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Do You Arrange Playdate?I used to think that a PlayDate was just an American thing. That the nature of Australian culture is much less cautious and therefore the concept was irrelevant. But then I realized that I had done it for years with my own children, I just didn't call it Play dating.
After all, a play date is simply an arrangement with another child's parent's, that allows your child to go to some other child's house to play.
It's a concept that doesn't apply much in close knit communities if you have lots of children of similar age in your immediate neighbourhood. But, at least in the context my children grew up in, not all you children's friends are going to be next door. The nature of them going to school or church or any other institution where there are other children, means that they are going to meet others that live in the wider community.
I guess then, that my reaction to the idea of a "Playdate" as being something that only Americans do, is that the information mostly comes from them and it tends have arrangements that are very formal and sometimes based on fear rather than children having fun.
Having said that there is an element of risk that most parents in Australia would tend to ignore. I know that I did.
I have worked with children over many years and have consequently heard many horrific stories about children being severely abused: and yet I always assumed that "that could never happen to my child". I reasoned that "I know and trust all the parents that my children go and visit".
I have not doubt that that was true but would it have hurt me to ask some questions? More than that, not everybody has the same experience with other parents and their children; what should they do if they do have a problem?
This article give 8 Questions to Ask When Planning a Playdate. It really can't heart to have at least thought about them.