Play dates are arranged appointments for children to get together for a few hours to do what they do best, play! Play dates were invented not only for children to interact with others but also for a parent to give their heads a rest.
The intention of a play date is to give children time to interact freely in a less structured environment than other planned activities might provide. Most parents prefer children to use these hours to form friendships by playing with other children either one-on-one or within small groups.
When children are very young, most parents stay for the play date and use the time to form their own friendships and parental alliances. I remember an episode in Desperate Housewives where mother of 4, Lynette Scavo was at the brink of a nervous breakdown and had to resort to pills to take her through because no one was willing to set a play date for their kids with her quite rebellious ones.
She eventually found a woman whose kid matched her ‘little terrorists’ and she was able to get a few hours off to relax. Being a parent does not mean you have to be a robot. These play dates will give you at least a few hours on your own without the sound of a defiant kid grating on your last nerve.
According to voices.yahoo.com, when you set up a play date, don’t let your child take on more than she can handle. Likewise, do not host a play date that requires more than you are prepared to handle.
Try to work around a start and finish time that works for both parties. What is important to one family may not be important to another so discuss upfront with the other parents any issues of concern. For example, you may want to know whether there are any weapons stored in the other family’s home; kids and weapons do not go together especially because a kid’s curiosity surpasses a cat’s.
Make sure you feed the child before leaving for a play date. If the play date starts in the morning then make sure they have breakfast before sending them off. If you are playing host, make sure you are stocked with healthy and satisfying eats for the kids. Hungry children are cranky children and you do not want that.
Should the child be irritable or sick, postpone the play date to avoid spreading any kind of illness around like the flu or cough.
A playground is one of the best venues because it is open and offers a wider variety of fun stuff. I went with my daughter and niece to Bambino (on your way to Kabuga) once, well – it’s not Disneyland or anything but they had a great time.
Should there be a problem trying to get them to leave the grounds (and there will be), let it be known to them that the next play date will be in some kind of solitary confinement. I’m just kidding.