Should I try to end this friendship now?
My five-year-old daughter just had her first play date with a school friend, and I’m still reeling.
Since she started school a few months ago, my daughter has been talking non-stop about this friend of hers. They play together every recess and lunchtime, and always give each other a big hug goodbye at the end of the day. My daughter has been begging for a play date, and I finally managed to set something up with this other girl’s parents.
I took my excited daughter to her friend’s house on the weekend, and returned two hours later. In that time, my daughter had eaten a chocolate bar and a lollipop, and drunk a can of soft drink.
Now I’m not a sugar nazi, but I try to restrict sweet treats to special occasions. My daughter has had chocolate before, but never a lollipop. I give her fruit juice occasionally, but never soft drink. Clearly, for her friend, these are the kinds of things she has every day.
But that wasn't the worst of it. When I came to pick my daughter up, she and her friend were watching something on a big TV screen. At first I thought it was Frozen, because I could see Anna and Elsa. But then the two characters got involved in what looked like a fight to the death on a city street. There were guns and explosives and someone was set on fire. What the hell was that?
The mum and dad were in a different part of the house and had no idea what their daughter was looking at.
Again, I'm not trying to sound like I'm overly protective. But my five-year-old is still at the Peppa Pig stage. I don't let her watch adult TV shows that might be violent. Obviously, this other girl's parents aren't nearly as fussed about it.
Now this is my problem. This girl is very nice. Her parents seem very nice. But I can't get my head around the idea that every time my daughter goes over there to play, she's going to be dosed up on sugar and possibly exposed to disturbing stuff on TV.
Is there any point having a quiet chat to this girl's mum and dad about it? Or will I look like I'm having a go at them for being bad parents?
Should I just try to quietly discourage the friendship, or at least knock back play dates at this girl's house?
Or am I the one with the problem? Is this what goes on in most houses with five-year-old kids? I'm a bit new to the world of play dates, so I don't really know.
This writer is known to iVillage Australia but has chosen to remain anonymous.
Want more? Try: