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Elementary School Kids Elementary School Kids

What’s up with this “Play Date” Phenomenon?

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Ok moms, please explain the Play date thing.  I just don't get it.  My kids have many friends at school, church,  sports and dance teams, neighborhood and close family friends.  What I don't understand it the whole play date thing.  Is this something a group of fancy moms made up and now everyone has jumped on the band wagon?  Is this an organized event or is this a necessary thing?  Is this planned play time?  When I was a child, I never heard my mom say anything about play dates.  We just went outside and played, road our bikes, played in the yard with close friends.  There was no play date.  When my parents visited close friends, we just ended up playing together.   If I call up a friend and say let's take the kids to the zoo, Is that a play date?    Am I just out of the loop or do I need to jump on this play date band wagon?  Can someone please explain it to me?


by on Oct. 17, 2011 at 12:30 PM
Replies (31-40):
menmy2lilmen
by on Oct. 18, 2011 at 10:15 AM

Never had a playdate so I a just as out of it as you are.

Morrigan333
by on Oct. 18, 2011 at 10:16 AM

 

  In this day and age of "over scheduled kids, the playdates really are necessary, because you can't play with "johnny" unless you have a date to. Johhny is at Karate, swim team, Lacrosse, basketball, tutoring, etc.  When I was a kid we just ran out and played as well.  Today's kids don't have that advantage. My child never gets to get a playdate because everybody else is always at another ACTIVITY! Bummer!

DDDaysh
by Bronze Member on Oct. 18, 2011 at 11:44 AM

 Maybe you didn't, but my mom did.  They didn't call it a "play date" but it was the same thing.  I even had kids on my street.  I lived next door to a little boy my age, and two houses down from a little girl my age.  For those two, we'd just run over and ask if they wanted to play.  It didn't have to be a scheduled thing. 

But my mom also wanted me exposed to other child, or children of her coworkers.  So they'd call eachother up and find times for us to play together when we were little.  That way we could get exposed to more children.  My best friend in elementary school came from a forced "play dates" our mothers arranged when we were 4.  I HATED her the first couple of times because I didn't want to play with anyone new.  What a shame it would have been if my mother hadn't had the forsight to give me that exposure. 

Quoting obamamama1:

 

Quoting ArmyGal:

I'm guessing this is an attempt to make yourself seem like a better parent? Obviously you know what it is. Some people, like myself, live in an area with old retired people. So sometimes I have to make play dates with my sister's SIL because she has 5 kids and is always on the run. Plus my sister lives nearly 2hrs away so I can't see her unless we set things up. I havent seen any kids on my block beside my daughter. She does go to daycare, Korean school, and the gym's daycare, but that's about it.

No I don't think that at all.  I just don't understand what it is for.  Perhaps I am an older parent my oldest child is 24 years old and my youngest is 4 and I have no grandchildren.  We just did not do this type of thing when my older kids were growing up.  It must be a "new  generation Mom thing."  I just can't hear myself calling a friend and saying lets have a play date.  It sounds funny just typing it.  So if you feel offended, by my ignorance (lack of knowledge)... what can I say?  I have been an Army Wife for 27 years and have traveled the world, but I don't know anythng about a play date.  But, when I joined this site, all I read about is Moms wanting  and asking for a play date.

 

luzngkntrl
by on Oct. 18, 2011 at 12:21 PM
2 moms liked this


Quoting mamacalifornia:

I hate the whole "play date" thing! Why schedule time for your kids to play with other kids?? If we go over to a friends the kids will play with their kids, if my kids want a friend over then they just call & ask the friend, there is no well if the mom's or dad's have the time to visit then okay, it is just the kids playing1

I couldn't agree more! What urks me is...why do you have to be best friends with the parents in order for the kids to play together? Can't the kids just play? I'm not saying that I don't want to get to know the parents....I wouldn't just let my child just go anywhere with anyone...but it seems to me that if the parents don't know each other as well as one of their family members or if they don't get along for some reason, the kids can't play together. I think alot of it has to do with if the moms click then the kids are allowed to play together, if not, the kids suffer for it and aren't allowed to play together. It's just all drama to me. 

M4LG5
by Gold Member on Oct. 18, 2011 at 12:59 PM
I need playdates because our schedule is hectic. There are no kids on our street and our kids are in sports, and we work full time so yeah...playdates with their friends is sometimes necessary. When there were kids on our street they did play when they could. They only play one sport and they have either 1-2 days of practice and a game on the weekend...it just so happens that our kids have practices on different days so our only free times are Tuesday and Sunday.

It's not a bad thing that kids are in activities....please don't make it sound wrong. I can understand your point that they are busy doing 3-4 activities but don't generalize families that do playdates as something negative.


Quoting Morrigan333:

 


  In this day and age of "over scheduled kids, the playdates really are necessary, because you can't play with "johnny" unless you have a date to. Johhny is at Karate, swim team, Lacrosse, basketball, tutoring, etc.  When I was a kid we just ran out and played as well.  Today's kids don't have that advantage. My child never gets to get a playdate because everybody else is always at another ACTIVITY! Bummer!

Posted on CafeMom Mobile
missmansmommy
by on Oct. 18, 2011 at 1:11 PM

I am with you! I miss the days of just letting the kids run and play outside.

M4LG5
by Gold Member on Oct. 18, 2011 at 1:12 PM
I want to mention that they have plenty of time throughout the day to play with kids but the playdates ate usually with theory special friends...especially ones that they don't go to school with.

Quoting M4LG5:

I need playdates because our schedule is hectic. There are no kids on our street and our kids are in sports, and we work full time so yeah...playdates with their friends is sometimes necessary. When there were kids on our street they did play when they could. They only play one sport and they have either 1-2 days of practice and a game on the weekend...it just so happens that our kids have practices on different days so our only free times are Tuesday and Sunday.



It's not a bad thing that kids are in activities....please don't make it sound wrong. I can understand your point that they are busy doing 3-4 activities but don't generalize families that do playdates as something negative.




Quoting Morrigan333:

 



  In this day and age of "over scheduled kids, the playdates really are necessary, because you can't play with "johnny" unless you have a date to. Johhny is at Karate, swim team, Lacrosse, basketball, tutoring, etc.  When I was a kid we just ran out and played as well.  Today's kids don't have that advantage. My child never gets to get a playdate because everybody else is always at another ACTIVITY! Bummer!

Posted on CafeMom Mobile
ldmrmom
by Bronze Member on Oct. 18, 2011 at 1:34 PM

There are few kids on our block. The ones that are there, my kids will ad hoc gather round and play with on their own collective whims.  For other kids, we have to arrange a time which at this point typically invovles one of the kids getting the other on the phone to 'pre-set' their plans and then handing off the phone to their respective parents to coordinate the details. Rarely do the parents stick around to socialize together, not at this age. My kids are 9 and 7. The 'play date' is not about parent and kid time. It's more about being a bit more scheduled than off the cuff.

When they were younger and not yet making their own friends the get together would be more parent led in determining who, what, when, where. . .and yes, parents would sit and chat together while the kids played.


Traci_Momof2
by Silver Member on Oct. 18, 2011 at 2:42 PM
1 mom liked this

I grew up in a very small, rural town where "play dates" did not happen.  Even from a very young age, if I wanted to play with a friend, I just asked Mom or Dad and I walked over there.  The town was so small that it wasn't hard to find friends within walking distance.

But now it's very different.  We live in a larger suburb, and our immediate neighborhood is older in nature.  Most of the "kids" are in high school or older.  Not very many young kids for my kids to just go out and play with.  There's a few, and they do that on occasion, but not a lot.  Additionally, DH and I work all day and so the kids are in daycare all day when not in school.  The kids and I don't get home until 5:30pm.  When there is still homework, dinner, and then 7:30 is time to get in jammies, there's precious little time to just 'run out and play'.  Not to mention swim lessons and Cub Scouts that take up some evenings too.  If my son wanted to play with any classmates outside of school, we would have to schedule it.  Otherwise it just wouldn't happen.

I don't think it's a bad thing that play dates are more the norm today.  I also don't think it's a bad thing if kids still run and play outside at whim.  It's just simply a sign of the changing times.  To a kid, play time is still play time no matter what you call it and no matter if it's scheduled ahead of time of happens spur of the moment.

Traci_Momof2
by Silver Member on Oct. 18, 2011 at 2:49 PM


Quoting luzngkntrl:

 

Quoting mamacalifornia:

I hate the whole "play date" thing! Why schedule time for your kids to play with other kids?? If we go over to a friends the kids will play with their kids, if my kids want a friend over then they just call & ask the friend, there is no well if the mom's or dad's have the time to visit then okay, it is just the kids playing1

I couldn't agree more! What urks me is...why do you have to be best friends with the parents in order for the kids to play together? Can't the kids just play? I'm not saying that I don't want to get to know the parents....I wouldn't just let my child just go anywhere with anyone...but it seems to me that if the parents don't know each other as well as one of their family members or if they don't get along for some reason, the kids can't play together. I think alot of it has to do with if the moms click then the kids are allowed to play together, if not, the kids suffer for it and aren't allowed to play together. It's just all drama to me. 

Is it that the moms need to 'click' or is that more and more parents are uneasy leaving their child at someone else's home if they don't know the adults very well?  More and more parents are leary of leaving their kids alone with other adults, or just letting them wander at will up and down the street, for fear of predators.  Especially with younger kids.  I think this is a part of the reason for the play date phenomenon.  I've had people say I am crazy for letting my 6 year old and 4 year old play outside in our neighborhood without me right there watching them every minute.  With that mindset, how are they supposed to have spur of the moment playtime?

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