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Help a Mom: How to decline playdates

Posted March 6, 2012

Here's this week's dilemma:

My grade schooler has become fast friends with one of her classmates. Her friend has been to our house several times. They really get along together and have a lot in common. It's wonderful to watch their friendship grow.

Here's the problem: My daughter has been invited over to her house a couple of times. The neighborhood is not a great one and I know that my daughter's friend has told her a few times about incidents that have happened and involved the police. I don't feel comfortable sending my daughter there. How do I graciously decline their invitation, but make it clear that I love having their daughter at our house?

What would you do? Do you have advice? Please share your experience in the comments box below. (If you don't see the comments box below, you'll need to log in or sign up for a WRAL account. You can do that by going to the top of the page and clicking on either "log in" or "register").

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  • happyone Mar 7, 2012

    Never do anything that you feel uncomfortable with...and you do not have to explain yourself to anyone! This is your daughter. If they choose to stop letting their daughter come to your house because you do not let yours go to their house, then I don't mean to sound harsh, but she will make other friends. Us moms have to go with our gutt feelings and it sounds as if this is yours...not to let her go! Stick with that!! I have told parents that my daughter just doesn't feel comfortable at other people's homes and that is true! She goes to family and VERY close friends' homes but that is ALL! We have to do what we have to do!!

  • stephielake Mar 7, 2012

    incidents involving the police happen in all neighborhoods.
    this was in a really "good" neighborhood.

  • lilypony Mar 7, 2012

    I like to put blame on myself. "I know I'm crazy and excessively overprotective mom but..." You know, as in the old "it's not you, it's me" type of line. If it were me, I'd say that she's allowed to have friends over and she's allowed to visit friends in our neighborhood, but that's it. And in all honesty, I really am a little crazy and excessively overprotective.

  • getovrit Mar 7, 2012

    I wouldn't tell them you think they live in a bad neighborhood. They may be insulted and it could cause your daughter's friendship to end, and she could have problems with this former friend at school. Get to know the parents better and see if you can go to the house with her. You should be able to get crime statistics for the neighborhood. I know Durham has all of that online, but in other areas you might have to call the police station to get it. The girl could be talking about isolated events - you should get the facts. Eventually, they're going to figure out that you don't want your daughter at their house and they're going to feel bad. Get to know them better so when it happens you can keep it from being an issue that impacts your daughter negatively at school.

  • mattiebookittie Mar 7, 2012

    I would suggest accompanying your daughter to their home for a playdate sometime.

  • debbiek Mar 7, 2012

    I would encourage you to get to know the friend's parent/s. If you're still uncomfortable with the neighborhood after knowing their in a well-supervised home, you could suggest a playdate at a neutral location such as a park or museum to continue the blossoming friendship.

  • kellypratz Mar 7, 2012

    I agree with the other 2 posts, you are the parent, you make the decisions to keep your children safe. Just because your child loves playing with her friend, do you want to put her into a situation that may not be safe for her? of course not. If your comfortable enough talking to the parents of the other child, just be honest and state you would rather her friend come to your house and play. By all means, the way this world is today we have to be extra dilligent in our kids safety. I'm a mother of 2 young daughters and I will do everything I can to make the best decisions for them. Hope all works out.

  • snowl Mar 7, 2012

    Be honest. It is in your opinion that the neighborhood is not safe, then say so. It may not be the case, because it only takes 1 household in a neighborhood that makes cause for the police arriving....this had happened in our sub-division, but it does not mean it is unsafe. JMHO.

  • Twittyfan Mar 6, 2012

    You are the parent.. We do not like telling our children no but we have to do it whether it makes them mad or not.. They will get over it. I have been in the same situation and I said no and I told my daughter I can't replace her and as her mother she will have to understand my concerns for her safety.. Sure her feelings were hurt but she lived through it.. Good luck to you..