Playdates.Please share your experiences with me.

(37 Posts)
mrsnec Wed 03-Aug-16 09:06:18

Hate the term but understand why people use it.

I'm trying and failing miserably to socialise my 20 month old dd at the moment. Can you answer the following questions to help me undetstand what's going on.

How long did you know people before dd got invited anywhere?

How old are your dc and how far would you travel for a playdate?

Would the area or the house of the playdate have any influence?

Gobbolinothewitchscat Wed 03-Aug-16 09:16:25

I have 3 DCs - age 3 and under which may cloud my views somewhat but I'm notkeen in play dates at that age in someone's house. They are very stressful as children of that age really need constant supervision and monitoring.

My 3 year old DS has play dates now and has from about 2.5 in houses as they are a bit older and more sensible.

Before then, I tended to go out and meet friends at soft play or local national trust properties. Maybe for lunch at local child friendly cafes.

Mother and toddler sessions are also good for meeting up

paxillin Wed 03-Aug-16 09:20:55

I started playdates aged 4 when the first real friendships emerged. That also allowed for the parents to leave.

paxillin Wed 03-Aug-16 09:24:36

For the questions, I travel far for friends, area or house of no consequence unless extreme circumstance (uncontrollable large dog). Invitations came naturally because the kids asked. Only a couple of weeks usually if they hit it off at nursery or school. 20 months is too early in my book, they sort of play alongside rather than meaningfully with others. You'd have to play, too and constantly referee.

Naicecuppatea Wed 03-Aug-16 09:25:13

I think that at 20 months I'd agree that days out with friends, toddler groups, soft play etc, are the best bet, rather than playing at someone's house. They are far too young for developing friendships and need constant supervision which is stressful. Play dates properly start when children are school aged and can be left at friend's houses for a play.

YouSay Wed 03-Aug-16 09:26:20

Play dates from 4 in this house. 20 months is far too young. Go to soft play or toddler groups.

Only1BabyPigeon Wed 03-Aug-16 09:31:16

I used to take my DS to a toddler group just so he could socialise. I absolutely hated it but he enjoyed it so persevered.

From experience-a few DC later- I'd say, stick to the local park / sure start centre / sports centre. The local mums will go there and friendships develop over time. Your lo will choose her friends.

Our eldest was first invited to a play day when he was four and at nursery.

I really wouldn't worry about socialising too much atm.

mrsnec Wed 03-Aug-16 09:32:48

I have other threds about my situation at the moment. I live in a rural area. I am going to a group at the moment but its a 50km round trip. Dd isn't getting invites to anything and all the mums say I live too far and theyd never come to the village where I live so I feel like I should stop going.

I do have the option of other groups the same distance the other way but one isnt tedponding to my messages and the other hasnt started yet, wants me to run it and has very high expectations.

Dh thinks I should have made more of a big deal about our house and then people would make the effort but I don't agree.

paxillin Wed 03-Aug-16 09:37:53

50 km roundtrip aged 8 for a best friend no problem. Visiting a 20 mo old with my 20 mo old? Not for money or good words, whatever for, they won't even remember each other.

paxillin Wed 03-Aug-16 09:58:54

I'm not sure what your dh means by making a big deal about your house.

I have absolutely zero interest in a playdates' house, stately home or council flat are equally fine for kids to play in. I don't see how it is relevant unless it contains a bouncy castle or a swimming pool that is super attractive to toddlers and extremely hard to come by.

mrsnec Wed 03-Aug-16 10:14:53

We are not in the UK. We don't have a pool . We do have a hot tub we use as a plunge pool. We have a large shaded garden with lots of outdoor toys. The other children the same age from the group live in apartments but have communal pools on their complexs.

paxillin Wed 03-Aug-16 10:22:21

In that case, making a big deal about the house is pointless. Kids can go to the park where they are and have access to pools. If anything I would be afraid I'll be given a tour of the house... I loathe that, maybe I'm a grump.

Playdates sort of double up as childcare swaps here, so a 50km roundtrip might not be that attractive if you have neighbours to "swap" kids with. And, as mentioned before, not at 20 months because you can't always leave, making them a chore rather than a joy. Just meet them wherever they all go to play, in the park or something.

mrsnec Wed 03-Aug-16 10:24:30

The playgroup I go to doesn't have premises. None of them locally do. So they meet in cafes at the moment that often don't have anything diffetent from home apart from other children and those are children who are never going to visit us so my dh's bloke logic is telling him I'm wasting my time with playgroups.

NoCapes Wed 03-Aug-16 10:29:21

I only had 'playdates' with existing friends who had children at that age
I just wouldn't make that much effort for a 20 month old who doesn't care or won't remember

Proper playdates only happened when they started school and started asking for them themselves

mrsnec Wed 03-Aug-16 10:31:17

And thanks for the honesty Pax. Your answers were kind of what I was expecting. I never do that with the house. It's probably worth less than their places anyway we just live here because we both hate apartments and like space I didn' t think rural living would effect us so early.

Artandco Wed 03-Aug-16 10:31:46

Are you saying no children live closer than 50km to you? Surely even in the countryside you have neighbours?

paxillin Wed 03-Aug-16 10:35:16

I thought playgroups ARE the playdate for kids not at nursery. Your dh thinks playgroups are for organising playdates? Do you agree with him? I think most people see them as a thing to do for the kids with the added bonus of meeting other parents for a coffee. But there and then, not as a kind of family dating party.

Gobbolinothewitchscat Wed 03-Aug-16 10:40:08

That sounds hard - 50km is a huge drive (well for me at least, with 3 little ones). Plus I have to tell fit in nursery picks up for the 3 year old. It woukd be a nightmare

Do you have a local library? You might meet some mums there.

TBH, it might be because my 2 and 3 year olds have 13 months between them, but I don't worry too much about play dates and certainly didn't at 20 months. Is there a nursery near you? Maybe your DD could go for a few afternoons a week and play with other children there.

mrsnec Wed 03-Aug-16 10:43:07

Dh thinks we'd be making friends there. Families that would come over for bbqs and the mums would bring the kids over instead of going to the group.

There are only 4 mums in the group with children the same age as mine. They've all turned down invitations.

I have neighbours either side both retired couples. Children and grandchildren live miles away. There is a park opposite my house and never anyone there. I often walk around the village and never see another child!

We have ex pat friends in the village but with much older children.

mrsnec Wed 03-Aug-16 10:46:36

I am looking into nursery. I have a 5 month old ds too. Again most nurseries are 50k round trip and wont do part time rates. I am an sahm. If I did work I doubt i'd be able to find a job that would cover two lots of nursery fees.

paxillin Wed 03-Aug-16 10:47:46

I agree with trying nursery. I was working ft, kid at nursery. All in walking distance, but still never made a single "mum friend" before school. Loads since then though. Kids at 20 months don't form friendships, lack of playdates never stopped mine making lots of friends when old enough. I realise it is a bit lonely for you of course. I just met my non-mum friends, baby in tow or baby with dh.

Naicecuppatea Wed 03-Aug-16 10:47:46

Do you mind me asking where you live OP, out of interest? It does sound like you are living in a remote village. I am sorry the mums are turning down your invitations, perhaps you need to carry on going to the playgroups and getting to know them a little better.

Lilaclily Wed 03-Aug-16 10:50:21

I only went to toddler groups at that age
Even at preschool , when they are 3/4 we didn't invite back to houses
First playdate was when they started school and I had to stay the first couple of times

skankingpiglet Wed 03-Aug-16 10:54:46

I have a 2.2yo and a 6wk/o. We do one 'playdate' a week for the older one either at mine or another's house. She does have fun, but it's more about me and the other mum being 'socialised' to be honest! As a result, it has only happened with mums/kids I have known for a little while. I've generally met the other mums at a group, then we've started meeting for coffee or at the park etc, before moving on to playdate. We've been doing it since she was about 18mo.

I agree it can make for a stressful time however, particularly if there is a mismatch in how destructively your children play and how house proud the parents are. This time of year is great as you can all go out into the garden, where spills don't matter and there is less to get broken. There is one mum who I get on well with, and our girls get on well but I much prefer to meet her at soft play as my DD is more of a 'bull in a china shop' and curious nature than hers, which teamed with her love of breakable nicknacks displayed at low level makes for a nervous hour or two at her house. Playdates are preferable once you know someone however IMO as soft play can be pricey, and the park can be very weather-dependent.

All the playdates with 'mum friends' are very local (10 -15min drive max), but we got further for playdates with friends from our pre-kids days.

Artandco Wed 03-Aug-16 11:01:30

I would t worry for a few years tbh.

I also had a 20 month old and 6 month old once. They used each other for company and playing as they grew. Tbh until they started school at four it was mainly them two together with occasional other chiren every few months. They are fine

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