Playdates. Do you stay, or do you drop off?

posted 3 years ago in Parenting
  • poll: Do you always stay with your child during playdates?
    Yes. Because I feel the need to. : (6 votes)
    23 %
    Yes. Because I don't want to get "judged" : (0 votes)
    No. There is no need as long as I know and am comfortable with the other parent/caregiver : (20 votes)
    77 %
  • Post # 3
    5664 posts
    Bee Keeper
    • Wedding: August 2012

    I’m not a parent yet but I never imagined that if two kids wanted to play at 6 years old the parents all had to hang out. Strange! I’d be like, you can drop them off and go away now thanks lol

    Post # 5
    2867 posts
    Sugar bee
    • Wedding: June 2014

    @freshflowers:  I feel you! My son is 6 and I have just started doing the drop off at parties thing. I admit I only did it when i realized other parents were doing it because I didn’t want to be looked down on as a Bad Mom for not staying. At 5 I wouldn’t have, but at 6 I think the time is starting where each kid doesn’t need their parent right on top of them for things to go smoothly. Also? I have my own friends and don’t wanna be forced to chit chat with some random Mom. I work long hours, I want to spend my free time with my actual friends and family. 

    Post # 7
    2144 posts
    Buzzing bee
    • Wedding: October 2015

    My parents always stayed when I was a kid. Even during my first couple years of high school, they wouldn’t drop me off somewhere unless they came in and met the parents. They were pretty overprotective.

    Post # 8
    577 posts
    Busy bee
    • Wedding: October 2014

    Depends on the age.  Baby/Preschool…stay and socialize.  School age….drop off.

    Post # 9
    3573 posts
    Sugar bee
    • Wedding: June 2011

    When they’re little, sure stay. I get that. But at 6? Yeah, no. As long as you know the parents and know that they’re decent people, I think it’s fine to drop them off. Maybe they also think it’s a bit silly but dont’ want you to judge them for not staying! lol. I would probably just say something when I invite their kid over, “Hey Mary, you know, if you have something you’d like to get done I don’t mind if you just drop Suzy off.” Hopefully it will start a pattern where you can do the same thing.

    Post # 10
    6808 posts
    Busy Beekeeper
    • Wedding: June 2011

    @freshflowers:  No we don’t hang out, for our area a play date is so the parent of the child being dropped off can go do something here or there. 

    Post # 12
    1773 posts
    Buzzing bee
    • Wedding: August 2010

    @freshflowers:  I stay usually but only because my son is 16 months old and can’t really talk for himself yet.  Besides, who wants to change other people’s kid’s diapers lol.  Once in a while one of our group of friends will watch the kids while the other goes out, but that’s not really a “playdate” persay.  When he is older, guessing around 3-4, I will be happy to drop him off as long as I know the parents.

    Post # 13
    7886 posts
    Bumble Beekeeper
    • Wedding: November 1999

    @freshflowers:  At 6-7 is about when the staying stopped. I’m not at all surprised that most parents stayed for a 6 year old’s birthday party.

    Post # 14
    1660 posts
    Bumble bee
    • Wedding: January 2012

    @freshflowers:  I don’t have any kids yet, but I feel like there is a difference between a “playdate” and “having a friend over to play”. To me playdate implies it’s a get together for kids and parents, where having a friend over to play is just the child. Maybe just changing the wording when inviting them over instead of “I was wondering if you were available for a playdate” you could say “DD was wondering if ____ could come over and play today”. To me that is the equivalent of a wedding invitation only addressed to the parents instead of “& family”…

    But like others have said, it makes sense for the parents to slowly stop hanging out once their child gets to a certain age.

    Post # 15
    5756 posts
    Bee Keeper

    Isn’t the point of a playdate to have the child learn to socialize with other kids outside of a structured environment? Why would parents hover for something like that? Babies, I get, but older than 3 or 4?

    I never liked parents staying for birthday parties either, unless the kids were too young to behave.

    Post # 16
    1471 posts
    Bumble bee
    • Wedding: August 2011

    @wandering_gypsy:  +1

    When I was young, we “had friends over to play” and that meant they got dropped off. Right now, I stay (my little guy is 1.5), but I also occasionally make arrangements to drop him off so I can go to work for a bit, and then do the same for their kiddo later in the week so mom has some time off. But we don’t call that a playdate. 

    Once my kiddo is 4 or 5, I’ll probably leave most of the time. I think it’s important for him to solve problems without my assistance, as long as there is SOME adult there to help. I think once the kid is completely verbal, drop-off play is great. On the other hand, if I really like the mom, we might still plan a playdate together to chat. 

    ETA: The trend of staying at birthday parties is something I’ve watched develop. Starting in high school, I hosted BDP at a nonprofit that I now run. Any parties for kids ages 3/4 and up used to mostly be drop-off (other than family of the birthday kid). Now even 6 year-old parties tend to have parents hanging around. I would like to see that trend reverse. BDPs have become more about parents than the kids these days. (Obviously there are exceptions).

    Leave a comment

    Get our weekly roundup of the best of Weddingbee.
    I agree to receive emails from the site. I can withdraw my consent at any time by unsubscribing.

    Find Amazing Vendors