My six year old son had his first play date at somebody else’s house yesterday, and now I need some advice. He’s a bit of a homebody and a mama’s boy. First he wanted me to stay, then he said he would stay for 10 minutes. We talked him into staying for 30 minutes, then I said I would text the other mom and ask her to ask him if he wanted to stay. He was ok with that.

So my husband dropped him off at 4pm and said that he’d seemed totally fine and comfortable, and the mom had asked if he could stay for dinner. As per my husband, B (my son) seemed ok with that. I texted at 5 and the other mom said they were having a great time. She sent me a pic of them playing Fortnite, which I wasn’t thrilled about but whatever, and asked if he could stay until 7:30. That’s after his bedtime so I said we’d come at 7. When we picked him up he seemed like he’d had fun, but also said that the other mom said he had to eat all his dinner, and that they’d played zombie video games, and that she never asked if he wanted to go home and really he hadn’t wanted to stay for dinner but we didn’t come back for him.

So a few questions! First, I feel a bit like I failed him, by not specifically asking her to ask if he wanted to leave, and I shouldn’t have just let it go when just husband said he’d seemed fine - I should have followed through. So what could I do next time? How can I make it clear to another parent that I don’t just want her to assume he’s ok, I want to actually ask him?

And secondly, I’m really not ok with my six year old playing zombie shooting video games. Honestly, I’d rather he not be playing games/watching tv at all on a playdate, but I know I can’t micromanage to that extent. But the mom is very friendly, and has mentioned several times how much fun her son had and how we should do it again. How can I say “ok, but no shooting games”?

Sorry this is so long, it’s really causing me stress. He’s a sensitive little guy and I feel like this has maybe put him off playing at other people’s houses for a while (which I guess solves my second problem? 🤔) I have no problem being the house kids congregate at - part of the reason we bought a house with a pool! - but I know we can’t always have everybody come to us.