Do I Tell Another Mom That I Don't Want to "Rekindle" Play Dates?

Updated on May 16, 2012
3.B. asks from Tampa, FL
25 answers

A few months ago I had our last playdate w/ a friend and her son who's the same age as my almost four year old. It went badly. My son had scratch marks on his face and chest from her son, long story short i had only witnessed my son hitting back, so they were pulled away from each other and we left shortly after. When we got home and I saw the scratches under his shirt, I had asked whta happened and he explained this other boy had been hitting and scratching him, and when I disciplined my son he had been defending himself. Which we have told him is allowed to do if he is getting hurt by someone else.

Anyways, this is NOT the first time there's been issues with her son hitting and BITING mine. The playdates had been further and further apart because of me. I thought if they didn't see each other as often maybe it would get better, and it didn't. Now I'm not one of those head up my butt mom's who thinks my child is never at fault, but is this case. He wasn't. Her son was always the instigator, even pushing down my one year old and snatching things out of his hand etc.
I tried calling her about this and NOT pointing fingers and saying that maybe we should meet on nuetral grounds for awhile and see if that makes things better. Because at this point the kids did ask to play together still. She agreed, but then FOUR hours later emailed me and said we shouldn't get together again for AWHILE. And that something about my son brought the worst in hers because it doesn't do this to ANY OTHER CHILD...? (LOL) ok sure...... ANYWAYS, that really p*ssed me off, and I haven't contacted her since and vice versa. To me, it's a done deal. But now she's been texting wanting to get together, and frankly it's just not going to happen. I won't subject my son to htat again. She took no responsibilty for his behavior, and tried to blame it on my son.
I've nicely tried saying we just have too much going on right now, but I wonder do i just be honest and soomehow nicely say that I am no interested in getting together w/ them anymore? I probably would've wanted to meet her for coffee or something sometime, but to me she crossed the line w/ her comment. I tolerated a lot and pointed no fingers. But yet I don't want to be nasty here. What should I do?

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So What Happened?

As far as my son defending himself...yes he is always supervised. However it is necessary at times to leave the room, be it to go to the bathroom fix lunch get a drink etc. And this seems to be the time this boy would always smack the crap out of him or bite. BUT I have also witnessed this child hit and bite mine many times, while we're in the same room!! So I'm not just assuming who instigates. And usually when asked, they BOTH had the same story that it was this other child.

Featured Answers



answers from Dallas on

If you don't mind hanging out with HER by herself, then you and she can do adult stuff together (if not- that's ok too). Just say you don't think it's a good idea to continue play dates based on past experience. No blame, it just doesn't end well and you don't want to try to force something to work that isn't.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

"Sorry, Sue, I don't think Bobby and Brian make very good playmates, so I don't want to plan any playdates. Have a nice summer!"

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

I would just say he is pretty booked up right now but you will let her know when it calms down. and then just let it go.

1 mom found this helpful

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answers from San Francisco on

You don't need to be nasty. Just keep saying, no, not right now, we're busy, etc. and she'll get the message.
And perhaps for the future, you probably shouldn't be teaching a four year old how to "defend" himself. He needs to use his words first and come to adults next if the problem is not resolved. He shouldn't be getting into physical fights as a preschooler, it doesn't matter who "started" it! At his age there should be adults around, supervising, guiding and correcting at all times, he shouldn't just be left to fend for himself. Sorry but that is just NOT cool :(

5 moms found this helpful


answers from Albuquerque on

Take the high road. There's nothing to be gained by telling her about all the problems her son has. Just leave it that you're really busy and she'll get the hint. I've been in your shoes before and it took forever for the other mother to figure it out, but she finally did. Her daughter was a nightmare and after one playdate I knew we didn't want another. So I was always "busy".

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Portland on

If you do not want to have play dates then be honest and tell her you do not want to have play dates. If she asks why tell her why. You are not responsible for her feelings. You are responsible for your son's safety.

Of course be diplomatic. Use I statements. "I want my son to feel safe and he doesn't when he plays with your son." Don't blame her son or her. Explain from your view point. "I feel that the play dates end up with the two of them hurting each other." "It looks to me that the two boys are not a good match. They end up hurting each other." You could say that perhaps when the boys are older and better behaved you'll reconsider.

It is possible that your son brings out the worst in her son. Go along with that as the reason for not having play dates. You are not admitting that your son is the instigator. You're admitting that they don't get along which is a good reason to not have play dates.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Los Angeles on

I don't think there was anything to be offended over by her comment. There are always dynamics amongst people and I if she said "your son brought the worst out of him." I don't think she intended it to blame, but rather she was probably embarrassed. Normally I'd say just blow them off, but since the whole problem has already been aired, I think its would be a good idea to respectfully state that you just don't care for the dynamic and don't plan to have them get together anymore.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Houston on

I think that she gave you the perfect out to use if she persists--your son brings out the worst in hers. Sometimes that actually is the case with people, so you can keep a straight face when you remind her. If you're not comfortable with that, and she isn't opening the door to address what happened before, then just keep being busy.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Madison on

Not sure what to do in your situation cause you only give the tidbits of it...but I gather that you really don't know what happened a lot of those times because you were unaware of the bigger problem until you got home...and then you believe what your young child says but you never saw! And you say you only say him hiting the other cannot really put judgement on a child or a parent when you don't take the time to sit in and watch.

Maybe he doesn't do this to other kids, maybe your son is doing something that causes the boy to get mad, maybe they just butt heads (my neighbors middle son and my son for some reason have it out for each other, but get along with the other siblings.

But yes, if you don't feel comfortable around them then don't get together, but I would drop the anger over the other moms comment...not worth the continuing anger.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Houston on

I would just say that the kids not playing has worked well for your son and you feel that it would not be a good idea at this time to start up the play dates.

My thought is that others have had issues with her kid and now she is running out of people for playdates.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Minneapolis on

You can just tell her that your son isn't interested in more playdates with hers because of all the fighting the last time. And say, sorry, they don't really click together as playmates. You can save face a little for her by not blaming her son for his aggression in your conversation. It still sends a message if your child behaves that way, other children aren't going to want to play.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Los Angeles on

Be honest, she sure didn't hold back what she thought with you did she? With people like that i have no problem telling it like it is. That would irritate me too how she tried to put the blame on your son. No need to be nasty, just tell her basically what you said here.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Dayton on

Just keep telling her you have too much going on, she will eventually figure it out. Otherwise if you tell her how you feel her kid acts, then she will get up in arms and tell you again about your kids, and really nothing positive will come of it.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

i don't know why you're pissed off at her for saying something that's clearly true, that her son behaves badly around yours. if you're expecting her to abase herself, you might as well end the friendship. her perspective on this is bound to be a little different from yours. i'm sure if she were here telling the story, we'd get a different picture.
i don't know that i agree that it's 'nice' to keep making excuses that aren't true. if it were me i'd absolutely make a moms-only date, because i don't think she crossed some terrible line. but if that's your threshold, there it is. you don't want to get together with either one of them, so the courteous and correct thing to do is to say so, which can be done forthrightly without being rude. 'at this point in time it's just not working out for us and our kids. have a great summer!'

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Honolulu on

Just tell her you do not think it is a good idea, based on past incidents.

AND maybe she is contacting you again for play-dates, because, NO ONE wants to get together with her son.

You do not have to get together with her to "explain."
Nor would I want to continue a friendship with her.
It is not about being "nasty" or not. It is just having common sense.
You do what is best, for yourself and your son.
You do not owe her anything.

Put it this way: I used to babysit a Toddler, that used to do that to my daughter, who was also the same age at the time.
And I.... quit, babysitting that girl. I nicely and fully explained to her parents what was going on, showed them the scratches and bite marks on my own daughter... and my daughter would try and defend herself. I saw it with my own eyes. My daughter was miserable, though she tried to be nice to that girl whom I babysat. BUT.... I quit... babysitting that girl. With no apologies. That girl and mine, did NOT get along. And the parents though, did admit that their daughter was very.... "bossy" and a jealous type.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Milwaukee on

I would just be honest with her. A friend just cut me out a few months ago. Started with the, "well things have been really busy" excuse and haven't talked to her since. And I truly considered her a very good friend, our kids didn't get along the best, hers was a HUGE bully. But I've never had a problem sharing my feelings with her. Example: at her house, the minute we walk through the door her daughter pulling my daughter's hair, pushing, and absolute last straw for me was when I saw her daughter's hands around my daughter's neck. The mom said she was "tickling" her but I just said we do not tickle each other like that and all this mom said was, they don't play like that at home honey! what? So instead of stringing her along I would be as honest with her as she was with you and just be done. Then both parties know why the friendship/playdates are ending.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Indianapolis on

I would ask her why she wants to get together when your sons don't get along especially since she thinks its your sons fault. I would tell her that I am not interested because they just don't get along and you are tired of your son coming away from the play date injured.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Toledo on

I suggest saying that you ran the idea by your son and he wasn't interested. Mabe this mom wants your friendship more than the playdate. If you want to be friends with the mom, arrange something with her away from kids.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Phoenix on

Her true colors have arleady shown & she is not willing admit fault or discipline her child, so nothing has changed.

Tell her that you can't continue to force your child to play with a kid that mistreats him and just plain doesn't seem to like him all that much, and that you think the friendship has run it's course.

I wil never understand why any parent would continually tolerate this, when they wouldn't let one of their own friends treat them in that manner. Say your peace & move on.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Syracuse on

I posted a question just like this about a week ago, same scenario. I would just say you think it would be best if they didn't have play dates for now. Be happy you have an out, her email comments about the situation- nip it in the bud.



answers from Charlotte on

Just let it go. Don't talk about it with her. You tried already, remember? Instead of any admission of responsibility on her own side's part, she just blamed it all on your son.

It IS a done deal, but if you tell her that, then she will just be mean to you. Instead of giving her a chance to cross the line again, just be "busy".

Besides, people like her NEVER see where they are in the wrong. She could have the equivalent of 50 people telling her she is wrong (like on this site with flowers galore expressing that opinion) and she wouldn't listen anyway. Some people just have to learn the hard way.



answers from Los Angeles on

If she asks you could say you feel it's best for both boys they don't have any more playdates and leave it at that. Otherwise I wouldn't bother.



answers from Tulsa on

Don't do a playdate. I would tell her during your break you found others to play with and there is not any problem. Your kids just don't click.


answers from Philadelphia on

Ha we had the EXACT situatution happen (minus my daughter defnding herself) and I kinda emailed the mom after she kept persisting we do halloween and told her I didn't trust her son around my daughter (he bagan to push her off hugh things and hit M. when I tried to take away an object he was hitting her with once---picture M. wrestling(nicely=-more J. trying to take with him pulling it back) a toy oput of a 4 year olds hands while he is trying to hit my kid and hits M., while the mom J. sits there- then he cries and she consoles him). So honestly I didn';t trust him and felt i was subjecting my daughter to it J. because I liked them so much. So anywho I emailed basically telling them their kid was unsafe, the mom agreed, and said shed feel the same, the dad called M. up and cursed M. out and said Emmy instigated him and he liked her too much and thats why he hits her...anywho I ruined a potential friendship with a couple i liked J. to get my point accross.

You have to decide if you're going to run into this mom again and want her to gossip about you. I'd J. tell her exactly what she told you and say you'd like to keep holding off on playdates but if she'd like to get together without the kids that would be fine. She wanst blaming your child J. stating for some reason your son sets her son off in a bad way. I don't think thats justifying the bahviour. She was J. saying he's nopt bad with other kids. Any mom would defnd her a kid a little



answers from Denver on

I think i would just leave it alone so you dont shut her out of your life (if thats a concern for you!) i have an issue with my 3yr old son being bullied by his 10 yr old cousin and i know the feelin of AHH! what do i do! But i suggust with your situation to play nice with the other mom because she is going to be defensive about her son (even if he is the one causing the trouble) as are you! so there is kind of no winning.when she does ask tell her since the "boys" were fighting lets give it more time so she doesnt think your putting all the blame on her son.

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