24 answers

Playdates - Only Child

My daughter is 8, and before her feet hit the ground in the morning, she is asking who can she have a playdate with either after homework or over the coming weekend. We have no kids her age in our neighborhood, and I feel like I am constantly calling other parents to beg them to have a playdate either at my home or theirs. I used to be embarrassed to be so brazen, but I realized if we lived next door, she would be popping over to ring the doorbell to see if Suzie could come out to play. So I feel the phone is our 'doorbell'.

Having said that, it is incredibly rare that anyone calls us for a playdate! My daughter is pretty outgoing, and likes to run the show, but most of her friends also have big personalities and they get along fine. I always feel it's the 'only-child' syndrome and other families don't feel the need to arrange playdates. One of her favorite friends is one of 6 kids, and they can never say yes when we call - they have to think about it and call back, and if they do call back, 90% of the time the answer is no. I think I'm officially shunned from their family for simply asking too much. The little girl actually got grounded for asking while on the phone, because "she knew she was supposed to say she had to check and call back"! I want so badly to tell them that, even as I can't fathom juggling 6 kids and schedules, they can't imagine how hard it is to watch one child's heart sink over and over and over.

To make matters worse, the class reshuffling this year left her with all new classmates, and her class eats lunch at the complete opposite end of the lunchroom, so she can't even see her old friends at lunchtime - only PE and occasionally recess. I'm trying so hard to urge her to 'make new friends', but that has gotten very old very quick as the other friendships in her new class are long established and not yet welcoming of her. I'm trying hard to try to set playdates with the new kids, but no luck even getting phone numbers yet! Now we got called in for a teacher conference because she's been acting out trying to get attention in her new class.

Anyway, I wonder how often other people set playdates or have kids over? Or perhaps i have to face the cold hard truth that maybe they just don't like her or us? I am going to investigate some other activities in the area the might introduce her to kids from different schools or grades.

Thank you!

What can I do next?

Featured Answers

I have twins so my girls have not had that same problem. We are, however, on the other side of the situation. We live in Fort Worth and my girls have become friends with a girl (only child) from South Arlington/Mansfield area. The girls met in acting class which is in Weatherford. What we do sometimes, including last night, is go for dinner after class in Fort Worth. Last night my girls' school was having a fundraiser night at Chuck E Cheese. The other girl and her mother came too, and they ended up inviting another friend of my daughters to her birthday party this weekend.

So the other little girl is really expanding her circle of friends. Plus, I have become friends with her parents and we all went to their family Memorial Day party earlier this year. We usually do dinner after class (we like to hit Rosa's Taco Tuesday) about once a month and a weekend playdate once a month.

Just get her out there and involved with other activities. Find something she enjoys dance, soccer, karate, etc and she will make friends.

1 mom found this helpful

Sounds like maybe you need to get her into some athletics to find another outlet for her energy. It is also a good idea to maybe start encouaging her to do some things on her own. I was an only child so I very comfortable as an adult at entertaining myself. I know this is probably harder on you than her but remember part of parenting is letting her work on her own problems.
She will not always be able to be with someone else.

1 mom found this helpful

More Answers

Truth is, we only do play dates during the summer months, if we have time. During school we not only have school and homework, but so many other activities (sports, scouts, ect), that any time we have left we keep for us, for family time. We do have 2 boys close in age, so we do not worry about social interaction for them anyway, but with all the activities and school, they get a ton of time with kids their own age without us having to find time for a play date. We have such a hard time finding time to be a family during the school year, that although my heart may break for the single child down the street that often knocks on our door, we more often than not have to say no.

5 moms found this helpful

Maybe it is not that they dont like your daughter but that they are just into what they have going on within the household the parents and the children. I do think that it would be a good idea to get her involved in activities in the area and then she will meet friends there.

4 moms found this helpful

I have an only child too who is six. I haven't made much of an effort to do play dates, but I have signed her up for activities like theater.

My daughter goes to a theater class with a girl from school who is not in her class. The girl comes to our house for dinner once a week after the theater class. Her family (parents and two siblings) lives in Allen and we are in Dallas, so by the time the mom comes to get her, the girls have eaten and had a little time to play. This has worked out well and has led to a nice friendship.

I think people get busy so going the activity route might be better. Maybe your daughter could ask around to see what activities kids in her class are doing and then find one she can join so she can get to know the kids?

Good luck!

2 moms found this helpful

I think activities would be better than play dates at this stage in her life. Dance classes, acting classes, cheerleading, swimming, karate, and gymnastics too. All are great arenas for making friends and learning something new. Also going places like parks with playgrounds, may also help her get to know some other children. We also have a girls' group (Daughters of Destiny) at the church, Sunday School, and movie night. These activities are designed for the children to have fun as they grow in faith together. You may want to check your local churches to see if they offer anything. I hope this helps your little social butterfly.

2 moms found this helpful

Try having her get in after school activities....
enroll her in other things... dance classes, martial arts, art classes, music classes etc. ANYTHING, that is just for her... and her interests.
Thus, you will not be dependent on others, to entertain her... and she will learn how to socialize... with others, and make new friends.

Also just explain to her... that not all kids/families can come out to play, just because she wants to.
People have lives and other commitments and schedules.
Your daughter is 8.... years old.... and she can certainly understand that concept.
Explain to her..... openly.
But I would really enroll her in extra curricular activities....

2 moms found this helpful

well your best bet is to get a list of her classmates phone numbers and have her pick someone to either have come over after school or for the weekend. my lil brother is 8 yrs old will be 9 in november and we live in a neighbor hood with no kids. so we got him involved in football and we have some of the football kids come over on the weekends after football or he goes to there house

2 moms found this helpful

Most families are just too busy for playdates during the school year. Our 7 yr old son plays baseball and our 4 yr old twins play softball. With practices and games we are at home one night during the week. On the weekend we spend time as a family or do work around the house. We don't have any kids nearby either so it would be a big deal to arrange a playdate.
The worst thing you can do is allow your daughter to feel sorry for herself over this. This is the age when they really begin wanting approval from their peers and feeling rejected is tough. I would suggest that you tell her that you prefer that she not have playdates during
the week. This takes the pressure and disappointment over not having frequent playdates off her. Then if someone asks her
over during the week, you can "bend the
rules". Does that make sense? Then make arrangements for a friend to come over during the weekend without the expectation they will call your daughter for a playdate. Just be thankful for the time she has with that friend.

1 mom found this helpful

I prefer playdate and just having kids over. The problem is most people ..at least where I reside don't share the same opinion. Most people I know have their kids in way too many activites. Don't get me wrong we do the activities but everything is so scheduled. Don't get me wrong I am organized and believe in schedules.
Its not you its how the society is now a days. I have 3 kids. Most of the time they are having kids over here but they are invited over other kids houses.
This stuff confuses me half the time. I have a neighbor on my cul-de-sac.She comes across very pleasant with very nice kids. Her kids and my kids play very nicely together never any conflict. She always has one reason or another why her kids can't play. It hurts my feelings. My kids don't understand why these kids never play with them. My kids are very well behaved so I don't think its that. To my face she seems very polite..I don't understand but I am never going to try to have her kids again. Also my oldest takes tennis. My middle son takes twae kwon do and soccer. My youngest and my daughter takes soccer,ballet and gymnastics..but once again I would have them in less activites if kids in general were more available.

1 mom found this helpful

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