The Play Date Conumdrum

Play with me?

Today is a slow day. I’m trying desperately to get ready for a full-time gig that’s coming up in the next few weeks.

My husband has a cold today and has plopped himself on the couch, yet the kids are bored and chores need to be done. My son has a play date scheduled for later today, and my daughter desperately wants to play with someone. We’ve tried two different neighbours but they’re both busy.

I have a tendency to take things too personally; whether that’s someone who doesn’t want to “play” with me or a kid that doesn’t want to play with my child. It’s not like there was  a date scheduled in advance – we just showed up at the neighbours’ doors but, I still think children should be pleasant and polite even if they can’t play. One child just said, “No” as soon as my daughter cheerfully asked if he wanted to play. However, the other child was much kinder with the father explaining that they’re putting on a party for relatives today. Completely understandable but my poor daughter is disappointed.

What do you think? How do you handle bored and distracted children? Do you tell other children to be polite and respectful or just bite your tongue? Do you just slough off no-go play dates?

3 responses to “The Play Date Conumdrum

  1. It is hard for me when I feel like other kids are being rude to my child. Sometimes I step in, sometimes I let it work itself out. Kids are resilient, too, I find. Whereas my “hurt” will last longer, they are soon enjoying the next adventure without even thinking of the past moment.

  2. Kids are so me-centered that they don’t think much about what comes out of their mouths. If you see another child hurts your child’s feelings, take it as an opportunity to talk about emotions and feelings. I think as humans the mailman can “reject us” by driving off while you’re walking up to grab your mail. IMO it benefits our kids to learn to identify and talk about their emotions sooner than later.

  3. I agree with Jan. Jack’s 6 and he will pretty much just say what he thinks/feels, and still hasn’t quite grasped the concept of empathy and etiquette. In fact, our teenage niece said something fairly insensitive about a relative who had just lost a baby – they stay self-centred for many years, I think.

    What I try to do is point out why something might be hurtful or better ways to say things. But I understand what you’re saying – the protective mommy instinct is strong and it’s tough to see your child hurt.

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