Play dates can be a minefield, keeping the your house, their house share in balance, ensuring the safety of other people’s kids, and indeed that of your own.
Sometimes for one reason or another play dates don’t work out. Your child may simply clash with another kid, and they just don’t play well together. It could even be the case that you suspect some bullying might be happening. When you are friends with the parent however, calling it all off is a little tricky.
If your child is young enough, you can control their social events, but as they get older this is not as easy as outside influences come into play. As a parent, you can be on tender hooks too, negotiating between a parent who is dead keen for the kids to get together, and your own child who would like to do anything but.
If you feel that there is cause for concern, you need to allow yourself to be honest about your child’s concerns. This is a tricky one, as most parents get on the defensive about their kids. If you phrase things in the right way, and be honest and open however, it is up to the other parent to be mature and open too, and try to get to see if there is a problem. Make sure you are not labelling the child or accusing, you may not be completely right, and it is unfair to do so.
If you decide to let the play date go ahead, you can take steps to control things when they are together. Make sure you are present to monitor things, suggest your house as the venue, so you can keep an eye on the interaction. If your cause for concern is extreme and you feel your child’s safety could be compromised, then you are well within your rights to refuse a play date. Your own instincts will go a long way towards helping you here.
It’s difficult to get to the truth when dealing with kids, and their happiness and contentment in any situation is usually a good barometer of how things are going. That and a good dose of common sense should help you see the wood for the trees.