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Nigel

play date etiquette - how to politely decline.....

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A month ago the mom of a kid in my son's kindegarten class called to ask if my son wanted to come over to their house after school for a couple of hours for a play date (yeah, I hate the term too, but it's what everyone calls it). It was kind of out of the blue because Charlie (my kid) never talks about Cole, but he's a friendly little guy who gets along with most kids so he said "sure, I'll go." So he went and while he didn't say he had a bad time, I could tell he wasn't all that into Cole. At this point we should have cut ties but as parents there is almost an implied obligation to reciprocate on these things. So we asked Charlie if he wanted to have Cole over some time, and agreeable fella that he is, he said sure. So a couple of weeks later the little nerd came over. My wife oversaw the visit and said they had absolutely nothing in common, basically played on their own for two hours, and then Cole went home. After this play date gone bad Charlie made it clear that while Cole is a nice enough kid, he had no interest in future get-togethers.Now this just came from Cole's mom:

Subject: Playdate?Hi Nigel-I hope you guys had a good vacation. We did, but I confess that I was glad for school to start again ;> Cole was wondering if Charlie wanted to come over for a playdate soon. Next Tuesday is an early release day (1pm) and would work well for us. Or this coming Thursday. Maybe for 2 hours or so? Let me know what Charlie would like to do!Cole's Mom

How do we tactfully get the point across that there is no love connection here?

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A month ago the mom of a kid in my son's kindegarten class called to ask if my son wanted to come over to their house after school for a couple of hours for a play date (yeah, I hate the term too, but it's what everyone calls it). It was kind of out of the blue because Charlie (my kid) never talks about Cole, but he's a friendly little guy who gets along with most kids so he said "sure, I'll go." So he went and while he didn't say he had a bad time, I could tell he wasn't all that into Cole. At this point we should have cut ties but as parents there is almost an implied obligation to reciprocate on these things. So we asked Charlie if he wanted to have Cole over some time, and agreeable fella that he is, he said sure. So a couple of weeks later the little nerd came over. My wife oversaw the visit and said they had absolutely nothing in common, basically played on their own for two hours, and then Cole went home. After this play date gone bad Charlie made it clear that while Cole is a nice enough kid, he had no interest in future get-togethers.Now this just came from Cole's mom:

Subject: Playdate?Hi Nigel-I hope you guys had a good vacation. We did, but I confess that I was glad for school to start again ;> Cole was wondering if Charlie wanted to come over for a playdate soon. Next Tuesday is an early release day (1pm) and would work well for us. Or this coming Thursday. Maybe for 2 hours or so? Let me know what Charlie would like to do!Cole's Mom

How do we tactfully get the point across that there is no love connection here?
Tell them its not safe because because your son is on xanax and wine and might tear the kids face off and eat his hands.

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A month ago the mom of a kid in my son's kindegarten class called to ask if my son wanted to come over to their house after school for a couple of hours for a play date (yeah, I hate the term too, but it's what everyone calls it). It was kind of out of the blue because Charlie (my kid) never talks about Cole, but he's a friendly little guy who gets along with most kids so he said "sure, I'll go." So he went and while he didn't say he had a bad time, I could tell he wasn't all that into Cole. At this point we should have cut ties but as parents there is almost an implied obligation to reciprocate on these things. So we asked Charlie if he wanted to have Cole over some time, and agreeable fella that he is, he said sure. So a couple of weeks later the little nerd came over. My wife oversaw the visit and said they had absolutely nothing in common, basically played on their own for two hours, and then Cole went home. After this play date gone bad Charlie made it clear that while Cole is a nice enough kid, he had no interest in future get-togethers.Now this just came from Cole's mom:

Subject: Playdate?Hi Nigel-I hope you guys had a good vacation. We did, but I confess that I was glad for school to start again ;> Cole was wondering if Charlie wanted to come over for a playdate soon. Next Tuesday is an early release day (1pm) and would work well for us. Or this coming Thursday. Maybe for 2 hours or so? Let me know what Charlie would like to do!Cole's Mom

How do we tactfully get the point across that there is no love connection here?
Go but hint to your kid that if Cole ended up with a :rolleyes: it might not be bad for long term results.

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Go but hint to your kid that if Cole ended up with a :rolleyes: it might not be bad for long term results.

Yep. Either that, or get your kid to bring Cole a flower and make a pass at him in front of his dad.

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ignore it or give in and do it... then don't reciprocate

Can't make my son go. After Cole came to our house we asked Charlie if he wanted to play with him again and he specifically said "I don't know, but I definitely don't want to go to his house again." I don't know how we can possibly ignore it either, we see the her all the time at drop off and pick up. If she doesn't get a reply she'll definitely mention it when we see her next. Would be even more awkward trying to wiggle out of it in person - for all she knows the two of them are best buddies. We need to sent some kind of "no thanks" response. Big mistake having him to our house the first time around - could have ended it there. :)

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What's Cole's mom look like? A photograph might be helpful.

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how old are the kids? May explain why they don't play with each other which is normal until around 4

They're 6. My kid likes sports, and has other friends in class who like same and play at each other's houses all the time and have a blast together. This kid is more of a sci-fi/Lincoln Log guy which is fine, but not my kid's bag.

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This is obviously a ploy by the mother to get her nerd son some friends. You have two options, either be a #### and say no. Or, go along with something you don't want to do.

Kids go through stages. Most likely if your son is hanging out with a nerd it will get harder before it gets easier. He will likely get put into awkward situations with other bully kids who want to make fun of the nerd. Pretty much be forced to choose. Then again, if the kid and the family are good people then he may be worth building a good friendship with.

I am friends with a bunch of people that would have been considered "nerds" when they were in h.s. / middle school / elementary. These people can end up being really good friends, and they may let your son copy off of them in difficult classes.

You could always agree, but push it off a little.

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What's Cole's mom look like? A photograph might be helpful.

I like the way this guy thinks.

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Just tell them that your son doesn't want to go to their house. What am I missing?

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I would get Studs to make the call for you. My only concern with that would me that Cole's Mama might be left with the impression that she just needs to have the right juice in her house, but it's worth the risk.

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how old are the kids? May explain why they don't play with each other which is normal until around 4

They're 6. My kid likes sports, and has other friends in class who like same and play at each other's houses all the time and have a blast together. This kid is more of a sci-fi/Lincoln Log guy which is fine, but not my kid's bag.
Having differences isn't such a bad thing but if your kid doesn't want to play with this kid then don't. It is a sticky situation though. Could you set up a thing where there's more than a few kids?

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Have Charlie duct tape Cole's butt cheeks together, and then give Cole a flare gun.

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Just tell her the truth, you asked your kid and he said no. Maybe add that their kid seems like a good boy, but the two of them didnt appear to have much in common when you had him over. End of story ?

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"This next couple of weeks will be very busy for us; unfortunately we will not have time for play dates. We've been so busy lately, we've decided to concentrate on family things for a while. I'll let you know when we're ready for play dates again since Charlie really seemed to enjoy Cole's company."

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Have Charlie duct tape Cole's butt cheeks together, and then give Cole a flare gun.

:D I knew I was checking this thread for a reason.

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Just tell her the truth, you asked your kid and he said no. Maybe add that their kid seems like a good boy, but the two of them didnt appear to have much in common when you had him over. End of story ?

Yeah, it will have to be something like that. It would be so much easier if they were d-bags but they're nice people and I'd hate to hurt feelings. Oh well, that's life I guess.

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Act like your one of those psycho sports dads, and say "sorry my son has to practice one on one everyday after school until try outs."

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Dear Cole's Mom,

Charlie has some plans that day so we'll pass this time.

The missus and I were talking and we wanted to know if you and Cole's Dad wanted to come over some night for a 'play date'. BYOL of course.

Let us know!

Charlie's Dad.

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"This next couple of weeks will be very busy for us; unfortunately we will not have time for play dates. We've been so busy lately, we've decided to concentrate on family things for a while. I'll let you know when we're ready for play dates again since Charlie really seemed to enjoy Cole's company."

This might be the best approach. I have a 5-year-old who is probably more on the sci-fi/Lincoln Logs side. This is probably a good, tactful way of at least putting it off for now. Cole will probably get distracted and find other friends to play with that are more on his wavelength. If Cole's mom starts asking again in a couple of weeks you might just have to be straight-up with her, and then she'll have to communicate that to Cole in whatever manner she wants to handle it.

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Do you know whether Cole has had trouble making friends?

Pretty sure that's the case based on what I've observed of him. Back in November, before all the playdate nonsense, Charlie had all the 8 boys in his class to the bowling alley for his birthday. Cole was definitely less socially mature than the others.

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Dear Cole's Mom,Charlie has some plans that day so we'll pass this time. The missus and I were talking and we wanted to know if you and Cole's Dad wanted to come over some night for a 'play date'. BYOL of course.Let us know!Charlie's Dad.

Winner. No feelings get hurt, playdate suggestions will stop and it even gives them something to talk about.

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Do you know whether Cole has had trouble making friends?

Pretty sure that's the case based on what I've observed of him. Back in November, before all the playdate nonsense, Charlie had all the 8 boys in his class to the bowling alley for his birthday. Cole was definitely less socially mature than the others.
You know when you send your email you're going to make Cole's mother cry, right?

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Dear Cole's Mom,Charlie has some plans that day so we'll pass this time. The missus and I were talking and we wanted to know if you and Cole's Dad wanted to come over some night for a 'play date'. BYOL of course.Let us know!Charlie's Dad.

Winner. No feelings get hurt, playdate suggestions will stop and it even gives them something to talk about.
What if they accept your "swinging" invitation?This is kind of liek the Seinfeld 3way dilemna.

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Do you know whether Cole has had trouble making friends?

Pretty sure that's the case based on what I've observed of him. Back in November, before all the playdate nonsense, Charlie had all the 8 boys in his class to the bowling alley for his birthday. Cole was definitely less socially mature than the others.
You know when you send your email you're going to make Cole's mother cry, right?
Yeah, and I feel sick over it. I can imagine Cole giving his Mom the impression that they are best buddies, talking about him all the time. Meanwhile Charlie has four other buddies he talks about, and never mentions Cole. At teh end of the day if we said "Charlie, it might really hurt Cole's feelings if you don't go to his house" then I'm certain he would go - he's a sensitive kid. But is it fair to put him in that spot given he has explicitly said he doesn't want to go over there?

What would you do?

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Dear Cole's Mom,Charlie has some plans that day so we'll pass this time. The missus and I were talking and we wanted to know if you and Cole's Dad wanted to come over some night for a 'play date'. BYOL of course.Let us know!Charlie's Dad.

Winner. No feelings get hurt, playdate suggestions will stop and it even gives them something to talk about.
What if they accept your "swinging" invitation?This is kind of liek the Seinfeld 3way dilemna.
See post #9

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Do you know whether Cole has had trouble making friends?

Pretty sure that's the case based on what I've observed of him. Back in November, before all the playdate nonsense, Charlie had all the 8 boys in his class to the bowling alley for his birthday. Cole was definitely less socially mature than the others.
You know when you send your email you're going to make Cole's mother cry, right?
Yeah, and I feel sick over it. I can imagine Cole giving his Mom the impression that they are best buddies, talking about him all the time. Meanwhile Charlie has four other buddies he talks about, and never mentions Cole. At teh end of the day if we said "Charlie, it might really hurt Cole's feelings if you don't go to his house" then I'm certain he would go - he's a sensitive kid. But is it fair to put him in that spot given he has explicitly said he doesn't want to go over there?

What would you do?

I'd probably make my kid go, then do something nice for him. My kids would gladly spend a few hours with Satan himself if they got a lollipop afterwards.

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Do you know whether Cole has had trouble making friends?

Pretty sure that's the case based on what I've observed of him. Back in November, before all the playdate nonsense, Charlie had all the 8 boys in his class to the bowling alley for his birthday. Cole was definitely less socially mature than the others.
You know when you send your email you're going to make Cole's mother cry, right?
Yeah, and I feel sick over it. I can imagine Cole giving his Mom the impression that they are best buddies, talking about him all the time. Meanwhile Charlie has four other buddies he talks about, and never mentions Cole. At teh end of the day if we said "Charlie, it might really hurt Cole's feelings if you don't go to his house" then I'm certain he would go - he's a sensitive kid. But is it fair to put him in that spot given he has explicitly said he doesn't want to go over there?

What would you do?

Was your kid flat out against going to his house?

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Do you know whether Cole has had trouble making friends?

Pretty sure that's the case based on what I've observed of him. Back in November, before all the playdate nonsense, Charlie had all the 8 boys in his class to the bowling alley for his birthday. Cole was definitely less socially mature than the others.
You know when you send your email you're going to make Cole's mother cry, right?
Yeah, and I feel sick over it. I can imagine Cole giving his Mom the impression that they are best buddies, talking about him all the time. Meanwhile Charlie has four other buddies he talks about, and never mentions Cole. At teh end of the day if we said "Charlie, it might really hurt Cole's feelings if you don't go to his house" then I'm certain he would go - he's a sensitive kid. But is it fair to put him in that spot given he has explicitly said he doesn't want to go over there?

What would you do?

Was your kid flat out against going to his house?
Yes, he said "I don't want to go to Cole's house again" - pretty clear.

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I have no idea what the pro play here is, but I have to imagine it involves Chuck E. Cheese's is some way.

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"My son doesn't want to go over there. All he want's to do is play xbox live, so if you want to exchange gamertags maybe they can have a cyber play date."

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I would wonder why the little guy is so set against Cole's house.

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