|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!
- 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?