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What If Your Child Doesn’t Want To Do The Playdate?

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We had an awesome parenting question on our site recently that sparked an interesting conversation with lots of feedback. What would you do if your child did not want to go on a playdate?

Here is the scenario. Your child has been invited to a classmate’s home for a playdate. Unfortunately, your child does not want to go. Apparently, this other child is the one that no one in the class wants to play with and the other parent is desperate for her child to have friends and will do anything to make that happen.

As the parent, what would you do? There were a variety of opinions on the site:

  • Some parents said that children should not be forced to do things that they do not want to do and parents should not force them to play with kids they don’t like.
  • Some parents said that they would start by talking to their child to find out if there was a good reason for not wanting to go (such as bullying.) If the child only comes up with a trivial reason, then they would send their kid on the playdate.
  • Others said that children should be taught to go outside of their comfort zone and to learn how to relate to others that may not be exactly like them. Having the ability to empathize, to deal with diversity, and to deal with things they do not enjoy are important life skills.

We appreciated all of the input on this topic. Personally, we feel that this could be used as learning experience for our child. As long as no bullying is involved, we would encourage our child to go on the playdate. We would ask our child to think about the other child’s feelings and think about how it would feel if no one wanted to be his/her friend.

What would you do if your child didn’t want to play with another child that requested a playdate?

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