My feed

to access all these features

Join our Primary Education forum to discuss starting school and helping your child get the most out of it.

Primary education

Oh gawd - Do I HAVE to do playdates?

21 replies

Gameboy · 02/10/2006 22:48

Now have 2 kids in school - Reception and Yr2.
Have sort of avoided playdates to a large extent in the past by
a) working pretty much full time
b) having a very good friend of DS1's over on a reciprocated fortnightly basis.

However DS1 told me last night that he would like more people round, and I really should sort some out for DS2 too since he is in a new class with lots of new children.

But I HATE them. Mess, noise, children doing things mine aren't allowed to do.

How many can I get away with? One a week? Some kids just seem to spend their lives at each others houses, but it's not something DH & I did as kids, so it's all a bit alien to us.

OP posts:
Hallgerda · 03/10/2006 08:11

Yes, you do have to do it I'm afraid, but in your own home your rules apply. And you can cut down the mess appreciably by telling your children that they, and not you, are responsible for any mess (physical and emotional) left after the friend has gone home. Your children will then not wish to invite "friends" who leave them with a horrid mess to sort out at the end. I think once a week will suffice (and I mean once a week, not once a week per child).

Twiglett · 03/10/2006 08:14

No I don't think you HAVE to do them

But your kids have pointed out that they're missing out and they'd like to have their friends over

So make up your own mind

What is alien about having kids to play .. ie what is more alien about other children the same age coming round that is any more alien than you having children in the first place

I am trying to cut down to 2 a week atm but finding it hard

Twiglett · 03/10/2006 08:17

Kids follow the rules of your house

You are the adult

So if your children aren't allowed to do stuff you don't let 'guest children do it'

If they don't listen to you or your kids then they don't get invited back

If they don't all tidy up after themselves they don't get invited back

Food doesn't have to be stressful .. find out major dislikes and avoid, otherwise give them what your kids like .. if they say yuk say in this house we have to try .. if they try and don't like offer them a sandwich (could be just bread and butter)

Kids play in their room / garden or wherever you are happy with them being

TV turns most kids into zombies if they're getting on your nerves

Creative stuff also works

Chill out and enjoy the peace and quiet you'll get by not being the one kids are flocking around

fartmeistergeneral · 03/10/2006 08:37

I humiliated myself with ds1 when he was in P1 by inviting quite a few folk over during the course of the year. By that I mean boys who weren't even special friends, in a feeble attempt to get ds1 to know more people. As if he needed help!

Now with ds2 just started P1 I am standing firm. I'm not going to jump in and invite kids unless he seems to actually be friends with them!

Some people do loads of playdates. Ds1's friend's mum is one such person. But they are not her ds1's real friends!

milward · 03/10/2006 08:43

Try just for 2hrs only - I do this sométimes.

nailpolish · 03/10/2006 08:53

even just an hr and a half is fine

if you invite children over to play with your children, then one day itll be your turn and you can get 2 hrs peace! woohoo!

MrsScareyFish · 03/10/2006 08:53

no mine rarely have them

they play out side wiht a ball i needs be
balrdy awful hard work etc

nailpolish · 03/10/2006 08:57

in this house they can run about and scream and shout in the garden, make tents with clothes horse

if its raining they can play upstairs with littlest petshop/ polly pocket

lunch is usually pasta

snack is toast and dairylea

MrsScareyFish · 03/10/2006 08:57


nailpolish · 03/10/2006 09:00

well they usually end up coming over lunch time

no big deal

Bozza · 03/10/2006 09:00

I think one a week/fortnight is OK. And let your DSs take the lead in who they want to invite. DS is ever so excited when he gets an invitation - there is some kudos in it in the classroom I find. He is in Y1 btw.

nailpolish · 03/10/2006 09:02

dd1 has 3 good pals - we take turn about (the mums) so therefore i only have them all over maybe once a fortnight

Bozza · 03/10/2006 09:02

Oh yes I usually feed them, but they are after school. As a family we usually eat together about 6-6.30 ish but on play dates I feed the kids at about 5.30 and we eat after they have gone to bed.

nailpolish · 03/10/2006 09:03

mine arent at school yet, so we do lunch

joelallie · 03/10/2006 11:30

I worked full time until a few years ago. I agree that it is difficult. But now I work school hours and at home 2 days a week which are the only days I have kids back to the house. Food wise - make it simple - get food that every child eats - no good trying to be all Jamie Oliver when little Wayne only eats Pot Noodles! Organise an activity beforehand - if lego is a favourite, put all the lego in the dining room so they will gravitate towards that and the chaos/noise will be confined - my DD loved arty stuff so I found all the paper, glue, pens, stickers I could and put them all out. Also there's nothing wrong with letting them watch a DVD for a while. Mine are older now and they usually play out either in the cul-de-sac or (if their parents OK it) in the park.

Once a week is more than enough. Are there any children nearby that your kids could play with more casually without it being a formal invite? That's how I get away without more proper playdates.

portonovo · 03/10/2006 13:06

You don't have to but the children will like it.

But make sure it's done to fit you and your life and your rules.

Once a week sounds loads to me! I don't know anyone who has kids round that often. I see it as an occasional treat rather than an everyday occurence.

To be honest, we rarely have children round in term-time because everyone seems to be so busy - some children seem to have after-school activities most nights.

So what I tend to do is wait until a school holiday and try to let each of my 3 children have someone round then. Sometimes we go for the 'get it over with' approach, when they all come the same day - that works surprisingly well! This way seems to work better for us than doing it after-school.

TwigTwoolett · 03/10/2006 13:08

I never had playdates as a child .. I overcompensate now

nailpolish · 03/10/2006 13:10

gawd we had loads

i said to mum recently "what did you do with me and little bro when we were small?"

she said "went round to my pals who also had children and sat and drank their coffee while you played"

but they just werent called playdates

Gameboy · 03/10/2006 13:15

Hmmm .. I suspect I've come across as a grumpy old moo... Dn't get me wrong - we do have chidren over to play - but they're mostly children of good friends who my kids know really well - I don't think of those as 'playdates' though.
To me the 'playdate' is one of those afternoon, pre-arranged things with Mums of kids you don't knoe very well.. I find them a bit stressful, as the kids always seem to be more badly behaved than mine and I feel that I have to be more 'on duty' than if it we people we know, or just my two!

Anyway, I think I'll pencil in one every fortnight for the next few weeks and see how it goes!

OP posts:
Tortington · 03/10/2006 14:14

no you dont have to do it.
i didn't

if you dont want other peoples little smelly, messy spoiled little shits at your house - just say no.

tell the mums - i dont do playdates - sorry - they smile and can either a) still invite your kid round - as long as you do the dropping off pickng up

or b) not invite your kid round - in which case your kid will see said friend NECT DAY at school anyway.


massively overrated

another way of showing your children the world revolves around them in my personal opinion. and totally unnecessary

so if you are the kind o persona who detests this kind of thing with utter fury - then dont do it becuase some societal/ child pressure expects you to.

sandyballs · 04/10/2006 10:24

No you don't have to do it. I personally find them a bit of a trauma. My kids turn into devil children as soon as other children arrive and spend the whole two hours showing off and leaping off furniture. So I spend two hours shouting at them and getting stressed and telling them to behave. As soon as their friends leave, all is calm again.

I posted a thread a few weeks ago during my last "playdate" when my two and their two friends emptied the entire contents of their wardrobes, put it into suitcases and dragged it all out into the garden to play "going on holiday", and it was muddy .

Please create an account

To comment on this thread you need to create a Mumsnet account.