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I find it mind boggling that the playdates are never reciprocated

(53 Posts)
crazedupmom Sat 01-Aug-09 23:01:56

Hi
I do have quite a few playdates back at my house for my ds who is 8 and an only.
I know that I probably find this easier than most people as I only work part time, only have one child no other siblings to consider etc.
I even take my ds and his mates out and spend money on them fool that I am.
However my ds is never invited anywhere, never given a return invite at all.
I just find it mind boggling tbh as to how other parents can see you doing all of this and not offer a return ever.

We have had parents say that my ds can come to theirs but it never comes off and I do wonder if I should keep on inviting their children when they still haven,t carried out their promise to my ds.
Worse of all my ds has picked on all of this and is becoming a little resentful.
I just carry on inviting despite all of this as I figure that my ds needs to have friends here with him being an only.
Just wondering if we are the only ones like this.
I just don,t get it.
Am I doing the right thing to keep on inviting these parents dc's anyway or am I a mug.
Even those parnets with one dc like me are the same.
I am beginning ot think that there is something off putting about ds and I.

FluffyBunnyGoneBad Sat 01-Aug-09 23:03:32

Ds has been to 2 playdates, I've not returned because our house is titchy, there's barely enough space for us, let alone another child. There would be no where for them to play.

cat64 Sat 01-Aug-09 23:14:59

Message withdrawn

saadia Sat 01-Aug-09 23:24:41

I think you should do the playdates (don't spend money on them) if you and your ds get something out of them. I don't think you should be expecting reciprocation. I sometimes do playdates and TBH don't really care if they are returned or not.

raggitty555 Sat 01-Aug-09 23:41:26

Im afraid that I did this with friend ie didnt invite back only child- i did it in a non thinking sort of way because i was so busy with other children and tbh I thought that my friend was pleased to have another child in the house so i thought it was meeting the need and it didnt occur to me ,but she had started to get upset that i didnt receprioctae.She had been noting when i didnt invite back and started to resent me and i didnt know...But what she didint know was that another friend never invites my daighter - well only x 2 a year and thats because of her circumstances and the mothe ris always apologising to me and I simply tell her that IM not counting !! It doesnt matter to me !If your son is getting resentful id tell him that different families have different circumstances as well as different ways of doing thing and keep inviting people round if it suits you to do so.

whomovedmychocolate Sat 01-Aug-09 23:47:01

I'm on the other side - I openly welcome DDs friends and we have a lot of playdates here because it's a damn sight easier than sorting out DS as well and we have a huge garden and lots of things to play with. I hate having to schlepp the kids to someone else's house, knowing DD will probably have a tissy and have to leave after 20 minutes and DS will cry because I'm not with him.

Pruneurs Sun 02-Aug-09 00:23:25

Raggity - you thought your friend would be pleased to have another child in the house because she's got an only child, yet you never thought she'd like it reciprocated?

You make it sound like you were doing her a favour hmm

MaryMotherOfCheeses Sun 02-Aug-09 00:36:26

I think at the age of 8 you need to let DS lead his own social life a bit.

And I say this as the parent of an 8 year old only child.

I know, it's so frustrating when you don't get an invite back. But at some stage you need to leave him to sort out his own social life. You can help to a certain extent, but it's up to him to invite friends over and vice versa. Your role is to sit there keeping an eye on things.

OurLadyOfPerpetualSupper Sun 02-Aug-09 00:57:33

I'm not sure if 8 year olds ask each other to play much - especially boys.

I think you need to decide what suits you - it might be good for DS to entertain himself occasionally, or for you to do things with him.
But if it suits you to have company for him there's not much you can do.

It is mystifying when invites don't get reciprocated - obviously it's not always possible but you can't help feeling paranoid when it happens frequently.

Maybe you and DS are too polite? I've had mums come up to me and say, 'DD wants to come and play at your house - when can you make it?!'

And children do sometimes say 'will you ask your mum if I can go to your house?' - which I think is okay, although I'm not sure any of mine would be that forward.

hmc Sun 02-Aug-09 01:01:58

I'm with you OP - it's not so difficult to reciprocate play dates, and what annoys me is that the dc want to visit their friends house (for the novelty I guess) rather than keep having them over to us, and they feel quite peturbed about "never going to johnny's[insert appropriate name] house"

muggglewump Sun 02-Aug-09 01:21:35

I never invite children here. I don't have much room and my house isn't very nice.
I mean, it's comfy, but it's not decorated and nothing matches, I'd rather not have people here on a formal 'playdate'.

Perhaps your son's friend's parents feel the same, or, and it's worth considering, is your son, perhaps not very well behaved, or doesn't behave the same way as his friends who's houses he is going t?

DD has recently made best friends with a new girl in our street, and I'm so relieved as she comes in and out as if she were my own. No making a special tea, no fancy trips out. She just fits in with us and what we are doing. She is always welcome to come with us, and if she doesn't want to, no big deal.

I think the thing is to invite because you and your son enjoy it.
If you expect something from it you will be disappointed.

zazen Sun 02-Aug-09 02:09:26

I think counting is a bad idea. It's tempting to keep a scorecard isn't it??!! league tables! Stars!
But it helps maybe to remember that it's not an equal playing field after all - pardon the pun.

My DD (also an only and 5yo)is often asked for playdates, as she's popular and behaves well, she's imaginative, and creative and her friends like her. She's very good at playing, and doesn't need my input mostly.

However, we live in a two bedroom flat, with no garden, and an office. We are just not set up for suburban exchanges - we are urban and we don't keep a car, which limits our range a bit - public transport and then sometimes quite a long walk - then having to hang around? or commute?

We have had a few girls over - singly - and I was really gobsmacked at how what I'd consider, shock badly behaved they were - and how very messy - pulling things down from shelves on top of themselves, hmm picking up ornaments (which are not toys, you know!! ranty ranty blush), always coming up to me to get me to organise them - like they've never been able to play independently... they're not really house trained IYSWIM wink

So I NEVER invite kids round to ours anymore. It's not worth the hassle TBH.

When it's time to meet up and play with DDs friends (and I'm quite aware that I'm in charge of her social life ATM), we meet in a neutral, safe place like the local playground, or a museum, and I keep my distance, so they get to socialise with each other.
Obviously I'm around, but I see playdates as her time with her friends. Sometimes the other parent/s come also, and we make small talk from the sidelines.

I do understand where you're coming from though - I find parents of kids with sibs a teeny bit insensitive when it comes to the social interactions. Perhaps we 'count' playdates more as we are parents of onlies?

I've learnt to have a bit of a thick skin - people cancel at the drop of a hat also... what can you do, eh? It's not like there was a contract! I know where you are coming from, but people are mostly just doing their best.

Some of my DD's friend's parents are splitting up recently and that little friend has just been off the playdate 'scene' for a while.
I mean, in this instance, I get on better with my DD's friend's dad, but I obviously just can't ring him to arrange a playdate... so my DD's relationship with her little friend is on the back burner for a while. There are many factors involved as to why the invites aren't coming in thick and fast, you know.

Keeping score is a recipe for wrinkles I think smile

Acinonyx Sun 02-Aug-09 09:49:08

I was an only and dd is an only. When I was growing up kids were always at my house and I hardly ever went to theirs. It was always the same few kids that were open to other kids. I know now it was because I was an onlie and mum wanted to keep me occupied with playmates.

My mum was, frankly, a total loon in many ways but this is one thing I think she really got right. We all seemed to understand that there were some houses you visited rarely and some never at all. As a teenager, there were two of us with really open houses. My mum was always feeding my friends but I hardly ever ate at other houses.

Now I have an onlie and I am expecting it to be pretty much the same. I wouldn't send too much money on the firends though as that is bound to make you feel taken for granted and a bit used.

For my sake, it would be so much better if it turns out to be more reciprocal, but for dd's sake, I'm prepared for it to be pretty one-sided.

blametheparents Sun 02-Aug-09 09:59:31

One of DS's best friends is an only child. They are both 8.
I have his friend here as often as he goes to his friend's house. Just seems fair to me.
His friend's mum often drops DS home for me though as it is generally around the time that I am getting DD bathed and ready for bed. I do appreciate this as it can be a nightmare time to get her in the car and schlep round to pick DS up.
DS likes playing at other people's houses and checking out their toys, so I can see that your son might get a bit upset.

theboob Sun 02-Aug-09 10:17:40

I have a 8 year old DS and he has a really good friend also 8 and an only child , he often goes to his house to play and I have his friend back , but it sometimes gets a bit too much , his mother has said it's easier for her as my DS keeps her DS entertained and gives her peace, where with me it is a nightmare as my DS and his friend just gang up on DD and DS2 runs riot trying to be a bigger boy, I'm also 32 weeks pregnant so have told his mother that from now on until i have the baby and in the holidays having her son back is just too much for me at the moment smile

juuule Sun 02-Aug-09 10:24:30

Same as Saadia.

Do the playdates if you and your ds get something out of them.
Don't expect reciprocation.

We very rarely invite children back to play especially as they get older and can play out. But then my children tend to play with each other if they are not out playing with friends.

Absolutely don't understand why someone would keep a tally.

stuffitlllama Sun 02-Aug-09 10:31:04

You can invite your daughter to theirs.

x wants to play with y ..can she come to yours this week

and stop spending your money on theirs and stop giving them tea

i think you're being used

franklymydear Sun 02-Aug-09 10:31:08

I love the poster who thinks her 5 year old is invited because she's "popular" and well-behaved and yet when you reciprocate the other children aren't.

Believe me the other parents are not astounded by your child's behaviour - they will find her as alien and odd as you find their children.

Parents expect duplicates of their own children with the same reactions (particularly parents of "onlies") and they never get them.

A little self-awareness would help grin

TheChilliMooseISNOTFOREATING Sun 02-Aug-09 10:35:19

I think it is only polite to ask someone back if you have been to their house, or your child has been for a playdate.

mankyscotslass Sun 02-Aug-09 10:38:19

I am really bad about returning play dates. blush

I have 3dc and an extra one is a nightmare as it means the youngest tries to join in with the older boys, and it usually ends in tears, or my dd gets picked on/or has the hump about being left out. It's really not worth the hassle. But the children do go to their friends occasionally. It works better at their friends houses as there friends are mostly onlies or have large age gaps between siblings so there is not the fighting over toys/games/activities that we have at ours.

I think you may have to just accept that some people won't return the play date if you want your ds to have people over.

Think the keeping a tally is a bit hmm, and will only lead to you feeling resentful.

TheChilliMooseISNOTFOREATING Sun 02-Aug-09 10:42:36

So you'll happily make your day a bit easier by letting one of yours go over to someone else's house, where the mother will no doubt get a bit stressed having to look after an extra child instead of her only child, but you won't have an extra one in with yours, where the minging with a few children of different ages could be great fun?

aGalChangedHerName Sun 02-Aug-09 10:44:13

My dd1 is nearly 5 and has had one invite to a playdate which happened last week. I invited her friend over a few days later.

I am not going to keep a count but, i wouldn't accept an invite for dd unless i was prepared to invite her friend here too.

TheChilliMoose Sun 02-Aug-09 10:45:06

Nicely said, aGal.

aGalChangedHerName Sun 02-Aug-09 10:46:40

Meant to add that i have 2 dd's and i am also a CM. I will only be able to do play dates on DH's days off (poor DH lol) so it's a huge hassle for us.

I think it would be rude to let dd go to a friends house all/most of the time and not reciprocate tbh.

aGalChangedHerName Sun 02-Aug-09 10:47:48

Thanks Chilli blush

I wouldn't go for coffee to a mum friends house without inviting her here either.

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