The girls especially Maisy and Amelia are at the age now where they have built a good social network at school, a friendship circle. Both have bonded extremely well with at least one child. It’s Maisy and her desire for her best friend to come after school for a play date and tea that sparked my idea for this post regarding the Organisation and Execution of a Children’s Playdate.
The social aspect.
It’s a great thing for kids to have best friends, all the secrets and the bond they build, Maisy and her best friend from school have been super close since they both started their 1st year. They are both now in year 3.
For a long while now Maisy has expressed her desire to invite her best friend home one afternoon after school, a Playdate if that’s what you want to call it, play with dolls, chat about whatever 8yr olds natter about, more than likely Smiggle and shows on Netflix and whatever their favourite YouTube kids star is, but she has been eager and super excited for this to happen for a good few months now.
For me and mum (Sarah) we have never been within this situation before, having someone else’s child from outside of your usual family and friend circle. It’s all unknown territory.
The Planning and the Execution of said plan.
Delving into this unknown territory of Playdates and having school friends round for tea. Where do you start, whats the process, is there a process, a written code of conduct to follow or rules for when you find yourselves in one of these situations.
Simple right, speak to said best friends Parent – mum or dad, the discussion and planning begins, working out a suitable afternoon around after school activities such as clubs etc… Sorting through pick up and drop off arrangements, would you collect best friend from school with your child and head home as normal, would you have best friends parents come with you to your home to sort of vet the surroundings their child will be within for a certain number of hours, maybe to check it’s not a crack den or a whore house, you never know with some households these days ( don’t worry ours is 1million % crack and whore free 😉).
This should be a straight forward scenario and arrangement, but its got my mind into overdrive whenever Maisy raises the subject. Thoughts of –
- What if they’re allergic to cats?
- What if they don’t like dogs?
- Do they have certain dietary requirements or food allergies.
- Are they a small portion eater or adult portion eater like Maisy (seriously don’t know where she puts it half the time, must have hollow legs).
- We have a large family, should we arrange Grandma to have 2 of the other girls for tea for the afternoon and evening?
- If her sisters are around and do nothing but pester and wind up their sister and her friend.
All ridiculous and stupid things to think about but… Would you raise these in conversation with the best friends parents when organising such an event? Or would you, once planned a suitable day for everyone and time etc… Leave it to them to inform you of any of these?
I wouldn’t be surprised about the dog thing though, our dog is rather large and can look intimidating to a small child or someone who doesn’t know him.
When you think about it, situations like this that are definitely something out of the norm for parents who haven’t been through a scenario like this before, it can be fairly Nerve-wracking. Especially when one of the organisers is an anxious person, especially when it comes to speaking with new people in unknown territory (the school playground).
For me the school runs are a nightmare that I live with daily, the amount of parents around at drop off and pick up, complete strangers who don’t know you from Adam, I get anxious and antsy in that sort of environment, you feel everyone is watching and looking at you, in there thoughts judging you, could be anything stupid from your appearance and the way you look or even down to how you walk. One thing for me in my own stupid thoughts is overcoming the stigma of being a stay at home dad, most people probably couldn’t give a flying whatsitmadooda, but I think people judge me for it, questioning themselves of why isn’t he at work, what’s he doing this that and the other.
Now for Maisy’s sake, this is one of those anxiety triggering situations that I’m going to have to face and overcome, it’s something she really wants, and I want her to be able to have these experiences and those memories.
Now for the time being I shall be approaching said best friends parents for a natter and look to planning a ‘Playdate’, arranging and accomplishing the parental goal of the 1st school friend visit to your home. Also an End goal to smash the negative anxious scenario and questions that I’ve created in the Shed that is my own mind and thoughts.
Wish us luck 🤞👍.