Play Date Boy/Girl

Updated on May 11, 2011
M.B. asks from Occoquan, VA
11 answers

My daughter is in second grade. She'll be 8 in July. Her friend is in the same class, he'll be 8 in August. They are good friends at school according to my daughter, and I have talked/seen him a few times while volunteering at the school and such-he seems very nice. Never outside the school have they hung out yet.

My daughter doesn't really have any close friends (no "bff"s!), and I want to help her achieve a closer relationship with her friends at school. The girl that she is closest with in her class have parents that just never get back to me, and the girl says that there are 12 children in her family and that her parents are just swamped, and don't really let her go out on play dates. My daughter has been in a girl scout troop for three years, but has not really developed a close friendship with any of the girls... they haven't really "clicked", but they do get along quite well, just not in a "closer" way.

SO, there's this boy that seems very nice that she likes a lot. I want to invite him over for a play date... BUT, I'm noticing a lot of parents seem to want to separate boys and girls. For birthday parties, coming over, getting together, etc...

What do you mom's think? I was thinking about inviting him and his parent(s) to a neutral place like a playground, but we have gotten kids together at a playground before, and it really just seems not the best place for growing a friendship (I know I'm over-analyzing this! LOL!). I thought here at our home would be a good place... OR, I would prefer a totally different idea if I could come up with one.... That's why I'm askin' yall. Also, would you find it weird to get an invite for your child of that age for a play date with a child of the other gender?

OH, I guess it is important info to say that she "likes" him, as well...

Thanks in advance!

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answers from Portland on

By "she "likes" him as well"... are you insinuating that she has a crush on him?

I think I was feeling just fine about the 'boy/girl' thing until that line. That, I would have to think long and hard about if and how I would facilitate such a friendship. I say this from my own remembered experience of boy/girl crushes at that age. Boys don't usually react well to this sort of attention. Playing pirates and imaginative play is fine, but boys generally get their "mean" on when they get any whiff of girly intentions. (I say 'generally'... not all boys are like this.) I myself had handfuls of clover smashed into my face for telling a boy I liked him. Another boy, a year later, dropped a pile of bark chips into my hair and hood on a rainy day because someone told him I liked him. These boys were completely nice up until then, by the way.

Hard call-- see if your daughter's interest in this boy lasts. I think, in that case, if you do have the playdate at someone's house, have an open-door/within earshot policy. Even at a young age, boys and girls can get into mischief with each other if given too much privacy. (sorry, it's the truth). I would actually do that sort of playdate at the park, but to each their own.

And I would suggest is talking to the mom of the girl friend and asking if you could make that playdate happen... pick the daughter up from school, take her to your place and drop her off at home. This mom might be more up for it if she didn't have to do the transportation piece of it. It's lonely for a girl to grow up without girl friends.

Just my two cents, and I'll be interested to see what others have to say.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Houston on

I would encourage it. I remember alot of girls growing up who were very immature around boys b/c they knew nothing about them - their communciation, thought processes, likes, dislikes, mannerisms. Boys were just objects of fantasy to them. You might be giving your daughter an edge by the time she enters jr high and even high school, by letting her have a friend who is a boy now, instead of later.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Santa Fe on

My son is 7 and we have playdates with girls almost as much as with boys. This is the first year he has asked for more playdates with boys than girls though. I see nothing wrong with it at all. Two of his very best friends are girls. I don't think it matters where - your home or at the park. Both sound great! As long as the two kids get along great and play well together it does not matter. :)

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Pittsburgh on

It's not strange. My son is 8 and he has a friend that's a girl (also 8) that he started to get to know when they played t-ball together. He likes her because she is not a "girly girl" according to him. haha
They get together to play from time to time.
I think it's fine to encourage this friendship.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Pittsburgh on

I don't think it is strange. Don't you want your daughter to know that boys are people too. I want my son to know that girls are people, not some strange other species.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Honolulu on

My Daughter who is currently 8, has guy friends too.
One of them, since Kindergarten.
I know the Mom and family well.
He comes over for play-dates.
My daughter and he, get along.
My daughter can play boy stuff and non-gender stuff.
Its no biggie.

But at some point, per age phases, (and perhaps body development) they will not want to play together.
My Daughter has girl-friends. Which they come over too.
Our play dates are often mixed gender.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Kansas City on

my youngest son always had girls for friends when he was younger, he was socially not in the same place as the boys, but the girls had the patience and i suppose that is why he leaned more towards them. They always came over to our house and hung out, and some came to his birthday parties too. Now he is in middle school, and hangs out with boys a lot now. I would not hesitate to have your daughter ask him over, it will be good for both of them.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Sacramento on

I think it's fine. My 8 year old's BFF is her cousin, who is a boy. Granted, they're cousins, but they play really well together and it's like they're two halves of the same whole. They finish each other's sentences and everything. It's cute.

For a first play date, I would call the boy's mom and see if they are interested. I'm sure they will be. Then you could say that you were thinking of going to the park (or the zoo, or bowling...?) somewhere public where the parents could meet you, you could meet them, etc. And just see where it goes from there.

I was recently concerned about the same thing, since my (girl) first grader wanted to have a play date with a boy in her class. He lives just across the street from us. His mom was happy to have him come on a play date to the park. So far, so good!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Killeen on

My 7 yr old daughter's best friend from school is a boy who lives around the corner from us, so he is always coming over to play outside =) I say you should start with just talking to the parents if you see them at school and ask if their son considers your daughter his friend, too. Then go from there =)

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

I always had more guy-friends than girlfriends so I don't think it's weird, but obviously sleepovers would be a no-go

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Richmond on

My stepson's best friend since K (now 8th grade) is a girl. They just have a lot of the same interests (they're kind of compatible in their oddities to be honest). I think it's fine so long as he wants to be friends too. Why not take them to lunch and a movie or someplace fun? Just keep it casual and don't obsess about them developing some life long friendship. Those will evolve on their own for your daughter. The hardest part for us has been when the girl did start becoming "girly" a couple of years ago and started having slumber parties, etc. and he was left out. We have tried to foster other relationships and friendships with other boys to fill in the gaps.

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