New Playdate Etiquette – Please Stand Me Up

Dear mom friend,

You know that playdate we scheduled weeks ago? The one our kids are counting down the hours till it happens?

Consider this an open invitation to stand me up.

Seriously…show-up extremely late, cancel last-minute or cut it short by leaving early.

Yeah I know we moved heaven and earth to get it on our busy calendars and our kids will be crushed. But I TOTALLY understand. And eventually they will too.

Your child back-talks right before getting in the car? Don’t ignore or wait till later to address it just because you are concerned about being late and hurting my feelings. Take care of your household. I can wait.

They didn’t complete their school project by the deadline before our special outing? Then have them stay home and work on it.

The younger sibling threw a fit and won’t get dressed? Take all the time you need to correct their behavior. Yeah, I am sure older sister or brother will pout but you should power-through and address the situation.

Why am I giving you permission? Because far too many times we have met-up for playdates and you tell me about the fit that was thrown as you herded your crew out the door. And you were worried about being late for me? Don’t worry – I get it, I understand.

Heck, there are many times when I bite my tongue over a serious matter and promise my child they will be in BIG TROUBLE when we get home from whatever fun activity we have planned. Now seriously, what sort of message does this communicate to my kids?

Additionally, when you follow-through with discipline-related consequence, it’s a great opportunity for me to teach my brood about what happens if they don’t follow rules.

I want to give you “no questions asked” permission and a promise I will not be upset if you need to cancel plans, show up late or leave early.  So when you feel pulled between keeping a scheduled commitment with me or taking the time necessary to discipline your kids, please remember that you can:

  • Ask us to leave your home if you need to end a playdate
  • Text me to say you are going to be late or cancel
  • Request that I pick up your other kids if the younger / older sibling is acting up, and then you meet-up with us later (If I can’t handle it then I will say no)
  • Leave the park early if an issue comes up, even if my children protest

I am your friend and am rooting for you as a parent!

Take whatever time you need to seize and make the most out of teachable moments. And I expect the same sort of support and understanding from you.

Commitments are important. So when you have to choose between them, prioritize the one that means the most; the commitment to shepherd and teach your children.  And I promise to support you in this worthy goal!

Sincerley,

Jennifer

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