First Real Playdate

Updated on May 21, 2011
J.L. asks from Beverly Hills, CA
13 answers

My six year old son is a sweet, loving child, but has had some trouble making friends. He has just received an invitation for his first real playdate and is super excited. My question is, do I drop him off at his friend's house, and come back later to pick him up, or am I expected to hang around for two hours with the friend's mom? It's a first for both of us, and since he's now at big school, I'm not sure about hanging around. FYI I don't know the other mom, have only spoken to her on the phone.

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answers from Los Angeles on

Personally, I don't leave my daughter at anyone's house without me knowing the entire family. Call me paranoid, but I just won't do it (she's eight). You have no idea what the house looks like or really what type of person this mother is, even if she seems wonderful on the phone.

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answers from Cleveland on

id stay there because you dont know the family at all and you dont know what they are capable of doinh to your kid

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Kalamazoo on

My daughter is 6 and in first grade (7 in July). She is invited to a classmates Bday party this weekend. I rsvp'd by phone and left a message saying who I was and that my daughter and me would see her on Sunday! I have no intent of leaving my daughter at a strangers house just because the kids go to school together! If some reason I couldn't stay then neither would my daughter!

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answers from Honolulu on

You ask the Mom.
Me, I don't mind if the Moms drop their kid off. Nor do I mind if they stay.

So, there is no 'rule' about it.
Just per the Mom hosting it.
So you need to ask.
And then per your child... how he is at being dropped off, or you staying.

And bring a token something to the playdate. Be it snacks or some little thing. Not a 'gift' per say, but just a little something.
Usually, for me, the Moms bring some sort of snack. Bought or homemade. Its just courtesy.
or they ask if they can bring something.

AND this is the first play date at this Mom's house. You don't know her well. So are you comfortable with her level of supervision etc.?
Or just call her and ask!
I did that when my daughter was invited to a friend's house that had a pool. I simply ASKED the Mom, IF she will be there supervising the kids while they are swimming??? Because, my daughter is not a strong swimmer etc. I made it a part of pleasantry conversation.
She took no offense at my asking.
She would do the same thing.
I also ask the other Mom, if "lunch" will be served or only snacks? Then that way, I know. Then I can plan accordingly.

ALSO: with your son, you explain to him, what you expect etc. Does he know your phone number???? ALSO leave your phone number with the Host. Tell your son to call you ANYTIME if he needs to. Its okay etc.
And if he has allergies, you tell that to the Host.

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answers from Sacramento on

For first playdates, I think it's better to hang out for a little bit and just make sure you're okay with everything at the other family's house. The other mom will totally understand - we have all been there.

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answers from Phoenix on

I guess it would be alright. Just tell your son that you'll also want to meet the mom too.. that way, he knows you will also have fun.. I think you are more nervous than he is... LOL.. it'll be alright.. Once he gets comfortable with other kids, he will just go with the flow and even forget you left.. hahaha..

1 mom found this helpful


answers from San Francisco on

Honestly, why don't you meet at a park or somewhere open and fun and get to know the other mom while your sons play. You will most likely feel alot better about playdates and leaving your child if you know the parents and the family more. At least thats what I would do. GL!


1 mom found this helpful


answers from Cleveland on

My kids have been doing solo playdates since they were 4ish. So by 6, I really don't expect or to be honest, want the mother to stay. My daughter recently had a fairly new friend over who had never done anything but school without her mother along. I was dreading if the mom was going to stay the whole time. She's nice and all but 2-3 hours of chit chatting when I had to clean up etc? Luckily she didn't stay and her daughter was fine - didn't want to leave, they had a great time etc. So I wouldn't worry if your son is excited about it. I think what I'd do though is ask the mom if it's ok if you stay for 5 or 10 min as it's his first playdate on his own. Then she might say "oh, stay the whole time!" Then you'll know she actually doesn't want you to leave. If she's like me though, she'll be glad you're not staying but will be happy to have you for awhile. Then you can gauge how your son is. Likely he'll run off with his friend. This girl who recently came didn't even say goodbye to her mom... (she's 6.5)

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

For me the answer depends on what you are both comfortable with and the simple thing to do is ask the other mom if she would like you to stay. Just explain that you are not sure what protocol dictates so you can stay or go depending on what she would be most comfortable with.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Los Angeles on

I agree... I wouldn't leave my son alone at somebody's house if I didn't know them. We've had kids come over for playdates when he was that young, and their parents stayed with them. I was never insulted and totally understood. I would stay for a while and see if you feel comfortable leaving him, and if not, just stay.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Santa Fe on

Just ask the mom! I love it when the other mom can stay...most of the time they cannot. Everyone is just so busy in life. It's fun to get to know my son's classmate's parents :)

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

I've been there. I personally felt more comfortable hanging around a little bit just to get a feel of the other family and their home environment. I also was a little nervous for my son, I didn't want him to be done after 45 minutes and be forced to stay and be miserable, heaven forbid even break into tears. Maybe shoot the other mom a quick email/text and let her know you'll stick around for a few moments just to make sure your son will be ok. I don't know any mom that would think that was weird. If another mom asked if she could stick around, I'd say absolutely! Besides, you two may end up becoming really good friends yourself, you never know.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Los Angeles on

Since you don't know the other mom, I would stay. You can use the time to get to know her and her child a little, and the two of you can make yourselves inconspicuous to the kids without hovering.

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