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#1 literally nobody

Posted 02 December 2019 - 09:11 PM

So we have 3 kids in primary school and we are friendly with our kids friends parents.. only when a playdate is scheduled- the parents seem to stay and stay and stay - sometimes the playdate lasts for up to 4 hours and more.. I have tried subtly a drop and go speech but they want to catch up with us adults and are so comfortable at our place- have even lay down on the couch for over an hour or so. Mind you the invitation to come to their places is rare.

These kids are all 7 years and up.. no real need for any parents to stay and I really don’t get any joy in entertaining the other parent.. for hours on end, it’s an absolute drag for me as 1 of our kids are autistic and he is enough to deal with let alone anyone else. Tried the whole meeting up somewhere thing and his behaviours escalate and it can be really full on in public, he gets a major sensory overload quickly hence why we do playdates at home..

The whole thing is getting to me, I have already stated the first 2 weeks of holidays I’d just like to timeout and not have any school playdates.

How does everyone who does playdates do them?

#2 eachschoolholidays

Posted 02 December 2019 - 09:33 PM

That would drive me insane!

I just suggest an approximate drop off time and then suggest a time when I will drop the the child home. Have never had an issue.

#3 ~Kay~

Posted 02 December 2019 - 09:36 PM

Kid comes home with us straight after school.

#4 CallMeFeral

Posted 02 December 2019 - 09:37 PM

Does this happen with one particular family only or a number?
It sounds really unusual. I think usually it's conveyed in the invite, like we say "would X like to come over for a play", but if that's not subtle enough I would make it explicit "would X like to come over to play with Y? I can't sit and chat though, I need to do [some work/make dinner/some decluttering]"

#5 Clementinerose

Posted 02 December 2019 - 09:38 PM

Can you give the play date a finish time when you invite, a bit like a birthday party

#6 literally nobody

Posted 02 December 2019 - 09:40 PM

 CallMeFeral, on 02 December 2019 - 09:37 PM, said:

Does this happen with one particular family only or a number?
It sounds really unusual. I think usually it's conveyed in the invite, like we say "would X like to come over for a play", but if that's not subtle enough I would make it explicit "would X like to come over to play with Y? I can't sit and chat though, I need to do [some work/make dinner/some decluttering]"

It happens with 3 families.

#7 YodaTheWrinkledOne

Posted 02 December 2019 - 09:47 PM

 CallMeFeral, on 02 December 2019 - 09:37 PM, said:

I would make it explicit "would X like to come over to play with Y? I can't sit and chat though, I need to do [some work/make dinner/some decluttering]"
Exactly this.

As the kids got older and required less supervision when their friends came over, I became more direct about getting my chores done while the children played (and therefore playdate was welcome as it helped to keep my children occupied while I was getting other things done).  I tended to find that some parents hung around when the kids were toddlers, not so much when the children are older (in school, etc).

Also, you can say things like "Is there any errands you need to run next week? That might be a great time for Little Johnny to come over to our place for a few hours - the kids get a play, you get to do some of your errands without having to worry about children."

And when they drop kid over to your place, don't invite them in for a cuppa or anything like that. Thank them for bringing child over and ask them when do they think they will be back to pick up said child (or alternatively, let them know when you will drop their child back to their place).

#8 literally nobody

Posted 02 December 2019 - 09:50 PM

 CallMeFeral, on 02 December 2019 - 09:37 PM, said:

Does this happen with one particular family only or a number?
It sounds really unusual. I think usually it's conveyed in the invite, like we say "would X like to come over for a play", but if that's not subtle enough I would make it explicit "would X like to come over to play with Y? I can't sit and chat though, I need to do [some work/make dinner/some decluttering]"

The decluttering line and making dinner- With 1 family especially I have said it, and I have had the wife say “I’ll keep you company whilst you do it” and I have made dinner numerous times now and they still sit there , we eventually have to eat so in the end feel obligated to invite them to stay. Otherwise none of us will eat anytime soon.

#9 Prancer is coming

Posted 02 December 2019 - 09:52 PM

I have some friends where we parents like to catch up whilst the kids do.  I have also had the parent I felt obliged to stay and chat with (she did not drive) and I eventually advised I could only accept the play date if I dropped the child off as I had too much on.  It was way to time intense and I could not bring my rowdy boys with me as the house was so quiet and tidy.

Anyway, the point I am trying to make is they might see their friendship with you as more than you do.  They may think you like hanging out with them and enjoy your company.  Makes me wonder if my friends may be thinking other things behind my back though!

I find being upfront helps.  Try

Do you mind just dropping the kids off today as I have so much I need to get done.

Sure, come over,  as long as you are ok leaving by 11 as we have other plans after this.

Dd was saying she was keen to hang out at your place as she hasn’t been there for a while\is keen to play with x in your yard, can we meet at yours instead.

Sure, come over but I have not been to the shops.  Do you want to pick us both up a coffee/bring some food when you come as I won’t have a chance to duck out before you come.

#10 swimmingalong

Posted 02 December 2019 - 10:20 PM

Ahh Literally Nobody, it's the free meal..
I had someone try this on me too, hang around long enough to get a free meal.( knew her well enough to have sussed her out)
I didnt fall for it tho, i cooked dinne, served my kids their food and put them in the bath.
I did not offer her or her kids dinner, just kept up my own routine.
Yes, I felt mean but I also didnt want to set up a precedent and have it become a habit like i knew had already happened to other people

#11 SkeptiHandsOnMum

Posted 02 December 2019 - 10:23 PM

I learned that my issue was in not drinking tea or coffee. Turns out it is the universal message of "here, drink this sh*t and get out of here". People were loitering because they thought that they were waiting for the cuppa that I was never going to offer (along with the passive aggressive "here, enjoy this cup of coffee before YOU GO")

#12 Murderino

Posted 02 December 2019 - 10:47 PM

I’m sorry OP, I have no advice - some of the PPs have given excellent advice though.

I never get to stay and chat even with the parents I like as my kids warn me before we arrive that they expect me to leave, not start chatting so I’m still there two hours later! DS was having a sleepover once and the mum knew DD was also out so invited me to stay for dinner (I was dropping off just before dinner time) and a glass of wine instead of going home to an empty house. The glare I got from DS as a reminder of his request in the car that I not hang around for ages was priceless.

I am fairly certain their friends give their parents the same warning before they arrive at our place.

#13 Ellie bean

Posted 02 December 2019 - 10:56 PM

 literally nobody, on 02 December 2019 - 09:40 PM, said:



It happens with 3 families.
I think you’re giving off the wrong signals somehow if it’s more than one family.
We arrange play dates by text, my “would you like to drop billy off to play at 10am for a couple of hours “ is quite different to when I say “would you like to come round for a drink and bring the kids to play”
I think you need to start being more explicit
If people hung round here uninvited till dinner, I’m not polite enough to serve them some, I would happily say “great to seee you, we are having dinner now, let’s catch up again in a few weeks “
Can we provide some phrases on how to be assertive without being rude?
(although I probably am rude sometimes tbh!)

#14 literally nobody

Posted 02 December 2019 - 11:18 PM

 Ellie bean, on 02 December 2019 - 10:56 PM, said:


I think you’re giving off the wrong signals somehow if it’s more than one family.
We arrange play dates by text, my “would you like to drop billy off to play at 10am for a couple of hours “ is quite different to when I say “would you like to come round for a drink and bring the kids to play”
I think you need to start being more explicit
If people hung round here uninvited till dinner, I’m not polite enough to serve them some, I would happily say “great to seee you, we are having dinner now, let’s catch up again in a few weeks “
Can we provide some phrases on how to be assertive without being rude?
(although I probably am rude sometimes tbh!)

When we generally arrange the playdate it’s along the lines of , parent - “Xavier would like to come for a playdate on Saturday morning, are you free/home?” me: “yes we are home, 2pm is good for me”. I should say “yes 2pm is good for you to drop Xavier over and pick him up by 4.30”. I see that now.

We must give off some bizarre signals because not this family but family number 2 is even comfortable enough to open the fridge and help herself to a drink..I don’t do that at anyone’s place except my parents so find it a bit odd.

We do seem to get alot of friends who do say our home is very homely and cozy.. kind of like the feeling you have when you’re holidaying at a beach house or something along those lines.

Edited to add: Whilst im on family #2, lately instead of just bringing 1 out of her 3 - the 1 that my dd is having the playdate with she will bring the other 2 younger ones whilst declaring the other 2 wanted to come for a play too.. Mind you the other 2 are nowhere near in age as the oldest two having the actual playdate.. my dd actually gets annoyed about this as she really doesn’t want the other ones hovering. Last 3 times she bought her husband too. I feel like just saying “can’t you leave the other 2 with your husband at home?” without looking rude.

And as for family #3. Well she calls up and asks to drop by for a coffee whilst lately sitting for hours reminiscing with DH as they went to school together.. and have the same circle.

Edited by literally nobody, 02 December 2019 - 11:27 PM.


#15 IShallWearMidnight

Posted 02 December 2019 - 11:38 PM

Oh that would drive me up the wall.
I'd definitely say 'drop off around 2pm and I'll bring them back about 5 ish if that suits?' or have them come home after school.

#16 literally nobody

Posted 02 December 2019 - 11:58 PM

 IShallWearMidnight, on 02 December 2019 - 11:38 PM, said:

Oh that would drive me up the wall.
I'd definitely say 'drop off around 2pm and I'll bring them back about 5 ish if that suits?' or have them come home after school.

We can’t ever do after school as everyday the kids have after school activities etc. Unfortunately it’s only the weekends we have time for a playdate (god i hate that word!, lol)

#17 BECZ

Posted 03 December 2019 - 12:12 AM

The best solution I can see is you offering to pick their child up and drop them home.

Yeah, it would be nice if you didn’t have to do that, but at least their parents would not be at your house.

#18 FiveAus

Posted 03 December 2019 - 04:42 AM

No playdates ( I hate that word too). They can see their friends at school during the week, no need for weekends as well.

That would drive me nuts, I get really tired of entertaining people after about 15 minutes and want them gone.

#19 newmumandexcited

Posted 03 December 2019 - 04:45 AM

 literally nobody, on 02 December 2019 - 09:50 PM, said:



The decluttering line and making dinner- With 1 family especially I have said it, and I have had the wife say “I’ll keep you company whilst you do it” and I have made dinner numerous times now and they still sit there , we eventually have to eat so in the end feel obligated to invite them to stay. Otherwise none of us will eat anytime soon.

Oh god!! You must be amazing company, seriously.

#20 seayork2002

Posted 03 December 2019 - 05:39 AM

Is there any really messy/dirty jobs that need doing, does your outside bin need a scrub? Your oven need cleaning, a MLM product need selling?

They could help

#21 Silverstreak

Posted 03 December 2019 - 05:41 AM

Maybe you just have a really comfy couch, OP!

No advice, but sounds like the parents like to chill whilst you supervise everyone. Not cool!

#22 K.heather

Posted 03 December 2019 - 06:08 AM

I would be more worried given they feel so comfortable with you that if you do start cancelling play dates, they will just turn up any one day to see if you are home. How freaking annoying for you op, that would totally be out of my comfort zone.

#23 born.a.girl

Posted 03 December 2019 - 06:35 AM

Just in regard to going to the fridge, I would say that the person is so comfortable with you that they assume you're both o.k. with doing that with each other.


Only my sisters and I do this.  I had a neighbour and friend her co-incidentally at the same time as one of my sisters, who opened the fridge and said 'there's nothing to eat in here'.

Friend was a bit horrified and mentioned it later, whereas for me, it's just what we three sisters are comfortable with.

She might also just be a way-too-confident person who'd not reciprocate, but just thought I'd offer this perspective.

#24 qak

Posted 03 December 2019 - 06:57 AM

 literally nobody, on 02 December 2019 - 09:50 PM, said:

The decluttering line and making dinner- With 1 family especially I have said it, and I have had the wife say “I’ll keep you company whilst you do it” and I have made dinner numerous times now and they still sit there , we eventually have to eat so in the end feel obligated to invite them to stay. Otherwise none of us will eat anytime soon.

You need to say - sorry I've only enough for us tonight, I wasn't expecting visitors for dinner.

#25 Ivy Ivy

Posted 03 December 2019 - 07:01 AM

 literally nobody, on 02 December 2019 - 11:18 PM, said:

When we generally arrange the playdate it’s along the lines of , parent - “Xavier would like to come for a playdate on Saturday morning, are you free/home?” me: “yes we are home, 2pm is good for me”. I should say “yes 2pm is good for you to drop Xavier over and pick him up by 4.30”. I see that now.


And as for family #3. Well she calls up and asks to drop by for a coffee whilst lately sitting for hours reminiscing with DH as they went to school together.. and have the same circle.

It sounds like it's not YOU inviting kids over for playdates, so much as people landing on your doorstep/inviting themselves en masse! over.

So one way to handle this might be, when the person tries to invite their child to your house for a playdate (and seriously who does this bar family and close friends, and especially then doesn't reciprocate?) instead of saying
- "yes we are around at 2pm,"
you say -
"I've stuff on then, so can't host, but my kid would love to come over to your house, she's been asking about it actually, if that suits you, what time should I drop her off and pick her up?"

And then friend #3 - it's your DH's friend.  Just go do your own thing, go for a walk or clear a cupboard or do a grocery shop and cook a casserole or something, leave them to it.

And then family #2 where the entire family of 5 turn up - jeez this needs some bluntness I think - maybe along the same lines as idea #1, have your kid go to their house, and then when you do reciprocate, just a clear "would Annie like to visit, but unfortunately it'll have to be just her because I've a lot of stuff to do".




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