Monday, January 31, 2011

Playdate - home alone?

If you're the parent of young children, you've undoubtedly arranged numerous playdates for them. When the playdate is at your house, you're responsible for keeping the kids safe and helping them with any conflicts. Likewise, you expect the same care of your children when they are at a friend's house.

Karen told me her playdate horror story. After picking her 5-year-old daughter up from her friend's house, Karen learned that the mother had left the two 5-year-olds in charge of a 3-year-old while she drove to pick up another child. While she was only gone about 20 minutes, leaving the kids alone in the house was completely unacceptable to Karen. From that point forward, Karen asked a few more questions before leaving her daughter at a friend's house!

When you drop your child off for a playdate, it's a perfect time to spend a little time talking to the other parent:
  • When would you like me to pick my child up?
  • Do you need to run any errands this afternoon? I could stop by and watch the kids if you need to leave. 
If you are just getting to know this family, you may also want to ask if there are guns in the house and if so, where they are kept.  Although these questions can seem a bit intrusive, it's hard to make decisions about your child's safety when you don't have enough information.

2 comments:

Lisa said...

I realize this is a different matter but valid too. My daughter is close friends with our neighbor's (only child) daughter (both are now 10 years old). When she was 8, I became aware that my neighbor along with her sister's would make fun of & criticize my daughter!! I confronted the mom & ever since, the mom avoids me but the girls are still friends & mostly play at our house. I think children learn so much at home - for better or worse. I do not think it is any child's fault, it is the parents. We MUST stand up for our children even if we lose adult friendships along the way.

Kathy Slattengren said...

Thanks for sharing your story Lisa. It strikes me as extremely sad that a mom would make fun of your daughter - not the type of behavior we want children modeling! You are wise to have the girls play at your house.