10 Things Never to Do on a Playdate

play datePlaydates can be the best of times, or they can be the worst of times. For parents, that is. When you've got young kids, playdates aren't just for the children, they're for the moms, too. So, it's important you arm yourself with some etiquette before whiling away a few hours with fellow parents and their kids.

If you don't want to be blacklisted from the neighborhood playdates, avoid doing these 10 rude things.

What's the rudest thing you've ever seen on a playdate?


Image via © Tim Pannell/Corbis

  • Bring Your Sick Kid Around

    1

    Nobody wants their kid to get sick, so it's common courtesy to give a heads up if your child isn't feeling well before a playdate to see if the other mom is comfortable having her child around a little sicky. One mom tells us how she was shocked when a friend showed up at her house a few hours after her daughter had gotten sick.

    "I couldn't believe it! Her poor daughter looked awful, and as she was walking into my home, she said, 'She threw up this morning, but I think she's starting to feel better.' It was so awkward! I felt bad for her kid, but I certainly didn't want my daughter getting sick!"

  • Be the Mommy Police

    2

    You know what's never fun? Having another mother tell you what you're doing wrong. One mom had a terrible time at the pool when her "friend" started talking about how floaties are pretty much death traps ... for half an hour!

    "We were at the kiddie pool, and the entire time we were there, this woman I kind of know explained to me how floaties, which is what my son was wearing, were no longer acceptable, and how he should be wearing a swim vest. If she stopped there, I would have appreciated the advice, but she kept going and going. And the water came up to our kids' shins! We haven't hung out since."

    Another woman received a pamphlet -- yes, a pamphlet:

    "I was in a playgroup with a mom who thought she was the best mom in the world and no one could touch her. She thought we should all be impressed by all the mommy knowledge she absorbed. Apparently, one of the moms turned her child forward-facing in his car seat too soon. Instead of saying something, she asked if she could speak to us in a group, passed out information she printed online about the benefits of extended rear facing, and kept mentioning how 'one' of us was not following the rules. It was very awkward."

  • Avoid Having Playdates at Your House ... & Avoid Cleaning Up

    3

    An unwritten rule is alternating houses when you're having a playdate. Even if you're a domestic diva, nobody likes always having to be the host. One mom said:

    "I love my friend, but literally, every playdate is at my house. I've been to her house once! I'm always the one to provide snacks, drinks, and she never even helps clean up when they leave!"

  • Brag About Your Kid Nonstop

    4

    Everyone knows the mom who's super competitive about milestones; the size of her baby; and how many teeth her little one has. And nobody likes to hang out with her. One mom stopped hanging out with a friend after every playdate became about whose kid was crawling faster; whose was taller; etc.

    "It just wasn't fun. I became self-conscious when I was around her. Every time my daughter did something, she piped up with some rude comment like, 'Oh, is she first doing that now? Billy's been doing that for months.' Ugh. I thought playdates were supposed to be fun."

  • Use People for Free Babysitting

    5

    The older kids get, the more appropriate it becomes to "drop them off" at someone's house for playdate. But when they're not even 2?! No!

    "I was beyond shocked when this girl and I arranged a playdate ... and she dropped her kid, who was about 18 months old, off at my house! I felt like I was running a daycare. It was the strangest thing, and needless to say, we have not hung out since."

  • Avoid Disciplining Your Child ... Regardless of What They're Doing

    6

    Little kids are little kids, and there's no need to reprimand them for every small thing they do. But when hitting another child is involved, you best speak up.

    "At one play date, this little boy kept hitting my son -- like, really hitting him! And the mom never said a word! She would glance over at what was going on and just continue to talk. So rude!"

  • Cancel or Don't Show Up at All

    7

    Every mom knows that packing up a toddler, getting them into a car, and getting somewhere on time is no easy feat -- which is why it's incredibly rude to constantly bail on someone who goes to these lengths!

    "I was in a play group for a while and all the activities were way on the other side of town. I would always pack up my kids, drive all the way over, and then wait around for an hour, and no one would show up. It was so aggravating (and a waste of gas!). By the fourth time, I just stopped going, too."

  • Cancel Playdates as Punishment

    8

    Parents all have their various forms of discipline, but when you cancel a playdate with another kid ... you're basically punishing the other kid, too.

    "My daughter was crushed recently when a playdate she was so excited for cancelled at the last minute. And then I was stuck explaining to her that she didn't do anything wrong. Not cool!"

  • Change a Poopy Diaper on the Couch ... Without Asking

    9

    We're all parents here, so no need to get in a tizzy about a stinky poopy diaper. But it is common courtesy to ask if the hostess is cool with you changing an exceptionally messy diaper on her white couch ... and then throwing said diaper out in the kitchen trash. Ew.

  • Drop Off Siblings Who Aren't Invited

    10

    Nobody likes a surprise on a playdate ... especially when that surprise is in the form of a less-behaved sibling. One mom recently posted to Facebook: "I had a parent pull a fast one on me. My son invited her son over to play and she dropped off both him and his older, more naughty, brother. Lucky me!"

    Not cool.

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