You’ve invited your best friend and her three-year-old son over for a play date. Your own three-year-old is excited his friend is coming over to play. Five minutes into the play date it’s clear your friend’s son is on a seek and destroy mission. Talk about a disaster just waiting to happen. Do you wait for your friend to control her child? Do you ask your friend to control her child? Do you try to diffuse the situation yourself?
At this point in time you are in a NO WIN situation. You’re facing two major challenges
- Protect your son.
- Protect your friendship.
I once read an article on this very subject that suggested you should tell your friend her child is aggressive and rough and he really scares your son. I am dying to ask that author, “How did that work for you?” You’ve got to be kidding. That is worse than telling your girlfriend that her husband is having an affair. I had to share that little morsel with you because a child psychologist, a supposed expert, wrote the article.
Chances are you already know that your friend’s child can be a handful when it comes to play dates. Being prepared and taking control over the situation is the ticket and the stub!
Play Date Rules
- If you’re not familiar with a child or parent, offer to host the play date.
- Prepare a safe environment. If a child tends to be a little aggressive, then plan a quiet activity such as baking cookies or an art project. Avoid cars and blocks.
- Always monitor their play.
- You are your child’s advocate and it is your job to keep him safe.
- If a child is getting too aggressive make a general statement, “Wow, things are getting a little rough. Someone is going to get hurt.” If the other mother doesn’t get the hint, then step in and diffuse the situation by suggesting another activity.
- If your child does not want to play with another child, listen to him.
- Always remember: any child can have a bad day.
And, if your child is the ‘house crasher’…be sure to shadow them.