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Lately, my oldest daughter has taken it upon herself to begin arranging play dates and then informing us afterward. While we love her ability to be social at five years old, we do not have the opportunity to initiate contact with her classmates’ parents and make sure we are sending our daughter into a safe environment. This usually results in an awkward situation and leaves our daughter in tears while we are forced to postpone the play date. Are we being paranoid? -- Chris, StrongMoms Facilitator
No i do not think you are being Paranoid. I under no circumstances will not send my daughter to a home where i don't know the people in it. Not everything looks just as it seems on the surface so i would certainly have a good chat with your daughter about why she is not allowed to make her own play dates. Instead tell her that if she wants to go play with so and so then she needs to first ask if it's ok and then you will consider it or set it up. If she undermines you and sets up her own play dates then i think it's important that you once again explain that she can not do that and as a result she can not have it. Hopefully the next time she will think to ask you first.
I strongly agree with you Brinny, it's a must that you know who are with your kids or who are the people with him/her. I do the same with my kid.
GOODNESS NO! Your are not being paranoid at all! Even when I was older my mom would always ask to meet their parents, as you should. If they are reasonable adults then they wouldn't have any issue talking to you and they would want to as well. If they are too busy to talk to you then don't send your child over, if they can't spare time to speak with you what makes you think they'll actually watch you child when they go over and visit. I don't think the child should be punished though, if you don't feel your daughter's friends parents place isn't suitable I'd say try and make it at your home.
Also, I'd explain to your daughter that you want to meet her friends parents, and if she wants to have a play date, then she should talk to her friend about talking to their parent(s) about meeting with you. Then she can set up a play date. Let her know that she has to clear all her play dates with you before she can go, if she can't do that, then she wont be able to go. You can speak to her about how it can be dangerous if you think you need to or she can handle it.
If she makes a playdate, why not ask the mom if her little girl would rather come to your house. That way you have time to get to know the child and the parent before letting your daughter go over to another person's house. I have also gone with my kids to their first play date and talked with the mom for a little while. Then if I did decide to leave, I only left for an hour so that I could run an errand. This is a good way to build up trust between you and another family. Hope this helps. Playdates can be awkward!
Obviously I agree with all of your posts, I guess the bigger issue is explaining to our daughter that she needs to check with us before arranging a play date!
Yes, it is important to get kids to realize that WE are the ones in charge! LOL! My kids are constantly challenging that fact.