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What are the pros and cons of having play dates?


mom1399 January 3, 2013

Can anyone tell me what are the pros and cons of having play dates?
My husband and I don't allow our children to have play dates with kids in their classroom or in the neighborhood.
We have five children and I have had bad experiences with play dates in the past, therefore against play dates, slumber parties and not forcing my children to attend to a classmate's birthday party if they don't feel like it.
We have three school age children and they know how we feel about playmates. We basically don't like play dates, in fact, we avoid them like the plague.
I did try the play date thing a couple of times with my two oldest and honestly, I don't see what's the big deal about these play dates and all the rave now.
When I did the play dates with my two oldest, they were babies and toddlers and then when they started going to school. The moms were horrible; they were only interested in gossiping about each other or tearing each other down behind each other's backs and were not interested in actually playing with their children.
I'm the type of mom that actually plays with her kids, out in the park and at home, so when those moms just sat and start talking about themselves, it just made me not want to be around their company.
I don't like gossip and I don't play games and that is the main reasons why I don't do the play dates anymore.
When our middle child started to go to school, she asked numerous times for play dates to go to another child's house (she also knows our reasons why we are against play dates). She understands but I still felt kind of bad, so I gave in and did a couple of play dates and again, I was disappointed by the other moms.
My child was invited to a Birthday party, when we got there, the moms at first did small talk and then they just went into their little circle and I was left out, it didn't bother me at all because I wasn't there to make friends. One of the moms was nice, while the others were snooty. The one nice mom wanted to do a play date with our kids and I reluctantly agreed to it.
We decided to meet at a local park, during the play date, everything was nice, no issues but then when I saw the mom at school at an event; I acknowledge her and she blew me off. Yes, I was annoyed not because she blew me off but I felt like my child was used to entertain her kid on the play date and my children are not entertainers for others.
So, based on all of my experiences with play dates and birthday parties, I will not do them again and I don't see how they benefit my children.
Quite frankly, I think that play dates are used for some of those lazy parents (moms) who can't handle their kids and/or don't want to do things with them and it's an excuse for them to socialize with other moms instead of actually enjoying their children's company.
Also, we are not comfortable with the children going to another person's house and we don't feel comfortable with having another child that isn't ours coming over either. We also don't do slumber parties, for a lot of reasons.
Honestly, I don't trust others with our children, especially with all the things that go on. I'm not being paranoid but you can never be too careful.
We see play dates as pointless as day cares. I did the day care bit for my two oldest because we were both working and day care was a necessity. My oldest kids got sick all the time; they brought home gross habits (picking their nose, etc.) and bad manners. That only went on for two and a half years. By the time my third child came along, I was able to stay at home and be with the children while my husband works.
Our younger children, never went to day care and didn't get sick or brought back any gross habits and bad manners and we don't do play dates.
Our middle child, is well- rounded, no social awkwardness what so ever, she is actually friendly, kind, and attentive to other's feelings, she is polite and well behaved; is advanced in reading and does very well at school, so I do see the value of not actually dragging my child to classmate's birthday parties or forcing my child to those horrible play dates.
Our two youngest children are toddlers and we will do the same thing we did for our middle child, no day care and definitely, no play dates.
We strongly believe that a parent's involvement or the lack off can influence the child from being socially awkward to being sociable at school or out in public and also a success in school as well as their overall well-being.
Are there other parents who feel the same way about play dates?

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mom1399 January 21, 2013

TAMMIEFLICK- Thank you for your comments.

I think not everyone agrees with me but that's fine.
Seeing my family happy is what matters to me.
I think that a lot of moms (dads too) forget that we as parents are our children's first teachers.
How we treat each other and how we interact with each other as a family is how they will interact with the rest of the world.
I don't think that many parents realize the relationship between a parent and child and how it does carry over to other relationships whether they are romantic or other.
A good example is how do they see their parents interacting with each other. Are they loving ,caring and respectful towards each other?
How they see their parents act with each other is how they will act around a mate.
Children will carry whatever is taught with them for the rest of their lives.


mom1399 January 21, 2013


I agree with you also in regards to those parents pushing for socialization, sure children need to develop these social skills but it is not detrimental to them if they don't go to pre-school or have play dates.
Their social skills will develop more once they are in school, where it is a better learning environment for them because they will have more options in dealing with different situations.
You go on a play date with a toddler, and your toddler and another toddler are not getting along, you either step in and try to "reason" with your toddler and give him the spill on playing nice or you redirect him by distracting him with something else and move him away from the situation that is causing him distress.
Did they really learn anything? Honestly, they will forget but they will learn the bad manners, the tantrums and yelling and screaming from other toddlers(not to mention, the getting constantly getting sick part).
Your baby will do whatever the other babies or toddlers are doing. If the other toddlers are having melt downs and your baby didn't do that before, guess what, you're toddler will be doing that too.
It's like monkey see, monkey do.
Babies are learning how to deal with their environment, family and how to deal with situations by seeing how their parents deal with them.
For example, how they deal with a stressful situation, do they blow up and start throwing things around? or do they get frustrated and they slowly learn to calm themselves down before they continue to put a shape in the correct slot.
Well, in school, the problematic child is warned, removed from his environment and then a conference is held (something like that).
But also, they are accountable for their actions.
School age children are learning to be more verbal and how to communicate their feelings more and since their brains are a little more developed than a toddler, it would be easier for them to be more social as well.

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