The Perfect Playdate Number: Does It Exist?

three kidsMy daughter had a playdate a few weeks ago with two of her best buddies from preschool that should have been the perfect event. 

The three kids truly enjoy one another's company, and they're well matched in energy levels.

The setting was perfect: the park with multiple playground activities, few other kids around to interrupt the fun, and temperatures that were warm but not unbearable.

So why did it turn into a bit of a disaster?


We'd followed all the experts' guidelines for the perfect playdate: limited the number of kids, held it on neutral territory, and kept it simple.

My friend B. has figured out it comes down to numbers.

There were three kids -- plus the one boy's two little brothers who were sometimes involved, sometimes not. 

Either way, it was an odd number of kids.

Two of the kids tend to be both louder and more opinionated, the third is content to be a follower (I see him being the peacemaker as these three grow). And that meant two against one cropped up even when the kids weren't TRYING to be mean to one another.

There were no fights, but there were hurt feelings, and I have to admit sometimes my daughter was to blame (for which she was taken aside and given a talking to based on empathy -- and how it felt when she herself was excluded).

Testing the theory, a few days later we attended a playdate with just one of the boys -- and everything went perfectly.

But so had a movie date with both boys a few weeks ago; followed by a trip to the ice cream stand ... and there was never a bad report from their preschool teacher.

We're going to try again -- I really enjoy spending time with the moms of both of these boys, and the kids genuinely like one another. But I'd love to know what's the perfect number for your playdates.

[poll id="384089" question="What's"]

Image via Jeanne Sager

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