If your child is starting the play date cycle - have no fear! This list will help you out.
If you are a first time parent and your child is now at the age when they are asking for pals to come over and play- it can be incredibly daunting. Especially when you have no experience of it and are not sure on the do's and don’ts, as every parent has different ideas on how to raise children. Do not fear though as with this list compiled from experienced play-dater Mums you can rest assured playdates can be a success.
- Consider collecting or dropping the guest child home so that one parent isn’t doing all the running around. Obviously you can arrange it so it suits both of you, but don’t get lumbered with doing pickups and drop offs and vice versa.
- Respect parent’s wishes on food and treats and be sure to ask beforehand if their child has any allergies or isn’t allowed a certain treat. You might allow your nipper to have sweets after dinner but some parents don’t, so play it safe and let the kiddie take the treat home with them. At least then their parent can choose whether to allow the kid the treat (or just ask beforehand)
- Don’t shout at your kids while your house guest is around, and choose your words carefully. Remember kid's talk!
- Try to do something together as a family while you have your little guest, even if it is just having a meal together. A trip to the park together or a bit of baking are good ideas too, so you can get to know your child’s pal and visa versa.
- Don’t compare your child to their pal, and then make your feelings known. No parent will appreciate hearing how your tot can read better than their own youngster. Remember all kids have talents and abilities that can differ from child to child, and no one likes a know it all parent.
- If you are a smoker - smoke outside.
- Remember you don’t have to be best friends with your kids best pals mum- as long as you can have a little chat. If your child’s pals Mum is collecting their cherub by all means invite her in for a coffee, she may decline but at least you have offered. If you have some sort of relationship with their parent it will make it easier in the long run when arranging more play dates. Who knows when you might need a hand with collecting your youngster from school? So it is best to have her mobile number and be acquaintanced at least.
There you have the definitive list of play date tips and hopefully it will be the first of many kiddie dates for your child.