How do you refuse a play date?

(45 Posts)
SevenSeconds Sun 07-Feb-16 07:53:37

DS is 10. Ages ago the mum of a boy on his class (let's call him Ted) asked me if DS wanted to come and play, I said yes and we arranged a date. When I told DS he said Ted is annoying and he didn't want to go. I made DS go, as I'd accepted the invitation, but I said he didn't have to go again if he didn't enjoy himself.

I then didn't reciprocate as I usually would, obviously I know this is rude but I didn't want to encourage another invitation.

Recently Ted's mum emailed me and asked if DS could come and play on a certain date. I said he wasn't free (which was not true). Now she's emailed again asking when DS is free. WWYD?

1. Ignore the email and don't reply
2. Say something like 'we're really busy at the moment, I'll get back to you' and then never do
3. Tell the truth - that DS doesn't want to come and play with Ted
4. Make DS go
5. Another option I haven't thought of

You may think this is a silly thing to worry about, but I'm a polite person and I'm finding this really hard! I feel sorry for the mum who is just trying to help her son make friends.

balancingfigure Sun 07-Feb-16 07:58:25

Tell the truth but nicely

pistachiogreen Sun 07-Feb-16 07:58:53

I think I'd talk to DS and find out why it is he doesn't want to go. Then maybe invite Ted to your place instead so you can keep an eye on them? This boy clearly likes your DS, it may be that he is just shy or struggling to make friends.

BearFeet Sun 07-Feb-16 07:59:24

It's tricky isn't it. Has Ted got other friends that you know of? If he has then I'd tell the mum the truth. If he has no other friends I'd explain to ds that it's kind to be friendly to people and encourage him to maybe try one more time.

Onlytimewilltell Sun 07-Feb-16 08:00:09

Say it's your turn to have Ted and offer to take them out to cinema or bowling so you can micro manage keep an eye on them.

absolutelynotfabulous Sun 07-Feb-16 08:00:21

Probably not helpful but I think I'd make him go. I'm a bit soft too, mind....

My dd is an only and I used to try to help her make friends too. It's waaay beyond my comfort zone to approach people and I used to cringe doing it, so I kind of sympathise with the mother of "annoying" son.

PennyHasNoSurname Sun 07-Feb-16 08:00:42

Id say something along the lines of "Hi X, thanks for the invite. Ds doesnt get much spare time between clubs and schoolwork, so he is never that keen on playdates as he quite likes to just relax at home. Sorry, from Y"

Shapebandit Sun 07-Feb-16 08:00:45

I would just say 'sorry but the boys appear not to be getting on so well at the moment so let's leave it for a bit if that's ok'

MumOfTheMoment Sun 07-Feb-16 08:05:39

I would say that at 10 he is too old to be forced to play with someone who he clearly doesn't get on with. Although I have never recriprocated any playdates that my dc weren't keen on.

I would go for a reply similar to the one Penny or Shape suggested and leave it at that.

SevenSeconds Sun 07-Feb-16 08:21:09

Ha, so out of 8 replies, half of you have said I should make DS go (or invite Ted here) and half have said I shouldn't. Not helping me to make a decision!!

I did promise DS when he went last time that I wouldn't make him go again, so I think I'm leaning towards politely declining the invitation. Although I do agree with those of you who feel sorry for Ted and his mum.

SavoyCabbage Sun 07-Feb-16 08:36:18

I would do what Onlytime suggested. Take them out somewhere so that there is a focus and something to do. Like a first date. Then I would say he doesn't have much free time.

Onlytimewilltell Sun 07-Feb-16 08:37:40

I went for option 5 based on the fact you said you were polite and felt sorry for the mum!
If he's really that bad then don't have anything to do with them what exactly happened on the playdate? and stop stressing.
We've had child from hell play dates and they just don't get invited again.

harridan50 Sun 07-Feb-16 08:41:46

Your son is ten. He should be able to spend time with friends he wants to see.It is wrong to force friendships on children.

ASmallHenInItsLateForties Sun 07-Feb-16 08:50:25

Agree with Harridan.

I think you're going to have to be honest here with the mum or it will go on and on and potentially more upsetting all round.

You don't have to reciprocate every invitation to play or to parties.

Technoremix Sun 07-Feb-16 08:52:23

I would text back " Hi X, I've just asked ds if he,d like to go to Ted's to play and he's not keen. Sorry! "

chillycurtains Sun 07-Feb-16 08:57:38

I would go with Shapebandit's answer. The problem with saying your DS has homework or doesn't like play dates, etc is that it will bite you in bum later when DS gets invited to a genuine friend's house in two weeks time and the mum calls you out on it.

chillycurtains Sun 07-Feb-16 08:58:36

Or Technoremix's answer.

Ragusa Sun 07-Feb-16 09:02:27

Ouch. Technoremit's answer would be uncomfortable to read. I think something that implies they don't have much in common might be gentler.... rather than admitting to active disliking ;)

BertrandRussell Sun 07-Feb-16 09:19:01

I'd want to know why ds didn't like Ted. And I'd ask him about Ted's friendships and what's going on at school. If Ted has lots of friends and all's well, I would probably just be very vague and flaky.

If Ted's having a hard time, I would talk to ds about being kind, and suggest a trip out somewhere, so Ted gets the company and ds gets a treat. And I would keep a close eye on them and decide what to do next.

eightytwenty Sun 07-Feb-16 09:24:45

What about inviting Ted and another of your DS friends?

zen1 Sun 07-Feb-16 09:29:43

Coming at this from the other side, I have a 10 year old who finds it very hard to make friends. I guess other children find him annoying because his social skills aren't great and he often talks about things or wants to play things that seem boring to other children. Over the last 2 years, I have invited several of his classmates to play, and to be fair, they have come. However, it is 4 years since another child invited him on a playdate.

If Ted is anything like my DS, he will have expressed that he wants friends/ wants to play with your son and his mum will be doing what she can to facilitate this.

On the other hand, if Ted has other friends that he does play with or socialise with outside school, then I wouldn't feel bad about declining the invite. I would say something along the lines of what Penny has written.

AtSea1979 Sun 07-Feb-16 09:31:43

More info needed your need to find out why DS doesn't like Ted first and report back then we can make a proper decision.

rainbowunicorn Sun 07-Feb-16 09:58:37

I would decline the invite and would not go down the route of asking Ted to yours, all you are doing is prolonging the agony.
I would not be quizzing my child as to why he does not like someone, nor would I be trying to find out if Ted has other friends etc.
Your son is 10 plenty old enough to know who he likes or dislikes and who he wants to spend time with.

BertrandRussell Sun 07-Feb-16 10:03:23

"I would not be quizzing my child as to why he does not like someone, nor would I be trying to find out if Ted has other friends etc.
Your son is 10 plenty old enough to know who he likes or dislikes and who he wants to spend time with."

Yep. And plenty old enough to to be aware that some children find life harder than others and to be kind.

harridan50 Sun 07-Feb-16 10:04:58

I agree with rainbowunicorn. Honestly at 10 you know who you want to play with. I always encouraged my children to be friendly and include everyone at school however out of school they should be able to play with who they choose. Would you enjoy entertaining someone you had little in common with or found annoying I certainly would not.

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