News: All new forum theme!  See Forum Announcements for more information. 

  • March 30, 2015, 08:48:57 PM

Login with username, password and session length

Author Topic: Need advice for setting up playdates for my son Minor Update  (Read 1475 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

metallicafan

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 430
Re: Need advice for setting up playdates for my son
« Reply #15 on: February 17, 2015, 06:35:53 PM »
By the time my kids hit gradeschool I was no long organizing the play dates. They had friends on their street they played with at home or close in the neighborhood. Are there any kids who live close by? If not, one suggestion is to make afterschool play dates easy. Call one of the kid's he likes mom and say "Son would like your son to come over and play one day after school. Would it be possible for me to pick him up when I pick up son and bring them home with me for an hour or so? I'll be happy to drop him off afterwards."

I do think getting him involved in other activities would be good. Cub scouts assures a weekly "social" interaction. Is there a neighborhood swim team he could join this summer? What activities does he say his friends are involved in?

Another thing, how school involved are the other parents? I found the more involved I was in the school the more I became friends with the other parents and the easier it was for social interaction with the other kids. I worked full time so it wasn't always easy. But I always made sure to volunteer for the school carnivals, auctions, and even served on the PTA board for 3 years.


I'll be honest, I have no interest whatsoever in joining the school PTA or anything like that.  I just don't.  Not exactly sure why.  Maybe because my own memories of grammer school were rather unpleasant to say the least.
Maybe having him join more activities is the way to go.
« Last Edit: February 17, 2015, 10:21:09 PM by metallicafan »

Coley

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 1567
Re: Need advice for setting up playdates for my son
« Reply #16 on: February 17, 2015, 06:53:37 PM »
DS is an only child. He has always had friends at school, but it has been like pulling teeth to get him together with his friends outside of school. If it weren't for the outside activities we've involved him in, I don't know that he would have much social interaction outside school. A lot of kids seem to establish friendships through sports, and that didn't work for DS. He just isn't a sports-minded kid, so we had to look for other activities that were more up his alley. This is some of what we did during his elementary school years:

- When DS was 7, we joined a church and got him involved in the youth group. They meet every other Sunday.
- DS did an art class for elementary kids for several years each Saturday morning.
- He took a jiu-jitsu class one evening per week for several years.
- He had a birthday party each year and invited school friends. These party invitations were seldom reciprocated. Our understanding is that the other families don't have birthday parties.
- Each summer, DS attended several different day camps.

DS is 14 now and has continued to be pretty busy with activities. He currently is in four bands, takes piano lessons, is in science club at school, and is still in the church youth group. Last year, he was part of an aeronautics program. When DS entered middle school, it became more important to him to see his friends outside school. He and two other boys began spending quite a lot of time riding bikes and hanging out around the neighborhood. They also spend time playing video games together at each other's houses. They have more mobility on their bikes as well as more independence, so they're not necessarily reliant on parents to organize their time together. One thing I have observed is that DS has his friends in the neighborhood and his friends at school. These groups may not intersect. DS wanted to have a few guys over the weekend after his birthday last month, and the only guys who came were the ones from the neighborhood. I found that interesting. Maybe the neighborhood friends were more comfortable accepting the invitation because they've been here before -- and their parents already know us.

DS's post-birthday get-together was a pretty casual thing. He didn't want the traditional birthday party with cake, etc. He just wanted to have a few guys over to play video games. I did have to do a little coordinating with the parents since it was an evening activity and the boys don't drive yet. We provided the transportation, offered a ton of snacks, and the boys had a good time. They all agreed they'd like to do something like that more often, so we'll find a way to support that.

ETA: OP, I have never been active on the PTA. It's not my thing either. I am actively involved in a booster club for one of DS's activities, and we are active in our church. (At DS's school the PTA really only supports the sports teams and doesn't help with any other activities.)

katycoo

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 3983
Re: Need advice for setting up playdates for my son
« Reply #17 on: February 17, 2015, 07:53:21 PM »
Yep - in primary school I pretty much played with neighbourhood kids that we could walk to each others houses, or church friends who came home with us from church.  I didn't really start hanging with school friends until high school.

CocoCamm

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 1293
  • Leader of the 3 ring circus
Re: Need advice for setting up playdates for my son
« Reply #18 on: February 17, 2015, 09:38:24 PM »
As a child I rarely socialized with anyone who wasn't a classmate. My neighborhood was quite small and getting to any adjacent ones required crossing a busy road or at least walking along it (sans sidewalk) for at least a few miles. Add to that the fact that I attended a small private school and none one else in my little neighborhood attended so other than classmates I didn't really have any other options.

I frequently went over friends houses after school or they came over mine. Granted it may have only been an hour or two but since we all lived within a five or ten minute drive it wasn't a big deal.

As another poster mentioned perhaps offering to pick the friend up from school and drop them back off at home would help if the parents schedule is indeed that booked.
Yep - in primary school I pretty much played with neighbourhood kids that we could walk to each others houses, or church friends who came home with us from church.  I didn't really start hanging with school friends until high school.

Hmmmmm

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 7123
Re: Need advice for setting up playdates for my son
« Reply #19 on: February 18, 2015, 10:40:38 AM »
By the time my kids hit gradeschool I was no long organizing the play dates. They had friends on their street they played with at home or close in the neighborhood. Are there any kids who live close by? If not, one suggestion is to make afterschool play dates easy. Call one of the kid's he likes mom and say "Son would like your son to come over and play one day after school. Would it be possible for me to pick him up when I pick up son and bring them home with me for an hour or so? I'll be happy to drop him off afterwards."

I do think getting him involved in other activities would be good. Cub scouts assures a weekly "social" interaction. Is there a neighborhood swim team he could join this summer? What activities does he say his friends are involved in?

Another thing, how school involved are the other parents? I found the more involved I was in the school the more I became friends with the other parents and the easier it was for social interaction with the other kids. I worked full time so it wasn't always easy. But I always made sure to volunteer for the school carnivals, auctions, and even served on the PTA board for 3 years.


I'll be honest, I have no interest whatsoever in joining the school PTA or anything like that.  I just don't.  Not exactly sure why.  Maybe because my own memories of grammar school were rather unpleasant to say the least.
Maybe having him join more activities is the way to go.

Funny enough, I had similar thoughts about getting school involved. My mom always thought of the PTA and some other activities in our small town as just a bunch of busy bodies, gossips, and mom's wanting to make sure their kids got special treatment. Which created a little bit of tension about her not participating since Dad was the school district superintendent. But I found in the small school that my kids attended the organization was really needed and focused on the kids. (Their Middle School PTA met me expectations though.)

If you don't want to get involved in the school functions, maybe look at volunteer opportunities for the Little League your son in involved in. Today's environment has tended to make parents a little paranoid about who their kids hang around. Getting to know the other parents even slightly adds a level of comfort.

metallicafan

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 430
Re: Need advice for setting up playdates for my son Minor Update
« Reply #20 on: February 25, 2015, 09:48:22 AM »
OP here with just a minor update.

I talked to my son about joining more activities in order to be with other kids more.  He will already be playing baseball, but we will sign him up for soccer, and for summer swimming lessons, and I will send him to  summer camp at our local park district.   

Lynn2000

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 6258
Re: Need advice for setting up playdates for my son Minor Update
« Reply #21 on: February 25, 2015, 12:50:17 PM »
Those sound like great ideas! I bet he will really find a lot of opportunities for friends that way. :)
~Lynn2000