You may have taught your kid basic etiquette, but what about you? Sometimes it can get a little difficult dealing with your kids’ playdates. However, if you follow through with a couple of playdate etiquette tips, you will be able to make it through.
Source: Expert Beacon
7 Playdate Etiquette for Parents
1. How should you act regarding your children’s playdates?
Get in touch with other kids’ parents. Meet with them on the first playdate or before and get to know them. Ask them if they have any different parenting rules what the playdate should involve. Also, be polite when interacting with them. If the play date is at your house, inform them about the day you have planned and work out a schedule with them. Be energetic and encouraging around the kids and supervise and redirect instead of saying don’t do that, don’t touch that. If you have fun activities for the kids, it should prevent them from engaging in mischief.
When should you stop trying to tag along?
Parents mostly tag along on play dates because they are worried about their kids. Most parents tag along till they are comfortable trusting the other kid’s parents. This should be the case with you till your child is old enough to know what is right and wrong and come to you with the issues he faces at the playdate. You could tag along on the first playdate just to be sure, but once your kid turns 8, it’s time to loosen the reins.
How do you tell another parent their child just isn’t welcome in your household or liked?
Sometimes parents think it’s okay to drop off sick kids at a playdate, so telling them their kid isn’t welcome in your home can make you feel mean. But the thing is you need to be straight forward about it. Let the parents know that you cannot handle your hyped up kid and their kid at the same time, so it would be best if they took him home.
Similarly, if you have to deal with a parent who brings his or her kids’ cousins over without informing you, let them know that you won’t be able to handle all these kids together and you don’t have enough supplies to keep them all busy and fed.
If your kid and his playmate don’t get along or the other kid is simply a bad influence on your child, inform the parents about the fact that they do not get along well and that this won’t really work out in the future. If you have any instances of bad behavior mention them, but be polite about it all.
Should you bring anything?
If it’s your child’s first playdate, it would be a sweet gesture to bring something. Go with something homemade, healthy and something every kid would enjoy. This way, you don’t have to worry about other parent’s sassing you about it. When you hand it over, ask if bringing something over is essential. You can figure out what’s acceptable according to their parenting rules and what’s not and accordingly bring something over. In case, the other parents don’t bring anything don’t bother about it unless it’s a birthday.
How to deal with conflicting household rules?
Let’s look at an example. You only let your kids have sweets after lunch, not anytime of the day. But during playdates at the Smiths, they don’t really have a sweets schedule like you. Okay, so you know how adults don’t like being told what to do? Well, consider that every time you feel like correcting the household rules at your kid’s playdate. You don’t want to micromanage them. So you’ll just have to let this one slide. If it’s a trivial matter don’t let it get in the way of your kids bonding with other kids. However, if it is a major matter like playing video games with gory visuals, air your concerns with the other parents without being accusing!
How to discipline a kid that’s not your own?
Do not discipline someone else’s kid, ever! If they back talk, let them know you will inform their parents about it. In case the situation gets out of hand call up their parents and inform them about the situation. Before their parents can leave at the beginning of the play date let the kids know there will be no fighting/ hitting, back talking and other mischievous deeds won’t be allowed. And get their parents to back you up.
Be a good host
Prepare for the playdate. Keep snacks, juice and activities ready. Also get a list of the other kid’s allergies (and trade your kids’ allergy list with the other parents when he hoes over to their house for a play date).
With these simple rules of playdate etiquette you should be able to survive playdates without offending anyone. Just remember treat the other kids like you expect their parents to treat your kids and their parents like you expect them to treat you and you should be good.