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to only do playdates if I already know the parent and child involved?

(32 Posts)
Greensleeves Wed 24-Jun-09 14:21:34

I hadn't really noticed that I WAS doing this, as we know a fair few children outside school and we are quite busy in various ways

but I went on a school trip with ds1 (Yr1) yesterday and he was telling a little boy about some game he's got, and the other boy seemed really interested - I said "Perhaps we could ask XX's mummy if he could come to our house and play with it?"

and then promptly my insides curdled at the thought of having to approach a mother I don't know, and walk home a child I don't know, and have them playing/eating at our house when I'm not sure of the child or the parent blush[pathetic]

are my children definitely losing out because of this? They do see a lot of other children outside school, honest - it's just that they are all families we know

I had thought I was doing fairly well at providing a social infrastructure and contact with other people, because my own childhood was very insular and we never had friends over.

Greensleeves Wed 24-Jun-09 14:22:28

<waits for replies of "YABU, and cowardly, and selfish">

hullygully Wed 24-Jun-09 14:24:27

No, as you say it just hasn't arisen before. The first time I had an unknown small boy home for tea I barely slept the night before and agonised over the tea. Now we have hordes sleeping over that I barely know. It's just practice.

motherinferior Wed 24-Jun-09 14:26:29

I think it's worth giving it a whirl. Really. And you might end up liking the parents, honestly you might. It's very straightforward; you just take that child home, leave it to play with your own, feed it something vaguely appropriate at the given time, and despatch it to its attentive parents.

seeker Wed 24-Jun-09 14:26:37

I'm really sorry - but I do think you will have to get over this - your children will start making their own friends and will want to invite them round. Once you've done it a few times it'll be fine, I promise.

motherinferior Wed 24-Jun-09 14:27:26

I am about to have SEVEN little girls round this afternoon after school.

ihavenosecrets Wed 24-Jun-09 14:28:01

I don't think you are being unreasonable, it is your home and up to you who you invite into it. However I do think it is important that your child chooses his own friends and he should have a say in who he invites over to play.

Having said that I hate this whole play date thing and was totally unprepared for it. I actually prefer having children over if I don't know the parents, if I am having children of friends over they always expect to tag along and I find the whole experience hellish!

I am becoming more and more unsociable by the day.

Overmydeadbody Wed 24-Jun-09 14:28:20

I don't tihnk YABU for being nervous about it, but how will you get to know other parents and have new children round unless you conqour your feer and invite them?

Some of my closest mum-friends now are ones that I got to know because I had to talk to them as DS wanted their DC to come over and play.

Greensleeves Wed 24-Jun-09 14:28:34

that's what I thought seeker, if I don't bite the bullet it will be as though I am choosing their friends for them, which is awful

I think I will grit my teeth and tell ds1 he can choose a friend to have over next week

ds2 is having a friend over tonight after school, but that is a friend whose parents I know outside school - and I am still in a complete pickle over what to feed him and whether my house looks too scummy

bigchris Wed 24-Jun-09 14:28:56

The kids you do have round tho, you must have started off not knowing?

SusieDerkins Wed 24-Jun-09 14:29:06

But you won't really get to know the parent and child unless you do stuff like playdates with them. I bite the bullet and often invite children from pre-school over and it's been a big success so far. I'd like my children to have proper out-of-school friendships with their school friends iykwim. It's also really nice to get to know the other mums better ime and I see a lot of them socially now without the children.

wishingchair Wed 24-Jun-09 14:29:32

No you're not BU ... he's only Yr1. My DD is also in Yr1 and I've got a bit more adventurous with the after school play dates and have had children I didn't know that well (but do know a bit and have chatted to mum in playground). I did it because she needed to widen her circle of friends and it has helped.

One friend who I don't know and whose parents I have never spoken to keeps telling me her "mummy says DD1 can go for a sleepover". Errr no. She's 6. Am not sending her for overnight stay at stranger's house.

Flyonthewindscreen Wed 24-Jun-09 14:30:31

Mostly YABU, is your DS always going to be happy to only have friends to play if you are good friends with their parents? This is going to be very limiting for him.

But YANBU to want to get to know parents of children your DS has befriended a little before inviting them over. I would always try to have had a few chats with mums at school gates/parties before inviting their DC on playdates. For one thing, would find it weird if my DC were invited to someone's house and I had never spoken to their parents before and didn't know a little about them and assume other parents would feel similarly.

jeminthedark Wed 24-Jun-09 14:31:53

With my older 2, like you, it was always playdates with friends etc, but with the youngest, it is different, and like hullygully the first time I had an 'unknown' child I worried about it beforehand.

Do what you think is right, and what you are comfortable with. How old is your DC?

Greensleeves Wed 24-Jun-09 14:32:08

Oddly enough I did get chatting with one of the "playground mums" while on the school trip - she is one of the ones I am intimidated by as she is very popular, very "local", knows everyone and is totally different from me

and she said something about how nice it was that all the mums in our class are friendly even though we are all different, and "after all, we all want the same thing, don't we?" which was very thought-provoking for me, because she's right - we all just want happy healthy kids who enjoy school and get on well

this has heartened me a bit

but I am basically a social cripple, I like to scurry into my house and lock all the doors and having people over (even ones I know and love) scares the shit out of me

motherinferior Wed 24-Jun-09 14:32:16

Feed him pasta, tomato sauce, cheese on top. That's my default 'visitor tea'. If you have to, offer him the option of butter or pesto or tomato sauce. He won't notice the state of the house. His parents will be too overjoyed at the fact he's been out at someone else's to notice.

jeminthedark Wed 24-Jun-09 14:33:16

Sorry, yr 1.

Everyone else has said really useful things! <bangs head in frustration and walks off, whistling>

AMumInScotland Wed 24-Jun-09 14:34:19

I can understand, but I think you need to relax a little about it - as others have said, your DS will increasingly make friends outside of the families you know, and you'll need to allow him to have those friendships. You really don't need to worry about what to feed them, though you may have to relax your own rules about "eating up their greens" or whatever. And don't fret about how tidy your house is - very few small children will even notice, unless it reaches the stage they can't get through the door!

bumpsoon Wed 24-Jun-09 14:35:54

wishingchair i bet said childs parenst know nothing at all about the sleep over grin

motherinferior Wed 24-Jun-09 14:36:08

If he says 'this is horrid' say with breezy passive-aggressive jollity 'sorry, darling, that's your tea'.

ihavenosecrets Wed 24-Jun-09 14:36:22

I know exactly how you feel Greensleeves. I was totally unprepared for the amount of socialising that you have to do once you have children. I'm unsociable by nature and find it overwhelming and surprising that people want to spend so much time with us.

bigchris Wed 24-Jun-09 14:36:47

Agree with motherinferior, always do something you know will get eaten, we have make ur own pizza and then throw them out in the garden

seeker Wed 24-Jun-09 14:37:55

Pasta and garlic bread. Then ice cream and sprinkles.

It'll be fine, I promise. And don't worry about the state of the house. My dp is still laughing 1o years on about the time I apologized to 3 year old dd's friend about the fact that I hadn't hoovered! If it's really bad tell the other mother you have to pop put for something later on and you'll bring the visiting one home. I've done that blush!

SusieDerkins Wed 24-Jun-09 14:38:27

Agree with bigchris - make your own pizza is a huge hit.

Besides, even if they don't eat anything and end up hungry and awake at 4am it's not your problem... wink

bigchris Wed 24-Jun-09 14:44:14

Yes you can do the whole thing in the garden

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