to the 'don't tell off other people's children' thing. If I'm not there and my DD is being a little shit then I would have no issues with another parent telling her off, assuming she is old enough obviously to understand (which by the sounds of things is the case with your play date guests).
Some stuff is worth letting go, of course, but sometimes a simple 'We don't talk like that to each other in this house' or something is enough. Being told off by someone else's parent was always far more impactful when I was a kid too
I never used to let bad behaviour/manners go and nobody asked to go home early or didn't want to come again.
Sure it's not your job to bring up the child - but you can and should insist that your house rules are adhered to.
I don’t think you’re being harsh. If I experienced any attitudes or behaviour I didn’t like I used to say to the child ‘well if you’re not enjoying yourself shall I call your mum to collect you? - without fail the kid would look sheepish (because they actually know they are being rude and cheeky) and start to behave. There were certain children that didn’t get invited back.
At 6 I take the view that they’re learning and will get stuff wrong. Gently correcting things is as far as I’d go. I find a raised eyebrow is often sufficient. Frankly, I’d expect that to be the case for at least a decade...I know my friends had moments at my home as teenagers...didn’t mean that they were horrible people. Just still figuring out the limits of cheeky behaviour.
Caveat - my kids are only 7&4 so not had a huge number if play dates from mums I totally don’t know - but I treat visiting kids same as my own kids. Such as ‘knife and fork please Rose’ or ‘ask nicely’ or ‘it’s kind to share’ , no bouncing on beds in this house - that sort of thing. To be honest it didn’t occur to me not to treat them same as my own kids in my house, no idea if that’s the right call!
I've got DD(13), DD(10) and DS(8) and have dealt with this stuff a hell of a lot. I used to let things slide but quickly realised that it was f###ing up my home just to keep badly behaved children happy. Now I am very polite but firm with a "We don't do XX in my house. If you want to do it, I can call your mum and you can go home. Now what do you want me to do?"
One girl came over for play dates (meaning her mum faked a "Oh Sally really want to come see your Susie" when in fact the mum just had a hair appointment and wanted rid of the kid.) and Sally refused to sit down and eat. She had cheese sandwiches provided by her mum and wandered round room to room dropping grated cheese all over my carpets and standing on it and putting the crusts down anywhere like on the sideboard or coffee table. She was 6 so more than old enough to know better. I'd tell her to go sit down and she looked me square in the eye and shrugged and carried on walking. Those kids get a very, very firm voice. I am busy now every time the mum calls suggesting play dates at mine.
DS's friend once left piss all over the toilet seat and floor like he hadn't even aimed. Of course he also hadn't flushed. I simply walked into the boy's room, handed him a cleaning cloth and sent him back into the bathroom with a "I don't know what kind of mess your mum puts up with but I certainly will not be cleaning up anyone's urine here!" And escorted home back to the bathroom.
I've had to tell him a few times since but now I've managed to train him to leave a clean bathroom, flush the toilet and he even washes his hands without being sent back in.
Its so awkward isn't it? my son had a nightmare friend who was rude and destructive. I told him "we dont do that in this house" but he just ignored it and carried on jumping on the sofa and spilling ice cream everywhere. I'm afraid that was the last time he was invited. I kept making excuses after that. I felt too awful saying to the mum well actually, he behaved appallingly. I wish I could have been honest but i couldn't bring myself to.
If people have left me in charge of their child in my house then I will absolutely tell them off, same as I would with my own children.
I will pull up rude children and bad behaviour, it doesn't make them not want to come back, but next time they usually behave as they know the rules.
My dd has a friend who behaves at my house but is appalling & rude in other people's houses as other mums don't say anything.
I would also have no problem phoning for a child to be collect early if not behaving.
I've literally never had a playdate that goes well. Either my kid turns into a bossy diva or gets tired and starts being mean or the other kid doesn't listen to me. A few months ago a Muslim lady from the school gates I chat to had a baby. She is a lovely women and her DD is advanced. Super clever at writing, reading. She told me how at home This (4.5 year old) girl was so lovely, helpful, kind, helped with dinner etc. So I enthusiastically said oh yes ofcourse she can come to me. She told me to avoid any foods that contain meat or gelatine etc. No problem.
I pick her up from school fully expecting Go d behaviour. She was running off. She said errrr disgusting at people in the street. She got to my house and was opening the cupboards. Pinched a mini roll and cheekily demanded a yoghurt. Ran upstairs when I asked her to get her shoes on. Refused to do anything I said. When her auntie pulled up to collect her I had to battle her out the door. Not to mention she kept carrying my one year old around and making him cry. It was horrendous. I was hoping she was someone we could have around to play sometimes in the holidays but nope! Never again for a long time! I ofcourse told her mum she had been fine.
You're not being harsh. When DSs' friends came to play they knew I expected them to behave and they did. No cheeky or domineering behaviour was tolerated.
The thing is, there are very few girls in her class and although she’s 6 she’s a p1. Anyway the thing is I can refuse to have them back but they will just have play dates with each other and dd gets shoved out. It’s a pathetic minefield I am surprised at myself as I am a no nonsense mum/teacher but the kids I have come across ... it’s like they just Don’t really care, definitely shoulder shrugging going on too.
Made me itch to bite my tongue, these were “first”
Play dates though so I guess as the kids get to know me it will all settle down .. here’s hoping!
There is a difference between excitement and rudeness/unacceptable behaviour. I would definitely start as you mean to go on and address any behaviour you are not happy with, even if just 'we don't do that here". Three children, now grown and lots of play dates - never had anyone not want to come back again. Only ever took one child home early because of his aggressive behaviour which persisted despite warnings.
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