playdates_mom taggin along, is this assumed?

Evasiloff - posted on 12/18/2009 ( 9 moms have responded )




I typically assume that I will tag along on playdates and at bday parties, but now that my daughter is five (but still in preschool), I get the impression that is less common and that mom tagging along is not the presumption. When I try to clarify if I'm invited too it gets a little awkward.

What do you usually do when faced with an invite? What is typically the case?

My daughter is a little more high maintenance than most kids. She has some anxiety issues.


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Helen - posted on 12/30/2012




I still go with my children (almost 4 and 20 months) to parties but expect that next year I'll be starting to leave the older one, depending on venue etc but then my child is confident enough and used to being left (actually the younger one would be ok being left as well - but not sure that other parents would be comfortable with that, lol).
As for play dates - I feel those are different, and I expect to stay as they are as much about adult interaction as about children playing, at least for the time being. Only exception to this is our neighbours, because they so close.

Anxiety issues are difficult - sometimes it is better to stay and give her confidence that way, and sometimes it is actually better to tell her you are going and will be back at the end of the party, as it will reinforce the 'I can be left and its ok' aspect.

Valerie - posted on 01/07/2010




My daughter is 7 and I still tagalong. When my daughter has a birthday her friends parents all tagalong. We know some parents that drop their kids off early and pick them up late. We are a military family so sometimes we don't know the people very well and I just feel safer being there. She also doesn't get to go to any party unless she has a written invite or an invite from the parent to me.

[deleted account]

I agree that it can feel a bit strange asking "so am I invited too, or were you just inviting my kid?" There were times I really wanted to come too because I was craving adult company, but I didn't want to appear too needy! That was embarrassing.

Erin I think things will change after your daughter goes to school and by the second year of school. As the kids get older, the play dates are often after school, so the other parent will take your child home with them, and you can show up at their house a bit later for a chat before taking your child home.

But I wouldn't feel bad saying to the other parent that you'll come early because your child's a bit anxious. People understand that sort of thing.

I've found that with birthday parties up to aged 6, the parents nearly always stay, but then quite suddenly from 7 onwards, they don't. By the time the kids are turning 8, it would be very odd to stay unless you were good friends with the parents.

Karen - posted on 12/23/2009




It depends on the situation. I personally wouldn't be offended if asked directly. At about 5 was when I left my daughter at a birthday party but just for a short time. It was mixture of leaving and staying. Most of the parties I am friends with the parents (from so many playdates) that I stay to visit. The last Birthday Party I asked and the Mom said that it was OK to leave - the place was one of those make your own stuffed toy places, so the space was limited. The summer party was a pool party so the Mom was happy to have extra eyes. My DD's Birthday party we did at a local beach specifically so siblings would be invited but Parents still asked, they did not assume (and a few we included on the invite because I like that my child is friends with all the kids in the family(. If we had another child I would not assume that they could come along, I would only bring them if they were specifically invited. I also would not deny my child the fun of going to a party just because Parents or other siblings were not invited. Parties are expensive and imposing extra people is just unfair. We also are in a small school so we know the families well enough to be comfortable with leaving her in their care.

You may also find that some of the anxiety issues will dissipate if you are not there. My DD was a bit high maintenance so I specifically absented myself at Preschool and even in Kindergarten and left her at friends' houses for short periods. When I was not there she surprisingly adapted nicely because she didn't have me to play to. She was more interested in what was going on than in what I thought about what was going on. I found that age 5-6 was the time in which they begin to assert their independence more, too, especially if she develops a small, close group of friends. Heck, my DD doesn't even realize I'm there half the time any more. If you really want to start leaving your child, maybe try leaving for short periods and build it up to longer periods, you might be surprised.

Dawn - posted on 12/23/2009




I agree with Michelle and Heather. My daughter is 7 and I still go along with her. I only leave her if I know the parents well.

Michelle - posted on 12/23/2009




I agree with Heather. If I throw a party for my kids I do not want to be used as a babysitting service. If something major happens, parents should be there. There are a few exceptions with very close family members, but for the most part parents should help take car of their own children at events. There are kids in the neighborhood that come over alone and have my oldest over for a short period of time, but parents are close enough for me to be comfortable with that. I always assume that parents to not want to take on extra children alone unless otherwise discussed. Maybe it gets awkward when you ask because they assume you want to leave your child & they do not know how to address that tactfully. My daughter sometimes wants to be come back & get her instead of stay, but I do not want to add stress to the host/hostess by doing so. My daughter is almost 8.

Heather - posted on 12/19/2009




Wow, I guess I'm gonna be the odd mom out here. I have three kids (12, 8 & 5) & I tag along everywhere. Birthday parties, playdates, school events & more. I only drop off my kids if they ask me not to stay & I am completely comfortable with the family they would be staying with & leaving my contact info & introducing myself.

My kids are familiar with this & when they receive an invite, they already know I plan to come too. If the parents imply that siblings or parents aren't welcome, my kids & I usually opt to do something else. (My kids are very close & don't like doing things separately. I expect this to change as my 12 yo matures lol). I always make sure to invite families & not just the children when we do invites & plan for extra kids myself.

Seeing as your daughter tends to be more anxious than others, I would make it a point to tell the other parents that you would like to hang out in the background because you aren't sure that she's ready for a complete separation. If they aren't understanding, then suggest that maybe when she's ready, you'll get together with them.

Hope this helps!!

Erin - posted on 12/19/2009




i found with my first child that 5 was sort of the unofficial cut off age for mom tagging along. With my second and third I have done drop offs as early as age 3--especially if they are with friends who also are a second or third child. Good Luck!

Angie - posted on 12/18/2009




I would ask the mom when you RSVP for the party of playdate. Some moms can handle a large group of children alone and some of us like to have a little help. I stopped going to my children's birthday party and play dates at about 5.

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