K.K. asks from Erie, PA on October 14, 2008
DD 4 was recently invited to a playdate at a classmate's home. I did meet mom once, but don't have a clue as to their lifestyle (smoking, pets, guns in the house etc). This mom has several children up to college age, and is probably a whole lot more relaxed than i am. My gut says not to let my daughter go unless i can stay with her the first time.
How would you go about inviting yourself? ( and i would need to bring my 6 year old son, since I don't have any baby sitting options for him during the time of day this mom is talking about).
I offered to have them over at my place, she insisted on hers, and besides that doesn't totally solve the problem.
Am i being overly cautious?? I just want to know that my little girl is safe, and that this mom has some of the same values as my husband and I.
thanks for any advice.
So What Happened?™
Thanks. I guess i just needed to hear what i already knew.
A.L. answers from Philadelphia on October 15, 2008
Kristi- You sound a lot like me. I'm a play it safe kind of person, and all of my friends are very laid back. I'd say if my daughter was older (she's 1), we'd have the perfect play date together! I have the same concerns as you, and I think you are definately entitled to go along on the play date, or have it on neutral ground.
D.P. answers from Pittsburgh on October 15, 2008
When my son was beginning to have playdates (nursery school and preschool) it was very normal for a mom (me or the other mom) the first time to say "Is it OK if I stay for a little bit to see how he/she does? This is his/her first playdate" etc. I doubt any other mom (you included!) would have issue with that. Go and see for awhile how she does and if it seems like the kids will be OK. If she seems fine, you can go home for an hour or so. Remember that playdates shouldn't be too long -- maybe 2-3 hrs. I understand, and relate to, your concern about the environment she will be in but as long as it's safe it will be OK. If you have concerns about smoking, guns, pets etc--voice them and ask!
The play date host really doesn't need to share all of your values! She just needs to take good care of the kids. Bring a snack for the kids and decide on a drop off & ick up time in advance. Then return the favor of hosting a playdate at your house.
It's really nice to hook up with some moms that you know and trust and they will most likely end up being around for a few years! :)
J.P. answers from Harrisburg on October 17, 2008
I remember the first time my son had an invite to a friends house whose family we really didn't know. We had the same concerns you are having and how hard it was to ask! Not wanting to offend the family I asked politely and probably timid about smoking, weapons, tv/video game choices. The mom was actually happy that we did ask, which lead into a nice discussion and a growing friendship. And if you are ever in the situation to have a play date at your house with someone in your shoes now, volunteer the info. "We'd like to have _____ over to play.Just wanted to put you at ease we don't smoke, tv is monitored, there are/are not guns, etc" (you get the idea).
Hope she and you may find wonderful friends through your "date". Blessings ~ J.
T.D. answers from Pittsburgh on October 15, 2008
Trust you gut and stay with them and if they don't like it then don't go back.
A.S. answers from Philadelphia on October 15, 2008
I always had the same feelings when it came to playdates with other classmates and the unknown- I always say go with your gut. You are the mother-your child's best advocate. To be honest with you I went on all my children's "first" and sometimes second playdates - toting siblings as well. I would simply say to the parent something like "great we'll be there at..." and just simply stay-that way you can answer all your own questions about the home and family your child is spending time with. You may even make a new friend yourself by staying and engaging in adult conversation. I now have 3 older children 9,7, and 6, but continue to be concerned about new friends and the unknown-I do ask alot of questions and even ask others who may know the family better than I do. Best of Luck to You
F.V. answers from Lancaster on October 15, 2008
YOU are the Mom so just ask her! She is a Mom too and will understand. It is your right to know that your child will be safe but you also have to relax a little too, just a little :)
M.N. answers from Philadelphia on October 15, 2008
Don't apologize for being a mom:). If something doesn't feel right, trust yourself. Maybe you can meet at a park for a picnic or you can say something about your daughter being uncomfortable in new situations and so you guys try out other people's houses together initially. Then you can see how this family interacts, disciplines and you can determine if you have any concerns after that. I would hope the other mom will understand this. She is only 4, not even in elementary school. Good luck!
J.Y. answers from Pittsburgh on October 15, 2008
Your child is young. If your gut tells you no, decline the offer. If you want to go with her instead, just hang out until you are comfortable, and prepare an excuse to leave with your daughter if the situation is not comfortable.
A.S. answers from Pittsburgh on October 15, 2008
Go with your instincts. You mentioned about not knowing much about this woman's lifestyle and it is your responsibility to protect your child. Better to be safe than sorry. I wouldn't try to invite myself-that is going to be awkward and probably not possible, but I would just explain to your child that you have something else fun to do that night and do it! So your daughter doesn't feel like she's missing out...plan a fun family night out and maybe even start a tradition. In this day and age...I don't think you can ever be too cautious. Just my opinion. :0)