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Other children coming to play

(15 Posts)
SilentMammoth Wed 19-Sep-12 14:32:57

I have 4 DC aged 1-7 and DC5 on the way. DDs 1-2 are at school and DD1 in particular gets invited to other houses a lot, and is keen to invite others back. Now DD2 has started school she wants to do the same.

I want them to have a social life and to see others, but I really don't like having other kids over. Plus I work 3 days per week and DH is abroad a good 50% of the time. We get few weekends together and the ones we do have I don't want to spend looking after other people's children.

I used to manage it so that every 3 months or so I'd invite 4 children round for an afternoon and get it all over with, but now DD2 quite rightly want the same, and I just can't face 16 children in the house or increasing the frequency.

Any great ideas?

JennerOSity Wed 19-Sep-12 14:40:34

Hmmm - sorry can't see a way out of this. Unless your children only ever go to others houses, which won't win them friends. Don't see how you can have children over for one dd but not the other, so you are stuck.

I can see how your family time is super precious if your dh is away a lot, and how you have enough on your plate without being sub-parent for a time. You have my empathy.

But with 4 soon-to-be 5 children how can it happen any other way, unless you have a blanket ban on friends round except for b'days or something.

OOOoo unless you still have 4 friends round every 3 months but the 4 friends is one for each child instead of 4 for one child?

girlgonemild Wed 19-Sep-12 14:46:24

Can you not have one child at a time back for afterschool play on the days you don't work? That won't eat into your weekend and seems minimal fuss/extra effort for you and is time limited as they'll need to go home by 6ish.

alarkaspree Wed 19-Sep-12 14:48:38

What is it that you don't like about having other kids over? Too hectic, bad behaviour, too much mess? Is there any way you can make it less difficult for yourself - e.g. plan activities, tell your dc they have to clean up after themselves, only invite the nicest, quietest children?

I think it is really nice for kids to be able to have their friends over sometimes, so I'd suggest picking say one day a fortnight where each of the two oldest gets to invite a friend after school. Get them to think of some games to play or craft activities to do in advance and set them up so it's all ready for them when they come home from school. Or, if it's too much having them all in your house for the afternoon, maybe take them all to the park straight from school and just go back home for half an hour before their parents pick them up.

GooseyLoosey Wed 19-Sep-12 14:51:36

I would just reconcile myself to having other children around every other friday. I am not sure many parents love having other children around but you just have to do it. One child at a time means that the most you would ever have around (even when the oldest were bigger) would be 10. However, I would make sure that they didn't all have children around the same week.

saulaboutme Wed 19-Sep-12 15:21:54

If your DCs friends parents are in anyway decent I think they should understand that this is alot to take on and managing who comes over and when is not easy! Plus you have one more on the way. I would suggest to keep the kids happy plan 1 day out of the week for each DC to have a mate or 2 over and it has to suit you aswell.

cece Wed 19-Sep-12 16:15:36

When DD1 goes to a friend's for tea then DD2 gets to have a friend around and vice versa. You then don't add to the sum total of children in the house.

megandraper Wed 19-Sep-12 16:22:09

I sympathise, and I only have 3 kids. It is very hard when you've got really little ones who need constant supervision - easier I think (perhaps wrongly) when all your kids are older, and you've only got to keep an eye out for anything going wrong.

Do you have any willing grandparents nearby - you could palm off the youngest children to them for a couple of hours, so that it is less hectic for you and then you just have DD1 and DD2 plus some friends?

valiumredhead Wed 19-Sep-12 16:52:44

I wouldn't want to have 4 kids over at once either, can't each child have a friend over once every week or so?

Bigwheel Wed 19-Sep-12 20:42:11

Can't they take it in turns to have one friend round for tea after school every other week or something?

Dancergirl Wed 19-Sep-12 23:45:08

I know it's hard but I would let each of your older dds have one friend over each once every couple of weeks, otherwise you might find their invitations dwindling. Your older dds are 7 and 5 right? So they should be able to play with their invited friend fairly independently leaving you free for the little ones. My youngest is 5 and I barely see her at home when she has a friend over.

VonHerrBurton Fri 21-Sep-12 12:38:34

You will soon have 5 dc under 8. I totally sympathise with your dilemma, but surely you had an idea that for a good few years this was what life was going to be about, and continue to be about for years and years? In the future you are going to have 5 teenagers living in your house!

I think any hope of not having lots of people in your house for the long term foreseeable future is futile, unless you do as a dc my ds knows' parents have done - they have 8 dc and none of them are allowed any friends over and they never have parties.

My cousin has 4 dc and for the life of me I have no idea how she copes. Whenever we are invited round, there are scores of random teenagers just wandering around. She loves it though, lots of people around her - it's like an 'open house' she cooks huge meals and everyone just takes a plate and balances somewhere!

RichManPoorManBeggarmanThief Fri 21-Sep-12 12:48:32

they have 8 dc and none of them are allowed any friends over and they never have parties.

That's really sad. My friend had similar rules (grew up as one of nine). She's still quite pissed off about it now. Her mum has this fantasy that it was all wonderful and that they didn't need friends as they had siblings, but it's not the same thing. You don't choose your siblings.

Numberlock Fri 21-Sep-12 12:56:54

I think you're going to have to bite the bullet on this one, whilst at the same time managing the situation to suit you as far as you can.

Especially as they grow older, you want your children to feel they can invite friends back (within reason) to their home. This is especially important in the teenage years. In my experience, it's easier when they have a friend round anyway; you often never see them,they just disappear and get on with whatever they're doing.

I understand you want to protect your family weekends but you could do all the friend stuff on Saturday afternoons which still leaves a lot of family-only time.

crackcrackcrak Fri 21-Sep-12 14:58:18

I don't understand what the issue is? Is it that they make a mess/noise?

It's totally normal for kids to want to have friends to play. I'd worry if mine didn't!

I love having dd little friends here and it's less work for me - they at in the playroom and I get on with whatever next door in the kitchen - she is only 3 but it's no bother. I just dump some juice and a plate of fruit etc in there after a while. Dd's best friend's family love having her at their house too.

I think every 3 months is a bit harsh for kids young enough to need supervised social time - as in they can't go out to meet friends.

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