One of my 9 year old daughter's best friends is a lovely kid and I've gotten to know her parents a bit and they too are lovely but it's one of those "we're friends because our kids are" type of relationships. For a variety of reasons that I'd rather not share with the parents, I don't want my daughter to go over to their house for playdates. I'm happy to have the girl over at ours, I'm happy to meet up in other places, and I enjoy socializing with the parents, so it's nothing against them personally nor a safety issue but for other reasons that I've observed on a couple occasions that I'd stopped over at their house, I really don't feel comfortable with my daughter being at their house. The mom asks me about having my daughter come over on a regular basis though - like, every week. And I'm starting to run out of excuses/ways to say no. But I also don't know how to handle this politely because I don't want to disclose why and I can't really say we don't do playdates at people's houses because that's not true with other friends/families, I just have concerns about their house specifically. Any suggestions on how to ideally put this to rest but not hurt anyone's feelings?
kiwi / 556 posts
I feel like this is hard without having more detail, but I think you'll have to come up with some reason you can point to, since the invitations keep coming. I don't suppose you can say your kid is allergic to one of their pets or something like that...? I think you're going to have to give them some reason.
kiwi / 544 posts
Yeah-I feel like we need to know the reason! Bc otherwise I agree, you kind of have to make up a lie of some kind or if you keep deflecting they may get the hint and stop inviting but they will probably be annoyed and I worry that the girl may ask your daughter. Does she mind that she can’t go over? This is tough.
grapefruit / 4584 posts
I also feel like I can't really give you helpful feedback without knowing your reason.
One of my ten year old's friends prefers to be at her own house, so the balance of where they hang out is definitely off. I mentioned it to the mom, who I am friends with outside of our daughters' friendship, so I don't think there's an issue with anyone not wanting to be in my home (I hope, haha - now you've got me paranoid! ) The mom swears that she doesn't mind the imbalance. She says her house feels lonely when there's no one in it (she works from home and her husband works in the office) all day AND after school, and that the girls get along well so it's a pleasure to have them. Her daughter is a little more homebody and likes to be home where things are familiar; mine really likes to go out (and escape her siblings, haha).
So maybe you frame it more as liking to be at home, or just say that it's more convenient for you, and you really don't mind the imbalance (unless it's inconvenient for them). That at least might slow the invitations. I don't know how the "meeting elsewhere" could figure into this explanation, though.
blogger / nectarine / 2043 posts
Thanks everyone for the input. I wanted to stay neutral of the reasons why because I would never tell someone this is why I don't want my kid at their house so I do need to make something up (which I'm terrible at and I'm concerned about engaging my kid into a lie) or give a reason that is generic/non specific and I'm not sure how to do that unless I just keep doing it case by case. And maybe that's just the right answer.
Without getting into specifics - it's a cleanliness issue. I'm by no means neurotic, I've been in and around some pretty unclean environments and am hardly a model for cleanliness, but theirs is really concerning to me. The family is typically pretty unkempt (particularly the parents) and the few times I've been at their house it just skeeved me out. There may be so much going on - possibly hoarding, other issues, who knows - so I'm not going to tell them this is why I'd rather not and I'm not judging in any way, it's just not an environment I feel comfortable leaving my kid in. So I welcome any suggestions
kiwi / 556 posts
@Mrs. Carrot: ok, that would bother me too. I don't suppose you have some cool toy/game/activity at your house only that your daughter would like to do with her friend? That would be another reason you could give. Say something like, "thank you so much for the invitations to your house, but DD really loves when your child comes over here so she has someone to play x with. I'm happy to host so the girls can play with x activity." (Do you have a swing in the basement, trampoline, gaming system, giant barbie collection, crafting space, etc?)
persimmon / 1079 posts
@Mrs. Carrot: I would feel and do the same thing. I liked the PP suggestions. I would also say “hey we appreciate the invites but it is better if my child has your child over to our home. It works best for us at this time. I hope you understand. Let’s plan something in the next few weeks for the kids at our home.”- i do not know how you feel weekly but to me that’s alot but if it works for you then plan something at your house.
persimmon / 1079 posts
@Lahela017: I like this!
grapefruit / 4043 posts
@Mrs. Carrot: I am 100% on the same page as you on this issue. Just keep saying no, that this time she is asking does not work. If this mom can't get the hint, then that is another issue. You have to do what is best for you kid, so don't feel bad however you end up going about this. Best of luck and please let us know what you end up doing, if anything at all!