There is a movement, small as it may be, to ban playdates. A stay at home Dad and Blogger Dad In Charge, wrote all about it. You can read it HERE.
He makes the argument that he was growing up there were no scheduled playdates. He thinks things are getting too elaborate, too planned, too over scheduled.
I do agree that kids need spontaneity and to be BORED sometimes so they can create and be self sufficient BUT, so no to play dates? NO WAY.
Playdates are not just for the kids, THEY'RE FOR THE MOTHERS. There has been many a playdate, where I or a Mom have divulged our deepest, darkest, secret fears of parenting, relationships, our parents, our nannys, our husbands and kids. We get support, advice, guidance, love and LAUGHS from these playdates. We socialize our kids, help them work things out, build relationships and grow. Mom's need to rid themselves of the feeling of total isolation and the guilt of parenting. They need to feel heard and accepted. That's what playdates are for.
No, you don't have to put out a cheese plate (although guess what I DO!), but being a gracious host also shows your kids something ALL kids are lacking now. MANNERS. To treat someone else graciously in your home. They learn that they can't have it their way all the time, their "guest" gets to choose too. They negotiate and build friendships.
So before we start throwing the playdates out the window, let's consider the other side. What do you think? Are playdates a waste of time? Ruining our kids? Or are they your lifeline? Your key to your kids social development? Weigh in!