Playdate 101


Can't we just all get along? LOL

I've learned a lot about playdates in the past year. Before moving to the suburbs, the word playdate didn't exist to me! Growing up in Brooklyn, scheduled playing was unheard of. We just all played outside together. I'm getting acclimated to this playdate thing but one thing is for sure- they should come with a handbook! Since they don't come with one, I've created my own!

Playdate 101

  • If your child wants to have a playdate, simply ask the parent. You can schedule something you're comfortable with. Personally, I am not comfortable dropping my children off at someones home- so I don't- that's the bottom line. Don't do anything you are uncomfortable with. Suggest your home if you are comfortable with that and tell the parent they can come along. Ask if the child has any allergy restrictions before buying snacks for your playdate. If you aren't comfortable doing it in your home, suggest the playground.

  • All good things come to an end- so end it before its not good! I have learned to limit playdates to 2 hours. At around the 2 hour mark I begin noticing the kids have had enough. Arguing begins- crankiness takes over. If a child is dropped off by me, I ask the parent to come back in 2 hours. If I'm going to someone else's home, I say that I will be leaving at whatever time 2 hours later will be! It just works this way.

  • Whether your doing it your home, another persons or the playground- have a quick chat with your child prior to the playdate. Go over sharing, keeping hands to themselves and following the rules of wherever you will be. Example- my rule is sitting at our table to eat. Any kids I have in my home must follow this rule. Its okay to have rules and you can go over them quickly at the start of your playdate.

  • It is not another parents responsibility to discipline your child. If your child isn't doing the right thing and your present for the playdate, correct their behavior! I've had parents in my house that don't say anything to their kids and I don't want to feel like I'm babysitting!

  • All kids want the same thing. Always have enough of the same snack for the kids to share. If you are going to someones home, bring a snack and have enough for everyone.

  • Be prepared to feed your playdate. I'm a feeder so I enjoy making a lunch for our visitor. Be sure to ask the parent if its okay.

  • I've had wonderful playdates and not so wonderful playdates. If you have an awful playdate - don't do it again. Break up with the playdate! Everyone has to have a good time or at least not have a killer migraine when the playdate is through...so if your not enjoying it- end it!

Do you have any playdate etiquette to share?













64 comments :

  1. Such a great post Tara! I've come across some pretty rough playdates myself lol.. I have a boy 6 and a girl 8 it seems the trouble begins when they wont include the sibling in what they are doing..I usually have something else to do with my other child so no one gets frustrated!
    love your blog-

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    1. Thank you so much for the amazing compliment! I've been struggling with my blogging voice lately so it's very nice to hear! My daughter is 4- my son 2 so we have the same family dynamic. My daughter never wants to include my son- poor lil guy!

      Thanks for visiting!!

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  2. Great tips! I, too, am a major snack provider. And I actually think 2 hours is the absolute maximum...sometimes, even an hour and a half is enough! ;)

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    1. From one feeder to another, I agree with the time limitation 100% !! Sometimes and hour and a half is more than enough. You just have to leave at that point and not care what anyone thinks!

      Playdates can be rougher than my actual dating days!! LOL
      Thank you for visiting and commenting! It's always nice to "see" a familiar face! My SITS day is approaching- I'm excited!

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  3. So, do you set the time limit before the play-date? What is the best way to tactfully do this.

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    1. Hey Mama!!! I say it at the start of the playdate. If they are dropping off their child I ask for them to come back 2 hours later...or, if I'm going to someones house, I'll say- I'm going to stay until such & such time (2 hrs later).

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  4. Yes! There does need to be a playdate handbook. Thank you for this. And it makes me laugh a little because now in Brooklyn, it's all about playdates. I mean, it's out of control. I'm definitely a feeder. I've found that now that my son is 5, playdates are A LOT easier. They just go off and play and I don't have to mediate. When he was younger, the other discussion we'd have beforehand is putting away any "favorite" toys that he didn't want to share or would throw a tantrum over. Learned the hard way on that one.

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    1. Oh Christine- I like that one! I will tell my daughter to do the same with her favorite toy! By the way, I meant to tell you that your blog looks amazing!

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  5. Wow, great advice. I believe any mum will benefit from this, Tara!

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    1. Thank you Jamie! I hope so....especially some of them that visit my house! Lol

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  6. I think 2 hours is a perfect limit!

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    1. Thank you! Sometimes it doesn't even last the full two!

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    2. Thank you! Sometimes it doesn't even last the full two!

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  7. What great tips! I haven't had my kids on an official play date yet, but I'm always wondering how they work! Awesome!

    (Happy SITS Day to you! Stopping by to wish you a good one!)

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    1. I'm so happy I was able to help Jennifer!
      Thank you for stopping by on my SITS day! Please come again for some more tips! I aim to please! Lol

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  8. What great tips! I haven't had my kids on an official play date yet, but I'm always wondering how they work! Awesome!

    (Happy SITS Day to you! Stopping by to wish you a good one!)

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  9. So excited to see it was your SITS day!

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  10. Happy SITS Day!

    Great tips! I can think of a few moms from my children's past that could have used this advice!

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    1. That's hysterical!!
      Some people just have their heads up their ass!!! LOL

      Thanks for showin' some love on my SITS day!

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  11. Happy SITS Day! I've got to look into play dates for my husband. The kids have been grown up and gone for years, but maybe I could drop my hubby off for a couple of hours somewhere!

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    1. EVA!!!! I'm cracking up!!! I love this comment!! I read it to my husband & he's laughing too! You can drop him here- I'll feed him lunch and give him a nice snack!! LOL

      Thank you so very much for your comment! It made my day complete!

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  12. Awesome tips! We've done several play dates. I prefer the meet at the park playdates so I don't have to worry about my house being destroyed.

    Happy SITS Day to you!

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    1. Ohhhh, I like those too. Sometimes, I couldn't have people over even if I was dying to! Four out of the seven days my house is a disaster!! LOL

      Thank you for showin' some love on my SITS day!!

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  13. Visiting from SITS. My kids are way past the age of playdates, but I think it's terrific advice!

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    1. Thank you so much for the support- I truly appreciate each and every comment!

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  14. Two hours is just the right amount of time! And snacks...kids always want a snack during a playdate! If I'm having a friend over that we've never had for a playdate before, I always ask the mom about allergies. This is a great list! :D

    Congrats on your SITS day!

    Lemon Drop Pie

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    1. Thank you Ginny! The name of your blog is so sweet! Going to check it out for sure!

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  15. Our playdates always require lots of coffee. (For me, not the kids so much.)

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    1. Hahaha...love it, Lisa! Yes, coffee is a requirement...one that I clearly missed on my list!

      Thank you for the support on my SITS day! Come again!

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  16. Happy SITS day. Great playday tips. If you don't get along with the parent then don't do it, it will just make you grumpy and irritable.

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    1. It's true Haley! The kids aren't the only ones allowed to participate in fun!! LOL

      Thanks for the support on my SITS day! Please come again!

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  17. Great tips. And, oh, so true.

    Congratulations on your SITS day. I hope it's a wonderful day for you.

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    1. It was a wonderful day Miss Robin! I hope everyone enjoyed my posts and come back for more secrets!!

      Thank you for the support on my SITS day!

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  18. Have a great SITS day! I totally relate on playdates. I hate asking for them.. It must be what guys felt in high school asking girls out. It is terrible!

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    1. That's great! I have no shame anymore! I got comfortable with the same 3 or 4 parents and we all switch off or meet up all together.

      Thanks for the support today!!

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  19. Happy SITS day!! You have playdates where kids are just dropped off??? That's called babysitting around these parts. ;)

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    1. Lol...I love it!
      Sometimes I prefer it this way. Then I don't have to socialize and I can get stuff done in my house without hearing, "I'm bored" every minute!

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  20. I love your advice and think it is so important to put it out there! I have been a Mommy for 25 years and am on my second batch (they love that because it relates to cookies!) They are 4 & 5. One problem that I have ran into in regard to play dates is the form of discipline other parents use with their kids. I have learned to question discipline strategies and whether we participate in a play date is usually dependent on the answer. To each her own but I have boundaries and I can only do what works best in my family and I have to limit what my children are exposed to. Have you run into this problem and what is your solution? Oh...and PS. I found you through SITS girls and so glad I did!

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    1. It can be scary. Honestly, if I don't want my children to be exposed to types of discipline I'm uncomfortable with- I don't have another playdate with that family. I know it seems harsh- but it's that simple. I'm not compromising my comfort zone!

      I've had playdates with VERY wild kids- made me uncomfortable. I didn't want my son picking up this behavior so I never made plans with them again. The mom keeps trying but I refuse to give in! My son is not wild- he's a really good boy. I don't want to taint my baby!

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    2. And thank you for the lovely comment! I hope you come back for some of my crazy! LOL

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  21. happy SITS day ~ congrates being featured today =)) at my place, we don't have any playdate either *ahax*

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  22. Hi Tara,

    My daughter is 11, so when I say "playdate" she rolls her eyes at me. She went to school in a different district than we live, so we grew up with playdates. Lots of good tips here. Congrats on your SITS Day! Bet you loved and am glad it's over all at the same time! lol... I am just catching up from a day missed!

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    1. I'm dreading the rolling eyes days to come!

      Thank you for the support on my SITS day!

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  23. Yes, I have to agree with the 2 hour mark -- I've noticed the same thing with my 4 year-old's playdates; come 2 hours and they start to bicker a lot more. Then that's all they wind up remembering that they did!

    Happy SITS day!

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    1. I'm glad you agree! Two hours it is! I cannot take the bickering. My own two do it enough!

      Thank you for stopping by on my SITS day!

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  24. Happy SITS Day! Great playdate tips! I will have to reference these at some point in the future when I have kids!

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    1. Thank you Mary! Yes...and print it out for the ones you are making them with! LOL

      Thanks for showing me some love even though you aren't a mom yet. It's good to soak in some knowledge prior to!

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  25. Good things to know!! Happy SITS day!

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    1. Hi Kassi! Thanks for stopping over & showin' some love!

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  26. Happy SITS day! I'm past the play-date days of preschool but remember the bad and the good! We had a great playgroup with some really neat people. Still friends with some!

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    1. I know I will remain friends with quite a few of them as well.

      Thanks for the support on my SITS day!

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  27. I love this!!! I worked for the first year of my son's life, and now we're in a new city, so this whole "play date" thing is brand new to me, as well! I actually joined an online mom's group just to try to make some new friends...totally feels like online dating!! Glad somebody thinks about these things too ;)

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    1. It is like dating! It's so funny...I compare some of my horrible playdates to actual date-dates that I had in the past!!

      I'm happy you liked it- I hope to see you visit again!

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  28. Visiting from SITS

    2 hours seems to be the max for my daughter too. Anything longer and she starts to get cranky! GREAT list!

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    1. Yup! The timing has to be right for successful playing! Thank you for stopping over & commenting on my SITS day!

      Love the name of your blog! I stopped over & will be doing so again!

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  29. Great post! We haven't done too many play dates because they make me too nervous! I guess it's nice to know that others haven't had great experiences either! (this is Kim Huish, I think I'm signed in as my husband

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    1. Hi Kim!!!

      Well you can have playdates with us anytime! Chloe loves Benton & Becker...enough to name her "babies" after them!

      Thank you so much for coming over & commenting! It really means a lot that you took the time out to show some love! xoxo

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  30. Hello! Visiting form SITS. Congrats on being featured. You are so brave to do playdates. If I ever have one for my son, I'll be sure to follow these rules. Thanks!

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    1. Awww, Madge! You will do them. I wasn't open to the idea of them at first either. I just started this year when my daughter started Pre-K. She started asking and I felt I had to. I'm so happy I did. I have become really great friends with some of the moms. Friends I know I will have forever. Do it when your comfortable...and print out my list for the ones you make the date with! LOL

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  31. I've learned to plan a playdate for mom and kids so that I can be there (or their mom) and supervise how the kids play together and see if it's an arrangement we both can be okay with. Plus, I love to have another grown-up to socialize with while the kids play!

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    1. Sometimes the socializing is like pulling teeth though! If I mesh well with the mom, then I love it...but it can be grueling at times!! LOL

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    2. Oh Tara, you don't have a problem in the socializing department! ; )

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