Say No To Playdates? My response to Dad In Charge

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!


Ouiser B. said...

Amen Mrs! I read that gentleman's words last week and whole-heartedly agreed that our kids (my kids included) can often times be over scheduled with not enough time to be tossed into the backyard and told to just play, no rules other than whatever your little imaginations can come up with. However we aren't living in 1984, there are a lot of things that have changed, I didn't have a car seat growing up but that doesn't mean I don't think my kids need them.

And to your point, when my oldest entered preschool I had been feeling isolated as at at home mom with a 3 and 2 year old and no other close friends at that stage in their lives. Playdates were my saving grace to talk to someone else dealing with potty training, teething, and the general "no" that comes with three year olds with out feeling like I was boring my friends with out kids.

Not that its all about me. I also think that play dates offer the opportunity to get to know kids that don't happen to be on your street. It has broadened my child's friendships and interests.

Like everything else, anything taken to an extreme is unhealthy but, as you say, lets not vilify the playdate into extinction.

linda said...

My daughter is in college now, but agree 100%.... play dates are wonderful opportunities for moms to connect as well as children, and you model good hosting behavior for the little ones as well.

3 Peanuts said...

I did not read his post but I am 50-50. I think some Moms I know schedule playdates WAY TOO often. It is just easy on them because someone else( a friend entertains their kid). These same kids live on I-pads and video games. My kids don't have a ton of playdates (some but not a lot) and they play with each other and they use their imaginations too. Just yesterday my 17, 13 and 8 year old were laughing playing a game in our playroom. My kids invent games and build forts and read quietly. I think a balance of scheduled time and complete and utter down time is essential for good social development.

I am not saying we should ban playdates but I think 1 -2 a week are more than enough during the school year I know people who have them every day!

3 Peanuts said...

Okay, now I did go read his article....I don't think he is saying get rid of the playdate...I think he is saying let's just let our kids be kids and let's not overdo everything for them. I totally agree with that. Almost every parent I see in my practice is making the same mistake----doing TOO MUCH for their kids.