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Playdates
Do you reciprocate?


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#1 Jigsy 0308

Posted 28 January 2013 - 02:12 PM

Hello all,

I am just needing some feedback/advice/informaton/thoughts on playdates and outings etc.

I am often arranging and oragnising for my children's friends to come over here or inviting them to acompany us to the park, movies, swimming pool etc. Yet this is rarely reciprocated.

My 10yo DS recently asked me why none of his school friends have called him these school holidays and organised a catch up. Thankfully my DS has his BFF living 3 doors away and also his cousin has been over for several sleep overs these school holidays, but I'm wondering if possibly I'm expecting too much from other parents when it comes to reciprocating playdates etc?

I do understand that my children's friends LOVE coming to our house, but I'm pretty sure my children would like an invitation occasionally too.

I have now found this has effected my friendship with some of the parents of my kid's friends.

Has this happened to you? Any advice?

Thankyou in advance,


Jigsy.

#2 luke's mummu

Posted 28 January 2013 - 02:17 PM

DS (7 years) has 1 school friend, his mother always insists their playdates are reciprocated. So if he has been here, he can't come again until they have had time to repay the playdate. Even when she was very unwell last year with breast cancer, I kept saying it doesn't matter, we are happy to just have him here etc.

He has another friend from Kindy who's parents are happy for them to go to either house.

Personally I don't mind either way. But in your situation, if I was doing all the organising, and paying for movie etc. I would get a bit annoyed.

#3 naturalgoodness

Posted 28 January 2013 - 02:23 PM

Currently we don't reciprocate a lot, but I made friends aware that the more pregnant I got the less I would entertain other kids as DD2 doesn't react well when DS2 has his friends over and I spend the whole time having to do extra special entertaining with her.

I simply don't have the energy! I am also unlikely to reciprocate when I have a newborn - but I have a good reason and did tell other parents what to expect up from  biggrin.gif

Maybe some of the other parents have their own reasons that you are not aware of?

#4 luke's mummu

Posted 28 January 2013 - 02:32 PM

Just thinking more, I have found in general return playdates work better if the families are smaller. DS has 1 friend who is one of 6 (a blended family) and trying to try his mother down to a time when her son could come over was a nightmare. Eventually we gave up. He has another friend who is an only child and it's heaps easier. I know it's a generalisation, but maybe worthwhile considering.

#5 Leee

Posted 28 January 2013 - 02:32 PM

I try to reciprocate but like the PP I have found it hard over the past year with two children and a baby. I do feel bad and try to do them on the weekend so DH is around to help out.

#6 BornToLove

Posted 28 January 2013 - 02:39 PM

We have the same issue with some of DD's friends. I've tried setting up playdates and other things so much, but gave up. Nothing is ever reciprocated, so I just gave up.

I figure that a lot of it has to do with their ages (toddlers) and some of the other parents coming off as anti-social. I think things might be more successful once DD and her friends are old enough to be dropped off for a few hours.

#7 Julie3Girls

Posted 28 January 2013 - 02:47 PM

I don't actually have a NEED to have them reciprocated. Fact is, there is often circumstances which make having play dates at one house or the other easier.

You also need to take into account family circumstances ... Working parents, kids after school activities, particularly when there are multiple kids in the family, simply the dynamics of having an extra child in your home.
Also, some people are simply more social, and more inclined to organise things, and invite people over.

If my child wants a friend over, we invite them. As the kids get older, they also start to organise things between themselves, just relying n mum to do a drop off.

#8 Phascogale

Posted 28 January 2013 - 02:49 PM

We reciprocate but it's not a you came over to my house so you can't go back over till my child has been over to our place.  It's what works best at the time.

I tend to associate with people that will reciprocate and the kids are at an age where I can manipulate the friendships a little so that they are ones where I get along with the parents too.

Sometimes it depends on the other kids and the impact on my child but I encourage the friendships where it goes both ways.

The get togethers with people that that don't get reciprocated tend to fall by the wayside and friendships move on.

However I do make exceptions if the friendships are particularly tight and the parents/family are nice but it's too hard to get the reciprocation (and may involve me getting the other child and dropping them off way too many times) which gets harder the more kids you have.  It also gives everyone a break from a child in the house too!


#9 TheGreenSheep

Posted 28 January 2013 - 02:50 PM

I try and reciprocate, however I must say we can get busy on weekends and I struggle to make DSs play dates my priority.

There is a play friend of DS1 his mum I get along really well with so it's always a great catch up, we often eat meals together so it's evolved into a friendship. There is another friend and both he and his mother I struggle to warm too, so I don't rush into those play dates. According to DS he would hound him to come over. I'm secretly relieved DS is in different class this year.

And thinking about DS2 some of his play friends mums aren't the easiest to organise play dates with. Some people I just click with and it's no brainer to sort out, others can be awkward.

#10 Ianthe

Posted 28 January 2013 - 02:54 PM

I try to reciprocate playdates but I have five kids. Some days I just do not want anymore kids here. However I tend to be someone that would have all the kids have a friend over and have a house full than an odd kid here and there.

One of my kid's friends is an only child and M spent two nights sleeping over there-they wanted to do one night here and one night at his place but I said no. I was not up for a sleepover. I am the only adult here too. One adult on six kids compared to two adults on two kids is not exactly the same thing.



#11 beaglebaby

Posted 28 January 2013 - 03:10 PM

QUOTE (Julie3Girls @ 28/01/2013, 12:47 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I don't actually have a NEED to have them reciprocated. Fact is, there is often circumstances which make having play dates at one house or the other easier.

You also need to take into account family circumstances ... Working parents, kids after school activities, particularly when there are multiple kids in the family, simply the dynamics of having an extra child in your home.
Also, some people are simply more social, and more inclined to organise things, and invite people over.


Agree totally.  I struggle to reciprocate playdates.  3 children all with different after school activities, DH travels a lot for work, space in the car for pick up from school (we live way too far away to walk), I have things on 2 evenings a week, and often the kids rooms, or the house in general, are just too messy to have people over.  I'm also not the most social person and tend to overthink it!


#12 Lolpigs

Posted 28 January 2013 - 05:19 PM

I wish I could have more playdates for my DD, moving to a new town an hour and a half away and not knowing anyone (and people being a bit shy at play group) is the pits LOL



#13 mumandboys

Posted 28 January 2013 - 05:25 PM

I try to reciprocate, but I have 4 kids and run a business.  I usually do one or two playdates per kid, and only in the school holidays.

Most of my kids friends understand my situation, and continue to invite my kids for playdates.  Most of them have pools, so their friends (and they) prefer to host the playdates anyway!

I usually offer to host a playdate on school development days, as a few of the other mums are teachers.   I feel like this makes up for my lack of reciprocity, as it really helps them out.  It works for me too as I can't work anyway when the kids are not at school.

Edited by mumandboys, 28 January 2013 - 05:26 PM.


#14 brazen

Posted 28 January 2013 - 05:29 PM

yes and no. i do reciprocate but not as often as my kids tend to get invited elsewhere. why? because i'm not a fan of playdates, i feel uncomfortable having unfamiliar kids in my house, having to feed them, solve problems with kids not getting on, and my house is often too untidy to want others over.

also i worked 4 days a week (3 this year so might change things a little) so i preferred my days off to be relaxing and we weren't home in time for playdates on work days

i prefer playdates of the local neighbourhood drop in kind!

#15 brazen

Posted 28 January 2013 - 05:31 PM

PS; in regard to it being school holidays - for parents who work these can be even busier, with time away, vacation care etc etc

#16 Lifesgood

Posted 28 January 2013 - 05:40 PM

We reciprocate amongst DDs school friends. Today we had a friend here, tomorrow we are picking a friend up from vacation care at lunchtime as her parents both work and she is sick to death of vacation care. I'll have kids here for a full day in the holidays or during a strike if the parents can't stay home. Sometimes I ask another family if my DD can come to their house for a playdate if I have a commitment or a complication that means I need someone to look after DD - it's a form of childminding. Then I do the same for them when they need it.

OP - it does sound like some of the other families are taking the p*ss a bit. Maybe just come right out and ask them.

#17 JRA

Posted 28 January 2013 - 05:42 PM




QUOTE (FluffyOscar @ 28/01/2013, 02:39 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
We reciprocate playdates, so we don't host again until the other family has their turn IYKWIM. It keeps things fair, but it's also a good way to space things out as required. So that way, I won't offer to host until I'm ready, and neither will the other mum.

I must admit, I find that odd. Different people have different circumstances, making it easier or harder to reciprocate

As for holidays, I know some people simply cant reciprocate over holidays for logistics reasons, they work etc. Of course also many people are away over holidays.


I know DS only caught up with friends who invited him for a specific purpose eg birthday, brick vision etc so we came up from the coast to do this.  He has had a couple of friends come down there, but that is obviously a lot bigger thing than come to my house for a couple of hours.


#18 Jigsy 0308

Posted 28 January 2013 - 05:49 PM

Thankyou very much for your replies ladies. It is much appreciated. I have gained a lot of insight from your comments. biggrin.gif

I think I was beginning to take it personally that perhaps these parents did not like myself or my children and that is why they didn't reciprocate. Through your comments I've discovered that the possible reasons could be.........

1) They have multiple children. I only have two.
2) They do work or own a business. I am a SAHM.
3) My house is immaculate. I don't want folk to feel that my children would not be comfortable in a friend's house that wasn't like ours. Or that they HAVE to clean up prior to us coming over.
4) That some people just do not like having other people's kids in their houses.

I guess I never considered the other side.

Thankyou biggrin.gif  wub.gif  bbighug.gif

#19 Frockme

Posted 28 January 2013 - 05:54 PM

We reciprocate, mostly. It's so dependant though.
DS is at an age where after school is not possible, neither is Saturdays bc of sports etc, which leaves Sundays. Tbh I like Sunday to do something altogether as a family, as lifes so busy. DS will sometimes have a "tagalong " to one of these days out.

I don't reciprocate if Ds doesn't like the kid after a play (this happened once, shocker!).
I don't have the child over again if he's a pain in the butt, no manners, rude, swear, trouble causing so nso.

I do however feel no obligation to reciprocate sleep overs. I don't like them to begin with, for various reasons, I do reciprocate though, just not often.

#20 Lishyfips

Posted 28 January 2013 - 06:00 PM

QUOTE (brazen @ 28/01/2013, 06:29 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
yes and no. i do reciprocate but not as often as my kids tend to get invited elsewhere. why? because i'm not a fan of playdates, i feel uncomfortable having unfamiliar kids in my house, having to feed them, solve problems with kids not getting on, and my house is often too untidy to want others over.

also i worked 4 days a week (3 this year so might change things a little) so i preferred my days off to be relaxing and we weren't home in time for playdates on work days

i prefer playdates of the local neighbourhood drop in kind!


Oh I hear you, Brazen!
Messy enough house as it is and I spend the whole playdate sorting out grievances, finding new activities to occupy them, calming the sibling who hasn't got a friend over. I do have other kids over to play but secretly I don't like it. And sometimes I think my kids get a lot of time to play with other kids at school and kinder, it's good for them to have time alone or just with each other outside of these activities.
I have nothing but respect for my friends who seem to enjoy having lots of kids at their house all the time, lots of sleepovers, but I just can't hack it! Maybe when they're over 7 it gets easier...

#21 JapNFeral

Posted 28 January 2013 - 06:11 PM

I more than reciprocate. I understand when people can't for various reasons and will invite again if my child particularly wants a play.

But I do get irritated with some that never reciprocate. I usually tell my kids to stop asking.

#22 Heffalump

Posted 28 January 2013 - 06:28 PM

I try to reciprocate but often the best way to tie us down is just to show up - we do have friends who live downstairs that do this and 99% of the time I am happy to rearrange whatever I had planned so that the kids can play - everyone, kids and adults get on really well so that makes it even easier.  We are also very informal.

Logistics always interferes with formal 'playdates'.  We work a lot better with the 'ring the buzzer and ask if little Johnny can stop by for a few hours' approach.

ETA:

Our close friends know this and the ones that DD maintains a friendship with come to learn this and don't get offended by the lack of formal invitations.

Edited by Heffalump, 28 January 2013 - 06:29 PM.


#23 Funwith3

Posted 28 January 2013 - 06:58 PM

QUOTE (naturalgoodness @ 28/01/2013, 03:23 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Currently we don't reciprocate a lot, but I made friends aware that the more pregnant I got the less I would entertain other kids as DD2 doesn't react well when DS2 has his friends over and I spend the whole time having to do extra special entertaining with her.

I simply don't have the energy! I am also unlikely to reciprocate when I have a newborn - but I have a good reason and did tell other parents what to expect up from  biggrin.gif

Maybe some of the other parents have their own reasons that you are not aware of?

Agree...my circumstances have prevented me from reciprocating. We were renting a very small townhouse, then we moved into our brand new house which had no landscaping done and was therefore a mud heap. All through this I have been either pregnant or have had a newborn. My children's friends parents know our circumstances so I would hope they understand. Now that our baby is a bit bigger and our backyard is done we've started repaying the favours.

I definitely find the single-child families are really great at organising plays.

#24 Sweet like a lemon

Posted 28 January 2013 - 08:49 PM

Currently not because our house resembles a dump site - half renovated, jungle outside and not very safe. Don't take it heart OP. I think sometimes people are so busy that some downtime and family time are sorely missed. Also a number of people do a fair bit of travel and traipsing around to various family members all over country during the December holidays.


#25 Coffeegirl

Posted 28 January 2013 - 08:55 PM

We've been pretty lucky with the sibling front.  Three of DD's friends have younger brothers who are DS' friends  biggrin.gif

So I often have both the siblings at our place at the same time, or even for sleepovers.  And the other family does the same.

Gives both sets of parents a break too.

Also I am one of the only mums in our group of friends who works, so the other mums are pretty understanding that I don't reciprocate as much as they offer, but if another mum was taking mine to the movies, I would always ensure my kids had money for the tickets (or I buy them online) and money for snacks.  I don't expect the other mum to pay.  





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