Daugther's Friend Coming over Who Gets Bored Easily

Updated on October 07, 2013
E.P. asks from Tampa, FL
25 answers

How would you handle this situation? Your daughter's friend has only been to your house 2 times. Those 2 times, she gets bored after 10-30 minutes and wants to go back to her house. She wants your daughter to come with her to play over there. They have a pool, chickens, a cute dog, the bigger, cleaner house, no brothers. Your daughter begs you to go.

You invited the girl over to YOUR house, the Mom is thrilled because she gets a break and has a baby to watch and take of. What do you say to the little girl when she wants to leave your house?

What's a good way to handle that? Both girls are going to say it's ok with the other mom even if it isn't. And that mom is too polite to say no.

This friend is coming over today after school. Polite suggestions appreciated. Please no put downs of my mothering abilities.

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So What Happened?

Thanks! Helpful advice, indeed! The mom must have talked to her daughter because she said she could stayed 2 1/2 hrs. The mom asked me if it was alright if she ran an errand while her daughter was here.

The girls played dolls for a little while, then we did play doh (which didn't last long), then eventually hide and go seek (again, didn't last long), then my older son got her and my kids involved with kickball. She kept wanting to go on the computer and play a game that my younger son was playing earlier. I kept suggesting games every time she wandered back to the computer. I wondered why she was so drawn to it. Maybe she doesn't get to play computer much at home? Or she couldn't figure out what to do.

Anyway, the playdate went fairly well, but I had to work at keeping them busy. I was tired afterwards.

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answers from San Francisco on

I would just be honest with the girls. Say look, play dates go both ways. Sometimes you play here, sometimes there. That's what's fair to the moms. When they get "bored" tell them to use their imaginations. Or offer some chores for them to do, I bet THAT gets them moving!

5 moms found this helpful

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answers from Fargo on

You can just cheerfully say, "We are playing here today. What can you find to do?"

There is nothing wrong with your house. My sister had a tiny, cluttered house with no pool or pets and the entire neighborhood hung out at her house. The kids used the imaginations and had fun all their waking hours. The problem isn't you or your house......I suspect the problem is that the friend has always been allowed to rule the roost at her home.

I hope the kids have fun! Stand firm! :)

6 moms found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

Many kids think that their own houses are more fun, while other kids think that going to someone else's house is more fun. Sounds like you got the combo of a girl who thinks her house is more fun, and your daughter who thinks that going to someone else's house is a novelty.

When the girl's friend wants to leave, you just simply say "I'm sorry, but we've invited you over here to play today. Let's find something to do here." Then you'll have to help them find something fun to do.

If the girl insists on leaving, you can say "I'm sorry you want to go home. I will take you home if you want to go, but my daughter won't be playing with you any more today since we were planning on a playdate here."

You can be kind but firm about it. My daughter ALWAYS wants to go to someone else's house (because of the novelty of it) but I know that we need to reciprocate so that's what I do when she begs to go to her friend's house and her friend is standing right there and may want to go as well.

I also try to make sure I give her good ideas of things to play or do while her friend is here.

By making it clear that the playdate is at YOUR house (in a nice way of course) the girls will probably find something fun to do.

Sometimes my daughter would ask a friend to bring over some of her toys (or crafts) so that they could do things together. My daughter loves those loom bands so her friend always brings over their bands and loom and they make bracelets together. When they were younger they'd bring over their American Girl Dolls and play together.

Good luck!

6 moms found this helpful


answers from Honolulu on

Kids, don't make plans.
The Moms, do.
ie: when the girl says that she rather go back to her house and take your daughter with her, you tell her no, the play date is at your house.
But if she wants to leave your house, fine, You will take her back home, but your daughter is staying home. And that's that.
And, if there is any change of plans, both Moms have to agree first. Since the play date is at your house, the other girl's Mom, has her own plans now, too.
On the few occasions when that has happened at our house, (my daughter has a friend that gets bored easily), I tell her "No, your Mom has plans now, you are here, and she needs to get things done..." and I call that other Mom, and I tell her her daughter is "bored" and says she wants to play date back at her house. The other Mom then says "That's my daughter! Bored. Too bad. Tell her no, I am busy. I will pick her up at the planned time."
And I tell the girl "have fun while you are here. Its not like you can come here everyday. So be positive."

How old are your daughter and her friend?
My daughter is 10.
They can entertain themselves. At least my daughter is very good at that. And when her boring friend comes over, well, I do not cater to it.
My daughter and she, will sometimes just hang out. I may make suggestions, but the girl is such the picky person. So oh well. So then I tell her "Well, you both can just hang out and stare into space. You know what we have here, you know what you can do, and its your choice."
But interestingly, both my daughter and she do, have fun. They just like each others company. And the other girl, likes, to come here. Despite her OWN tendency to get bored. That is her problem. But I will not make it into my problem.
And at least my daughter, does not get phased by it or her friend. My daughter laughs about it, says she knows her friend is like that. But they just like to hang out and have each others company. The girl is nice. She just is not good at entertaining herself or using her imagination.

For you, well you can let the girl leave your house when she is bored, take her home.
BUT, your daughter stays home.

There will always be other homes or families, that have more or less than you, and other siblings or not, or other people's homes are neater or bigger or smaller or not. So what.
Friendship is not based on those things.
And having fun, is not based on that either.

6 moms found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

I would say no "X" can't come over today sorry. And if you want to play you have to stay here. You don't say how old your daughter is but maybe you could say your mom needs a break with the new baby so your playing here today. end of conversation. When did it get to be not ok to say no to a kid?

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answers from Washington DC on

Depending on the age of the child, you can say upfront that if they come to your house, they stay in one place for x time. Like an hour. Encourage them to find something to do. You might also talk to the mom and say that you realize she likes to not always host and get a break, but it's hard when her DD doesn't want to stay. Can she enforce the "you stay for an hour" rule? If you back each other up and present a united front to the girls, then I suspect the girls will find amusement in your home.

I understand the allure of a house with stuff and things! but not everything is going to be pizzazz. Encourage your DD, too, to find things to show her friend that she likes in her own home.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

Why don't you talk with the other mom...just say,

"I'm sorry the kids always want to go back to your house....it's more exciting than ours...what should I tell them next time they ask? I'm more than happy to have them stay here."

Just see what she says.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

Is this your eight-year-old daughter? Just checking because age does matter. At eight, some kids are just great at making their own fun and finding things to do, playing without any adult suggestions, etc. But at eight, not all kids are like that. If the girls are expected just to come to your house and told to "go play" they may be at loose ends very quickly.

Is your own daughter good at amusing herself most of the time? Or does she come to you (when on her own) and say she's bored or wants you to suggest something to do or to take her somewhere else because being home is not fun? Again -- she might be good at occupying herself, but if she's not that great at it, it's no wonder she and her friend both might quickly find they don't know how to "just play" without a nudge. And guess what? There's nothing wrong with that; they only need a nudge, not a full-on game plan from you.

So talk to your daughter before this girl comes over (might not be doable today) and have some backup plans. When my daughter was eight we usually would have had some crafts ready to go, and the kids could do them or not -- craft stuff keeps! -- but they would provide an option for me to mention: "Honey, did you tell Jenny that you have a ton of beads and stuff for bracelet making right here?" Show items, kids get interested, kids become occupied, no big deal. Having the outdoor toys where they're visible and accessible, not stuffed in the back of a shed like ours usually are!, can help too. Remind your own daughter of what she's got around like outdoor toys, crafts etc., and if you have time to plan the night before, ask her, "What do you think you'd like to do with Jenny? We have...." Soon she will learn to think up things herself more. That also teaches her to be a good host and to think of what her guest might like.

When Jenny begs to leave after 30 minutes, if the things you and your daughter suggest aren't working, I'd put on a big smile and say firmly: "Jenny, I know you and (daughter) like being at your house but it's (daughter's) turn to host YOU today. You're our guest. There's plenty you both can do here if you try. Your mom is taking this time that you are over here to do some chores and you need to stay here, and so does (daughter). I'll let you know when it's time to go." Then do not engage or debate with her and swiftly turn them both outside: "Daugher, you know where the jump rope and balls are. And you can take out a stack of paper and markers if you want. I will break out the cookies once you both come in with two drawings each" or what the heck ever gets them outside and occupied. (Or even better, have THEM make and bake the cookies or whatever. You might find that Jenny doesn't do things like that at home....)

Be firm, be swift, no debate or arguments endured, every whine or beg is met with a specific suggestion of an activity.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

I haven't read the answers, but was wondering if you have a good enough relationship to talk with the mom and strategize. If HER mom is on the same page, needs the break, and appreciate you having it at your place, make that part of the "no" as well. Don't know if this would work, but it gives a little solidarity on the part of the moms, and makes sure mom gets her break.

And if it's an option to have YOU over to their house so you can enjoy the pool, etc., maybe go that route - kind of like "having the babysitter over while you work from home" kind of a deal for the other mom.

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answers from Huntington on

Yeah, I just say that is not an option, that you already made arrangements for her to play at your house this time, and then give a few options on activities. Sometimes the simplest activities do the trick, too. Like, hide and seek, or I let them go through my craft closet and do arts and crafts, or dress-up in my old clothes, or set up a tent inside.
It seems like some of the things we do as a family often are a novelty to others (like we do a lot of art projects and have tons of craft supplies and those always seem exciting to other kids). Or you could make cookies together or make playdough or something easy and fun like that. Or walk to the park together.
If it continues to be a pattern I probably would not have her over or would start meeting up at a park.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from New York on

She gets bored at your house?! I'm so sorry to hear that your home does not provide her with adequate entertainment!!

No. None of that.

Little Miss Hard-to-please needs to understand that she is there for a planned play-date. Talk to her mother beforehand if possible, to present a "united front".

If you're up for putting on a dog and pony show, in an overblown attempt to keep her engaged, you are a kinder woman than I am. Otherwise, she can just go play with your daughter and figure that stuff out by herself.

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answers from Santa Barbara on

I think if you are involved a bit it could be a lot of fun. I like the fort blanket suggestion. If it is still warm weather, could you do sprinklers in the back yard?

If your house is not 'exciting' is there a park or some place close that you could visit?

I think you mentioned this story in the past and it sounds like things are getting better between you and this girl's family (I thought she did not want to be around your son). Is there a way for him to have a playdate during this time too?

I agree with sticking to the plan of watching the girl so the mom can get time with the baby. Nerving girl has nice suggestion too.

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answers from Chicago on

Knowing that about this little girl, I would probably try to be proactive and have a craft planned for them or why don't you all make cookies or a special treat together that they can enjoy afterwards. I don't know the girls ages but perhaps she's uncomfortable being away from her mom and home and makes up the excuse that she's bored so she can go home. If the playdate is planned to be at your house, then I'd keep it at your house. Just get the girls involved in something and say, "I know my daughter would love to play at your house! Why don't we plan a play date at your house soon." Good luck! I hope all goes well today. :)

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answers from Phoenix on

I would just tell them that today the playdate stays at your house. You didn't mention how old they are, so it's hard to give too many suggestions, but what about making homemade cookies? Or take them to a park? how about chalk on the back patio or in the driveway? Or swing by Michael's and grab a cheap Halloween craft. If you can drive with them, Sonic has 1/2 price slushies from 2 -4 pm. Every once in awhile I will take ours to get one and it's less than $1 a piece and they love it!

Good luck, and stay strong that the playdate stays at your house!

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answers from Chicago on

Be prepared..

Make a Fort - Blankets and a few chairs

Make sun catchers.- wax paper, and old shaved crayons.. sprinkle between the wax paper and iron.

Music.. have a dance party.

Do you have a swing set? If so have them create an obsticle course.. even if you dont have one you can do that with brick, boxes, etc..

Here is the fun one.. Tell her she can not go home until she catches a geico/chemilian .. lol. That will be fun. I tell my 5 year old that all the time, he walks circles around my moms place trying to catch them. (she has a place in Pinellas Park).

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answers from Oklahoma City on

How sad for your little girl. The other girls house sounds really fun and I imagine she was getting to go there. Not that home isn't fun but a pool and other stuff is a huge pull.

I'd tell the little girl, in front of the mother, that if she comes home she has to stay the whole time and she can't go home. It's got to be hard for your little girl to know this girl thinks playing at her own home is a horrible waste of time.

I'd tell the little girl she can't come over anymore if she acted like this again after warning her that she can't go home.

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answers from Detroit on

I think I'd just say no. So you can be the meanie since the other mom is too polite, lol.

That's tough. I hate playdates and we don't tend to do them. Basically child comes over and is then bored very soon (and we have more toys indoor and out than ANYONE I know). But no electronic junk. So the kids of course want to go back to the neighbor's house who has video stuff.

I am actually worried that this child who comes to our house is bored so soon despite a zillion things to play with. I wonder if he is so used to playing video games that at age 7 he does not know how to PLAY? It's scary. I am not saying my child doesn't get bored. He whines about boredom A LOT and wishes he too had video games. But nope. Drives me nuts that kids these days are always bored. Maybe they were back in the day, too, who knows.

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answers from Boston on

I think it depends on how well they know eachother and what mood they are in. My daughters have always been able to play well on their own and with each other, and when they have friends over who they know very well the play just happens. I think because they are not afraid to make suggestions or offended when the friends wants to do something else. When there is a new friend we often have to go to the playground or have a more active schedule planned with crafts and outside chalk or a walk to DD for some muchkins or else a movie to watch if all else fails. I think my kids still make the same suggestions but if the friend is not enthusiastic they do not want to force them to do things they do not like. After suggesting "dolls, playdoh, drawing, making bracelets, putting on make up and doing hair, etc.etc." if nothing creates even a glimmer of a smile, then they come to me with "we don't know what to do". In those cases, I take control and tell them they can look at toys and things at the local CVS after we take a walk there since "I have to get some things anyway (or not - but a walk is always nice). The lack of chemistry has occasionally happened with very good friends that normally would play for hours and beg to stay longer when their mom shows to pick them up. In those cases it is often that one is very tired, or the thing the other hoped to do was already done by the other for hours the day before, etc. Last resort for me is always a short movie with popcorn and a juice and then they usually start chatting and half an hour later they are either ready to go on their own, or half asleep!
If I were you I would get some craft supplies that your own daughter has not seen yet so you can surprise them with a brand new thing to do. We have a large supply of stampers and paper cut outs, so every now and then I will buy a new color of inkpad and some nice paper, and the girls will make birthday cards or just scenes on paper that they like. Just expect to have to entertain them (like a birthday party) and then you might be pleasantly surprised if they get going on their own.

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answers from Orlando on

Think the play date has already passed, but I'd say put a time frame on it. Say for 45 mins - 1-hour so both girls know that they will be at your house for that time. I'd also suggest a structured activity/craft that you know will take at least 30 mins and that will take up most of the time and then the girls would only have 15-30 mins of free play. Hope that helps!

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answers from Portland on

If it were me (and it has been before), I plan ahead. Pretend that I'm scheduling a two-hour playtime and have a few activities at hand.

You can tell them to put on their shoes and 'we're going out for a walk' ... have a fun reason at hand. Scavenger hunt? Make a list of items to look for and check them off. Gathering leaves or flowers to press, or take them back home and use them in an art project.

Have them help you with a baking project.
Beading or getting out stickers and markers and drawing.
Origami? (I stink at origami but you might be a good teacher.)
Pull out a few board games.
Get out some of your old clothes and let them play dress up. Ask the mom if it's okay to do some makeup for one time if that's up their alley.

I love that you are remembering that the parents decide the playdate, where for and how long. Yes, even if the girls say 'but her mom says yes', it's good to just reiterate: "Your mom and I had a plan that you would be at our house until X time and so we're going to stick with it." No further explanation.

@Jenny O. -- I see this happening too with some (not all) kids who are allowed to watch tv/videos whenever they choose. We've had to tell one kid NO a lot-- they always ask to have tv or a movie or game. I always tell them "Oh, we don't watch tv when friends come over. You are here to play." because they NEED to be told. If it's a longer playdate/childcare arrangement, we'll do one short dvd for them to get a break, but then it's back to playing.-- it's good for them, even if they don't know it.

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answers from Gainesville on

How old is the kid? What is your yard like? Can you tell them to invent a game of their own outside? How about looking for outside activity ideas at the Family Fun or Ranger Rick websites?

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answers from Cleveland on

already great advice, 2 points I didn't really see brought up.

it sounds like you and the mom have this arrangement but do the girls really like each other? or is the other girl having some separation anxiety from her mom? just wondering if those pieces might shed some light on why she is doing it.

My suggestion would be maybe if the girl Brings something over to your house, like a craft kit of her own, or a doll of her own. that she will feel like she has a piece of home with her, and since maybe she is used to calling the shots having that to play with would make her feel more powerful and secure. it might cut down on the im boreds since she is the one planning the activities.

good luck and what a nice person you are to help this mama out!

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answers from San Francisco on

Not sure of the age but, sometimes we have to keep them moving. Different crafts or activities. Maybe ask her, Well we just started palying and would really love for you to stay longer...what else would you like to do?
Sadly, unlike when we were kids..these kids have a hard time imagining or coming up with things to "do". We have to try to teach them to be creative and "find" the fun. :)
Good luck! :)

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answers from Orlando on

@Gamma G...." A horrible waste of time?" Gimme a break.
Kids are spoiled rotten with too much entertainment and constant pleasure from things they don't have to create and do. (mine included) I like what all the moms said, so I'm not going to repeat it. Craft, etc...girls usually love that stuff. Plan a couple of things, and the rest is up to them. Tell them to go outside and find cool sticks. That's what I did when I was eight.

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answers from Miami on

I'd be curious to know what the allure is of the other house. I would ask both girls what it is they do over there for playdates. This would give you some ideas that maybe you can copy.

If it's a matter of toys, then get a duffle bag and have the girls pack some toys to transport to your house for the playdate. I don't know how close her mother's house is, but if it is close by, maybe you can still go over and use the pool without interfering with that mom's alone time and then bring the girls back to your place to clean up. If they ask to go inside, simply telling them that Mrs. X is tired and needs a break should do the trick, since kids are always concerned about their parents and anything like tiredness, sadness or sickness stops them dead in their tracks regarding a need for attention.

When I was a kid growing up in Europe, they'd have these arts, crafts and activities books for kids. My friend and I would open the book and follow each chapter and pretend we had our own explorers club (we even created a logo, door sign, club rules, and t-shirts with the logos). The book would call for such things as collecting flowers and leaves from the backyard and pressing them, then checking on them and when they were dry, painting them or putting glitter and making paintings or bookmarks out of them. Also, exploring earthworms and their habits, drawing unusual bugs on the plants, etc. I'm sure there's a kid-appropriate craft book or science kit that they could read and follow for themselves to keep entertained while learning.

By the way, Wal-Mart has great crafts project kits for kids, from a t-shirt tie dye kit to gem stones you can put on jeans or t-shirts, jewelry making kits...maybe you can take the girls there or to Michael's to select the kits that would interest them and that they would actually use at your house while on playdates. I have an ice cream machine, it was inexpensive, and if your kids are old enough, maybe they would enjoy making their own homemade ice cream from scratch, that might be fun (and tasty!).

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