My son has started at a new school in year 3 because we relocated to a different part of the UK.
In the first few weeks we've had some offers of playdates which I readily accepted as my son is an only child and longing for friends. At this point we knew nothing about any of the kids at the school.
I had arranged a playdate for him to go to another childs house. I have since been told by other mums that this child is a bully and his mother is violent towards him and vice versa. Social services are involved and the school but nothing has changed. My son has also told me, off his own back, that this child is very disruptive in class. He has also been warned by other classmates that they have suffered bloody noses and black eyes because of this child and to stay well clear. I have also since found out this child is a lot older than the other kids because they keep holding him back because of his behaviour/lack of progression.
I cancelled the playdate, with an excuse, but they want it rearranged. I do not want to have to spend the next few years making up excuses as to why we can't do a playdate. Its a very sensitive and awkward issue that I really don't know how to navigate.
I'm not sure how to address this as my child isn't at school yet, but I think I would want to give them the benefit of the doubt first, and perhaps arrange playdates on neutral ground, like the park, with the other parent(s) in attendance.
I would probably not allow playdates at their house without being in attendance myself (but I only have a pfb and always want to supervise him at the moment!).
If what is being said about them is true, and it might not be, you never know, your or your son's friendship could make a positive difference if they are struggling They might also really get along?