What Happened to Just Playing with Friends?

I really dislike arranging playdates for my kids. It’s not that I don’t want them playing with their friends, it’s that playdates are so limiting!

A part of it is how often, or rather, how rarely I manage to get other parents to agree to playdates. My kids are available to play with friends so much more often than any of their friends are. Drives me nuts!

But the other problem is that so often the other parents tell me no because their child has a playdate with someone else. That drives me nuts because I’m just as happy to have group of kids come and play with mine as I am to have just one of their friends over.

Kind of like when I was a kid.

We’d go over to one friend’s house to see if they could play. Then we’d go together to get more friends. There’d be a nice group of kids playing together, not just two.

These days the only time I see a group of kids invited to play together is for birthday parties. I’d love to see them get together at other times too.

I’m hoping this gets better as the kids get older. I don’t see much sign of it in the neighbor kids, though, so it’s hard to say. I’ve always figured I would rather be the mom with a crowd of kids playing at her house than the mom unsure what her kids are up to. Not that I will mind at all when my kids go over to other friends’ houses.

What are your experiences? Do your kids get to play with a lot of other kids or is this something your family struggles with too?

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3 Responses

  1. Kristin says:

    We don’t do playdates very often because my kids can’t seem to handle it. They are 11, 9, 7 & 5 (so every day is playdate here!)What I find is they all want to play with the visitor; and most kids get overwhelmed with that- heck I get overwhelmed by them & I live here!

  2. Same here. I hate the effort that goes into scheduling and rescheduling play dates. It’s almost a full time job!

  3. Tari says:

    I’m a few years past playdates, and can commiserate! I would struggle with finding mom’s who wanted to participate – and I was quite happy to be host. Seems the parents who only want a one-to-one visit are more interested in getting the kids occupied so they can focus elsewhere, while a bunch of kids requires adult attention. I think playdates are important. Kids need time to just play – it’s becoming a lost art.