How to diplomatically stop kids asking for play dates at your house(25 Posts)
My DS is 6 in yr1 he has a preschool siblings. I am not the most mummsy kid friendly person however I do do some playdares as I work from Home and think it’s helpful for DS. I appreciate you do play dates only if you want to and I invite kids because my son wants them etc so am not a martyr or anything. I also don’t expect play dates to be transactional and immediately reciprocated
A new classmate joined his class this year and one night as we walked home from school night in Sept we bumped into this boy and his mother - DS said “oh can Alfie come to ours” so I arranged for the boy to come over - in all honesty the boy was a bit naughty and hard work - made more difficult by the fact i have a younger child to also take care of.
I was happy to have him - you always take a chance with these things - and all children including my son can be a handful at times - but in all honesty I was not keen to have him again in a hurry - so I didn’t - but I did invite him along to a holiday club my son was doing in October and have generally been friendly to the mum and invited her to coffee with me. I really do think I have done my bit in extending the hand of friendship
The other boys mother doesn’t work and has one other child who is also school age. She also has lots of family in the area and was recently saying how she hosted a large family Xmas so therefore I don’t think she has anxiety issues or anything
Anyway now both my DS and “Alfie” keep banging on about when is Alfie coming to our house. It’s hard for me or my DH to pick DS up from school without them haranguing on the subject
To be honest I think it’s the other mothers turn now - my son has lots of other friends and play dates favours we need to now reciprocated - and plenty of after school activities - the other mother doesn’t work or have younger children.
I have just had the same type of chat after school Alfie’s mum said “oh alfie was wondering if DS would like to come to our house” me - yes - then Alfie started going on about how he really wanted to come to our house and I said “sure we can do something”. The mother said “oh there you go Alfie I told you we would get something sorted” perhaps being over sensitive but I thought she could have said “ no Alfie it’s our turn. It’s rude to invite yourself to someone’s house” type of thing - whereas I am now worried she has gone off with the idea I am going to be doing the hosting again
I am not really happy to have the boy until I have an understanding the other mother will also do her turn as he is quite a pushy little boy and I don’t want to forever be having to have him . I have told my son we are very busy and can’t have Alfie over for a long time etc so that he isn’t to ask again -
Anyone got a quick one or two liner as to how to get out of it - am massively over thinking it I know - but any cleaver mumsnetter got a quick way out
Text her and say 'when would you like to have DS over?'.
Great Thanks like I say probably massively over thinking - I had thought of texting her along those lines but wondered if it was a bit forward - I don’t think the mother is awful but I think she is sort of angling to push the play dates my way and I just don’t want to get into that
It wouldn't be forward to ask when your ds can go to alfie's as the mum said “oh alfie was wondering if DS would like to come to our house”
Ooo, I had this.
I eventually had to tell the kid he was a nightmare and his behaviour wasn't my scene.
He really was a horror.
Text "DS says to tell Alfie he'd love to come to play at yours"
You're on a hiding to nothing with people like that. You are the target and all you can do is deny this boy visits. Your son won't get invited back. I think all of us have encountered people like that at the school gates.
Is there a playground or something where you can arrange to meet? That's what works for me, the moment the CF parents hear they have to show up and look after their kids they quickly retreat
Just an update - I did as you suggested and sent a text as suggested and other mother has agreed to have my DS to their house
I do genuinely think she was trying or hoping to avoid doing any of the play dates herself if she could have.
I just have far more to do now and I am going to be a bit more assertive with this type of thing - thank you all for giving me the right words!! I think in future will suggest boys do something together like a holiday club or joint visit to a park or whatever so that I am not in sole charge of the boy myself
Has a date been set? I hope she doesn't cancel. Stand firm
You have "play dates" because your child wants them. Don't keep a tally chart-that way madness lies.
Yes a date has been set 😄.
Like I say I was happy to offer the boy could come to us - I did it because my son wanted to and I did it for my sons benefit and enjoyment - but the lad was hard work and I don’t want to have him over on a regular basis - I have done other things to be friendly to both the boy and mum and feel I have done my bit
I do think it’s the other mothers turn to host - and if she doesn’t want to host that’s fine and her choice to make - but she needs to manage her sons expectations and not encourage him to be demanding to go to other children’s houses if she has no intention of returning the favour
I dont think she is that awful and I don’t think she is a real CF - but I think she would just really rather prefer she could have wriggled out of the hosting though I am sure she is fully capable of doing it.
In our area its normally to reciprocate but I do know of one mum who doesn't and I think that's because they live in a small flat and she has a younger son with SEN. She would never however let her DC ask for a play date as a result but does arrange to meet in parks etc
Well, she might have been. I don't think so, though, because she did offer.
But, equally, there may be something at yours that Alfie specifically likes to play with so that's why both Alfie and DS are asking for it to be at yours (it seems to be Alfie and your son doing most of the asking, not the other mum)
"and not encourage him to be demanding to go to other children’s houses if she has no intention of returning the favour"
Yeah, you don't have evidence of this. On your own quote, she said - “oh alfie was wondering if DS would like to come to our house”
I also hate the tally chart mentality - but the truth is I don’t want to be solely responsible for playdyates with this child for various reasons partly my preferences of what to do with our time after school and partly based on the boys behaviour when he came
We have now agreed something at their house which is great and I will see where we take it from their
I do have evidence the boy was demanding play dates because he has done so a number of occasions and it was only yesterday the mother mentioned the offer of them offering to have DS to theirs - though she does have my phone number so could have mentioned it previously via text - I suspect she was hoping to leave it so long that o was sort of forced into offering if she didn’t
Like I say I found it an awkward situation and thanks for the advice which has worked out well -
You don't have evidence that the mother was "encouraging" him to be demanding. Or that she hadn't texted you because she was trying to get out of it. She might have been waiting until she saw you, or have not been that fussed about how long it took to set up a 'return match' after you hosted in Sept.
Anyway, all sorted now. Good luck.
I think the issue is not the reciprocal nature but the experience of having this particular kid. We have a boy up the road who calls round at least once a week. He and DS disappear upstairs to the lego and I dont hear a peep from them. It is bliss. However, we have another boy over on a Thursday as he and Ds go to a club together and although he is only here for an hour it feels like an eternity of shouting and running about!
I think if you are very clear with Ds and friend about rules and expectations it may make having him over less arduous and you wont feel the need to monitor it so much.
Don't say "Sure, we can do something" when you really mean "No, it's your turn".
I had this with one child. He liked coming to my house so when the mother suggested DC went to their house the child said, Oh no, I want to go to X's house.
I don't tally up play dates, but that one annoyed me.
Next time I'd say something like, "Why don't you come to us next time. Little Lymmmummy would like to come and play at your house this time, " (if the mum has suggested an invitation as earlier.)
To be honest, most kids rather go to the other persons house. Every time I mention or try to set a play date with my dd friends, she always says she wants to go to her friends house instead (this is me talking to her privately about having friends over). My son is the same. The reason is, they like to explore other friends house and play with new toys. Someone else house is way more interesting then playing at their own home. I think most kids are like this unless they are a little shy and prefer to be in the comfort of their own home. Like one of my daughters friends. We have invited her, but she didn't want to come and she has had my dd over to her house twice and they have lots of fun because the girl didn't want my dd to leave, but when I said, next time would you like to come to ours? The girl said, no. However, I know this girl enjoys playing with my dd bc they play quite often after school together in the park (and the girl does not want to leave from playing w my dd). So I really think it depends on the kids on whether they want to go to someones house or not. You should not be annoyed for a kid wanting to go to your house, they are kids! I would be flattered, it means they are having lots of fun and feel comfortable going to your house. That being said, I know the feeling of also not really wanting kids to come to the house for play dates...as for me I worry about germs...I have a bit of a phobia and OCD...so I get anxiety every time we have a play date like what if they kid is sick...it sucks...because if it were not for that, I would love the playdates....I don't care about the mess at all. I love to see my kids happy and playing...but bc of my anxiety....I don't like hosting at our house much. I do on occasion, purely for my kids.
Again thanks for all the advice and opinions
What I have taken from your advice is that the right thing to do was to be a bit assertive and take up the other mothers offer to host my DS - rather than feel obliged to follow up on my own offer made to have “Alfie” over “some time” which I only made because “Alfie” was putting me under a lot of pressure to do so - I did this and it hopefully has worked
if the same type of situation arises again I know to be saying “oh but my DS would love to come to your house as well perhaps after this you could come to us again etc “ again thanks it’s useful to have some words in mind as I dare say I may be in this situation again
Ditto if I really want to have a child over I shouldn’t imply I do and I should find a way to manage it without actually giving a false impression or agreeing to something I don’t want to do - again thanks you are right
Alfie is a 6 year old boy and I don’t want to be cruel or unwelcoming but the truth is I have been v kind in asking both mum and son to a few things and I don’t want to end up in a position of being enormously terribly polite about it all and ending up having the boy regularly and no sense of the other mother feeling under any obligation to reciprocate
I know reciprocation in olaydates is a mute point - but for me I prefer it if possible
I don’t think the mother was seeking to palm her son off on me - I think she is someone who can’t be bothered with play dates (something she told me herself) but the issue is her son is very keen and vocal about wanting to go to other people’s houses and in particular our house and in my opinion this sort of means the mother either should do her share of play dates and be more proactive herself in terms of offering to host or perhaps if she really doesn’t want to do play dates that’s fine but she needs to manage down her sons expectations so that he knows not to be so vocal and ask to go to our house in front of me which puts me in a difficult position
That said one of the key point for me was the boy was badly behaved and I wasn’t happy to have him again so I wasn’t really wanting to get into “oh don’t mind Alfie can always come to ours “ type territory
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