Play date etiquette

I have a 2 y/o and almost 5 y/o. Both are boys... we have not had a lot of playdates over the years and I feel like I have no clue what proper etiquette is.... we were invited over by a family with young kids. My kids were having fun and being active (chasing other kids in house) and loud (happily yelling in their play)... This kind of play doesn’t bother us unless it starts to veer out of control (throwing or dumping toys). I like to let them be kids until it gets to the point of hurt feelings or broken toys. However, It feels like others find this type of play too extra and obnoxious. Wondering what others allow or limit.

  • Anne
    Apr 19

    Haha, I know this feeling so well. My boys are extremely boisterous. They're usually pretty well behaved, but they love to run and jump and wrestle and make loud noises and etc. I have definitely noticed some parents with really quiet or reserved kids seem overwhelmed when my kids are around. I'm just don't have frequent playdates with these folks because I figure they don't need the stress and they can find other kids who are a better match for their own child's personality. Alternately, we just meet a park where the kids can go wild on the playground.

  • 2Boys&aDog
    Apr 19

    Great response Anne. I have boys as well. I think the girl families are harder to have play dates with because most girls just aren’t as wild as little boys. The park is a great place to meet when you’re unsure of the host’s acceptable behavior.

  • Suz
    Apr 19

    What I have started doing is asking the parents before or at the beginning of the play date, if it’s at their house, “hey do you guys have any house rules we should know of? Like can kids run or not, can they eat their snack in the living room, that kind of thing?” Then you all can be on the same page without any awkwardness. If you find their rules are not compatible with your kids’ play style you could try meeting at a park or something too! Mine are outgoing too and I find it hard to tell them to be super quiet or something like that if they are excited. :-)

  • Ali
    Apr 19

    Thanks everyone! Maybe it is best to meet or have people to our house since I would feel more relaxed... I like the thought of asking house rules beforehand. That has not crossed my mind as something to ask but great advice!

  • Cathy
    Apr 20

    I have a two year old son that is quiet, reserved and sensitive. We go to playgroups frequently and also have them at our house. It’s important for me that my son be exposed to different personalities and how to handle different circumstances in a social setting. Can it be overwhelming? Yes. Most parents are considerate of our home and give reminders to their kids before their children get too rambunctious.

  • MamaNukesYopolo
    Apr 21

    I just want to say that I agree with choosing parents with similar style or noise levels but please don’t go by gender. Please please please. I know a ton of high energy girls and boys. And there are lots of reserved types on both ends. I think this comes down to similar parenting styles and different parents have different personal limits on noise and energy. I love picking parks when I don’t know the family too well because I can sort it out there. I am an a martial artist and actually have an open space matted room for my children (boys and a girl) who are all loud high energy and physical, so I tend to also invite people to my house if it has to be inside play since we have the space to get energy out.

  • Erin
    Apr 25

    Park, play dates at your house, talk to the other parents about their rules, all of the above! Great advice already! I’d say, as long as they’re polite and respectful, they’re probably just being kids with kid energy. 😊

  • Natasha
    Apr 25

    My 4 year old spirited girl can match any boy for both energy, risk taking, loudness and physicality. We've been working on it since she was 11 months and running. We have def gone to many playdates and it can be overwhelming... for me. lol Keep going to playdates and do as many outside ones as possible or places where running around, exercising, pushing their bodies and using their voices is encouraged. Wishing you lots of luck and FUN!

  • Lauren
    Apr 25

    My son is almost 4 and he’s always been a bit bigger and more physical then other kids his age. He loves to run around, rough house, do everything he’s not supposed to. I’ve had a hard time as a working parent finding things to do such as play dates for him until recently. I met another Mom who’s daughter is like him and we both get along really well because our children are so alike. He’s creative and CURIOUS! So that has always put me on edge when going to other people’s houses. We set boundaries but he’s 3 and he pushes those. I’ve realized this is my kid, and I love him for it, though it means we have to work harder on manners, boundaries and discipline.

  • Nana
    Apr 25

    Do park days with picnics. Being around other moms is good for the soul. We learn best when are stretched and encouraged by others. Join a moms or a MOPS group. When your child is chasing or anything else teach him to ask if that is what they like or not. Teach him to tell others what he doesn’t like. But honestly about the running in the house I would prefer that outside.

  • Jennifer
    Apr 25

    LOL. Natasha, my 4yr old daughter is exactly the same high spirited energy girl. I love that picture! I agree with others to ask house rules before going to houses. We usually prefer meeting outdoors at park or McDonald playgrounds so they can run off their energy. My daughter best friend is a 4yr old boy at her preschool. They both are equally active compare to the quite girls at her school. So we have weekend playdates. It's good to find similar parenting style and kids that are equally active. They get along so well and just let kids be kids!

  • antigrav_kids
    Apr 26

    Thanks MamaNukesYopolo!

  • Naomi
    May 09

    Suggestion: Keep the play dates short and opt for out door play dates as your kids take time to get accustomed to standards of other people’s homes