How to have stress free playdates this year!
Try our simple tips, advice and activities at your next playdate.
Playdates with moms/dads and kids can be awesome for everyone. Kids have someone to play with and moms/dads have a chance to catch up, take a break, and relax. Sometimes it goes like that, but sometimes it doesn’t! Not all playdates are successful. Stress free play dates are what we want to have every time! How can you set up stress free playdates? Try some of our tips and activities when you want to host your next stress free playdate.
Earlier this year, I came up with a list of 10 Successful Playdate Tips from a mom. Make sure to check them out and see how you can use them for your stress free playdates.
I was inspired to create stress free playdates because we have so many of them and often they can get a bit stressful! The tips will vary for the age of the children involved. Younger children will need more hands-on support from the parents where as older children will need a bit of freedom that is still monitored. As a parent who has had many, many playdates over the past four years, I have collected a bit of wisdom on stress free playdates.
Setting the scene for stress free playdates
Where are the kids allowed to play? Are there any house rules? Do they need to ask before they do certain things? Where will the parents be? This creates a safe atmosphere for everyone involved and establishes boundaries and expectations. Kids do much better with clear expectations. If you are going to another kid’s house, use the car ride to prep your child for expected behavior. Talk about what it means to be a good friend and discuss ways your kid can resolve a problem. Let your kid know you are always available to help. Your kid needs to trust that you are there to help them if needed.
Resolving conflicts during playdates.
Stress free playdate are not always conflict free! We can’t expect young children to be able to navigate playdates without a little assistance from parents. They are still learning the ins and outs of social situations and still need modeling of appropriate behaviors. Expecting young children to solve their own problems is not always the best solution. The older the child gets, like my 5 1/2 year old, I like to give the problem a few minutes to see if the kids can resolve it with newly learned social skills. Very young children often can not do this. Older children have a better handle on it and may come to you after some time to help resolve the conflict if they haven’t been able to on their own.
Recognizing the signs of a stressed out kid.
It’s a playdate how can my kid be stressed out? he’s been waiting all week for this! He has been talking non stop about playing with this kid. Why is he having such a hard time? Kids are still learning how to control emotions, deal with feelings, and handle situations that are both good and bad! Make sure to check out our 10 tips to prepare your child for stress free playdates.
Some questions to ask yourself if your kid looks stressed:
How long has the playdate been happening? Is it to long and your child is done?
Is your child hungry or thirsty?
Lots of running around can do numbers on blood sugar and energy levels.
Is your child able to enjoy his own play ideas or
Is he constantly being controlled and directed by the other child?