Your Complete Guide to Playdates and Playdate Etiquette

The other day, I was poking around in my EveryParent App. I was checking things out for my son, who just turned 4 years old. In the app, he’s between the “let’s explore” and “so independent” age range.

EveryParent App

A resource titled, “still having tantrums” caught my eye, because yes, he is. I was able to find quick tips for me in no time – things like:

  • Deep breathing
  • Counting backward
  • Squeezing a stress ball
  • Applying hand lotion
  • Walking away to a quiet place

Yes, those are all things FOR ME to do because a stressed child = a stressed mom. There are more tips on the app for how to calm your child down too.

Exploring Palm Beach County

Then in the EveryParent App, I clicked on my daughter’s age range and found a variety of articles relevant to her like sending her on her first playdate without me, tracking a healthy body weight, and exploring Palm Beach County.

They teamed up with Discover the Palm Beaches to share everything our amazing area has to offer like exploring the South Florida Science Center and Aquarium, snorkeling with Manatees, or taking a historic trip through Henry Flagler’s home.

Your Complete Guide to Playdates and Playdate Etiquette

Playdates and Playdate Etiquette… without me

But, I had to go back to that first topic of sending her on a playdate without me. I’m a bit of a helicopter mom. Couple that with being a former TV reporter and I’m worried about everything because I’ve seen and heard a lot! So, let’s talk playdates and playdate etiquette.

The EveryParent app reminded me to encourage self-esteem, self-confidence, and trust by using teachable moments to build independence.

Deborah Newell, director for Parent-Child Center, a program funded by Children’s Services Council of Palm Beach Council says you should consider a variety of things before putting your child in a situation you won’t be there for, like:

  • Does she know how to behave at a birthday party?
  • Will she ask for help if she can’t find the bathroom?
  • Does she know how to talk to a sales clerk at the mall?
  • Will she recognize a potentially dangerous situation?

The EveryParent App suggests to watch your child first and consider what the world looks like from her perspective.

Your Complete Guide to Playdates and Playdate Etiquette

At the end of the day, kids like to hang out with their buddies and parents need adult time, so it needs to happen. To get started, this is the plan.

Start with one or two kids.

  • Remember, this isn’t a birthday party, it’s a playdate.

Only agree to a solo playdate when your child is ready.

  • Using some of those tips above from the EveryParent App help with this.

Don’t overstay.

  • Setting a certain number of hours will set the expectations on when to drop off and pick up, so you can plan the rest of your day accordingly.

Prepare.

  • This means having fun games and snacks ready, but also keeping safety in mind as it relates to allergies, animals, pools, firearms, etc.

Evaluate.

  • How did it go? Use your experience and your child’s experience to plan the next playdate.

Positive and open communication is the key to staying informed, so as you prepare to let your little one go on his or her first playdate without you, keep these tips in mind.

 

I’m required to disclose a relationship between my blog and Children’s Services Council of Palm Beach County. This could include me being provided with content, product, access, service, or other forms of payment.

About Christina

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I'm a blogger, media specialist, and most importantly... mother of two! I operate my own business, Media Maven, specializing in media relations, video production, writing, blogging, and event & on-air hosting.

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