A frustrated mum says she is starting to feel a bit put out when her son isn’t invited to his friend’s for a playdate…

A mum of one has posted on Mumsnet to share her frustration about her son’s playdates rarely being reciprocated. The mum says that she frequently allows her seven-year-old son to have his friends over, and enjoys having an open and welcoming home, but is beginning to notice that other parents are not as willing to return the favour.

A Rare Invitation

The mum says that her son is hardly ever invited to his friend’s homes. “My son really loves going to their house because it’s not his so it’s interesting!” she wrote. “But he very very rarely gets invited…they hardly ever offer off their own back.” The mum went on to say that, as far as she is aware, her son is always well behaved and polite when he is invited round and is struggling to understand the absence of invitations as a result. “I know it’s a personal decision, they have a very lovely house and kids running round may not be your thing…but I’m interested to know that if you’re not big on playdates…why do you feel that way?” she asked the forum.

Personal Preference

Responses to the post said that having children to your home for playdates comes down to personal preference. “Some people just don’t like having people over,” said one parent. “I find it stressful but I do it because my kids like it. But I’d rather not.” Others said that the mum was wrong to allow her son to have friends over and expect other parents to ask her son round in return. “You are out of order,” one wrote. “You invite the child because you want a welcome open house…You do not give in order to receive.”

While we understand where this mum is coming from, we also totally respect the choice of some families to not invite their children’s friends to their house and meet up elsewhere instead.

Do you think this mum is being unreasonable to expect playdates to be reciprocated? Share your thoughts in the comments.


  • I am a working mum and sometimes find it hard to find a time to have other kids over for playdates , My hubbie also does not like having kids around much due to noise and mess so I have always been limited in that area

    Reply


  • It only bothers me if it bothers my kids. Chat to the other mothers there’s prob an easy answer. Love it when it’s at mine though so I know what’s going on

    Reply


  • I think I would rather the kids be at my place so I knew what they were up to, but in saying that, I think it’s important for the kids to also get out of their own home and I remember as a kid it was always fun going to a friends place, so I think it’s just good manners to return the favor and not just expect other parents to essentially baby sit your kids all the time

    Reply


  • When you do a good deed I don’t think you should ever expect something in return. My daughter sometimes had friends over after school, but that offer was not reciprocated and it didn’t bother me because I actually preferred to keep an eye on them at my place.

    Reply


  • Sometimes its hard as I’m not one that likes play dates at home either

    Reply


  • I try to reciprocate, but ill health means sometimes it takes me a while to get round to it.

    Reply


  • You don’t give in order to receive but it is nice for your kids if they get invited to someones house now and then. It shouldn’t always be one way.

    Reply


  • Difficult if you expect something back indeed. It doesn’t always happen.

    Reply


  • I see where the Mums coming from her child doesn’t understand some people don’t like having people over to their house so she is just asking probably so she can explain it better to her son.

    Reply


  • Everyone if different and some people like to host and some do not – so it does not bother me.

    Reply


  • It’s just human nature I think. I’ve found even in adulthood, people don’t give as much as they receive. I’ve noticed that with friends and family, they don’t mind taking, but are not so keen on giving. I wasn’t keen on having my kids friends over for play dates and sleepovers, it made me uncomfortable and slightly stressed, but I did it for my kids. Although they’ll probably say it didn’t happen as much as they liked, but it did happen regularly

    Reply


  • I’d prefer just to meet up at a park or go out for the day. Then nobody has to stress about their house.

    Reply


  • I always have invited lots of kids over for a play date and our kids get less invites in return. I don’t mind. I don’t know the parents motives and should not give my own interpretation and judgement on that. I just do what I can myself. Some parents both work indeed and can’t accommodate play dates.

    Reply


  • The parents could work and not have a lot of time or just not want to invite people over. Not a massive deal

    Reply


  • I’m just starting to think about organising play dates for my son and can imagine it could be quite awkward. He wants to invite himself over to one of his friends house and I’m trying to explain that that would be rude and we should invite his friend over first. Of course it would be nice if the invite was reciprocated but it wouldn’t be something I would expect.

    Reply

Post a comment
Like Facebook page

LIKE MoM on Facebook

Please enter your comment below
Would you like to include a photo?

No picture uploaded yet
Please wait to see your image preview here before hitting the submit button.

Your MoM account

Lost your password?

Enter your email and a password below to post your comment and join MoM:

Loading articles…
↥ Back to top

Thanks For Your Star Rating!

Would you like to add a written rating or just submit?

Write A Rating Just Submit
Join