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Tips for Dads to Manage Playdates

Paul Banas
Author Paul Banas
Submitted 26-03-2009

Moms know lots of unwritten rules about how to play temporary mom to someone else’s child.  Here are things you should do when you’re running the playdate:

  1. Spare the rod: It’s never permissible to physically discipline the child, even if what she or he did was dangerous. Your job is to correct, not punish.
  2. Avoid embarrassing a child: If the child is acting up, have everyone take a break and change the dynamic.
  3. Praise children for behaving, sharing and cleaning up.
  4. Set expectations: Visiting kids won’t automatically know the rules in your house, so don’t assume they don’t know how to behave just because your expectations are different. It’s valuable to lay down the rules before the playdate starts: “We don’t throw balls in the house and I expect you to clean up anything you take out.”
  5. Plan for the date: Let the other parent know if you plan to turn on the TV or allow play outside.
  6. Relax: Let the little stuff go. The visitor is not your child so avoid the temptation to teach manners.