How to arrange the end of the play time politely?

(12 Posts)
mainamow Sun 10-Nov-13 15:30:16

Nearly every week we have kids at our house staying for up to two hours. They usually invite themselves. One a few occasions one mum would ask at what time she'd collect her DD. I do not know whether I need to indicate the time or tell her to collect her DD when she can. She is a very nice woman and I do not want to say anything to offend her but I want her to set the time. I think she also asked if she should collect her DD now or in 30 min? Obviously I would say in 30 min. It is tricky sometimes. Once she said she would collect her DD once she cooks the dinner.

mindgone Sun 10-Nov-13 15:49:44

I always found it so much easier to offer to take them home myself. That way you do what suits you best. I used to hate it when the kids whinged when mum came to take them home. Also avoids the whole 'inviting mum in for a coffee thing' when you don't have time for it!

If the mum asks what time she should collect then it's not impolite to give her a time. If she asks again if she should collect now or later you could say "Well, we're just about to eat/start homework/go out/expecting someone/have an early night so if you could come now that would be great, thank you".

I think Mindgone has the right idea by offering the drop to them home (As long as that's convenient for you of course) then you can decide when you've had enough they ought to go home.

Do the other mums reciprocate by having your DD every week?

mainamow Sun 10-Nov-13 16:29:03

Good ideas, thank you. Usually an older sibling would come and collect DD. I do not mind to take her or other kids by myself but worried mine would want to get invited as well. While I do not mind having a play date at ours I would appreciate mine to be invited to theirs (their parents always busy with something). Other children would mostly invite themselves to come over but their parents do not initiate the invitation for ours. I'd feel awkward if mine would ask to play at someone house uninvited but probably I should take it easier. If their parents do it so why cannot we?

mainamow Sun 10-Nov-13 16:31:16

mindgone, I feel awkward when the child does not want to go and would ask to stay longer even though they have been here for nearly two hours. And the parent is not firm enough; it is like expecting an answer from me.

mainamow Sun 10-Nov-13 16:36:53

OldBagWantsNewBag, sometimes I just do not know what to answer. Usually, I also prepare a snack as mine are hungry after the school and I see that those kiddies are also hungry waiting for their dinners. May be that is why they feel comfortable. We have been to many play dates and most of the parents did not offer any food/drink. We would always buy and bring something with us just in case.

TeenAndTween Sun 10-Nov-13 16:51:55

I quite happily tell children 'you need to go now, we are going to eat' or whatever, if I want children to leave. I try to give them some warning so it's not a surprise.
For younger children I would say to parents 'fine to play but please collect at XXX'.

clam Sun 10-Nov-13 16:53:31

If they ask to stay longer, I always used to just say something along the lines of, "well come round another time, maybe. We need to be getting on with other things now." And prime your own kids not to chirp in with "No we don't, Mummy! What things?"

mindgone Sun 10-Nov-13 23:27:30

Mainamow, nightmare parents! And thick skinned too! I think you may have no choice other than to try being firmer. If it feels uncomfortable at first, act it first until it becomes more comfortable. You may find it easier and more fun than you think! Good luck!

BackforGood Sun 10-Nov-13 23:48:40

Depends a bit - are these school friends that have been invited/been brought round to play by parents, or just neighbours who have knocked on the off chance?

If they are children that you have agreed to have round, than I agree with poster upthread who said it's easier to offer to return them, then you have the "control". If it's just neighbours knocking on the offchance, then just send them home when you want to. Don't really see what the problem is. You even say one Mum asked what time to collect and you didn't tell her - of course it's up to you what time you want them collected if they are in your house.

mainamow Mon 11-Nov-13 11:14:34

Thank you for the comments. I will try to be firmer next time.
BackforGood, the mum asked at what time to collect her DD but then kind of added she was still cooking dinner. She did not sound ready to come to collect her DD so why to ask when in the first instance?
These are the school children. I do, however, try to have them over on the day when it is convenient for our family. As I said it happens every week but they do not invite ours because of cooking dinners. I am SAHM and that is probably why they think my dinners are always ready.
I think I will try to learn from the mums and answer the same way.
I know I can be too soft sometimes.
Just too add, I like having kids at ours. They are nice and sweet.

bebanjo Mon 11-Nov-13 15:54:00

My DD never wants to leave anywhere.
I find myself saying things like, we have to go, they are having dinner, going out ect. It works best if that is backed up by the other mum saying yes we're going out, see you next week.
I really don't like it when the other mum says, no it's ok she can stay.

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