Playdates with Schoolmates

Kiera Ashford, Associate Editor / February 2, 2016

Your child wants to have a classmate over to play, but you’ve never met the parents. This is all new to you, too.

Parents with their first child in school are faced with another dilemma — playdates. Your little guy comes home from school and talks all about his new friends. He wants to have one of them over to play … and soon! But, what is the first thing you should do? Would you rather meet them at your house, their house or a public spot before the child stays for a few hours at your house without the parents? Here’s what local parents say about playdates from school:

In today’s world, meet the parents … several times beforehand.
I don’t know anyone who would take their child to someone’s house they don’t know and drop them off for a play date for young kids. I wouldn’t ever let my son go alone to someone’s house without meeting them several times beforehand. My oldest is 5! With all the sick people in the world, I don’t really see myself allowing my kids to stay the night without knowing them really well and who all will be there.
Kimberly Farley

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Visit them at their house.
I prefer their house so I can see how they live! LOL.
Valerie Judkins

How do you actually get in touch with the parents?
Well, I have another question since my first child just started kindergarten: How do you actually get to meet these other parents or at least contact them? Do you send a note to the teacher to put in the other child’s backpack? My son has a couple of little friends he wants to have over and I’m just kind of like, “I love that you’re making friends, but …” — I’m not sure what to do.
Alison Windsor Owen

Meet up at the park.
Set a play date at a playground first to meet the parents. Then go from there.
Erin Funderburk

Definitely get to know the parents. Maybe meet at a school function?
I’m in this situation right now. My son’s in kindergarten, and has met many new friends. All he wants is for them to come over and stay the night. I want to meet the parents, I haven’t even met the other kids. I’m hoping I can meet them at the end of the month at parent-teacher conferences. I’m just not comfortable keeping someone else’s child, and not knowing anything about them or where they live. You know in case of an emergency or if he wants to go home. Am I right on this?
Stacey London Perry

Make several play dates and chat with the parents while the kids play.
With my son in third grade, we’ve been having play dates with friends from school at a public location, usually a park. We have yet to participate in a drop-off play date and I don’t see that happening for a while longer.
Tami Worley Holloman

Swap house visits with the parents.
I met a mom at a public place. Her son wanted to come over to our house to play with my son. I met her and then took the boy to our house. Then, later, I called her and set a day when she could hang out at our house.
Melissa Braithwaite-Hallman

Kiera Ashford
Kiera Ashford is associate editor of Nashville Parent and mother of two.

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