Meeting School Friends' Parents

Updated on September 30, 2011
A.R. asks from Cleveland, MO
10 answers

So my daughter is in 3rd grade and she's been at the same school since she started in kindergarten. She's obviously made some friends in school, but other than soccer we've never really had playdates or any other interaction with kids in her class, probably because we live in the country and no one's really "close" by. So this is the first year that she's really wanted to play with any kids outside school. A new girl moved here this year who lives fairly close by, she calls to talk to my daughter on the phone after school and wants to hang out with her this weekend. Being new to the whole "getting to know the kids and parents" thing...what's the protocol here? Do I call her parents and set up a meeting? Do I just go in when I drop off my daughter at their house and take a look around while I meet them? Do I make sure they come here instead? Thanks for any advice...I haven't really had to deal with this yet! :)

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So What Happened?

Thanks for all the advice - we actually went over there yesterday, met the family, had a great visit and I think it will work out just fine. I appreciate all the words of wisdom! :)

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answers from Seattle on

We usually set up a playdate in a public venue first (park, zoo, what have you). That way we can meet them, and they can meet us. Typically somewhere close by where the kids usually are (because that's usually good distance for both of us). Then we do the house thing.

The house thing is interesting... because people drop off v stay at different ages. My son started a lot of drop off playdates last year in 3rd, but there were still a lot of "stay" playdates. ESP if they have older kids, it tended to be drop off dates. OTOH if this was their first or their oldest, they were used to staying and just stayed.

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answers from Salt Lake City on

It is perfectly acceptable to walk your daughter to the door when you drop her introduce yourself- I have even walked out to my drive way as they drop off and introduced myself. It is odd I find not many parents do this anymore I make sure I meet all the parents of my kids friends it just makes me feel better.

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answers from New York on

I don't feel comfortable dropping off my child at someone's house that I don't know. So unless they invite me over (not just my child), I'll start by having them come to my house first and I'll invite them in to chat for awhile.

Another option is to meet in a public place .

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Dover on

I personally would try to get together with the child and parent. Let the kids play, socialize with the parent. Then, if you are comfortable, you can allow her to go next time with them or to their home. That is what I did w/ my son.

My daughter is younger so right now, either myself or my husband is always with her unless she's at school or daycare.

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answers from Pittsburgh on

Call and talk to the parents. Always talk to the parents make sure they are aware of them playdate. My son and his friend have been friends since kindergarten, and they are now in 8th grade. His mom and I still call and make sure things are good. Meaning we both agree as to what they will be doing.
This is your child, and no matter what you want them protected.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Los Angeles on

We're doing this for the first time this weekend, as well, with our first grader. (I just posted a similar question on here a couple of nights ago :)
Have never met the parents. I suggested a park or our house and the mom said either is fine so we settled on our house. I imagine the mom would like to get a gander at the house, anyway, so we're skipping the neutral territory of a park and just diving right on in. Should be interesting. It's a little out of my comfort zone inviting strangers over, but you really need to know who the parents are and get a sense of them. Good luck!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from St. Louis on

chili dinner works wonders for this instance! Nothing like feeding somebody to break the ice.....


answers from Chicago on

I would definitely not drop my child off at a new house without really knowing the parents. I have to get to know them a little first. I also have to ask certain questions regarding safety (do you let the kids play outside alone? do you have guns in your house? if so, how are they stored? etc...) It may be awkward to ask these questions, but it's far better to be safe than sorry. A neighbor of mine let her 8 yr old go to someone's house for a play date then w/out asking if it was ok, the other girl's mom went to the store leaving the 8 yr-olds home with her 12 yr old daughter. My neighbor's daughter was nervous and wanted to call her mom to pick her up, but the 12 yr old wouldn't let her use the phone. You just never know!



answers from Honolulu on

For me, personally, I need to 'know' the parent/Mom first. Making sure she is not a nut or a weirdo or simply a noxious personality. Before I let my kids, play with her kids.

Then, even before my daughter was that age and from when she was in Kindergarten, I ALWAYS explained to her... about how to 'discern' and choose friends. She is now a very wise girl, for her age. She is in 4th grade now.

Once I do feel comfortable about a Mom/parent... (because I go by my instincts about people), then sure, my kids have play-dates at our house or theirs.

IF your child goes to another person's home... you need to trust that/the parent/the household and be sure of that. OR you stay. I always, let the other Moms stay if they want. Or they can drop off.
AND yes, when other kids/Moms come over, I SHOW them around the house. I EXPLAIN my supervision to them etc. and the rules. And that, I will.... correct any kids misbehavior. But the other Moms/kids I know, they KNOW me and are fine with that.

And yes, YOU as the parent, ASK the other Mom, what the kids will be doing, WILL she be around (some Moms just don't supervise at all and are not around when kids are over). So simply, ASK. That is your kid after all.

And the basic common sense is: IF your child is a friend of another child... you NEED to know the other parent/Mom, too.



answers from Houston on

I always start off meeting for lunch or dinner or at the park...some place public the kids will like. I also make sure to talk to them during games, practices, school functions, etc. Then, after a few times of talking to the parents, I invite the mom over for coffee while the kids play or the family over for dinner. If they reciprocate, great. If not, no biggie. Only then do I feel comfortable having another child over or sending my son to someone else's home.

gl! May your daughter make lots of friends this year :)

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