I never thought that play date etiquette needed to be defined, but after having a few of my own and talking to other moms it has become increasingly apparent that it does.
So, here goes.
The Do’s and Don’t s of Play Dates.
As defined my moi.
DO reciprocate. If someone has your child over to play, have their child over to play next.
DON’T take advantage of moms that are willing to host the play dates by allowing them to host all the play dates or leave your child there for too long.
For example, my sister has gotten into a rut of always having the play dates at her house for her children’s school friends, which would be OK if she didn’t mind, but she does. It bothers her that when play dates are planned they always end up at her house.
DO initiate play dates.
DON’T always wait for an invitation. It might not ever come.
I’m lazy and have to make an effort to extend invitations, but, I do.
DO be precise about the time and date.
DON’T leave the plans open ended. Pick a specific date to have the playdate and a concise time frame.
I always say something like, “Emma would love to have Chloe over to play on Wednesday after school.” If the mom says that date will work for her I say, “How about if I bring her home with us from school and you can pick her up at 4:30?”
DO pick up your own child from play dates.
DON’T expect the host to be the chauffeur.
Somehow my sister also ends up being taxi for play dates. If you don’t like doing so, don’t offer on a regular basis. I’m not suggesting that if there are special circumstances you shouldn’t give the child a ride home, BUT, in general, if the parent is able, have them do it. It IS their child, after all.
DO feed the children a healthy snack.
DON’T feed children anything that you think might be iffy. If you are not sure about serving, say, a caffeinated beverage, err on the safe side and don’t do it. No one likes to pick up a child that has ONLY been fed junk all afternoon.
DO monitor their play, and get them outside if possible.
DON’T let them watch TV or play electronics.
We have a no TV policy during play dates for a few reasons. 1. The whole purpose of the date is to play, not vegetate, and 2. you never know what kind of boundaries or limitations others put on what their children watch. Same goes for video games, computers, etc.
DO have play dates when you have time to be responsible for extra children.
DON’T try to squeeze in play dates when not appropriate.
DO be nice to the child that has been invited over.
DO tell their parents if they act in an inappropriate manner.
DON’T punish your own child in front of their friend.
Remember, play dates are supposed to be fun………not work. If they are not working for you, don’t have them!
Wanna see what others are saying? Head on over to Mama Kat’s place to see.