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How do you deal with difficult children on play dates?

41 replies

Gymmum82 · 05/07/2023 14:22

I know the ideal answer is never to have them round again. However dd is 6 and these are her 2 best friends and despite encouraging her to have other friends over she always asks for these children.

The problem is I just find them rude and difficult, not like the other children I’ve had over, which over the number of years I’ve been a parent is a lot.
They moan and complain about everything. Food/snacks/toys you name it.

Im always pretty relaxed about meals. Usually do kid friendly food, not bothered if they eat it. But last time they came dd wanted nuggets and chips their response was ‘but we had that last time’ so I said ok what do you want then? They didn’t know and finally agreed nuggets was ok. But when it was ready they didn’t even have a bite. Then asked for biscuits which I gave them and they promptly threw it straight in the bin.
I know I shouldn’t but I really dislike these kids and I don’t want them over. But dd begs almost daily for them to come.

What would you do in this scenario?

OP posts:
CardiffMam · 05/07/2023 14:25

Arrange to go to the park after school with the kids and their mum / dad. Find nicer children to come round to your house.

Beamur · 05/07/2023 14:26

Don't invite them for tea. Tell their parents they won't be fed. Drinks &snacks only
Limit the playtime to an hour or two at the most, or meet outside the house. Go to the park for example?

Beamur · 05/07/2023 14:28

Tell your DD she can have friends over maybe 2 or 3 times a week maximum. Do they reciprocate? If not, I would cut it right back

Begonne · 05/07/2023 14:38

For play dates in my house the food ran to a formula, and as I put it on the table, I told the dc just to eat the parts they liked. That cut out whinging, or putting each other off with grimaces.
They also had to share it out themselves which kept them busy policing each other instead of hassling me.
My formula was a fruit and veg platter, nuggets and pizza.
We also had one play date afternoon a week, end of.

Anything that causes children to nag or cajole needs a single, definite rule for all time. I don’t negotiate with terrorists.

Blueskysunflower · 05/07/2023 14:57

I do a lot of “oh well, in this house the rule is…”, “oh well, just eat what you’d like and I’m sure you can have something else at home later”, “oh well, that’s a shame, off you go and play”. I try to just meet up at the park rather than have them in the house and if I can get away with it I try to avoid mealtimes. And I generally limit to one kid at a time, it minimises squabbles.

Depending on how well you know the parents and what they’re like you could also feed back - I always ask how my children have behaved on play dates and honestly if they’ve been rude I’d want to know so I can correct it. Appreciate that’s not easy with some parents though!

Beamur · 05/07/2023 15:00

I like Begonnes approach. One playdate a week, platter of food.
We've never had lots of playdates at home but my DD wasn't a very sociable child, she enjoyed the occasional get together but never more than once a week!

Gymmum82 · 05/07/2023 15:03

@CardiffMam i don’t really want to hang out with their parents tbh. I mean they are ok. But I find conversation with them difficult.
Have 100% been inviting nicer kids over but dd begs for these 2

OP posts:
Gymmum82 · 05/07/2023 15:05

@Begonne i love the idea of a platter of food. Would probably make life much easier. Will definitely try that next time

OP posts:
Sycasmores · 05/07/2023 15:06

At 6 they really aren't being rude. I think you're being fairly over sensitive. Kids are fussy about food. Make what you're making and plonk it down. If they don't like it tell them this is the only option and they can eat at home.

Gymmum82 · 05/07/2023 15:11

@Sycasmores its really not the food that’s the problem. It’s more the constant backchat and moaning that I find tedious.
If they just didn’t eat I wouldn’t really care. It’s the taking something and immediately putting it in the bin, if you don’t want it don’t take it.
Also the we don’t like this toy. We don’t like this whatever. Our whatever thing is better than this. Drives me bonkers. I’d be mortified if my kids were like this towards other parents

OP posts:
2bazookas · 05/07/2023 15:12

Well for a start, while in my house, those kids would be calmly told how to behave politely and respectfully. There would be zero tolerance of sullen rudeness or cheeky demands and misbehaviour at the table.

MynameMyname · 05/07/2023 15:20

Two brats came to my house one went upstairs and sprayed my expensive perfume and threw a box of tissues, the other one almost ripped my dress hanging on a chair . I just went n/c with their mother and that was that .

Sycasmores · 05/07/2023 15:22

Tbf their parents probably have no idea. 6 year olds do take things to try and decide they don't like and then bin it. That's all fairly normal. If they are bragging what they have is better, just tell them it's unpleasant. If their parents don't know and you don't correct them it will never get better.

lucette1001 · 05/07/2023 15:23

Have you asked your daughter what she likes so much about these two? Is she trying to get in with them? It sounds as though they're so so about coming. Are they considered the cool kids? It's difficult when she wants them to come but I would certainly wonder why. They sound frightful.

Skinnermarink · 05/07/2023 15:23

I havé had to host so many play dates for all ages (nanny)

the food platter is a good idea. That’s what I do. I also put all the snacks I’m going to offer on the side as they play. When they’re gone they’re gone. No coming to me for anything else, tuck shop closed. After dinner, kitchen closed.

I don’t tolerate whinging and moaning. I will just cut it off with a jolly ‘that’s a shame’ ‘oh dear’ ‘oh well we like it’ ‘ok let’s not play with it then’. After that I’ll ignore. At 6 and much younger they are fine to be told they’re not being polite.

I find one child at a time works best, 2.5 hours max.

I have no qualms about not repeating play dates with certain children. One told me my charge’s house was ‘poor and dumb with a rubbish TV’, they were never asked back and given short shrift at the time and never asked back.

The tv was rubbish to be fair 😂

Mortgageportgage · 05/07/2023 15:26

I'd be telling them that if the food / toys / everything is tmrubbish then they shouldn't come again.
A cheery "in this house we don't whinge like that" etc.
If it continues then don't invite them or find a way to zone out.
I know exactly what you meant though, some dc are a dream to host, and others a huge pita.

Gymmum82 · 05/07/2023 15:29

@lucette1001 i have asked her. She just says they are my best friends. I definitely wouldn’t say they are the cool kids. Or even particularly popular. If anything they are the odd balls but that might just be my prejudiced opinion because I don’t really like them.
Having observed them at parties though they are glued to my dd and rarely interact with anyone else

OP posts:
honeylulu · 05/07/2023 15:43

Moaning here is met with a cheery "oh dear it doesn't sound like you are enjoying yourself any more, shall I drop you home?" Either the whinging stops or they say yes, win win (actually the latter hasn't happened yet)."I don't like that dinner, what else have you got" is met with "there isn't anything else, I can take you home if you prefer". Most of it I've learnt to ignore, through gritted teeth. Disobedience is what I find most challenging. My daughter's best friend thinks it's funny to break the rules here and there honestly aren't a lot - no climbing on furniture, no shoes upstairs and no going in my bedroom (especially when we are in bed). I've had to tell her off quite sharply and she gets a bit sulky but then cheers up and wants to come back again. Some of it is just different expectations though as she's an only and I think her parents (who are lovely) indulge her a bit too much without realising. If I take her and my daughter out she will nag me to buy stuff and tell me I'm "mean" when I say no, and try and get me to carry her stuff and put rubbish in my handbag rather than find a bin. I have to say "no sorry I do things differently and I won't say yes to you when I say no to my own children". We get by! It's worth it to nuture a good friendship. I will never be a fan of playdates though ...

Sunnydaysaredefhere · 05/07/2023 15:47

Make it a duo or a foursome.. 3x dc is horrendous ime.
We had 1 lad who insisted he only drank coke... He actually did without a drink as I refused. Little horror he was...
Make a Happy Meal type paper bag. Like or lump it...

Hayder · 05/07/2023 16:37

I took a child home early after he was repeatedly rude to me and my children. I could just about cope with this, but when he went up to my elderly sleeping Labrador and kicked her I frog marched him home.

DuckbilledSplatterPuff · 05/07/2023 16:50

Invite some other children around instead to encourage her to broaden her friendship circle. If you have to invite. Invite Separately, or not at all and for much shorter time periods. If you provide snacks, ask the Mums what they like and then if they dont eat it, you can say "I don't think they like xyz , they didn't eat anything. Hopefully they will have something they like at your house." It alerts the Mum to the behaviour in a good way.
Three is always uncomfortable in a group of friends. Your DD will pick up on this behaviour, so I'd dilute her exposure to them. The school holidays should help.

turnthetoiletpaperroundproperly · 05/07/2023 17:00

why are you being held to ransom by a 6 yr old? Just a simple no sorry not today,rinse and repeat.You dont want them then dont have them..your the boss here!!

Parlourgames · 05/07/2023 17:03

Yes well I’d meet in the park and try not to host them. They sound unpleasant

Favouritefruits · 05/07/2023 17:04

I’ve started to take one if my son’s friend to the park because I can’t stand them in my house! Maybe a park trip and a picnic type tea with things that are in packets so you’re not wasting food they don’t eat. The other thing I’ve done in the past is take them to a soft play and buy them tea whilst we are there.

pinkyredrose · 05/07/2023 17:04

Why are you feeding them? I wouldn't have them in the house, meet in a park for an hour then go home.

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