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Your Kid's Too Dumb for Mine

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Guest Blogger Erin: When it comes to playdates, kids should at least be on a level playing field.

As a relatively new parent, I'm just getting into the whole playdate scene. Recently, I met a mom who invited me and my daughter to come to her house for a playdate with her three-year-old. I agreed, and one Sunday my two-year-old and I made the trek to her house.

When she introduced her daughter to mine, I could already tell that her kid wasn't exactly the "sharpest tool in the shed." She only talked a little bit of baby talk -- possibly because, to my horror, her mom spoke to her in a grating sing-song voice. My daughter, on the other hand, is quite talkative and sociable -- often speaking in complete sentences. The other girl, although almost a year old than mine, acted like a child half her age.

The playdate host and I attempted to get our kids acquainted. My daughter tried as well. She asked her kindly, "What's your name?" and pointed out items in her yard, "You have a slide!" The other little girl just stared at her blankly. Finally, my kid just gave up and began playing with toys. I felt awkward, but the mom didn't seem to acknowledge the huge gap in our kids' development.

A couple hours went by, and the two barely interacted. My daughter attempted to initiate a game or two but the other girl preferred to play with toys my daughter had grown out of long ago. Finally, I hinted it was time for us to leave. The mom enthusiastically said, "Let's do this again!"

Um, how about no?

Personally, I think a playdate should be an enriching experience for my child. Letting her spend the day with someone not nearly at her intellectual level isn't going to be beneficial to her. It's like trying to improve your tennis game by playing against a crappy player. What's the point of that?

What would you do in this situation? Tell us your opinion in the momlogic community

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65 comments so far | Post a comment now
Charli October 20, 2008, 7:04 AM

Maybe your daughter could teach her something…even though your kid is talking and can do other things…it’s not the kids fault.

Dorothy October 20, 2008, 8:20 AM

You sound like a terrible SNOB!!

Kids need to be around all kinds of people in order to understand that we are not all a like. You seems to think you are better then others and your daughter will catch on to your snobish ways. You should be ashamed of yourself!
What would you do in a case where there is a disabled child? I imagine that would be way too far down the line for YOUR daughter. You need to grow up and teach your daughter to be kind, loving, and caring to all different types of children and adults.
It would do you good to open up your eyes and see the differences in people and be a little kinder yourself!

Uly October 20, 2008, 8:58 AM

Your daughter could benefit - significantly - by learning to tailor her play to the abilities of others.

My older niece has a lot of fun hanging out with children younger than she is. She learns patience when dealing with them. She learns tolerance - something you clearly lack. And she learns that other children can’t always do what she can do, an important fact if I ever heard one.

There’s no point in being a pro tennis player if nobody will play with you because you insist on trouncing them.

Uly October 20, 2008, 8:59 AM

Incidentally? The reason for playdates isn’t to “enrich”. They’re to have fun. If your daughter had *fun*, that’s the important thing.

trisha October 20, 2008, 9:25 AM

this is so ignorant, i dont know where to start.


Jane October 20, 2008, 9:34 AM

Actually, I agree with this woman’s opinion.

I also agree that it is not the other child’s fault - the little cutie pie might have developmental issues that are not yet understood by the parents. Chances are, that child will either get classified when she enters kindergarten, or the child will all of a sudden blossom into a little chatterbox like some kids do when they previously were not comfortable speaking around others.

This woman should remain friendly with the mother of the other child, but should maybe restrict future play dates. Kids are quick to pick up the bad habits of other children. Often. I have seen other children (2 to 4 years old) all of a sudden start mimicking the behaviors of a 1 year old when in the company of one for extended periods of time (like a family gathering).

Linney5680 October 20, 2008, 9:39 AM

ANYHOW! my son is 2 years old, and he talks okay, but not great, but his physical skills are above a lot of 3 1/2 year olds i know. we go to parks and he can get to where other kids can’t. some kids excel faster at certain things. i’m sure your daughter isn’t great at everything. Dorothy is SO right, you are a snob, and i’m so grateful i don’t have a playdate scheduled with anyone like you. kids learn off eachother. maybe your SO SMART daughter could learn something from her too.

Lisa October 20, 2008, 9:41 AM

The idea of a play date is for socializing more than anything else. I have to agree with everyone else who is saying that you maybe need to rethink what your purpose of the play date is.

If your daughter is only allowed to play with kids the same level as her, how is she to learn what the real world is like?

Cypress October 20, 2008, 9:48 AM

As a mother of a child with developmental issues let me say that Compassion and empathy is not inherent it is something learned. If you are not going to be teaching your child these two VALUABLE characteristics then please by all means stay away from people who don’t reach your high expectations. While the rest of us have fun with our children you can limit yourself and your child to the enrichment of the cookie cutter life that you already have picked out for her.

Kate October 20, 2008, 9:54 AM

Wow, I wondered if it was just me. I was sort of taken aback by the arrogance of the author. This is the first time I’ve visited this site, and might well be the last.

It’s lovely for you that your two-year-old is so advanced in her development, but I’m not sure how happy she’ll be as a child if she has no one to play with - you seem to be on track to isolate her. You are confused about the purpose of being a kid and being around other kids. If she doesn’t have ability to play with other children of any level, she’s not going to have much fun at preschool, the park, birthday parties, or pretty much any occasion where there are other children present.

I was trying to refrain from being mean-spirited in my comments, but I have to say that “Guest Blogger Erin” is someone I hope I don’t bump into at playgroup.

praying4baby#2 October 20, 2008, 10:06 AM

It’s a shame that you would feel this way. This is exactly why mothers feel there is so much competition out there! It’s not a race!! If you expect your child’s playdate to be the same developmentally, then how is that a challenge for her either??
Think about how beneficial it would be for your child to help another!!

Melissa October 20, 2008, 10:07 AM

My brother, who is now 15, was and continues to be teased and tormeneted because he has a learning disability.

I believe it is parents like you that teach your smarty-pants kid that they are too good for “slower” kids.

You little bundle of joy will probably end up being the little girl on the bus starting mean-spirited chants and terrible rumors about the “dumb” kid.

Please change your ways NOW before your kid turns out like YOU!

MaryAnn October 20, 2008, 10:29 AM


Helen Romer October 20, 2008, 10:31 AM

What strikes me about this woman’s story is that the children didn’t interact. For that reason alone I “get” why she might not think the playdate was beneficial. Playdates are about socializing and I doesn’t seem like (for whatever reason)the two kids connected.

Andrea October 20, 2008, 11:17 AM

WOW! I am again shocked and disgusted with the things this site will post. First of all, the writer of this article does not have room to talk; there are several spelling and grammar errors in this post. Please check your work before you post an article claiming others are too dumb for you. Also, your child may be at the appropriate level for their age, but that does not mean you have the right to judge and insult others in a public forum. The negativity and condescending attitude on this site is so unattractive.

pamela  October 20, 2008, 11:24 AM

it sounds like your not the “sharpest tool in the shed” lady, it’s obsurd how you refer to a 3 yr old as stupid, thank god i dont know anyone like you.

mama_chita October 20, 2008, 11:28 AM

My (almost 4-year-old) son is, and has always been, extremely shy and reserved. Although he is very talkative and outgoing at home, he is almost non-communicative with his peers. [He was in the local early Intervention program (until the age limit of three.)]

I’ve met several mothers, both from E.I. and not-from E.I..
I’ve *always* worried that the mothers and/or the kids would not want to continue to get together, because my son does not interact during the ‘playdate.’ Once we are home, he will talk about the kid(s) and the playdate for several days, but he just clams-up when they are actually together.

I’ve been pleasantly surprised that no one I’ve struck up a friendship with has reacted as negatively as I had anticipated. We’ve arranged several (subsequent) playdates, and neither the child nor the parent seem to be as negative as I had thought they might be. In fact, some kids that are a little bit older or less-shy seem to ‘like’ trying to show my son ‘new things’, or to get him to play.

So maybe it comes down to:
Whether you/your child seem to have any interest in getting together again, with the other kid/Mom. If you don’t, AND your child doesn’t, then maybe there just wasn’t that ‘click’ or connection.

Otherwise, if you did ‘click’, I think it’s nice if your ‘more advanced’ child would continue to hang out with some who are not-so-advanced. They will both benefit, in different ways.

And, as a sometimes-worried Mom of an extremely shy toddler:
It’s so nice to meet a Mom who does not ‘stay away’, just because my child is very shy/reserved (and therefore appears ‘behind.’)

Ally October 20, 2008, 11:36 AM

This site seems to post controversial bull on purpose.

“let’s troll the internet and find the worst writers, and pull their lowest story. Then, we’ll post it, and it’ll get, like 17 comments! YES!”

Staci October 20, 2008, 11:37 AM

Instead of jumping to the conclusion that this child wasn’t “up to your standards,” maybe you should have used the playdate as a teaching tool for your kid. You could’ve taught the importance of acceptance and respect for others, instead of being incredibly judgmental of a 3-year-old. If you keep this up, you won’t have to worry about scheduling playdates because no one will want to deal with you, for fear of being deemed “too dumb.”

Anonymous October 20, 2008, 12:41 PM

Wow, there really are no words.

As someone who was labeled as “gifted” as a child, and was miserable. My children are allowed to be children and play with other children. No matter their ages or level of development. My own children are ahead in some areas, normal in others, and even behind in a few. And you know what? I don’t care.

The best things that I can teach my children aren’t intellectual things. They are things like compassion, love, tolerance, kindness, etc.

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