34 answers

I Am Weirded About This playdate...What Can It Be?

Hi Moms, here is the story: I got an e-mail from a Mom in my son's class who said that her son is new to the school and that he has been asking to get together with my son for one afternoon. I figured, fine, why not, a new friend? So, I e-mailed this Mom back that I would be delighted to meet her and her boy. I then, asked my son if there is a new boy in class. He said, yes, but he also said that the boy is not his friend, he never plays with him, and even mentioned that the kid is "stupid". Anyway, I got the perseption that the boys are not on friendly terms, and my son wants nothing to do with this boy. I did not tell my son that I arranged the playdate for him and this boy but I am thinking about the motives of that other Mom and whether we should try a playdate or cancell under some pretence? My son has a regular group of buddies, he is socialy well adjusted, the teacher never mentioned anything about his behaviour except superlatives. I never seen this child of his mother, so I cannot substantiate this "negative" reaction my son is having to this boy. Should I try to observe the kid informaly, first? What to do about this play date invitation?
ADDED: I am usually very welcoming to all the parents and I have my contact info on the school rooster so it was perfectly OK for this Mom to contact me. Actually, the kids already had an "informal play date", according to my son, he ran into this boy at the playground while he was with the sitter (she has no clue, I asked) and they ended up calling each other names, no nice play happened, so I gather it did not go well. I do not know whether the other boy was there with his Mom or with his sitter. If he was with Mom - she would know that the kids are not friendly, so it means she is not telling me the truth, if he was with a sitter - Mom may have no clue that the boys are not friendly. Do you think another play date with Mothers may go better? Anyway, I think that I should have a chat with my boy about proper manners and we both shall try to welcome this new family to our community. I always like to meet new people.

What can I do next?

Featured Answers

Would the playdate be at their home, or a neutral location? You might want to try a bounce house or something. Even boys who dont typically get along seem to do well at those types of places--it is a good ice breaker. Maybe invite another friend along too, but not his whole possee, if it is ok with the other mom.

3 moms found this helpful

I think that you should try it. You never know, maybe the boy is struggling for friendship and he doesn't know how to act, and his mom is just trying to help him to make friends. If they don't get along, you don't have to do it again. But you might make another good friend out of it.

2 moms found this helpful

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I would be more concerned with my child being so cavalier about calling another child "stupid." Actually, your child sounds a rude, mean, snob. Why would you allow him to ostracize the new kid? Did you do anything at all, about him calling someone stupid?

Keep the play date, and teach him how to be kind and welcoming to other children. It sounds like your kid is just purposefully trying to leave a new child out. This is on him, teach him a lesson...or he will turn into a bully.

19 moms found this helpful

I'd be pretty upset if my son described a classmate as "stupid"!
I don't see the big deal about a 2 hour meet up.

19 moms found this helpful

Ditto One and Done.
Your son called or referred to another kids as "stupid" and you're worried about the other kid?!?!?
They are probably not on friendly terms because this kid is NEW! Hence the other mom trying to reach out and help her son make new friends!

16 moms found this helpful

First, I would NEVER allow my kids to call anyone stupid.

Second, I averaged 3 schools a year, so I was always the *NEW* kid. It's hard to make friends and I was always appreciative when people were kind to me and made me feel welcomed.

I suggest you have a talk with your boy about being kind and friendly. This poor mom just wants her son to fit in, not be ostracized by some little punk and his buddies.

16 moms found this helpful

Some of these responses actually shock me. Maybe I'm part of the few that feel sorry for this other kid?
Maybe he is shy and his mother is trying to help him branch out? He is new after all- that can't be easy. Maybe her son really likes your son and mentioned it to her?
Regardless, I don't think it's acceptable behavior to have a child call another child stupid. It's just plain rude and mean. If it were my kid, I'd make him go on the play date to teach him a lesson. It's a couple of hours. He's not signing a lifelong contract. For shame.

16 moms found this helpful

I think the mom's only "motives" are to help her son make friends at his new school. I don't see anything weird about that.

I would tell your son that it's not nice to call someone stupid. I would tell him that you have set up a short play date and he is to treat the other boy nicely, the way he would want to be treated. And then if he doesn't want to do another one, he doesn't have to.

Maybe he will end up getting to know this boy more and want to play with him at school. Who knows?

Consider it your good deed for the week.

13 moms found this helpful

What is missing from your post is what you said to your son about him calling the new boy "stupid", and what he had to say when you asked him about why he never plays with the boy.

My children have ALWAYS been told to try to include new kids. That it is hard to make new friends at a new school and to think about how they would feel if THEY were the new kid who didn't know anybody (and they have BEEN the new kid, so they DO know).

I do not see anywhere, where you attempted to tease out what went wrong at the playground. They called each other names? Ok.... why? Who started it? Was your son not nice to him at the playground and the boy called him out on being "mean" and your son called him "stupid"? (I'm just throwing that out as an example of what you don't know.... or didn't share...).

I would suggest that you keep the playdate. But I would also suggest that you have a talk with your son about how to include new kids and to be nice to them. And then a reminder chat the day of the play date as well.

It is one thing to have a new kid join the class and they just don't meld with your child and they don't become close friends. But it is something else entirely when the new kid is called "stupid" simply for trying to make friends(?).... What other reason could there be? Can you think of any valid reason for your son to call the boy "stupid"? I can't.

12 moms found this helpful

I am hoping you posted a separate question about how to teach your son not to call people names such as "stupid". That would be my first concern. My son would be punished for such behavior. Actually,my son wouldn't talk about someone in that manner.

I don't see what your issue is. Are you concerned that your son and her little guy won't have fun? If yes, then I don't even know what to say other than I wish I had your problems! Her "motive" is probably to help her "stupid" son feel more accepted.

Go on the playdate and try to be welcoming of this new family. Short of them giving you murderer vibes, you and your son should do all you can to make them feel comfortable. Your son will learn from your example. And please don't let your son call him stupid to his face. If he is willing to tell you the kid is stupid, chances are he is willing to tell others, too.

ps - pretense, cancel and perception.

9 moms found this helpful

I think that the best thing you can do is to meet her at MacDonald's and BOTH of you watch the interaction between the boys. Tell your son that you are sorry, but you already accepted a playdate and that he needs to understand that you don't want to hurt the mom's feelings. If they don't get along, then the mom will understand that there won't be a next time. If they do get along, maybe your son will realize that away from school, the kid is okay.

Make it short and see if you can get to the bottom of it. That way you don't look like a shrew, and it will also teach your son a lesson about how we are supposed to treat people.

Good luck,

9 moms found this helpful

I think you're overthinking.

Her son asked her to set up a playdate, and she rang you up.

8 moms found this helpful

I'd do the play date at McDonald's or Burger King. Some place they can play side by side or apart. That way if they don't get along it won't be so horrid for the little boy.

She sounds like she's a nice person and really wants to make friends.

8 moms found this helpful

I'm sure the "motive" of the other mother is to help her son make friends and for her to make new mom friends too. I think you're reading way too much into it.

Give them a chance and see how the play date goes. If the boys get along then they can play together outside of school again.

7 moms found this helpful

Lets see new kid to school so kid probably has no friends at school. The group your son hangs out with calls him stupid and who knows what else. Poor Kid. Maybe the kid wants to be friends with your kid but either your kid or the group (clique) does not want him. I'd speak to your kid on how to treat a new kid in school or any kid for that matter. I'd take him to the play date so you can see whats going on. I'd also ask your kid before you go if any in his group has been violent to the new boy?

6 moms found this helpful

is it possible your son and his buddies are bullying the new child and she is trying to set up a play date to try to let at least one of the gang get to know her son so that he can be accepted?

5 moms found this helpful

When my daughter tells me there is a new kid in school, I always remind her to make sure they are included and made to feel welcomed. They don't have to become best friends, but imagine how difficult it is to be in a new environment. Maybe you should encourage your son to do the same. Personally, I can't understand why you would feel "weirded out" by this request.

5 moms found this helpful

The one thing that stood out for me was that your son called the other boy "stupid". What does that mean? First of all, it's not nice, and second of all, my kids went out of their way to be friendly to learning or physically disabled children at their schools. The word stupid was never used. I'd have knocked their little heads off.

I think you should talk to your son and let him know you've arranged a play date. Let him know that he is to be nice and on his best behavior and using words like "stupid" are NOT okay. Period.

I, personally, would follow through with the playdate. It's the only way you will get a sense of the dynamic between the mother and her son and your son and the other boy. Then, you can take it from there.

The boy might be annoying, it's hard to say. It can be really hard to be the "new" kid and sometimes they try to get attention any way they can.
My kids were always paired up with the new kids and kids that had disabilities because they had very protective hearts.

I think you should give the new boy and his mom a chance and see what happens. If it's not a great experience, then you can go from there. But, I would talk to your son about being nice and having manners just like any other play date.

Just my opinion.

5 moms found this helpful

Her son might be having trouble making friends and this mom is trying to help him out? That's all I can figure. She is trying to be proactive, sounds almost like some advice she would be given from this group even.
Give it a shot-- maybe she needs a friend? You wont know until you do the one meeting. Make it a meeting at McDonalds playland or something, somewhere that you can escape with a "phone call" if you need to. Have a friend call you at an appropriate time at which you can decide to leave or stay if things are fine.

5 moms found this helpful

Edit that to say. Can't behave at school. inviting other kids is a recipie for disaster of course your son would play with his friend and ignore the new kid. not cool.

Its easy as a third person to say I would have a short playdate and use that as an opportunity to empathize with what it must be like to be a new kid and just show my son how to be a nice person.

It sounds like your son is popular and this boy is attracted to him. I don't see anything weird or sinister in that.
If the kid can behave at school then maybe u have a legit concern. But jsut because your kid has lots of other choices of playmate doesn't mean this new kid does. Picka neutral place your son likes and keep it short

5 moms found this helpful

What a great learning opportunity for your son. I would keep the playdate and tell your son that you want him to try and be considerate of the new kid. Help him be empathic for someone on the outside. Let him know that you will be there and that you have confidence that he can handle this. If they turn out to have no chemistry than nothing lost.

4 moms found this helpful

Sounds like this mom is reaching out, trying to help her son make new friends (and probably trying to get know a few moms herself as well.)
I hope when your son called this boy "stupid" you asked him what he meant by that. Not a very nice thing to say.
Unless the boy has been mean to your son or otherwise inappropriate I hope you go through with the playdate. Talk to your son about giving possible new friends a chance, and how hard it must be to be the new kid at school. If they don't hit it off, then fine, no need to pursue the friendship, but at least he will learn a lesson in reaching out and making a newcomer feel welcome.

4 moms found this helpful

Would the playdate be at their home, or a neutral location? You might want to try a bounce house or something. Even boys who dont typically get along seem to do well at those types of places--it is a good ice breaker. Maybe invite another friend along too, but not his whole possee, if it is ok with the other mom.

3 moms found this helpful

Honestly, this post upset me more than any I have seen in awhile. Have you even considered putting yourself in that mom's shoes or in that little boy's??? We have also moved to a new area and my son (who is also 5) had a hard time making friends b/c all of the other boys know each other. And if I was to invite a family over that my son wanted to play with....and see the post you put up, I would not want to have anything to do with your family. For that family's sake, i would opt out of the playdate and hope that the school can teach your son how to be friendly and welcoming to new children and have respect for people even those that they don't want to be friends with. Also, since your post did not state your son's age, in looking at your profile, I noticed that your 14 year old has ADHD and also started a new school recently. And to think you tolerate your son calling another child "stupid" is "weird". And that you could not relate to a child feeling new, vulnerable and wanting desperately to fit in and make friends is "weird." Personally, I am completely "weirded out" by your post and your family's unfriendly/unwelcoming behavior moreso than anything you mentioned about the new family.

3 moms found this helpful

It just sounds like they are new and she wants to help her son make friends and fit in better. She is probably calling all the boys in the class and asking their parents if they can do a play date. I did something like this when we moved to help my son get closer to some kids. It worked really well. Why not talk to your son about how hard it is to move somewhere new and leave all your friends behind and not know anyone! Ask him if he was totally new and knew no one, would he like for another boy to play with him? See if you can get your son to be receptive to having just one play date to try it out with this boy.

2 moms found this helpful

I am assuming this is your 5 year old?

I would say put yourself in the other mom's shoes. Perhaps her son is coming home saying that some kids are not being nice to him or are calling him stupid. Or that her son ran into one of his new classmates in the park and he called her son names. If she asked Mamapedia for advice, I bet many of us would suggest setting up a playdate with one of those boys and getting to know him or talking to the mom about it. If you ever read the book "Enemy Pie" it's a classic strategy.

If you truly are welcoming, please keep the playdate. Clearly this boy is struggling to fit in and could use help. My heart kind of breaks for this other mom.

2 moms found this helpful

I think that you should try it. You never know, maybe the boy is struggling for friendship and he doesn't know how to act, and his mom is just trying to help him to make friends. If they don't get along, you don't have to do it again. But you might make another good friend out of it.

2 moms found this helpful

I would keep the scheduled playdate and see how it all goes. Prep your son on the way there or just prior. I imagine your son will get along just fine with the this new boy, when his group of buddies is removed from the social equation.

Ditto all the other polite and welcoming advice to a new family.

2 moms found this helpful

Why would you ever schedule a play date without talking to your son to be sure that he WANTS to play with this child.

I would call the mom and tell her that you were unaware but apparently the boys did meet up at the park and things didn't go well, so you think it is best to cancel. Be honest. Not all kids like all other kids. Doesn't mean there's anything wrong with either child - they just don't get along.

In the future, try including your child in scheduling his social activities. He does have a mind of his own and he MIGHT have different preferences than you.

1 mom found this helpful

I would go on the playdate but make it really short. Don't make it at your house or else they might never leave.

Or, I would invite another child or two, along with those moms, to the playdate, to ease any tension there might be.

I would feel better knowing what a kid and his mom are like, as well as what they look like, in case there is trouble between the boys down the road, and if the animosity stems from your son or the other kid.

1 mom found this helpful

Sometimes it takes a couple of tries to see if the kids like eachother or not. I would go for it. You may have found your son a new best friend and you a potential friend as well. It can't hurt to go and try it. The worst that could come of it would be they would physically get into an all out brawl and you mamas would have to separate them. I don't forsee this happening. Good luck!~

1 mom found this helpful

I once had a Mom ask me for a playdate, and when I broached the idea with my son, he was not enthusiastic and said the kid was a bully. Well, I later figured out that the Mom had called the wrong kid. There were two kids with the same name (mine being one of them).

Anyway, we didn't end up having the playdate. And I'm ever so thankful as her kids are awful!

Go with your instincts. If your son doesn't want to play with this boy, I wouldn't force it. But perhaps reiterate that it's nice to include everyone and we treat everyone the way we want to be treated. Good luck!

she wouldnt know who's kid is who's on the playground, so she may not know your kids the one her kid faught with.

if your son called him stupid and also was involved in the fight i'd definitely go to the playdate and demand he act appropriately
that mom is new and her kid is probably having trouble fitting in with the established clicks so she is reaching out to try and help him. my daughter is in 1st grade and the new kid and we're having our 2nd big playdate (several girls) this weekend. I'm sure she's not close to all of the girls coming but the point is for her to establish new bonds

1) I would have asked her HOW she even got my contact information to e-mail me.
There are privacy rules you know.
2) I would have asked my son FIRST, about the child/Mom, before I agreed to any playdate.
3) If I personally do not know a child or the parent, I do not, agree to any play dates.
4) Sure, your son calling him "stupid" is rude. Kids are taught not to use that word. Scold him on it.
But your son does NOT want to get together with the boy. So no. Don't have the play date.
Plus you don't even know the Mom.

5) I only have play dates, with kids/Moms that I know personally, and with kids that ARE my kids' friends.

Your son is old enough to choose his friends.

The mom's "motives" are probably nothing more than trying to get some friends for her poor son, so you don't need to be "weirded out" by her.

However, your son can't be forced to be friends with this boy. He must always be kind, but he gets to choose his friends. I guess since you said you would do the playdate, you can tell your son that this time he is going to go through with it. It sounds like this kid is a little isolated, and it won't hurt for your son to learn to be kind.

After that, when they still aren't friends, you will just have to tell the mom, "I'm sorry, but he and Billy aren't friends." It was nice of you to offer, but next time, after a certain age, you don't agree to a playdate without asking your kid first.

I would host a play date and see how it goes and tell your son that the boy asked his mom for a play date with your son and you wanted to meet them. If it goes badly, then it can be a one-time only deal. Make it short and somewhere neutral.

I had a mom contact me about a playdate (in person) for our daughters. I tried to contact her via both email and phone. I do not know what the deal was but the date never came to be and my DD was disappointed. The girls do sit next to each other often at lunch so I am sure they are friends. I talked to the mom briefly at a birthday party later for one of their classmates and she was not warm, so I don't know what happened. If you do decide to cancel the playdate, PLEASE clue her in as to why.

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