No one for play dates

Sue - posted on 05/20/2011 ( 9 moms have responded )

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My son is 5 his teacher said it would be good to have playdates for him on the weekends. He is an only child. Right now we rent the basement of a house so its not like we have our own house or apt or a yard. Its a weird situation for some people so inviting kids from school over is difficult. I try to meet people but it doesnt seem to work out very well. Im just really sad that he doesnt have more friends besides in school. This has bothered me for quite a while. I only have a couple friends that have kids his age. Anyone else going thru this?

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Rebekah - posted on 05/20/2011

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Can you arrange playdates at a local park if having them over is awkward? There are also MOM clubs/groups out there that meet on scheduled days for group playdates, whether at someone's home or at a park. (I haven't been part of one myself, but what I got from the person I spoke to is that there isn't pressure for everyone to host--which is why they also meet in public spaces)
Are you part of a church/faith community where he would have other chances to spend time and build friendships with other kids?
If he has friends at school, I think that is a good start in itself. Now its just a matter of scheduling when and where.
My son (also an only, of course) doesn't have a ton of playdates, but we just connected with one at school and meet up about every two weeks or so. Frankly, with busy schedules, its a challenge to arrange more than that sometimes. We actually have a neighbor boy who would be a fine playmate for my son, but we rarely coordinate anything just because they are always running off to sports or we have something going on and it has been hard to make it happen. So proximity doesn't even guarantee anything...we just have to be more effortful, I suppose. With other friends, sometimes we set something up and end up having to reschedule several times because of sickness, weather, work, you name it. Is it this hard for everyone else to plan things?
When the weather is nice, we spend a lot of time at the park and he typically finds various groups of kids to join up with spontaneously and its been pretty positive.
Is your son in preschool this year, or kindergarten? My son starts kindergarten in the fall. What I hear from other moms is that once they start school (full time, particularly), time for playdates isn't as much of a priority/reality, what with all the time invested in school, need to catch up with family time at home, etc.
The couple of friends that you have with kids his age...is that something you can build on? If you have options there, then I don't know that you need to have a ton of other children for him to pick from. Think quality rather than quantity.
Summer is coming...I do want my son to have more playdates, too, so I get how you feel. I often end up as my son's playmate and I want him to be able to enjoy other kids instead. I'll have to set some goals in that direction for this summer!

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Lori - posted on 08/08/2011

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It sounds like he's starting kindergarten in the fall? I found that in my daughter's kindergarten year, that it was easier to find playdates. Kindergarten was 1/2 day, so a lot of the classmates met in the park in the afternoons.

I hope this helps!

Lori

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Hang in there mama! I was just recently going through this, but then I stumbled onto a couple ways of meeting people. I started off by going to the nearest playground. The first couple of times we went, we were there alone. By about the third time going, we met a nice family that had 2 little girls. It was the kids who started playing with each other that caused us moms to start talking. It really eases the nerves when the kids do the work! Especially for me, since I have a bit of anxiety when I get nervous.
All you have to do is make yourself available, and they will come to you.

Laura - posted on 06/03/2011

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Yup, going through the same thing, except my daughter is 2 1/2. Only one of my friends has a child close to her age: he's three. BUT, right now we live 4 hours away from them. We have play dates when we visit, and probably will when we move back in 2 months. We live in an apartment, so not much room for playing. She does play with the other children in the building, but they're all in school (aged 6-10).

We're trying to get her registered for a playgroup 3 days a week when we move.

Have you tried an afterschool program? Swimming lessons? A sports program like soccer or basebal? We have under 7 soccer here, and it's 5 and 6 year olds. It gets them involved with other children their age that they might not see in their class.

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In my experience with MOPS, I felt that the moms in my area were more catty, cliquey, and kinda judgemental. Besides, you have a 5 year old, and a 5 year old is not going to want to play with a toddler. A preschooler, perhaps, but again, the only MOPS expereince I had was when my was was 4. In any event, I sought out the events at the local library all the time. I enrolled my son into sports programs and we were at the park frequently. When my son began writing, he would write out these cute invitations to his preschool friends that invited them to play at the park after preschool. They would be something like "Meet me at the park after school so we could play buried treasure" or "Meet me at the park so we can play SPY". And then I'd quickly write a message to the parent "I'll bring some juice pouches and a snack. Hope to see you!".
Good luck in reaching out to other parents!

Rochelle - posted on 05/29/2011

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Do you know about the group Mothers of Preschoolers? MOPS. You son is at the upper end of the preschool years but you would still be welcome. They meet at churches and other venues. You will find the camaraderie of other moms of kids from birth to 5 and they also do playdates and family outings for the whole family as well. I was going through this before I joined MOPS because I had my son in my mid 40s so most of my friend had older children and even grandchildren. I never felt unwelcome with them. Plus I work fulltime and most moms groups meet during the day but my church just recently started an evening MOPS for working moms. Here is the website so that you can get find a MOPS group in your area: www.mops.org Good luck.

Tammy - posted on 05/26/2011

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My son is an only child and was very lonely - and said so. He is fine now that he is in 4k and it able to interact with kids at school. We also just moved, and there are 14 kids immediately around us!! But I would suggest arranging playdates and just do them at a park or play place. Maybe go to a movie, go swimming or something like that--instead of your home. At least at first. Once you get to know someone and do it more regularly then they will know and understand your situation. Then it won't matter. I also have a playdate and then the other parent has it, so that you take turns and it is not at your place all the time. Hope this helps......

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im going through the same thing except my son is younger. he is 2. i have one friend that has a daughter his age but we live so far out of town its hard to get there to see her very often. i have been looking around for a day care that he can go to like 1 day a week. that would be a day id be in town running errands and he would have friends. right now all he has to play with are 3 dogs and the cats. call some local theaters. some kerosates theaters have kids night where all the kids go to a movie. unfortunately our is not one of those. we have a theater here that has a kids movie the second saturday of each month and admission is free. one mom told me to try the library to see if they have story times. just some ideas

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