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!

Bullying - Trouble Comes In All Sizes Part - B


Is your kid being bullied? How would you protect your child?

Bullying is definitely a worrisome behavior for any kid who gets close to harming others or is being harmed. But it can be dealt with.

Find out what's going on

·         Often little kids can’t label what they are going through. You got to dig into the details subtly. Ask pointed questions like, “Did someone hurt you?” or “What made you feel bad?”

·         Remain calm and reassuring for your kid. If he/she sees you becoming impulsive, they are likely to hide the entire scene from you.

Teach him/her how to respond

·         Act brave. Confident children are less likely to be targeted. If you act as if the bully doesn't bother you, he/she'll eventually stop.

·         Ignore the bully. If you don’t give him/her attention, he/she’ll stop it.

·         Make a friend circle. As the saying goes, there's safety in numbers. More cases happen when bully finds you isolated.

·         Tell an adult. If someone is troubling you such that you can’t handle, tell an adult what's happening. The teacher is the best help at school.

Take action
·         If your child is facing the problem in his/her preschool, set up a meeting with the teacher or caregiver. It may be that she is unaware of the situation since bullies prefer to act when adults aren’t watching.  Allow the teacher to observe children closely and counsel the child individually.
·         Make friends with the bully. Try to help children make friends through play dates or activities that make them realize that together they can make a good team. The one-on-one playdate can change the dynamic between them.


Is your kid the problem?

·         Tame insensitive playfulness. Discuss how empathy and kindness are signs of good behavior and make it clear that insensitive behaviors are not acceptable.

·         Explain consequences. Explain that if the bullying continues, the other kids won't want to play with him/her and that you will cut down his/her playtime.

·         Right the wrong. The child who your child bullied can be invited for reconciliation.

·         Praise him/her for good behavior.