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  1. #1
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    Default SPINOFF Playdates - when your not there

    Hjmom's post about 6-7yrs. olds alone at the park, got me thinking.....

    When you feel your kids are old enough to go on a play date alone (without a parent to go with them any way), do you ensure the parents of their friend will supervise? Do you ask what their rules are? Or do you assume they would supervise and don't go "there"?


    I'm kinda curious for myself. DS is 4.5, and I won't allow him to go on a playdate alone yet, unless I'm with him or I know the parent(s) really well. But I know down the road it is only natural to occur, but am wondering if you take any steps to ensure or ask how things are done, at their home, etc.? Without offending the parent?
    Last edited by Entreaquiyahi; 04-04-2011 at 01:17 PM.

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    My DD has been on a few playdates alone. I know most of the parents well and I think they have more to worry about with my level of supervision than the other way around. I think I'm the more laid back parent in our group.
    Daisy - Mum to M (July 2005) and T (July 2009)

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    My youngest is 9 and I just started letting her visit friends without me around. I have to have met the parents and have a phone number and they have to be home. I don't know why but I usually still worry and will have her bring a sibling along. I usually try to encourage them to play at my house. I don't mind having a house full of kids.

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    I don't even remember the last time I went on a playdate with one of my kids. Mine are older now - we often have over other kids (aged 7 and older) and I supervise them closer then my own kids - simply because they don't KNOW the rules at our house yet, and the very last thing I would want is for someone else's child to get hurt.

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    probably about 5 years old. Now that she is 8 she goes and plays with her friends almost every day. She just goes and calls on them and they pick a place to play, sometimes outside, sometimes here, sometimes at the other house. She just calls and lets me know if she is staying over, or she comes back and lets me know she will be outside, or they come back together and play. My dd does this with all her little friends, so I assume that lots of 7-8 year olds are like this.

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    My son started to go on playdates alone this year, so when he was 5. Wasn't really to do with age - it was just that he started making friends at school that live in our neighborhood.


    "The secret to having it all... Is knowing you already do."

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    Mine play at friends' houses all the time but I'm learning never to assume anything when it comes to the level of supervision that will be provided.

    Dd went swimming at a friend's house and while I was dropping her off I got the impression that the mom might not be planning to watch them while they swam (she was telling me about an upstairs bedroom she was planning to paint that afternoon). They had a diving board and rock wall and the deep end was at least 10 ft. deep. I had to ask about supervision and my gut feeling was right. She told me she doesn't supervise her dd's in their pool anymore and not to worry about it because her dd's (6 and 8) were great swimmers and would help my dd out if she needed it. Dd is great little swimmer but I would never be comfortable letting her swim without supervision. Awkward conversation followed... not the most comfortable situation.

    Recently I learned that dd went on a play date and ended up sitting alone with her friend in a car in the mall parking lot for a couple of hours. Not something I'm really comfortable with, not to mention I had no idea her mom was taking them to the mall. I haven't mentioned anything to her mom yet but dd has asked to have future playdates with this little friend at our house instead.

    And lastly, youngest dd was at a play date with a little girl we know fairly well and when she got home she told me the dad went grocery shopping while they were playing and he left them home alone (my dd was 7 at the time, her friend was 8). Her friend got stuck in a tree and dd had to go into the house and look up the dad's cell phone number to call him to come home and rescue her friend from the tree.

    Just when I'm trying to back off and give them some independence and not be overprotective, I realize that I can't just assume anything when it comes to parenting decisions.
    Last edited by whirlygirl; 04-04-2011 at 02:23 PM.

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    no one has ever asked Aurora to have a playdate let alone an alone one. i would though and would trust that the parent would be around. but wouldnt expect them to be playing with them as they are almost 7.
    jennifer mommy to 4 amazing kids!

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    Quote Originally Posted by whirlygirl View Post
    Mine play at friends' houses all the time but I'm learning never to assume anything when it comes to the level of supervision that will be provided.

    Dd went swimming at a friend's house and while I was dropping her off I got the impression that the mom might not be planning to watch them while they swam (she was telling me about an upstairs bedroom she was planning to paint that afternoon). They had a diving board and rock wall and the deep end was at least 10 ft. deep. I had to ask about supervision and my gut feeling was right. She told me she doesn't supervise her dd's in their pool anymore and not to worry about it because her dd's (6 and 8) were great swimmers and would help my dd out if she needed it. Dd is great little swimmer but I would never be comfortable letting her swim without supervision. Awkward conversation followed... not the most comfortable situation.

    Recently I learned that dd went on a play date and ended up sitting alone with her friend in a car in the mall parking lot for a couple of hours. Not something I'm really comfortable with, not to mention I had no idea her mom was taking them to the mall. I haven't mentioned anything to her mom yet but dd has asked to have future playdates with this little friend at our house instead.

    And lastly, youngest dd was at a play date with a little girl we know fairly well and when she got home she told me the dad went grocery shopping while they were playing and he left them home alone (my dd was 7 at the time, her friend was 8). Her friend got stuck in a tree and dd had to go into the house and look up the dad's cell phone number to call him to come home and rescue her friend from the tree.

    Just when I'm trying to back off and give them some independence and not be overprotective, I realize that I can't just assume anything when it comes to parenting decisions.
    I'm not that negligent. I let kids play in our (fenced) backyard by themselves!
    Daisy - Mum to M (July 2005) and T (July 2009)

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    Oh wow, whirlygirl, those are scary stories.

    My DDs have both been on playdates without me. My older DD has only been to one girl's house, and there were a couple of 'incidents' - not due to lack of supervision, more due to them not bringing her back when they said they would or changing plans at the last moment - so we had to speak up and since then DD hasn't been invitedback. DD2, tbh I think had more supervision at her friend's house than they get when they are here. Bad mommy, I know.

    I would NEVER leave children in the pool unattended, not my own and not anyone else's. In fact, I think if my kids were inviting friends over to swim I'd insist a parent come too.

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    With parents I know/trust he's been going on playdates without me since he was 3.
    I wouldn't let him go to anyone's house alone without me knowing the parents. I expect that to continue for quite a while.

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    J at 3 went on a couple but I've known the families for a few yrs. One is a neighbour and the other my oldest is good friends with the little guys sister. I think C was probably JK when she first started going on ones without me.
    Your life is a result of the choices you make, if you don't like your life it's time to start making better choices.

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    Quote Originally Posted by whirlygirl View Post
    Mine play at friends' houses all the time but I'm learning never to assume anything when it comes to the level of supervision that will be provided.

    Dd went swimming at a friend's house and while I was dropping her off I got the impression that the mom might not be planning to watch them while they swam (she was telling me about an upstairs bedroom she was planning to paint that afternoon). They had a diving board and rock wall and the deep end was at least 10 ft. deep. I had to ask about supervision and my gut feeling was right. She told me she doesn't supervise her dd's in their pool anymore and not to worry about it because her dd's (6 and 8) were great swimmers and would help my dd out if she needed it. Dd is great little swimmer but I would never be comfortable letting her swim without supervision. Awkward conversation followed... not the most comfortable situation.

    Recently I learned that dd went on a play date and ended up sitting alone with her friend in a car in the mall parking lot for a couple of hours. Not something I'm really comfortable with, not to mention I had no idea her mom was taking them to the mall. I haven't mentioned anything to her mom yet but dd has asked to have future playdates with this little friend at our house instead.

    And lastly, youngest dd was at a play date with a little girl we know fairly well and when she got home she told me the dad went grocery shopping while they were playing and he left them home alone (my dd was 7 at the time, her friend was 8). Her friend got stuck in a tree and dd had to go into the house and look up the dad's cell phone number to call him to come home and rescue her friend from the tree.

    Just when I'm trying to back off and give them some independence and not be overprotective, I realize that I can't just assume anything when it comes to parenting decisions.
    oh wow!
    Your life is a result of the choices you make, if you don't like your life it's time to start making better choices.

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    I should also add that in two of the three cases I posted about I thought I “knew“ the parents quite well (our girls had gone to school and played together for 3 years and we've socialized with them at various functions over the years. They are all highly educated professionals and somehow I assumed after spending some time with them that our parenting styles would be similar. These experiences haven't stopped me from allowing my girls to have frequent playdates etc. but I certainly ask more questions and don't assume anything when it comes to other people watching my kids.

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    Whirlygirl, those stories are crazy, and for some, illegal! Scary for sure!

    Dd started going to friends' houses without me when I believe she was around 5. Now she's always with the neighbourhood girls, but most of the time they congregate at our house. She also goes to school friends' houses occasionally, but I'm always sure to meet the parents to get a “vibe“. She's 7.
    Ds is 4. He's only ever gone to his friend's house across the street without me. But we know the parents very well and I'm steps away if anything goes wrong. That being said, I'd let him go to a friend's house from school, as long as I already know the parent.

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