Playdates - New York,NY

Updated on September 27, 2011
B.E. asks from New York, NY
7 answers

OK, a 3-parter here.

My son is 4 and all previous playdates have either been with long-term friends (like, from birth) or random kids we've met on the playground and have rarely seen again.

We're novices to this whole formal "playdate" thing. Sure miss the days when my Mom would just shoo us out the door and didn't see us again until she blew a whistle at 6:00 pm!

BTW, don't feel you have to answer all 3, as any advice is appreciated! :)

1. How many playdates do you arrange during the week, especially if you have younger kids?

2. Any unspoken rules about playdates that I should know?

3. Any playdates from hell? How did you handle it?

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So What Happened?

Thanks for all the responses to date - some helpful advice! What ages did you start doing drop-offs? At 4 it seems like everyone is still doing parent-supervised playdates, but I am assuming this will change during the school year?

I'm sure with the people who don't feel 100% comfortable doing these things, but I guess we'll get adjusted as we go along. I already had my first playdate screw-up last week - the nanny picked up the playdate boy too early from school and I picked up my son too late. We both wondered where the other was - oh well, at least we got a laugh out of it once we figured out what had happened!

More Answers



answers from San Francisco on

unspoken rules: We take turns. Host my kid one day, and I try to host yours next time.
We trust each other to make good parenting choices. If you show up for a play date with a list of things they can't do and special snacks to share, it's like you're trying to host at my house. I'll decide how it's going to be here, you decide at your house. I will ask how someone feels about TV or video games, but beyond that let me be the parent now.
We don't report every little last thing. It's great to report what was eaten, and overall what kind of stuff they did, but no one needs a play-by-play. A simple "they had some trouble sharing but things worked out great in the end" should suffice.
But bigger problems should be shared. See something odd or sense a bigger issue between the kiddos? Either try to talk at pick up, or schedule a time to delve into it deeper.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Honolulu on

I am play date central.
I have 2 kids.
It is at my home.
We invite my kid's friends.
Whom I also know the Mom very well.
It is drop off or the Mom can stay if she wants.
When the kids are here, it is my rules.
I tell the kids what is off limits.
I have food/snacks.
The Mom also brings food/snacks to, to contribute.
I have play dates every week.
It is up to me.
I plainly, tell the Mom, what time to come and when it ends. I tell the kids this too.

Per play-dates from hell, I have not had those. Because, my kids have nice friends. They choose nice friends. IF they want to invite a kid I KNOW is a hell kid, and who's Mom is not my cup of tea.... I do not invite them. I explain this... to my kids and why.
But I have never had that problem.

I invite my child's friend. NOT always the sibling. I specify this, with the Mom. It is fine.
Or sometimes I do say, the siblings can come. But it is up to me.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Oklahoma City on

When a few of us at church had kids around the same age we had play-dates at the church twice a week in the cultural hall. All the moms stayed, it was not a drop off and leave your child kind of thing at all. We sat and visited while the kids rode their bikes, played toys, ran around like crazy, everyone had a blast, even had some sisters come hang out who didn't have kids at home too. We got very close and really had a chance to bond. I loved it and really missed it when the big employers in town moved everyone away.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

Ughh, playdates and my kids have never been a regular thing, not out of lack of trying, but lack of time!!!

1: Honestly, I rarely arrange playdates on a weekly basis which is sad cause I myself need more friends. With all my duties as a mom I just don't take the time and that is my own fault.

2: As far as any unspoken rules....I guess for me, is if you plan on whipping out snacks, expect to share with ALL the other kids, even ones at the park you didn't even come with! Just be sure to ask their mom if it's ok they partake:)

3: I've only had one bad playdate, but wouldn't say it was from 'hell" necessarily. Another little girl took her chocolate crackers around the corner from my kitchen (on carpet mind you) and threw up all down herself, onto her pretty new shoes her mom just showed off and my carpet:( It was nasty having to clean it up (yes, I did, the mom quickly rushed her daughter home as to not get any other child sick). I scrubbed and scrubbed my carpet and then put a huge pile of towels with a kitchen chair over the spot till the other kids went home. The other mom and I did talk later that evening when I called to see how her daughter was feeling and the mom did apologize so it was what it was.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Miami on

I always made playdates at parks. If you dont work a morning one at a park with another sahm mom works great. If the kids are cranky or not getting a long you can separate without an issue or there are other kids at the park. Bring a drink for both kids. Don't bring a toy and not share it. If you work then on a weekend is great.


answers from Boca Raton on

My son is 4 and in VPK... He's been in school since 2, but this is his first year going 5x's per week.. He refuses to do aftercare, so I ALWAYS set up playdates... 4-5x's per week he's doing a playdate... If it's a close friend, we swap out houses.... Example: Monday I'll take her son until 6pm, and Wednesday she'll take my son... I do those kind of playdates with 4 of my friends, it's GREAT!!!!! If it's a new friend, I will take him to meet his "new school friend" with that mother somewhere... I only have 1 child though~


answers from Cleveland on

I really wish I could help you!
I SUCK at this "play date" thing.
I try so hard to go to them, but when I do I always feel SOO left out.

Probably doesn't help that I don't like most people I meet haha
Last play date I went to I got yelled at by a mom that showed up later.
Apparently her husband was going around calling her his "baby mama" and hitting on the other moms.
I just happened to be the mom he was hitting on when his wife showed up lol

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