Playdates are supposed to be fun, but there are also some unwritten rules that might help you. Such as, how do you initiate a playdate? What should you bring with you? And how do you handle disputes between kids? Learn how the parents in our studio have handled rules of etiquette when it comes to playdates.
Playdate Etiquette for Parents
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CHRISTINE GALIONE: Although the primary focus of a play date is on young kids, it is a date and as such, there are some unwritten rules which need to be followed. Some of these are obvious but others have mom and dads’ perplexed and puzzled.
I’m Christine Galione, play date expert from the Parent Connection. Today we’re talking about: “Play date etiquette.” This is Parent Savers Episode 97.
JOHNER RIEHL: Welcome everybody to another episode of Parent Savers. We’re broadcasting from the Birth Education Centre of San Diego. Parent Savers is your weekly online on-the-go support group for parents from the new born years to kindergarten. Thanks again to all of our loyal listeners, you join us week-in and week-out and thanks also to those of you who are listening for the first time.
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Every week as soon as the new episode is released every Wednesday-ish usually Wednesday, it will go right through your phone. So, it’s great or whatever device you listen with the podcast on. Today’s topic is: “Play date etiquette.”
Before we jumped into it, let’s introduce everyone in the room. We have a couple of panellists and of course producer Erin with us. As you guys know, my name is Johner; or maybe you don’t know if you’re first time listening. I have three boys – a seven year old, five year old and a two year old.
Play dates were a huge part of our lives for a while and now, it’s kind of funny – I was just talking that in a sense, our two year olds play dates with his brothers now. We haven’t kind of gone through this much but definitely with the first two. We went through a lot of play dates.
HEATHER PIEDRAHITA: Hi my name is Heather. I’m 27 and I work for an online high school. I have one son, Lucas who is only 8 ½ months old. So, we don’t have a whole lot of play dates yet or what we do it really – mom dates for the kids just happened to be there. But, I’m sure we’ll move into more of the kids playing as they.
JOHNER RIEHL: What if there’s etiquette?
HEATHER PIEDRAHITA: There is.
JOHNER RIEHL: There is definite I’ll kid around that.
EMILY NGUYEN: Hi. I am Emily Nguyen. I also have three boys.
JOHNER RIEHL: Nice.
EMILY NGUYEN: One who just turned eight, one who’s five and one who’s almost two.
JOHNER RIEHL: We’re in about the same boat.
HEATHER PIEDRAHITA: You guys should get together for some play dates.
JOHNER RIEHL: We are a hurricane.
ERIN ESTEVES: I am Erin Esteves, OG Mama Sita Officially Geriatric. I have one boy who’s 2 ½. He doesn’t really play with other kids yet.
JOHNER RIEHL: But he is a hurricane himself?
ERIN ESTEVES: He is a tornado.
JOHNER RIEHL: That’s right and Christine how about you?
CHRISTINE GALIONE: I have two girls – a three year old and a 16 month old.
JOHNER RIEHL: Nice. Here’s a question from one of our listeners.
Heidi from New Mexico asks us:
Hi. I’m a first time mom with a one-week old newborn. Is it possible for an infant this young to develop diaper rash? Even if I use ointment with every change to prevent diaper rash, what should I do if my daughter continues to get diaper rash?
DR. TARA ZANDVLIET: Hello Heidi. This is Dr. Tara Zandvliet. Yes, it is definitely possible for your newborn to have a diaper rash in the first week. It’s often the time they get the most diaper rashes. Their newborn skin is super sensitive and everything from the diaper to cream; the wipes and even their own urine can irritate the skin to the point of seeming like a burn.
As they get older, their skin becomes much less sensitive and diaper rash happens less often. So, keep the skin clean and dry, change the diaper often and don’t rub a lot with those wipes. It’s hard with the thick black meconium at the beginning. But, by now it should be easy to gently wipe up of the stool.
Consider using tips of soft cloth with water instead of a wipes or use hypo-allergenic wipes with aloe. You can use aloe creams, zinc creams like Desitin or vitamin creams like A and D. They all help as a barrier between the wetness and the skin. If you use it as a zinc cream, use the original ones not the creamies.
One favourite where I trained was called: “Happy Hiney” which was a mixture of zinc cream, an anti-fungal woman’s vaginal cream like Monistat and Cortaid anti itch cream which was hydrocortisone 1% and it was the ointment not the cream. We mixed that up in equal parts and put it on at each diaper change. That work like a charm.
If you continue having problems, then consider changing the diaper brand even if they are [inaudible]. I hope that helps.
JOHNER RIEHL: Well, thanks for joining us everyone. Let’s jump right into the topics. So, we kind of touch on it with Heather an 8 ½ months old, she hasn’t really started. But, when do a lot of parents start having play dates?
CHRISTINE GALIONE: We seem most of our request coming in kind of two-different stages. The first is about the four to six week period where the moms are now kind of comfortable or getting comfortable in their role as mom but want to get out of the house. So, they want other moms who are going through a shared experience. Those really are like you touched upon mommy dates and the kid just happen to come along.
JOHNER RIEHL: It’s even as young as a month or two months old moms are meeting up.
CHRISTINE GALIONE: Absolutely. They are going for walks. They’re meeting at someone’s house. It’s really mommy time. The kid just kind of either lay on the floor or we see a lot of the moms with strollers just going out for a walk; so that’s when they’re that young, it’s a mommy date. The next kind of time we see a lot of requests coming in is: “When the kids get into that 2 to 3 year old. Age range when they’re actually starting to somewhat acknowledge other kids and want to play with other kids.
JOHNER RIEHL: Right.
CHRISTINE GALIONE: Very recently, we’ve seen a little bit of request coming in from expecting moms who wants kind of a core group of support and friends prior to the baby being born. So, they’re looking for women who are in kind of the same stage of their pregnancy to share that experience with. So, we’re starting to see that within the last couple of months actually.
JOHNER RIEHL: It is so nice to meet people that are kind of going through the same thing as you, kind of the same time. I mean Emily says: “She has three boys that are almost the same age.” So, it would be fun to compare notes and talk. It’s great to connect with other people that are going through what it is interestingly expecting moms are doing it.
EMILY NGUYEN: I think one of the things that draws so many mamas on our cultures to try and find a play group is that: “We don’t have and place on our culture let many other cultures do which is the big extend of the family, the support network that is there through the pregnancy and the birth; then, shortly after, then the newborn stage.” So, I think we play that.
ERIN ESTEVES: That’s exactly what I was going to hit on too. We don’t have that kind of extended community in our living area. Close-knit to us, so we have to consciously reach out.
JOHNER RIEHL: So, do you guys have play dates growing up because I don’t feel like I did.
ERIN ESTEVES: It was open the back door like go.
HEATHER PIEDRAHITA: I think I’ve gone astray.
JOHNER RIEHL: Okay, play dates with over my parents we’re doing.
CHRISTINE GALIONE: Yes.
JOHNER RIEHL: Although, I am the youngest of three. So, that could factor to us all. But, yes I think it’s a pretty recent phenomenon, right?
HEATHER PIEDRAHITA: I think it is and I think we kind of touched upon is: “We don’t have that family community support like our moms had.” I know my parents live in Massachusetts and in Arizona. I don’t have them here. I don’t have siblings here. I don’t have cousins here.
Back when I was a grown-up, I had siblings, I had cousins. So, those were our play dates. We just get together with family. People don’t have that as much so I think people are looking for that and now, with all the technology that we have, it’s so much easier to coordinate a group of people.
We have cell phones. So, if you’re running a few minutes late, we can get e-mail. There are just so many more ways to communicate that make play dates and play groups more functional.
JOHNER RIEHL: So, organizing play dates. I know that’s one of your functions at Parent Connection. But, how does that work with Parent Connection or maybe folks there listening don’t live in the San Diego – how are people organizing play dates today if you don’t really know anyone, how can you start reading people?
CHRISTINE GALIONE: There are lots of different things you can do. You can search your local community for an organization like Parent Connection that really coordinates large groups of people. We have about a hundred different play groups that vary in location and age.
JOHNER RIEHL: Right and in a lot of cities, we’ll have something like that.
CHRISTINE GALIONE: They have something similar or you’ll meet-up. So, checked with your or basically social media and see if they are groups for.
JOHNER RIEHL: It may not even say play date when the group that you’re looking for. You know there’s a group about here that we belong to called family eventually and natures. So, in essence, there is a play date though. You’re getting together with other families and doing these activities.
CHRISTINE GALIONE: They don’t go to places where families hang out and just start talking to people. Go to the park and strike up the conversation with the mom who’s pushing the kid on the swing next to you.
JOHNER RIEHL: Ask her about her kid.
CHRISTINE GALIONE: Yes. Some of it kind of requires you to maybe go out of your comfort zones and start talking to other parents. Strike up a conversation and Starbucks if someone else is in there with a stroller.
So, some of that is: “You really have to kind of go out and look for it if you don’t have an organization that doesn’t look for things that your family enjoys doing and then, meeting people that way.”
JOHNER RIEHL: I think as parents, we really do want to make connections with others. So, it’s interesting. I was going to say that: “When you post a question on social media, we got a great response.”
ERIN ESTEVES: It went berserk. People just started writing in like mad, all kinds of questions.
JOHNER RIEHL: So, what are people asking about?
ERIN ESTEVES: Well, here’s one that I think will be nice, short and sweet. This is from Gina Marsh.
Visiting homes with special diets or allergies, should you bring a special allergy-friendly snack, ask and tell the parent not to bring one?
JOHNER RIEHL: Until just getting into the etiquette into the do’s and do not’s which we’re going to talk about.
CHRISTINE GALIONE: If you’re the parent of the child who has a food allergy, educate the people in your play group or on the play date about the allergy. Especially with the peanut allergies is being so prevalent. If you have a child who has a peanut allergy, let the other moms know.
Just say: “Hey, would it be okay if you don’t bring the peanut butter and jelly sandwich to play date today or not bring the crackers. I would hope if you’re the other parents, you would be respectful of that.” This is a life threatening illness for this child.
Yes, it’s not convenient if your kid’s favourite thing is peanut butter and jelly but they’ll be fine with a cheese stick or something else. Just be thankful that it’s not your child having a life-threatening emergency. So, I think in that case, just be grateful if you’re the parent that is not a life-threatening emergency and it’s just an inconvenience.
JOHNER RIEHL: It’s a part of life now; are these food allergies. I think even for young kids like 3 or 4, it’s kind of fun because it kind of tunes them into it. Fun is not the right word but it’s a teaching moment and they can start kind of learning.
They will kind of get excited in a weird way about making sure: “Wait, does it have peanuts in there because little Jimmy”
ERIN ESTEVES: What about something like a vegan or glutton-free that’s not necessarily life-threatening but mixing.
JOHNER RIEHL: I think people are totally open to that now.
CHRISTINE GALIONE: I think that’s in San Diego.
JOHNER RIEHL: Yes, that’s true.
ERIN ESTEVES: I really do.
EMILY NGUYEN: It’s interesting. I was just going to say: “This came up for us recently on a birthday party for my son.” We have many friends show up who are vegans. I felt really torn about: “He wanted certain things on his party and I knew that half of our guests weren’t going to touch them, if we have them.”
So, it really was kind of this etiquette question like: “Do I need to cater to every single person whose coming?” Do they also know that if you make this choice because things like being vegan are choice are not like they are in allergies?
So, I think it depends on the thing too. I don’t know; the preference or allergy and question.
JOHNER RIEHL: Usually, you have a big group people and there are guests talking about a pretty big play date or a party. A lot of times, you would have a vegetarian option; but then vegan maybe not.
CHRISTINE GALIONE: So, I guess it just boils down to communication.
JOHNER RIEHL: But, actually people are totally open to it.
HEATHER PIEDRAHITA: Yes.
JOHNER RIEHL: So, what about sizes for play dates? Is it good for young babies that maybe you see a lot of moms go one-on-one; do they get really big when they’re six months older? What kind of sizes are you using for play groups play dates?
CHRISTINE GALIONE: It really depends on a couple of factors. One, the space that you’re meeting in – so if you have a small living room, you’re not going to want 20 moms packing in and usually about 6 to 10 people is a good size. People will then break into smaller groups either based on shared interests or where they’re seating.
If you’re going to a park, it doesn’t matter if you have two people or twenty people. So, a lot of it is: “Knowing where you’re going to be and knowing the size of the group.” I know we have a play group right now that there are about 20 people on our roster. But, anyone given day about 6 people to 10 people can make it. So, as the kids can get bigger and more social, the groups tend to get larger.
HEATHER PIEDRAHITA: One that if you’re meeting inside, there’s a lot to consider. There are some moms. There are the kids, there are the diaper bags, and there are the strollers. Everybody comes with someone to gear that you might think: “It’s only four people and all of a sudden, the space is filled.”
JOHNER RIEHL: Right, totally. So, we’re all committed to having play dates, let’s take a quick break and talk about some more of the etiquette and the do’s and don’ts which I think will be kind of fun to talk about some of the nuance of play dates.
JOHNER RIEHL: All right, welcome back everybody to Parent Savers. Today, we’re talking about: “Play date etiquette with Christine Galione.” So, play date, we mentioned in the introduction that this is a date going a lot of times. You may be getting together with another mom.
Moms are asking: “So, if you are like approaching someone at the park, what’s a nice – have you guys done that? Have you approached anyone cold? Did you draw a line? What do you guys ask? How do you approach other moms?
HEATHER PIEDRAHITA: If we’re talking and that comes up or we see our kids kind of playing together, so it looks like they’re having fun like: “Let me give you my number; or now, yourself and you just call and you have their numbers saved.
JOHNER RIEHL: So, if you feel like where did you get like that – it’s like a date. Did you get that weird flutter like you’re asking someone out at all?
EMILY NGUYEN: What if she’s like: “I want you to give me her number.” That’s so awkward.
JOHNER RIEHL: She gave me her fake number.
HEATHER PIEDRAHITA: That happens and it’s part of life. But, you’ll I just go up and if I like the conversation we’re having and it seems like our kids are getting along, I have no problem being like: “Let me give you my number or do you want to give me yours?” I think because most parents are looking for connection, they’re so relieved that someone’s reaching out to them.
JOHNER RIEHL: Right. They had it together enough that the people thought that they were a good mom or whether there are a lot of issues with that too.
ERIN ESTEVES: I think it depends on which part or the area that you frequent too because like in downtown, I’ve tried that several times and people look at me: “Are you – who the heck are you?”
JOHNER RIEHL: Really, that is interesting.
ERIN ESTEVES: Yes, so I think it has to do with like where you are in the kind of openness or availability of people.
JOHNER RIEHL: Got it.
EMILY NGUYEN: When my oldest was a baby also, we ended up forming several play groups that were smaller groups that have formed within class. It’s like we did a music class. Several of the moms really connected and so, we started meeting once a week or I have a friend who I did a Jamboree class with her daughter. Same thing, three out of the four of the moms really connected.
So, I think stepping out and trying some of those classes that are in the community too. A lot of times it’s a really natural; it’s kind of like a self-selecting group. They’re all looking for some sort of connection.
CHRISTINE GALIONE: You already know that you have some sort of common interest.
HEATHER PIEDRAHITA: Right, yes.
CHRISTINE GALIONE: Yes and make some good friends through like a breastfeeding support I was going to and then, after the group we’d be like: “Let’s go to lunch.” Then get lunch like: “Let’s head over at the park.”
EMILY NGUYEN: So, now on the play date.
CHRISTINE GALIONE: Yes.
JOHNER RIEHL: Right. So, this happened to us. My wife was at a park and there was another dad there with the kids. They head just through the town, struck up a conversation but he was like: “Do you guys want to get together sometime for a play date?” When I got home, to talk like – wait, is that weird that like a guy was kind of like asked you? But it happens too, right? I mean we’re all.
CHRISTINE GALIONE: Well, I think it’s important as more and more dads step up to be either the primary caretaker or much more involved than the previous generations that those dads want the same connection that the moms get the benefit of. If it’s truly a play date, it’s about the kids.
JOHNER RIEHL: Right, exactly.
CHRISTINE GALIONE: So, I think it’s important if you get asked from a member of the opposite sex about going on a play date – discuss it with your spouse and make sure they’re comfortable with it.
But, keep in mind that it really is about the kids and then maybe picking a place that’s more open and going to a park in public as opposed to having a play date at the house and until maybe you’re more comfortable.
JOHNER RIEHL: I think that we did too is the whole family is get together.
CHRISTINE GALIONE: We have a play group on Sundays where it’s a family play group and all the dads come where they come as often as they can. They’re enjoying having the bonding experience and kind of going through the same things with the moms get to go through. So, I think if it’s handled appropriately, it can be a really great thing.
JOHNER RIEHL: All right, back to Facebook Erin.
ERIN ESTEVES: Okay, so we have some kind of touchy questions. One of the first one is from
JOHNER RIEHL: Is it the best?
ERIN ESTEVES: These are the best I got. Well, this is from Rachel Keller. So, two women chimed in on this one. The first was Rachel Keller and the second was Nikita Reifth. Sorry if I butchered that.
JOHNER RIEHL: You nailed it.
ERIN ESTEVES: So, Rachel asks:
I’d like to let my darling daughter negotiate her own way with toy-sharing, turn-taking, etcetera but parents often step in and regulate, what do you think is best?
Then, Nikita chimed in saying that:
She thinks that it is important for parents to help regulate.
JOHNER RIEHL: This is something that we learned right away on play groups is: “Sharing and how do you approach sharing” because there’s different ways to approach it.” When you talk about, 2 and 3 year olds that are ready to play with each other – until then, they’re ready to play with each other’s toys but not necessarily each other. So, how do you guys approach sharing?
HEATHER PIEDRAHITA: I think a lot of it is looking at the age of the children and are they developmentally capable of sharing. Some of are in just about re-directing to a different toy. What’s important is, what does a regulate look like? Is it the parent going: “Nope, this is his or hers.”
JOHNER RIEHL: Right.
HEATHER PIEDRAHITA: Because that’s not really regulating that’s taking over. I think this is an opportunity to teach the both children involved how to handle real life experiences and situations that they’re going to encounter as they get older.
So, giving them the tools to solve the problem themselves saying: “Okay, it seems we both want this toy, can you guys come up with a way that you guys can both be happy and put it back on the kids and let them figure it out because that’s a life skill they’re going to need.”
If we solve all of the problems for them forever, they’ll never leave the house. You’re going to be in play dates when your kids are 23.
ERIN ESTEVES: Well, that’s the next section of Nikita’s question and that’s what age is it not appropriate or what age is it appropriate to allow the children to self-regulate.
HEATHER PIEDRAHITA: It’s so personal.
CHRISTINE GALIONE: I think what’s important to keep in mind like you’re saying is: “Developmental capacity for taking perspective and knowing and being able to get in there and share.” I think we put sharing on 1 and 2 year olds and it’s not appropriate.
I think there’s this big move for parents to back of which I think it’s what this mother’s asking about. Until those children solve their own problems, I look at my eight year old and I think: “Yes, he does have a much larger capacity to do that than my two year old.” I would never expect my two year old to go in and solve their own problems.
What it looks like at 2 or even 5; with my five year old is: “The bigger, stronger person gets what they want often.” That’s not children working it out. That requires grownups coming in and mediating and scaffolding where you put building the supports; like you said: “Without solving it for them and allowing room for them to resolve it.”
ERIN ESTEVES: Very well said.
JOHNER RIEHL: I think the grownups need to get on the same page with what it is that they’re regulating because there could be different ways that ground rules are set for sharing whether it’d be: “If you like a turn or your house be ready to share the toys and you’ve coached your kids to do that; or like our kids preschool, it’s: “Okay, we know you want a turn. He’s going to use it as long as he wants and once he’s done, you can have it or setting time limits.”
So, there’s a way that I think parents do the kind of communicate how it goes. In a way, you have to kind of learn the rules of the house or where you are and figure out what the ground rules are.
CHRISTINE GALIONE: One more quick piece; I know developmentally, this is my area. So, I’m always drawn to this. It’s that: “One of the things that children have to understand before they can share is: “They have to understand ownership and have a sense of ownership.”
So, I know when we have people over to our house, I think it’s perfectly legitimate to say: “If there’s anything you’re not up for sharing, that’s fine but we need to put it away first.” So, you can’t be out on the space.
But, they you need to know that they have the ownership and then they are always much more willing as they get a little big to share it.
JOHNER RIEHL: Yes, so I think the prep beforehand especially if you’re hosting the play date is really important. What about though how do you approach the issue where maybe the ground rules are set but then you see somebody else’s kid like
CHRISTINE GALIONE: The bigger one taking advantage.
JOHNER RIEHL: Or the smaller one like just give your kid a whack or do something that you as a parent would regulate but you’re here with the other parent right there. You kind of can’t say anything, right? How do you deal with it? It’s tough.
HEATHER PIEDRAHITA: For me, I would then talk about it with my child and just kind of talk about: “How are you feeling when this happened” and see how the baby respond and maybe give them the tools to – I didn’t like it when you took my toy. I didn’t like it when you did that.
Instead of parenting the other child, I’m going to parent my child and give them the tools to kind of work through the situation and maybe they’ll handle it differently.
JOHNER RIEHL: Hopefully the other parent will be there.
CHRISTINE GALIONE: The other child may over hear it or may kind of look at it and go: “I didn’t get the response I thought. Maybe I’ll do it differently next time.” So, I think as parents, it is our responsibility to teach our children how to handle the situation; not necessarily teach someone else’s child how to handle the situation. That is their job and we may not like how they do it but someone may not like how we’re doing our job either.
So, I think it’s important really focus on your child and giving them the tools to handle the situation. If the other kid learns from that or the other parents saw that: “That was really great how you handle that. Can we talk about it a bit more?” Then, now you’ve opened up this learning experience.
ERIN ESTEVES: I just find it interesting because I think it’s totally cultural. Growing up in Mexico, it was expected and the norm for other people to reprimand, correct or direct children. I can remember so many times as a kid myself doing something probably out of turn or a little more rambunctious that I should have been and a complete stranger are looking at me and going: “No, no, no.”
JOHNER RIEHL: It’s tough and it’s something that I think people come down very differently on this issue here. I know in our community. But, we just had a birthday party and we have a play house kind of in the back. Sometimes the kids climb on the rook or if they’re coming over because they have fun on the roof.
But, when there’s like a party situation and there’s like 20 kids there – we’re like nobody on the roof. So, one of the kids gone on the roof and I saw them do it, I didn’t say anything.
EMILY NGUYEN: One of your kids?
JOHNER RIEHL: No, one of my friends’ kids who normally have start kids playing – I would be like: “Get off the roof.” I didn’t say anything and I heard him saying to his mom: “Mister Johner saw me. He didn’t say anything.”
There’s this thing where I think that kids – if they’re doing some behaviour they know is a little rambunctious in your case and there was another grown up around and they don’t say anything. To them, you’re just another authority figure grownup. I think you can fill out on the play date situation kind of where that is.
I know a lot of parents that we’ve been with had said things like: “Feel free to say whatever you want to my kid like that.” But, then others if they don’t say it, you get really careful.
HEATHER PIEDRAHITA: Sometimes just having that conversation like it’s a date, if you’re on a date with someone you asked – what are views on different things? You can ask the other person: “Hey, if the situation occurs, are you okay with me stepping in? Do you want to step in? Do we each take her in?” See how they want to parent and parent as a team – we’re talking about it takes a whole village to raise a child.
Yet, they we’re like: “I’m afraid to have other villagers.” I think having a conversation and finding out how they parent and then, telling them how you parent and trying to work out something together.
JOHNER RIEHL: Then, maybe it’s not going to work out and you don’t have another play date, right?
EMILY NGUYEN: It’s for sure.
JOHNER RIEHL: Yes. So, it’s always nice if you’re invited to someone’s house or something. Should you bring the host as give on play dates? Is there something?
CHRISTINE GALIONE: Good question.
JOHNER RIEHL: Thanks. Christine would be very proud of me probably for asking that. I would bring a 22 oz of beer.
CHRISTINE GALIONE: That’s not play date material.
JOHNER RIEHL: Right or the wine.
CHRISTINE GALIONE: You can offer to bring a snack
JOHNER RIEHL: But there’s no expectation?
CHRISTINE GALIONE: I don’t think so. Especially if it’s just a date, maybe bring snacks for your own kids and bring a couple of extra in case your kids want to daunt and to show up as expecting them to feed you and.
JOHNER RIEHL: Here’s the best snack in the world only for you.
CHRISTINE GALIONE: Right, just make sure just have enough to share but usually when you’re offering to host the play date, you’re kind of always I think: “Okay, well I’m going to make sure I have a few extra snacks. I’m going to make sure I’ll have some extra stuff before people in case they need it.” But, I wouldn’t expect them.
It’s kind of like hosting a birthday party and they’re expecting people to bring their food. If you’re the host
JOHNER RIEHL: Unless, they’re a vegan.
CHRISTINE GALIONE: But, if you’re the host I think that it comes with part of the responsibility of hosting then you hope with the other family host, they will return the same courtesy and have stuff.
JOHNER RIEHL: Do you see any play date mistakes that parents make or that people call and you think that it’s an awkward question? Or is that an awkward question?
CHRISTINE GALIONE: Sure, it’s with people are too demanding or too rigid, that never, never goes well especially when you have a larger group; if you’re on a one-on-one play date, there’s more flexibility because you’re only having to coordinate two schedules. But, for when we do a big group thing, we were coordinating 6 or 7 schedules, there has to be some flexibility built in there until someone is too rigid.
Then, also, the other thing I recommend for people to keep out of larger play groups. Unless you have a play group that is focused around a specific belief whether it’s religious, political even then like breastfeeding; keep it on neutral topics because everyone does it a little bit differently. So, unless you’re specifically in a group for that topic; don’t go in preaching to people because that’s just never goes well.
JOHNER RIEHL: So, what do you think Heather? Are you ready to jump into play dates?
HEATHER PIEDRAHITA: Well, I think so. It’s funny we have kind of a big change in our family coming up in the next couple of months and I’m going to end up at home with him a lot more. It’s just great. But, I think I’ll probably think seek it out a lot more because I’m going to be home with him and I’m sure the first couple of weeks would be great. I’m like: “I get to get out of here.”
So, at that point, I’ll seek it out a lot more and there’s all really good information that things to keep in mind and I think your tip about staying off of controversial topics is really good. Even like you mention breastfeeding, I don’t think of that as a controversial topic but it’s really personal and it’s really difficult and hard for some people to talk about one way or the other. So, it’s good to remember.
EMILY NGUYEN: I will say this about that too. I agree with you guys. I also think that if you’re willing to persist and keep looking and you do [inaudible 00:29:44] some of those things out there, you also have the opportunity to end up with a much more authentic core group.
Does that make sense that it might feel lonelier at first because you may really have big differences but I know that once we started talking about these things, I was really were able to filter through kind of – who is really more alike I was as a parent.
JOHNER RIEHL: It’s kind of what you’re looking for.
EMILY NGUYEN: It’s kind of like what you end up finding. It’s like dating, right?
CHRISTINE GALIONE: Some people fall away and that’s okay. Sometimes you don’t have a second date.
ERIN ESTEVES: Some people eat the garlic, others don’t.
JOHNER RIEHL: All right, I think that was a fun topic to talk about play dates. So, thanks so much everyone for joining us. Thanks Christine. For more information about: “Play date etiquette” or more information about any of our panellists, you can visit the episode page on our website. We’ll continue the conversation for members of our Parent Savers Club.
After the show, we’re actually going to talk a little bit about: “Some of the lifelong benefits of play dates.” For those of us who have had them before like some of the connections that we have able to make. So, we’ll talk about that for members of our Parent Savers Club. For more information on that, you can visit www.ParentSavers.com .
JODI: Hi Parent Savers. This is Jodi with Urban Sitter; a website that connects to you friend-tested sitters.
I’m here to help you figure out the right questions to ask when searching for a baby sitter such as:
• So, I used to sitter, nobody’s dead; should I use her again? The first time you leave the sitter alone with your kids, make it for a short time – that way if anyone melts down including the sitter, it short-lived.
• Does the sitter wash the snack plate?
• Is the plate in the sink or did she leave it on the ground with ants marching towards it?
• Are the toys put away or did she offer to help put them away?
• Was TV allowed in your household?
• Was it on when you got home?
So, if you’re child can talk, this is great input but when a child is too small to communicate – you have to look for the details. Is the baby’s diaper wet?
Although, I have to admit; it is sometimes hard to tell if you’re not mom. If everything appears to have gone smoothly, go ahead and try it for a bit longer. Don’t worry, it’s completely normal to check your phone every two seconds to see if the sitter called.
When my husband and I went out for the first time after our daughter was born, I set my phone right in the middle of the table so that I can see if the sitter was going to call. We joked with our waiter about how paranoid I was. He even bought us a bottle of wine. What a great way to top off the night.
Okay, Parent Savers, it’s time to say hello to your old friend spontaneity. Visit www.UrbanSitter.com to find and book baby sitters, your friends know and love.
JOHNER RIEHL: That wraps up our Parent Savers for today. Thank you so much for listening to Parent Savers.
Don’t forget to check out our sister shows:
• Twin Talks for parents of multiples.
• The Boob Group for moms who breastfeed their babies and
• Preggie Pals for expecting parents
Next week, we’ll be talking about: “Home Schooling toddlers.” A lot of people think home schooling doesn’t start till school age but there’s actually step that you can take with your toddlers to start that process as well. So, that should be a great topic. This is Parent Savers, empowering new parents. Thanks so much for listening.
This has been a New Mommy Media production. Information and material contained in this episode are presented for educational purposes only. Statements and opinions expressed in this episode are not necessarily those of New Mommy Media and should not be considered facts. Though information in which areas are related to be accurate, it is not intended to replace or substitute for professional, Medical or advisor care and should not be used for diagnosing or treating health care problem or disease or prescribing any medications. If you have questions or concerns regarding your physical or mental health or the health of your baby, please seek assistance from a qualified health care provider.
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