Toddler Playdates May Not Be Worth the Hassle

playdates for toddlers
You Wanna Come Over?
I've said it before, and I'll say it again: The second kid really does get the shaft. Yet even though I know this, I still find myself scheduling activities for the big kid and just assuming the 2-year-old will be cool with running around in a backyard while she has a swimming lesson. But it came to our attention yesterday, at a pre-school parent/teacher conference, that our boy needs some playdates. Or, at least he needs some playdates if we want him to get socialized and learn how to relate to his own kind. We want that, right?

On the one hand, we felt bad about having only ever arranged one playdate for the kid. And that one was kind of wrecked when his older sister swooped in and charmed the kid. On the other hand, the suggestion that maybe I take off work early one day to facilitate a playdate for my 2-year-old seemed extreme. But should I?

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Well, yes, if I want to get the "Helicopter Mom of the Year" award. But I totally don't, so I'm not doing that. I will, however, try to see what I can rustle up on a semi-regular basis for the kid. Because I do want him to learn how to share, how to ask nicely, and how to (eventually) learn empathy. All of these things are great reasons for a toddler playdate.

However, the no-nonsense part of me feels like arranging playdates for a 2-year-old is akin to writing his college admissions essay. Can't I just wait until he can do it himself? Of course I can, if I want to leave all of his social skill education up to his pre-school. Which I might, considering when I asked him who he wanted a playdate with, he mentioned Molly, the dog of one of the employees at the school.

Do you arrange playdates for your toddler?


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