I Want One of Your Children to Come over and Play(not the Brothers and Sisters)

Updated on October 19, 2010
R.M. asks from San Angelo, TX
16 answers

I want to start inviting kids from school over to play with mine, but I want make sure the parents understand they can't bring the siblings unless they are staying and going to entertain them while they get to know me. I am fine with parents bringing siblings IF they stay, but I am not going to be a free babysitter anymore because some of the younger kids are troublesome and it is no fun for anyone. I have a big heart and would help anyone out if I could. If the siblings were not disruptive, I would let them stay.

I want to invite all the girls in my one daughter's class over perhaps to do crafts and play organized, coopertive games.
I thought of sending an invite home from school stating I would pick the kids up at school and they should be picked up at 6PM.
I attend all the meetings and events at school, but still haven't seen some of the other parents at anything. Some are not listed in the phone book or school phonebook. The birthday party last summer was an eye opener. The mom met us in the driveway to tell us and the siblings she would see us in two hours after the party. It was obvious we were not to stay. One sibling, the one I have the most trouble with, went right past her to the door. She held the door closed and repeated it. The mom finally took the girl to the car telling her she was not invited and could not stay afterall. Awkwar

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So What Happened?

It is great to meet at a park or indoor playground. I did do one neighborhood block party where I personally invited everyone on the entire block who I could catch home. Most never came. The ones who came and stayed brought LOTS of alcohol and after I explained I was not comfortable having alcohol at a family bbq, they moved next door. The few families with kids all left early.
I like the idea of the invitation someone suggested. To me, I would understand who was invited.

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answers from Boston on

Where we live (Groton, MA) there is no question that a play date is ONLY for the child invited of the same age as my daughter. I would NEVER have an uninvited sibling stay, unless it was pre-arranged with the mom that she had to run an errand or something. I have 2 daughters who are totally not interested in their friend's little brothers. However, as you pointed out, if the parents stay to talk to you as a friend or to get to know you before leaving their child with you, then siblings need to stay also. We have avoided the annoying little brother or sister issue by all meeting at the playground or library. My kids can see their friend, I can chat to the mom, but I do not have the responsiblity of keeping little brother happy and out of my kids' hair.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Anchorage on

If you expect the parents to stay, than you have to allow for siblings. If you expect the parents to leave, they should be leaving only the invited child. If you want me to stay and get to know you but do not want siblings, we would not come because I would have nothing to do with my youngest and do not feel I should have to hire a babysitter so my one son can go on a playdate.

1 mom found this helpful

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answers from St. Louis on

the only way you're going to work around this issue is to get to know the families (as a whole) & then begin inviting the individual children for special activities. By getting to know the families, you'll soon learn which moms have "like" attitudes toward gatherings. You'll also get to know which moms enjoy doing projects in a group setting. Until you weed out the assorted personalities, it's going to be hard!

I seriously think "neighborhood parties" are the way to go! It's a great icebreaker & a fun way to make friends with all the families involved. With Halloween coming up, a firepit gathering in your front yard - with a food table- would be perfect! Good Luck getting to know the families!

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

i'm pretty sure she expressly stated that bringing other kids was fine, as long as the parents were staying....I completely agree. I'm a little appalled that parents are dropping other kids off. that's a little strange. maybe when you do invitations, make an individual invitation for each child.

"becca" is invited to a craft day at Cara's house.
Time: 5--8pm
please rsvp so i know how many people to expect.

you might just have to give it a shot the first time and see how it works out. or if you invite the parents too, and casually bring the topic up in conversation. Maybe other parents have the same issue but don't know how to address it, good luck!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Austin on

You might add on the invitation, "parents are welcome to help chaperon if siblings want to join!"


answers from Bakersfield on

Invite the ones you want and do not hesitate to say I'm sorry but only Suzy ~~not little johnny too ~~if someone tries to be sneaky. If you do it once you will be sorry. It shouldnt happen, I would think most moms would have that much common sense. Let this post serve as a reminder: iIF the playdate is for your 6 yr olds playmate DO NOT SEND any siblings, duh.



answers from Dallas on

wow- that's crazy- I have 5 kids(soon to be six) and if one of them is invited to a birthday party or a friends house- that is the one that goes. And if I have to take all the kids with me, I ask and make sure that it's okay if everyone comes- if it's not, then we just can't go(ie: a birthday party where the parents are expected to stay and my husband is at work so I have to be there).
I think it is rude to assume that because one sibling is invited that they all are. We have been invited to birthday parties where it was all my children being invited- we were pretty much the party at those ones though! :) with so many kids- it's like a party in a box!
I think if you are having problems with that I would specify on the invitation who was and wasn't invited, like: We would like to invite Sara to come to Rachel's birthday party- due to limited space we cannot have siblings attend, or Sara's siblings are welcome to come as long as mom and dad can be there to watch them.- something like that- maybe a little nicer.
Anyway, good luck with that!



answers from Tulsa on

We are having a Friday playdate for xgrade girls and hope "cindy lou" can attend. Please RSVP by Wednesday to Mrs. X at #



answers from Los Angeles on

I would just say (either on a written invitation or over the phone), "we would like to invite 'Sarah' over for a playdate." If someone called me up and said that, it would never cross my mind that they were inviting my other child too if the kids were old enough that it was going to be a drop-off playdate where I would not stay.

If you make a point of stating specifically the name of the child that is invited and a parent tries to leave a sibling with you, don't feel bad saying no. Just say "I'm sorry, but today's playdate is only for my daughter's classmates." Or say the sibling is too young for the planned activities and you won't be able to keep her safe/occupied while you're working with the older girls.

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answers from Philadelphia on

Put on the invite no siblings please, have people RSVP and should anyone ask to allow a sibling just say no. I am surprised that soemone would drop their kids on soemone that's just rude!

Did you clearly write that you want a parent to stay if a sibling will be there? If not make sure you do. Good luck.



answers from Tulsa on

I think the picking kids up at school is a good way to avoid the other kids coming over unattended. If a parent says they need other siblings picked up just say you don't have room in your car.

My bff always stays at parties and brings along whoever is with her. I find it very assuming on her part. I asked her if her son was invited to a friends of her daughters birthday party and she said they don't mind if he comes...I found it odd he was the only one that came extra.

I agree get to know the families on an individual basis and then start setting up play dates in informal settings like Burger King and then who ever comes is responsible for their own children. We had a bi-weekly play date with the moms at church. It was set on Tuesday's and Thursday's from 9:30am to 11:30am. We had it at Church in the Cultural Hall or at a local park in pleasant weather. Any person could attend, those who had kids and those who didn't, it was a time to get to know people and visit, or do crafts, what ever. The kids are still BFF today and they are all in different elementary schools in 2 counties. Each person was responsible for their children.



answers from Atlanta on

I think it's appalling that anyone would drop siblings off to a playdate/party/anything and leave - I've never heard of such a thing! Playdates I've been to or hosted, if the mom stays, it's assumed siblings will be there, because where else would they go.



answers from San Antonio on

Some parents think it is unfair for one kid to get to go somewhere. But life is UNFAIR. So stick to your guns and just tell them you want to have the same age kids to play together. We all know how most siblings react to each other and they need a break from each other as much as we need a break from our kids. Besides, do they send them to school with each other???



answers from Austin on

I wouldn't drop off my daughter at someone's house for a play date that I didn't know. I would want to stay long enough to feel comfortable with that person. I attend play dates all the time and usually younger sibs are there if the mother is staying, because other wise, what are you supposed to do with the sibs? If mother leaves, then younger sibs go, too. If another mother asks you if they can leave the younger sibs, politely say you are not comfortable watching the younger ones because you won't be able to give them the extra attention they need. Some people are more comfortable watching lots of kids at once by themselves, but I'm not. I'd also just start small by inviting a couple kids over, not the whole class or suggest a play date at a public place that everybody could attend.



answers from Houston on

Wow I can't believe people actually do that, drop their kids off and leave how rude! I would never think to do that, unless specifically invited. I like the idea of writing on the invitation "parents are welcome to chaperone if siblings want to join".

Basic party etiquette state only those that are on the invitation are invited. So it floors me to think that people assume that everyone is invited just because 1 child is.



answers from Austin on

I'm a little shocked that some parents would even assume that all of their kids are invited. Any time we have had playdates I don't think I ever had a parent ask if siblings could come. For some of our birthday parties I indicated on the invitation that siblings could come but parents needed to stay. As my son is getting older we don't do that as often and I have even specified on the invitation. "Sorry no brothers and sisters" especially if you are doing a craft project. That is specific to an age group. Other parents should understand. My husband is a twin and sometimes he or his brother was invited but the other wasn't and if that was the case then whoever wasn't invited didn't go. You can always say politely that since you are doing an activity that is age oriented then this time siblings can't come but maybe next time. They should respect your decision.

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