Play Dates Gone Bad

Just wanted to follow up after my “Play Dates Gone Bad” talk here in Southern CA. All the parents had the opportunity to ask questions before hand about ‘what if’ this happens when you are socializing with other parents and their children.

Here are some of those universal question:

Do you approach the parent or confront a child that hits/hurts your child?

How do you politely tell a parent that their child’s behavior is inappropriate?

When boys are being aggressive, not disobedient during a play date what do you do?

Kids sometimes get over-hyper when they are together just because they are excited to play and see each other. But what if it gets out of hand?

Here are the answers:

It is always risky to tell another parent about their child’s misbehavior.

Never confront another parent about their child’s behavior unless you are willing to potentially lose that parent as your friend. If it is worth the risk, then remember to always start by complimenting the parent and their child on something they are doing right. Then tell them how hard it is for you to parent and get it ‘right’. Lastly, ask them for permission for you to tell them something that concerned you about their child.

Boys do have the biology for aggressive behavior. It is how they communicate. If I look at how my husband and son greet each other; half the time it is one of them with a fist in the others shoulder before they say, “How about those Dodgers”.

If you meet for play dates with boys and you have a girl always try to do it outside or somewhere that has plenty of room for physical activity and so your little girl can easily get out harms way (or unintentional body slamming).

It is best to teach kids what to do with their excitement ‘before’ you get to a play date. Teach them specific ways to show they are excited that are ok with you and the other parents involved. Usually that should include lots of jumping, but not bumping. Air “Hi” fives without touching, but connecting.

Look for more play date questions and answers this week,

Dr. Ann