Play dates; you either love them or you hate them. There is no in between. You don’t look forward to them incessantly unless you love them and you don’t dread them like the plague unless you hate them. Many parents live for play dates because it’s a chance for them to keep their kids entertained for a few hours while they simultaneously make new friends of their own. Others dislike them because they already have there are large circle of friends with kids their own kids ages and they aren’t looking to try to carve out any more time for other people. However, you have no choice when your kids make a friend they really like other than to allow them to foster those friendships through playdates. The next problem is that perhaps your child’s playdate has a friend that is a pain in the you-know-what, and you’re not sure what to do about it. Dealing with obnoxious kids is difficult enough when they’re your own, but when they belong to someone else, it’s an even bigger issue. Here’s how to handle a situation such as this.
Figure Out What Annoys You
Is your child’s playdate’s friend annoying in real life or does he just annoy you? For example, is he just a bit too loud for your tastes but an overall good kid outside of his desire to scream everything he says? Or is he obnoxious because he’s always picking on your child, causing others to cry or just downright rude and undesirable to have around? You have to know the difference before you act on your feeling of dislike. Sometimes your personal feelings or the little things aren’t a big deal, and you don’t want to cause issues where there really aren’t any.
Speak to the Playdate Host
If the hosting parent allows this other child to her home on a regular basis, she might be the person you want to speak to about your valid concerns. For example, if the obnoxious friend uses inappropriate language and your child tells you about it, speak to the host of the playdate and let her know what’s going on. Let her know your concerns. Her child might not have mentioned this to her and she may be unaware that there is a bad influence in the mix. Or she might not know that her child’s friend is a bully. Bring it to her attention and wait for her reaction. It could go a million different ways, and you’ll have to handle it yourself from that point forward.
Make a Decision
If the host of the playdate continues to allow this obnoxious child around, decline invitations at her house and invite her, instead, to your house. Most people know it’s rude to bring extra children to playdates and will refrain from doing so. You can also just inform her that while you enjoy your playdates, you prefer to sit them out if this child is going to be around before he or she makes it difficult for your little one to enjoy this time.
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