You schedule a play date at your house and your pre-schooler is super excited to meet his/her friends. Their playmates arrive and they take-off to play. Just in a while as you sit with the other mom friends of yours to sip a cup of coffee, you hear a shriek. Your child doesn’t want to share but the other children do want to exchange toys. You redirect them how good it is to share their toys and in next two minutes, you hear another child crying. Again, for sharing. Does this scenario sound familiar?
Oh, how we parents wish that our toddlers’ play date end in a way where they say, “I want my friends to come over to our house again!”
Play dates, especially with young children, often end up with the kids quarreling over toys and the mums struggling over methods of discipline. From what to do to how to do, we have amassed all the do's and don'ts to ensure your little one’s play date escapade is filled with laughter and gaiety.
DO ask your toddler if they want any specific toy not be shared with anybody else and put it away before their friends arrive. Alongside, emphasis on sharing lessons.
If you’re afraid a precious item might get broken, put it out of sight beforehand. You should not have any conflicts and regrets later on.
DON'T bring singles of any toy (say, a special doll or bike) to a group play date. You should always bring toys that all the kids can enjoy.
DO establish some rules for play. If rules are being broken, step in to resolve any the conflict. If the quarrel ensues, have them separated or move to another activity that can bring them along.
DON’T intervene the squabble every time you hear a “this is mine” cry. Toddlers aren't great at sharing, but sometimes allowing them to resolve their own conflicts helps them get along well.
DO mind your child's manners. When you are going as a guest, brush up your child to be polite, helpful and respectful towards the host and other guests. Carry on with your mommy duties and keep a watch on your child and play by/follow the house rules.
DON'T leave the play date messed up, especially when your child is also part of the mess making. Offer help to clean-up.
DO offer to bring something that everyone can enjoy. It’s best to carry additional snack or meal to cater to your child’s special diet.
But check all snacks with other parents in advance to avoid possible food allergies.
DON’T have a play date when your child is sick. You do not want other children to get infected, so if your little ones under the weather, avoid play dates.
DO familiarize yourself with other moms. If your pre-schooler is doing a play date without you, make sure you know the mom hosting. Before parting, ensure your child feels comfortable with the host.
DON’T be unreachable when you are dropping your kid for a play date. Maintain timelines for pick-up and drop.
DO return the favor. Offer to host a play date at your home. This way you help create connections between your family and others.
After completion of one successful play date, discuss the play date with your child and talk about next time. Happy play dates!