Do Playdates Include Siblings? Edited

Updated on September 20, 2010
M.C. asks from Des Moines, IA
21 answers

In our group of moms, we have one with twins who requires both to be invited. I totally agree as they are twins and everyone accepts this. I have an only child, but I don't care if siblings come or not because we are doing it more like babysiting. Originally about half of us had jobs that required us to work an occasional night or to go in at the last minute. I dont' feel a bit bad about asking one of these moms to watch my daughter as I have and would do the same for her.

Another mom has a girl two years younger who she now requires to be included in playdates. Because I adore the girl and she is no problem at all, I do have her over everytime. Several moms won't invite the sister because of this rule so she is getting left out.

Two moms have a no sibling rule now. They say every child deserves her own friends and the younger ones should learn they don't get to do everything the older ones do.

How do you all see this? The girls are now in third grade mostly. We have been doing drop off for over 3 years among moms who lived on the same street during kindergarten. Some of us have moved, but we still do playdates which are kind of like babysitting in that it gives us time to shop or clean without our kids around. Occasionally we all meet at a park and the moms vent.

We always just let the twins and the little sisters come along without it being an issue until this year. We invited other moms to do playdates and they really have a problemm with siblings coming along. One mom announced it was tough and her younger daughter and the others would just have to learn to live with it. I have been having playdates for one girl and her sister andn not inviting the others because I am actually babysitting for her when she works. I wanted to call other girls, but I am going to have the little sister and two of the new moms are adamant against mixing the ages.

What can I do next?

  • Add yourAnswer own comment
  • Ask your own question Add Question
  • Join the Mamapedia community Mamapedia
  • as inappropriate
  • this with your friends

So What Happened?

I am going to keep inviting the whole family of kids because it is more like a babysitting group.

Featured Answers



answers from Milwaukee on

I agree that kids need their own friends. I had a friend, years ago, that insisted that the younger sibling be invited, so I stopped inviting any of them. I am not a babysitter for siblings when my kids want friends over.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from La Crosse on

Play dates are for ifs and or buts about it. If a parent insists on both kids attending...then that parent should also realize it is babysitting not a playdate and pay accordingly. Three can be a crowd...and it can be especially hard when the crowd is made of a smaller child the other kids do not want to willingly play with. Smaller children can easily become a target.

More Answers



answers from Sioux Falls on

Go ahead and follow the rule of no siblings for the group stuff.

But remember
you are in charge of your home

If you are the only one that invigtes the younger sibling, so be it.
The others may not ahve the room or the patients to have one more child in the mix.
If you folloow the rule for yoru daughter attending the other homes, you can invite whomever you want to your own.

You may be teaching your dayughter several things also.
How to make her own decisions.
How to care for someone even if others are ready to exclude them.
How to respect a group decision without giving up your own beliefs.

Have a great day

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

Siblings are not to be included in a play date unless the parent invited the sibling along with the friend. Also, I disagree w/ the twins going together. My son has a friend that is a twin. His mom always makes his twin brother come over for play dates and sleepovers. My son doesn't really care for his twin and now he doesn't invite the one he does like over anymore b/c his twin always has to come. Twins are separate people they aren't conjoined and shouldn't do everything together, as well burden a parent/child to HAVE to HAVE both over just b/c they were in the same womb.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Port St. Lucie on

I feel only the child invited should attend.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Lincoln on

In that case, maybe the two new moms are not a good match for you play date circle. Instead of changing the rules of your group to suit them, maybe it would be better if they found another group to join.

Personally I would invite the kids over and let it be known siblings are welcome. If the new moms choose not to come, their loss and not my problem.

I would be sorry to hurt the new moms feelings, but the fact is this group worked fine just the way it was and there seems to be no reason to change.

In my personal opinion this is more of a babysitting group for the moms. Generally speaking, 3rd graders do not really need play dates. By 3rd grade kids are able to pick their own friends and make their own arrangements to play with them, so my guess is the group is more for shared babysitting.

Keep inviting the siblings, the other moms will weed themselves out. Sorry you have some real party poo pooers.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Modesto on

I would tend to go with "every child deserves her own friends". Unless the siblings are very close and totally like hangin out with each other and they share the same friends. If some playdates seem to be turning into "babysitting someones kids that are not old enough to be on this certain playdate" I can see where animosities would arise.



answers from Chicago on

I think this can be a real tough one. I have to boys, aged 8 and 5 and they play a lot together. Sometimes, when kids from the neighborhood come over to ask my older son for a playdate, I usually end up with my younger really disappointed if he cannot tag along. I usually end up inviting the kid to come play at our house instead.
Another thing is that my older son wants his younger brother to come along. He even asks me if I can ask his friends mother if his brother can come along. I don't really like to ask, but sometimes I do it anyways, especially when they have been playing together at home and the playdate is a short notice "can you come over right now?"
So basically, when playdates are arranged in advance then only the person invited goes to the playdate. When they are short notice, interrupting brotherly play, I sometimes ask that both can go. When they were younger and I had to stay, I always brought the little one along. I would find it strange, if someone expected me to stay but leave my other child with someone else.



answers from San Francisco on

I think it depends- are you leaving your kids at the other ones house? Or are you staying and they are having a playdate together at the park etc.? I agree that kids should have their own friends but I also don't like the fact that others will get left out. I think it is up to the parents inviting if they invite the other child. Especially if they are going to have to watch both kids at their house. If it is in a public area like a park and the parents of the kids are going to be there- then bringing siblings along is fine.

Tough question though- its hard to know what the right thing to do is. I guess just decide as you go along. In our group of friends- playdates always include siblings and there hasn't been any issue with it.




answers from New York on

I think a playdate should be just with a friend not the friends sibling that's babysitting not playing. Younger children require more supervision and I don't think that is fair to put on another person, like I said it is babysitting. Children do not want their siblings tagging along when playing with a friend, they can do that at home. I think they deserve their own special play time with friends. The twins I get because they are all the same age with the same interests.


answers from Austin on

Honestly, if it came down to taking both children to a playdate or having to find a babysitter to watch the sibling, then the invited child is not going to the playdate. My daughter is only 4; I stay the whole time at the playdate, not drop my kid off without me there. I understand that it would be rude for siblings to attend a birthday party, but a regular ol' playdate does not strike me as a 'special event'.



answers from Tulsa on

This is more just shared babysitting than a play date. To me a playdate is where the moms and whatever kids get together at a pre-determined place and sit around and let the kids play. Since moms watch their own kids it is no ones business what kids they bring. It is usually open to anyone who wants to participate.

if this is really just a rotating, shared babysitting then by all means the mom with the kids at her house has the right to say who comes or not.

If my child is invited to a birthday party that I am staying at then who ever I am responsible for has to come with me, whether I have 6 kids or just 2. I am not going to pay a babysitter so I can go to a playdate or party.

If I am leaving a child at someones house and not staying then I would think taking the children not invited with me would be expected.



answers from Minneapolis on

Hostesses preference rules. Personally, I would NOT want to entertain my child's friends' younger sibs if it were a playdate for the older girls, but I would do a babysitting favor for a friend if asked. Playdates and babysitting are 2 different arrangments. Playdates totally for the social needs of the child, babysitting is for the needs of the parents.



answers from Raleigh on

If I drop off my 5 1/2 year at his friends houses then it's just him, if I go and stay then my 3 1/2 y o comes along . Same thing with my friends.



answers from Boston on

it depends. If the child is old enough to be dropped off then only the one that was invited should go but if a parent has to stay it would be silly to expect them to get a sitter for their other child so that they can go to the play date w/ just one. As for twins a little away time from each other is probably healthy so I don't see the big deal about only having one over unless of course a parent is staying.
Edited: Third grade is definitely old enough for the child to go alone. I know if I had tagged along to my older sister's playdates not only would I have been left out my sister probably wouldn't have been invited over again. Unless I am actually babysitting if my oldest has a friend over I don't make them include his little brother in everything. Kids need their own friends. I also think by third grade that its okay to only invite over one twin.



answers from Philadelphia on

Well it depends is the mom dropping off the child or coming inside for the playdate. If she is also coming inside the other moms are not using their common sense what is she going to do with her? I would not get a babysitter to go to a playdate.
I think those moms need to lighten up.
They are just plain goofy I am guessing these moms only have 1 child ea. Well I have 3 kids. When we go somewhere they all come if they are home from school.
I would find some other friends.



answers from Duluth on

I have a 6 year old and a three year old. My 6 gets invited to all the neighbors' houses because the kids there are 5 and 7. Sometimes, when they invite my older over, they just invite him, and that's fine. Dad is a SAHD, so I don't invite myself over when my kid has a playdate, at least not regularly. Sometimes, I will bring my younger over, and I come to supervise him, especially if they are playing outside, on the trampoline or riding bikes--doing something where my younger is not "in the way". I also know this neighbor's groups of friends; quite a few of their friends have kids that are older (6,7) and younger (2,3) and the kids are expected to learn respect and tolerance for the younger children. I believe that is VERY appropriate. That said, I ALSO think, for my older son's sanity, that he needs time alone with kids his own age. It seems to me that a STRICT rule either way is silly. My younger learns SO MUCH from those older kids, and for the most part, it's really good stuff. :) But to require of my older that he ALWAYS have little brother tagging along? No, that's wrong too. older goes to school...alone. He goes to birthday parties...alone. He goes on more scheduled playdates...alone. He DOES have time alone; when the kids are playing around in the neighborhood, running from house to house, I believe my younger can and should be included most--but not all--the time. And, when my younger IS included, it is MY responsibility to watch him, unless someone has specifically said, "Oh, don't worry, I'll keep an eye on him." He IS three, and is much more of a responsibility than my 6 is.



answers from Rapid City on

I am 18 months younger then my sister. I was upset when she got to go do things without me but she also was resentful of my always having to tag along. It is a no win situation with your group. It is up to the mother of the younger siblings to find play dates for them, not always including them in with the older sibling. It is also up to the parent who is hosting the play date on who is invited. Anyone who invites one twin should include the other since they are the same age and probably all in the same class, but it is not the same for the younger ones.



answers from Houston on

I think in general if the kids are old enough to be dropped off by themselves, then it's whoever you invited over, but if the other mom is staying then it only make sense to bring all her kids. I don't think I would ever expect someone to get a babysitter for their other kids just so one of their kids can play with mine. I also have twins and agree with them both being invited probably at least until school age. Others who don't have twins might disagree, but until they are old enough to understand they don't have to do everything the other one is doing, it just hurts feelings and why do that to yourself or your kids. It's just a choose your battle kind of thing. I also think gender comes into play at some point too but my general rule is why get so worked up over something that is suppose to be fun like a playdate. =)



answers from New York on

I agree with the no sibling rule but I can't tell you how many times one of daughters friends showed up with their brother or sister! It use to bother me because I wanted my daughter to have special one-on-one time with whoever she chose to invite for the playdate, but now (since my son came along) I just roll with it. Once both of my kids had a playdate at my house and each of ther friends ended up bringing a & six kids!!! I does your group enforce these rules?



answers from Los Angeles on

I think it is wrong that the moms are requiring siblings to be included. If you're doing a drop off playdate, the mom hosting should not be expected to include extra children, especially younger ones who may require more care and attention. When I was growing up, none of my friends or I ever brought our siblings along when we went to play with our friends.

The twins is a tricker issue but, honesly, by third grade I don't even think you should be required to involve both. At that age, the girls should be making their own friends. If it happens that they have the same friends and both are included, that's great. But one should not be included as a tag along simply because she's a twin (unless she doesn't really have friends and they are trying to work on her social skills, acceptance, etc).

For Updates and Special Promotions
Follow Us

Related Questions