Playgroup Question

Updated on April 20, 2011
J.S. asks from Fords, NJ
11 answers

My friend wants to bring her teenager to our playgroup. I feel the teenager should be with people his own age, or stay home during the summer, and not join the playgroup. He plays well with the kids, which includes his little brother(1 and 2 yr old), but I feel this is not appropriate. He doesn't seem to have many friends. HE told me himself that he finds the kids too immature for him. Am I wrong to feel this way? How do I handle this? Thanks.

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?

Thank you so much for your thoughts. To Mamy of 2, good question, but I honestly feel it has nothing to do with the teen being a boy. I thought more about this and I am embarrassed to admit that I just get annoyed by him. He's great the kids, I trust him, but I was not brought up to be too casual with adults and calling them by their first names. When I do talk to him, it's just him acting like a know it all (I know, I sound just as childish) and how 'stupid' (his word, not mine) people can be if they do not know things that he knows. I cannot have a conversation with him, it's him nonstop showing off. I guess I should encourage him and be impressed by his knowledge, but it takes the fun away from talking to his mom. I need adult conversation. :) I try to go there once a week and they would be coming here once a week. I think I was a bit harsh to use the words 'not appropriate'. I think I will just have him over and see how it goes. I guess he just likes to be treated as an adult and listened too. What teen doesn't? Thanks again for all your thoughts! You all helped me keep an open mind. I'll let you know how it goes.

Featured Answers


answers from Bloomington on

It really depends on the teenager. My oldest nephew is 15 and he is so good with my sons, 1 and 3.5. He has 3 younger siblings, so he is very comfortable around little ones. Last time his Mom babysat for us, he came and he got the baby ready for bed, rocked him, and put him down. You never know, he may enjoy being around kids. I know I did when I was a teenager.

6 moms found this helpful

More Answers



answers from Dallas on

Is it only once a week? I don't think it is a bad thing. He might just have nothing more to do. Is he a good kid? Will he just hang out with the moms or help with the kids? Sometimes having a teen around is really not a bad thing, especially when it comes to a house full of young children.

5 moms found this helpful


answers from Seattle on

Is your playdate every day? nope. I don't see the problem AT ALL. Why is it inappropriate? I don't follow your logic.
How often do we see in our everyday lives and hear, on this board even, about teens that are misbehaving, getting pregnant, trying drugs, doing things they aren't supposed to? I think this mom may just want to keep an extra eye on her teen to try and make sure those things don't happen.
If he comes to your playgroup, is rowdy or misbehaving then I would say something. I am not going to tell you that you are wrong in feeling this way...I just don't understand why you do.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

is he coming to play, or because there's nothing else for him to do, or to help with the kids? i don't see why it's inappropriate. kids will naturally gravitate to kids their own age, but segregating them into strict age categories has always struck me as weird. but then, i think that one of the strengths of homeschooling is that the kids tend to be so comfortable with people of all ages.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Milwaukee on

How often is the paygroup? During the summer at church we have a weekly playgroup and a mom with older kids come and the older kids play with the younger kids and runs around the park with them. It is AWESOME, of course as the parent we keep an eye on the kids but it is nice that these teenagers are running around with them instead of us so we as moms can chat.

How long is the playgroup? For us it is only 2 hours, so two hours out of every week is nothing. Since the teenagers enjoy playing with the younger kids and gives us moms a little break we always get them each a gift at the end of the summer (gift card to a store/mall, or McDs/similar).

I guess I do not understand what is inappropriate about it, if it is just the age then it is the mothers choice not yours. If it is an open playgroup with no age limits you really can not ask mom to not bring her older son. He may be bored but that is for his mom & him to work out. As long as all kid are safe I do not see an issue with this. If there is a reason to think that the younger kids are unsafe around this older boy then I would bring it up with the mom.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Austin on

It happens, every once in a RARE while, that someone brings an older child to one of our playgroup's events, and then only if it's really necessary. The mom generally asks if it's okay, and we do appreciate the heads-up. Is it possible your friend mentioned it in this sort of context? She's told you ahead of time, so that makes me think she's trying to feel out your opinion, anyway.

We do have evening and weekend events from time-to-time, and dads and older siblings are always welcome to these, but during regular playdates, the older kids are generally painfully bored. Definately point that out - that it would be a very bad idea for him to come to in-home playdates, as there would be nothing for him to do, since most of the houses you'll be playing in don't have older siblings, and no age-appropriate activities for him. What will he do to entertain himself? I would be uncomfortable, having a bored teen just wandering around MY house...(The occasional heads-up is one thing, and can be arranged for - but it seems a bit much to expect hostesses to entertain a teen for weekly playdates.)

However, if you're going to the park, maybe suggest he bring (or meet) a friend of his own, and a soccer or basketball, and have his own sort of mini-"play"date on the side?

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Boston on

Perhaps the teenager is interested in working with young children? Or perhaps he has social issues and cannot relate to his peers? Does he need supervision by his mother because he's gotten into some trouble? What is your concern? I agree it's unusual that he is coming all the time unless there is a desire to learn to work with young children - but if so, he would be better off volunteering at a structured center where he can be trained and acquire a recommendation for further work experience. I don't think we should discourage males from being caretakers if they have a sincere desire to do so! A play group that meets something like once a week isn't going to give him much experience or occupy much of his idle time.

If, by "inappropriate," you feel there is some unnatural desire at work or some demonstrated tendency for pedophilia, that's a whole different story. If he has no peer group because he feels those in his age group are immature, he needs to be encouraged to find a summer activity where he can develop some skills. Perhaps he could volunteer in an adult setting - a nursing home, a senior day center, or other program.

I agree that the purpose of a play group is to help toddlers socialize with each other, so having him come all the time kind of defeats the purpose. However, he may feel, since the adult moms are there and since he may see himself as an adult, that he belongs there. I'd explore with him what his interest level is, what he likes to do, what his goals are, etc. Draw him out a bit and see if anything makes your radar go up. Also find out why his mother won't leave him alone. That will help you decide what to do.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Austin on

Doesn't seem wrong to me that you feel that way. It's one thing if a parent has a younger, school age child that is off school or needs to come along sometimes, but a teenager should be connected with friends, trustworthy and mature enough to leave home alone, or have a summer job, camp, or some activity to keep him/her busy. Unless the kid is that interested in working with children and is looking to help, it seems to be a distraction.

I'd say something. It could be as simple and as kind as, will your son be attending the playgroup all summer? If so, I don't know that I feel entirely comfortable with this if the goal of the group is to socialize toddlers with one another. Is there an alternative for him? It's not rude at all. Surely the parent can see how weird the whole situation is...?

Good Luck!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from New York on

Would you feel different if the teenager was a girl instead of a boy?
I ask because my teen (13) adores her sister, she not always want to come over to her little sister stuff, she most rather stay at home drawing on her laptop, but some times she does want to and she is amazing with kids, not only she is very mature but she is not afraid to be silly and make laugh the little kids.
She also has ask me when she can become a babysitter, that still a little early for my comfort so is not happening yet, but I like to see how she interacts with other kids, it gives me a clue on how close or far she is from being able to babysitte as a job and it helps her to give her an idea on what it would be like.
I think that if the boy "always" wanted to come over then I would wonder, but if this is ones every once in a while I don't see the problem.
Unless, you have other worries besides the difference of age, but for your post is just the age and the fact that he should be with his friends and not little kids, wait until he has a girlfriend and probably you will not see him again, lol.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

The only time I brought my teen stepdaughter to her little sister's playgroup is when we met at a restaurant she liked and DH was out of town so it was easier to do dinner out for all of us. I think I would give my friend suggestions for her son's activities. Maybe he could be a day camp counselor and actually get paid.



answers from Chicago on

It may not change the circumstances but I would think it is innapropriate. Does the kid not have anything planned for the summer? Sports, Camping etc..? Maybe he needs a parttime job.

For Updates and Special Promotions
Follow Us

Related Questions