When kids give me two-thumbs-down on a playdate, I get a little miffed.
Guest blogger Christine: My kid had a playdate this weekend. When I asked her friend (as she was leaving) if she'd had a good time, she said, "No, I didn't" -- right in front of her mom. Whoa!
Whatever happened to manners?
Yes, I know: Kids will be kids. But this isn't the first time I've been "critiqued" on a playdate.
One time, a second grader who'd been at our house for all of fifteen minutes said, "I'm bored. There's nothing to do here." I called his mom to have her pick him up pronto.
Another time, during a sleepover, I was told at 2:00 AM (when I went in to soothe our guest after a bad dream), "I didn't want to sleep over here anyway. I wanted to go to Angela's house instead. She's my BEST friend."
A coworker's daughter had a sleepover where the 5-year-old guest told her, "This bed is way too UNCOMFORTABLE for me."
What is going on? I shudder to even THINK of my kids saying something like that on a playdate. I would be mortified.
I know that cocktail playdates are out-of-fashion these days, but this sort of behavior is driving me to drink.
What can you do? Momlogic's Dr. Wendy Walsh says, "Remember, kids are wired to be completely honest, and -- depending on their age -- may not have learned the subtle art of polite communication. Playdates can be valuable teaching moments. Correct the child without shaming them and place emphasis on the feelings of both parties in the conversation. So with a child who complains about being bored, you might say something to validate their feelings, followed by an explanation of how the comment might affect the listener."
You could say: "I see that you are feeling bored without the toys you have at home. But Johnnie was so excited to have you over, it might hurt his feelings to hear that you're not having a good time. Maybe instead of complaining, you can suggest something else you'd like to play with."
Have you encountered this sort of attitude on playdates? How did you handle it?