Managing other peoples DCs

(7 Posts)
justpeachy74 Fri 15-Jul-16 12:52:35

Even though DD is 7 we are relatively new to hosting 'play dates' because we didn't really have the space before. Tbh they make me slightly anxious!
We recently had a few classmates over for a small party and it was good (I think) but hard work.
One kid 'accidentally' locked himself and some of the other children including my toddler in one of the rooms and then 'couldn't open it'. Cue mild panic! I had visions of parents coming to collect them and having to break the door! Fortunately it only lasted a couple of minutes.
Another girl just rolled her eyes and was quite sulky about the party games and things generally. This really irked me. They did have time to play and run about as well as do the party games. It wasn't overly structured.
How on earth do other parents hang on to their patience/sanity in these situations?
Also what's the appropriate response to boy locking himself and other kids in a room and the 'Negative Nellies' putting a dampner on things? How do you make it fun without it becoming riotus? TIA

ArmfulOfRoses Fri 15-Jul-16 13:03:20

Were you the only adult?

Tbh I usually only have one over at a time so supervising is easier.

Was it a key lock?
Remove key if yes, if it's a turn to lock door with no coin slot on the other side then I'd probably fold a small towel or similar to prevent the door being closed.

justpeachy74 Fri 15-Jul-16 13:17:52

No. My oh was there and one of other mums. I will take the key out next time. We obviously checked on the children but didn't follow them around.

If it was a normal play date I would only have had one or two children at the same time.

ArmfulOfRoses Fri 15-Jul-16 13:34:22

I think if more of a group then basic rules as people arrive is ok.
So, downstairs only, one at a time in the loo, snacks and drinks at the table.

Whatever you think really.

justpeachy74 Fri 15-Jul-16 13:58:54

Thanks Armful. I'm just mulling over our recent experience as a learning experience. They were all very excited which was nice but I think the time to go over the 'house rules' was before opening the front door.

My OH and I said to DD that they weren't allowed upstairs because of stair gate but the first thing they did was fly up the stairs to change out of their uniforms!

It's not helpful to compare but most other parents make it look effortless. I feel like a real novice.

corythatwas Fri 15-Jul-16 14:04:46

I would try to divide behaviour into:

a) things I have to deal with because they affect other people/property right now

b) things I can ignore because it is not my job to see that this child grows up into a civilised human being or even survives beyond the end of this playdate

In the second category I would place fussiness about food, sulky expressions, refusal to take part in things, refusal to tidy up etc. Not my job; I would pretend not to notice.

In the first category I'd place fooling around with keys, fighting, throwing things, anything resembling bullying. Firm but brisk "don't use the key again" would cover it for the first instance, repeated ignoring would result in threat of sending home.

I would also try to have most of a party (as opposed to playdate) organised with something like a treasure hunt, other games, food and a definite finish time.

Actually, what I used to do at parties was to skulk in the kitchen (I am Mother, right? I have an Important Job doing the catering) and let dh lead the games.

justpeachy74 Sat 16-Jul-16 10:59:24

Thanks cory that makes sense. I like the categories of behaviour.

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