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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
Alice November 21, 2008, 2:22 PM

I have a child who is now 7 who was the slow child at 3 who had poor eye contact and poor speech and developmental delays. Thanks to early intervention and lots of help from therapists and friends who were not afraid then or now to allow socialization to happen for ME as much as my child (as a special needs mom I need the interaction as mych as my son…and i suspect the other mom was eager for this as well..not just to socialize her daughter) my son is much much better. He has mild Aspergers but DUMB he is not! what looks like dumb to some people is just a different way of processign information. he is still not the most fluid speaker of language BUT he reads well above grade level and was tested above average for IQ. he works extrememly hard to overcome his issues and appear “normal” btu there will always be short sighted people like you who will never see or understand this. My son who could not throw a ball or swing from a monkey bar as a toddler can now play violin exceeding well in a junior orchestra. People now come up and tell me how talented he is…when I see him on stage I give a mental finger to the few mothers whom we did encounter at parks etc when son was 2-3 and they woudl tell me they felt sorry for me and taught their kids to not play with my son. One mom did tell me kindly that my second child would be smarter than the one I had at 2 who could not talk! right.

Maria December 8, 2008, 5:26 PM

I don’t believe that the person who posted this is a snob. As a child, I felt awkward with children my own age because my intellectual development happened a lot faster/sooner than theirs. As a result, they still wanted to play with little children’s toys while I didn’t care so much and would much rather have been reading or discussing something. I still remember the time I wanted to play Mock Trial when I was eight or so. It flew right over everyone’s heads and I just ended up embarrassed.

alison January 8, 2009, 2:12 PM

I have read all of the comments to this woman’s ridiculous article and my only comment is that it is apparent even smart children can be the product of idiots!

Vic May 29, 2009, 4:14 AM

After reading all of the comments on this post, I must say that I have a renewed sense of hope in humanity. I had no idea that so many parents truly valued compassion, kindness, and giving rather than receiving. I love that so many of you “get” that the more outgoing child has much to learn from her experience with the quiet one as well. More learning and individual growth occurs when we are out of our comfort zones. I try to teach my children that if someone has a perceived problem, maybe they could think of a way to help that child. The writer might be surprised to find that her daughter simply enjoyed playing with a different set of toys, and there is no telling what an impact the “play date” made on the other child. When I take my shy daughter to birthday parties, I worry that she isn’t having fun, because she doesn’t participate. Then we get home and she talks about it for ages. She enjoys being around the children and observing, even if she isn’t in the thick of it. I wouldn’t assume that the playdate didn’t benefit either child.

Chrissy September 4, 2009, 8:03 PM

Are you serious? I have to mirror what a lot have already commented here. I would have hoped Mom Logic would not end up being a place like this however, as also commented and I would have to agree, it was probably done for the recognition it would get. Bad publicity is good media standards. I think it’s garbage and am subsequently going to my twitter page and deleting them I no longer desire their updates…way to many of these BS posts are coming through and frankly I have had enough of them!!

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