29 answers

Playdates, How to Get Other Parents to Reciprocate.

I am proactive to say the least in organizing play dates at our house for friends of my children ages 6 and 4. I would like to know of an appropriate way to get other parents to reciprocate. I am flattered and happy for my children that their friends love coming to our home....but, I would love for them to get to their friends houses for a play date or two sometimes! I am not above just saying as their child is resisting the time to go home to say"hey, it is ok maybe next time you can show (my kids) all of your fun toys" What do you suggest ladies?

What can I do next?

So What Happened?™

Thanks girls for all of your responses, some sassy, some sensible, all very well received. In the future I will still host playdates and I like the idea of meeting the other moms and kids at the park, zoo, or mommy/me sports which we always did.I actually failed to mention the reason for my question/dilemma. I had major Surgery two weeks ago, in the hospital one week and been home since on bedrest with daily nurse visits. I do not want my children to not have playdates and so I have organized them and My husband has been overseeing them and most of the parents know this. Thanks again for your insight, you mommies rock!

Featured Answers

Hello! I find it best to call a parent and ask to schedule two playdates. I ask them a good day for their child to play at my house and also schedule a playdate for the kids to play at their house. If you call and say "let's schedule two playdates so each child has a chance to host", most parents will agree to this idea.

2 moms found this helpful

Do the other Mothers stay while you have play dates? If not maybe you are just a free babysitter. Maybe next time you could suggest a picnic in the park where the Mother will have to stay. How well do you know the other mothers? When my child was that age my husband was a plant manager and worked night shift so we could not have company when he was at home and sleeping. I would invite everyone to meet at the park and I would provide snacks and lunch for everyone.

1 mom found this helpful

I think you have some fantastic advise in previous responses. The only other thing I can think of is to have a sign up sheet. Make a list of upcoming play dates and have it out on the counter and ask people if they're interested in taking a date and then allow them to sign up.

1 mom found this helpful

More Answers

I am on the other side of this issue. My child is the one that always goes to another child's house and can I just say thank you to the moms who do this. Part of the reason why kids never came to my house was because I made the kids play outside. We did not have television, video games, and other electronic toys to play with. We also have a big dog though gentle she can be very scary to the little ones. Lastly, we now live with my mother who is completely intolerant of us being here, let alone some one else's kids. So...sometimes the reasons we don't reciprocate are the kids don't want to be at our house, or we can't. With that said, I do appreciate the families that do open their houses to my son.

4 moms found this helpful

We are the house on the block that all the kids come to - I love it. We are the only ones that have sleepovers with 3-5 boys - when the parents drop them off, they always say, "You're brave". It doesn't bother me b/c I'm aware most parents just don't like having a bunch of kids in the house. Heck, there are some parents that don't like their own kids being at home. Some parents just aren't comfortable with kids being over or their home may not be kid friendly, as far as things to do. I'm not one of those women that just loves kids either but I really like 'my' boys and they have made good choices with the friends they have picked. You may have to accept that reciprocation may not happen and move on. I would suggest to sit back and enjoy that your kids and their friends like being at your house.

3 moms found this helpful

I'm the same way... and some friends of ours are like that too.

For me, I don't expect it. It doesn't bother me. I know it is not personal.
And one Mom/my friend even told me sorry for not inviting us over too, but their house is very small and they simply don't have room for inviting kids.... and I know its true. They don't even have enough bedrooms in their home, and they sleep in the living room etc. She is embarrassed by their living quarters... and that's okay.

When my daughter asks "why" we don't go to their house too... I just tell her its okay... they are our friends and some Moms are not able to have things at their house for personal reasons. Its fine and we can invite them over instead. And we do.
I am always the one who has lots of play-dates for my kids... and its okay. And my kids grow up knowing that their Mommy does this... and they can invite their friends any time. My kids friends, LOVE coming over... and I don't mind being the Mommy that is the play-date place.
That is the way I grew up and what my parents did for me too as a child.
Its okay. My daughter even tells me "thank you Mommy for having my friends over"... and to me, that is the BIGGER lesson for a child.

All the best,

3 moms found this helpful

I would suggest that you stop having playdates at your house if it is causing you to feel resentful toward the parents of the children you invite. You should be doing it for YOUR kids to enjoy having their friends over. You can't pressure people into having playdates at their house, its RUDE. You have no idea what their situation is. There are dozens of very PERSONAL reasons they may not invite your kids over for a playdate. They could range from small home, abusive home, dirty home, hoarders, they live with grandparents who dont tolerate visitors, they have 10people in a 2 bedroom house, they have no toys, who knows but it is not your place to put them in the embarrassing position to explain something that could be painful or shameful. Try looking at it from a perspective other than your own for a moment. When you do good things with good intentions it always comes back to you. Not always when and how you think it should.

2 moms found this helpful

Hello! I find it best to call a parent and ask to schedule two playdates. I ask them a good day for their child to play at my house and also schedule a playdate for the kids to play at their house. If you call and say "let's schedule two playdates so each child has a chance to host", most parents will agree to this idea.

2 moms found this helpful

I am also on the other side of the playdate equation. We have a tiny house (700 sq feet). When I start having a playdate friendship we always invite our friends over - but usually they prefer meeting at their (bigger) homes, where there is just more room (and stuff) to play.
Because of our limited space, and because I feel it's unnecessary, my daughter also doesn't have a boatload of toys. There is enough for her to play with and she gets an additional choice of toys since she attends daycare, but having more than one child over is pushing it at our place.

I would also not underestimate possible economic differences in their hesitancy to invite you. We live comfortably, but having seen the houses of some of our playmates, I do sometimes feel a little intimidated inviting them over, knowing I don't have that kind of nice place or toys to offer.

2 moms found this helpful

I am in the same boat. I have 1 child and have a nice yard with a pool & trampoline. Children enjoy coming over and my son loves it. However. These same children will invite other children over to play but not mine. so the to small of a house, not enough things to play with at their house is baloney in my case. I do not find it rude to expect reciprocation at some point. I find it RUDE not to. They could invite my child to go to the park or playground if they do not want to host at their house. What do they do all day with their kids if they are not at my house? I like the the straight forward approach of scheduling 2 play dates. Thank you!

1 mom found this helpful

I think saying "maybe next time you can show..." like you said is appropriate. I will say that some people seem to do better at having kids at their house than others. I always feel like I don't reciprocate playdates as much as I'd like to, but I have a 2 year old and then a 10 and 8 year old, so the big kids always want friends over and it just isn't always easy. I would also say that my 10 year old gets invited over to a friends house, let's call her Sally, and when I say she can have a friend to our house, Sally is not in her top 3-4 of people she wants to invite over. I mention Sally sometimes, but I don't want to force her to invite Sally when she'd really rather play with someone else. So just know that some people don't do playdates as well.

1 mom found this helpful

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