"Say hi, and then leave." My 8 rules for playdates.

Do you have rules for playdates?

I am not very good at playdates. I never have been.

First up the fact they are called playdates which just about bugs the hell out of everyone doesn’t it?

We have a pretty easy going street and half the time the kids just run up and down knocking on friend’s doors asking if Jessica can come out to play.

(Yes, that still happens.)

But when it comes to making new friends from school and sports, and having to organise a “playdate” I find it all a bit contrived.

My rules for playdates.

I think I project all my neuroses and insecurities into my kid’s playdates. All those left over issues from school.

Will they like my kids? Will they be bored? Please let my child share. Please don’t look under the couch. Oh god did I clean the toilet?

I wish we all just sang from the same songbook when it came to playdates, all stuck to few basic rules.

But I know not everyone is gonna like ‘em.

1. Say hi then scoot.

I am sure that on a different occasion you and me would be great mates. We could drink wine and exchange anecdotes about the times before kids. We could compare notes about which teacher gave the least homework and talk private vs. public schools.

But this isn’t a coffee date, or an invitation for a drink so drop off your munchkin, check my credentials and split. I have stuff to do.

Obviously, of course if your little one is a LITTLE ONE then I would expect you to stay. I ain't wiping your kid’s tush.

2. They eat what they get.

Okay so not if they have allergies or food intolerances I get that, but if it’s just that when at home Johnny isn’t allowed salty crackers the fact is that when Johnny is at my house he can eat what he gets.

If he doesn’t like it or isn’t allowed then he can wait till he returns home for his coconut water and kale juice.

If it is Friday and my kids are having a paddlepop as a treat and a bag of salt and vinegar chips then that’s what’s on offer. If you disapprove don’t return.

3. I’m not an infirmary.

If Connie has a cold keep her home. If she is coughing up a storm and just woke up but “really, really wanted to come” let’s just reschedule.


I don't need your sick kids.

Woah these mums do NOT like playdates. For a very funny take on playdates watch this video. Post continues after video.

4. I am also not a daycare.

When I invite ONE of your children over for a playdate the invitation is simply for ONE of your children. The twins might really like the cubby house out the back but it doesn’t mean I want them all.

Siblings stay away unless specified.

5. I don’t want to hang out with your child.

Sorry, but I’ve invited your child over to play with mine, you know so I can get shit done.

Not to stand over my shoulder while I try to work on the computer telling me about their day.

Not to continually call out "Shauna come and watch me" "Shauna look at me Shauna" "Shauna its your turn".

It is not my f**king turn I don't want to play with you.

Not to stand side by side with me in the kitchen while I cook. To play with my kid. I don’t need another kid hanging off me.

6. My house my rules.

Your child might be allowed to swear like a trooper at home, to jump on the bed like they are trampolines and to cross the road without an adult, but mine are not. So when in my company they follow my rules.

My house, my rules. Pirates allowed though.

7. Ask mine back.

Simple etiquette. Just ask my son or daughter over to play another time. Doesn’t need to be soon, but ask. You will light up their eyes and melt their hearts. Kids like to be liked.

8. Watching TV isn’t a playdate.

Watching TV is not a playdate.

And if my child does go to your house can we keep the TV to a minimum? I could quite easily keep him at home and stick on Ben 10.

Unless it is a special movie day or a short interlude to calm the crazies I would prefer you don’t just ask my son over then plonk him in front of the TV.

What rules do you have for playdates?

Want more? Try these:

Why I will never let my kid have another playdate.

“Mum, when I invite your kid over, I don’t invite you too.”