The Playdate Dilemma Many Face
The Joy and Dread of Playdates with Different Parenting Styles
By: Lifetime Montessori school
Playdates are tough. The three main tension areas typically concern technology, food and disciplinary styles. Discussing all of these options prior to scheduling a playdate will help prevent issues that may occur.
Videos, TV & Tech
Watching television, playing violent video games and using iPads is the number one subject to discuss in advance. Some parents allocate strict limits on the use of this technology while others are more liberal.
"A key piece of a play date concerns whether the after-school get together is sedentary or has physical activity attached with it. Are kids getting together to sit all afternoon in someone's living room with a 55" TV screen while a parent works in an adjacent room or are they going to the park, playground or pool with parents physically nearby?" Edwards asks.
Additionally, some parents are stern when it comes to junk food or fast food while others are not. For example, eating Cheetos and going to a fast food restaurant may seem like a treat to some moms but others may not abide.
"Many parents do not like kids eating artificial colors, artificial flavors, added sugars in soft drinks and the like," Edwards says. "The landscape is also marred when parents don't know that another child cannot eat specific foods like peanuts. And, of course, a heavy sugary snack at 4pm may ruin the child's dinner. When in doubt, bring your own snack."
Finally, there's parental disciplinary styles. What happens when your child sees another child talking back to his parents while on a playdate? Or, parents yelling at their child in front of your child for some misdemeanor?
Other kids' parenting styles can negatively impact yours which may lead to judgment and whispers among parents—which hurts everybody.
"In sum, simply work it all out in advance and communicate with the parent to make sure you're happy to prevent a playdate dilemma. All we can do is engage our own child. So, delete any post-playdate judgments you may have about the parenting styles of others," Edwards says. "Let's remember what counts: It's all about your child. Kids are happy having friends over! And let's do that with a minimum of awkwardness."
Lifetime Montessori school offers an English/Spanish bilingual Primary program. For a virtual or private tour of the school, visit: http://www.lifetimemontessorischool.com/
DMNP, Robert Gavin