Reception year - invites for tea,without parent

(73 Posts)
greener2 Tue 22-Jan-13 19:09:17

Hi,
Just wondering what experiences/thoughts are...
We are new to an area and so have only known people since sept school year although it seems a lot of people have not met prior to school anyway.

My issue is, its reception year, kids are 4 years old and it seems the norm to be sending your child to someones house for tea after school, the other childs parent to walk them home etc and to have someone elses child without the parent.

I havent done this as i dont feel at 4 this is the right age, i dont know anything about the parents either. But i am alone in my thoughts and feel a bit isolated.

Thanks

OwlCatMouse Tue 22-Jan-13 19:14:18

What happens for parties?

Our school seems to be one of those where everybody does parties/tea without the parent, its fine. My nephew is at a school where nobody would dream of doing this.

If you don't want to leave your DC then don't, you could invite a friend over instead?

Lexiesinclair Tue 22-Jan-13 19:14:24

I only did this once I knew the other parent(s) well enough to feel comfortable with it. Initially I would go along too, or invite the Mum and DCs round for tea until the DD felt comfortable enough to go on her own. My DD is quite shy so it took a while!

alarkaspree Tue 22-Jan-13 19:16:05

I'm sure you're not the only one. My dd was okay with going over to friends' houses unaccompanied at that age but ds had to have me there. I just invited his friends over to ours instead, with their parents or nanny if they wanted them there. If you do that, you can invite the parents in for a cup of tea when they come to pick their child up, then you have met them and maybe you'll feel comfortable with your dc going to their house next time.

DD1 is in reception, just turned 5 and has just come back from her first ever <spit> playdate with a child that I don't really know. It seems to be the done thing here. We've had playdates and sleepovers with a friend whose father we know well so I guess that got us used to the whole thing. I surprised myself by not batting an eyelid today.

Jinsei Tue 22-Jan-13 19:19:52

I had no issue with this at all when I'd had a chance to get to know the parents a bit, but another parent in dd's class responded to our invite by asking if she could stay with her dd as she wasn't used to going to other people's houses without her parents. I wasn't remotely offended, we had a nice coffee and a chat while the children played, and the next time, she felt ok to let her dd come alone (though I'd have been quite happy for her to come again and offered the same).

greener2 Tue 22-Jan-13 19:19:54

Its not my dd, its me. I dont know the parents as yet, what their standards are/saftey etc (dont know a nice way to put it). I know my friends and would leave my dd with them but dont know the new people as yet so dont know why i would just leave my dd with people i dont know iuswim...

What parts of the country is everyone, wonderinf if its a locality thing?

Jinsei Tue 22-Jan-13 19:20:30

Meant to ask, could you not just ask to stay?

ILikeToMoveItMoveIt Tue 22-Jan-13 19:24:38

I would be the same as you. I would need to be able to trust the other parents before I let my dc go to their house unaccompanied.

So I felt comfortable I would say that I would accompany my dc the first time they visited the house so that my dc was comfortable in new surroundings.

greener2 Tue 22-Jan-13 19:29:53

Yes i can stay thats not the problem and is fine, just feel i dont fit in with other parents so feel odd one out whereas my friends i left behind where i used to live were like minded so a bit sad

Jinsei Tue 22-Jan-13 19:56:25

Yes, I can understand that. I'm fortunate to be surrounded by a group of very likeminded parents, which made it much easier for me with regard to playdates etc. Mind you, I think it also helped that we all invested a lot of time in getting to know each other better at the start of reception, do none of them were "strangers" when it came to kids visiting each other's houses etc.

Karoleann Wed 23-Jan-13 13:03:25

My son hasn't done any unaccompanied play dates yet, but its rather that he doesn't know any of the other parents that well yet, rather than me not knowing them. He's a july birthday, his speech isn't that clear and I don't think he'd settle well without me.
We've had other children round to play without their parents though.
Why don't you invite some of the other parents round for coffee so you can get to know them?

middlesqueezed Wed 23-Jan-13 13:22:35

Tell the inviting parent that DD is a bit shy and ask if it's OK for you to come too. Then have a cup of coffee with the parent and if you and she are happy leave for an hour or so, otherwise stay. From what I've seen there's a lot of variation at that age and nobody minds either way.

UrbanSpaceMum Wed 23-Jan-13 13:40:31

Something I noticed with my daughter who is now five and a half: her closest friends are those whose parents have been round to ours for coffee and we've been round there. Where she makes other close friends, we always find we have loads in common with the parents.

I wouldn't worry about seeming the odd one out, I'd use it as a filter: if you are offended by me wanting to come in for a coffee then ... come to think of it, it's not very friendly is it? But I do tend to invite the kid and forget that the parent doesn't know me, as my daughter has usually told me all sorts of interesting and amusing detail about them, bless...

pumpkinsweetieMasPudding Wed 23-Jan-13 13:54:24

You are not alone in not feeling comfortable with it.
I prefer to know the parent first on a first name basis and know a bit about them and their home etc before i'd allow visits for tea vice-versa.

We do this (in fact, tonight!) but only when we know the parents more than just in passing.

I like not having to do the school run sometimes, and DS1 thinks it is just about the best fun one can have.

spookycatandfluffydog Wed 23-Jan-13 14:04:45

I am with you OP. This happens at our school as well. My DC is still a bit "young" and first born so not sure if this is affecting my view of the world.

greener2 Wed 23-Jan-13 20:29:41

Yeah i just dont get it if im honest, i feel its for year one maybe not reception year, shes still my baby smile
Nothing wrong in them being young and waiting to grow up a bit!

Sparklingbrook Wed 23-Jan-13 20:36:13

One Mum couldn't wait to have DS1 back to hers for tea the week after they started in Reception. She went on to have quite a few children round. It came out much later that she gave the visiting child spelling and maths tests disguised as 'playing schools'. She wanted to see where her DS was in comparison. sad

Tgger Wed 23-Jan-13 21:04:36

Trust your instincts. I was the same when I moved area, but after a while we settled in and DS had one or two select play-dates in YR by himself, and then has spread his wings more in Y1. I am more confident as I know most of his friends Mums (at least to make small talk with if not that well). It's a bit of a rite of passage for parent and child I think. Also they get more confident as they get older, go to parties by themselves and are more mature socially so know how to ask other adults for help if they need it.

BackforGood Wed 23-Jan-13 23:05:32

I've only ever heard of this on MN.

My eldest is 16 now, and with all 3 of mine, I can honestly say I've never, ever heard of a parent going round to play at their child's friend's house. It just seems such a wierd idea. With sep Nursery from Infant school, and then a house move, that's across 3 different schools and a span of about 10 years of 'going round to play at a friend's house after school', so a fair amount of experience, before I even start to count all the children I've taught and their arrangements.
Ultimately if you think ever person you don't know is therefore an unsafe person to let your child spend a couple of hours with, then it's for you to say no, but you do realise that invitations dry up once they've been turned down a couple of times, don't you?

PowerPants Wed 23-Jan-13 23:11:28

sparkling brook - that is hilarious! How insecure do you have to be, to do that?

Sparklingbrook Thu 24-Jan-13 06:52:15

I know Power. It was a good while later when chatting to the other Mums that it came to light. DS1 didn't mention it. Having never been back to school friends for tea before he must have thought that's what you did. confused Bet she had a good rummage through his book bag too.

seeker Thu 24-Jan-13 07:03:33

I always had to go with my dd when she was in Reception. It was a royal pain in the neck, but her friends' parents got used to it.

Ds would cheerfully go home with the child catcher if it meant someone else's toys and someone else's mum's ( or, even better, someone else's dad's) cooking, that was all right.

Oh, and look me in the eyes you lot, and tell me that if your child was doing homework with a friend at the kitchen table, you wouldn't sit at the table with a cup of tea and offer any help needed............

shock Sparkling !

I must admit that yesterday I had a wee struggle - normally DS does his reading as soon as we get home otherwise it doesn't get done at all and I had a real anxious "but if I make DS read I'll have to hear Friend too"... so we didn't read at all.

What does one do when it's a sleepover? Presumably reading/spellings/writing has to be done then?

::finds the very idea of sleepovers utterly terrifying and is resisting even if the other children are starting them in Y1::

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