Here’s Why I Make My Daughter Set Up Her Own Playdates
Listen, if your kids are friends with my daughter - let me apologize in advance. What you are about to read might have put you in an awkward position once or twice but there's a reason why I am doing this.
My daughter is in elementary school and a HUGE social butterfly. I mean, she'd never come home if I didn't make her. My older daughter was the same way. The constant stream of begging to let friends stay the night or go over to kids' houses is neverending and it got to be a little overwhelming. So, as parents, we have set boundaries. No friends without chores being 100% completed and we have limits on how many (if any) playdates we do each week/month. It's important to me that she isn't entertained by a friend every moment of the day. She needs alone time to develop that side of herself and also expand her imagination.
I also do something that probably is making parents everywhere cringe. I don't make a habit of texting other parents to invite kids over. I make my daughter ask her friends or their parents for a playdate.
I know you are caught off guard. I know you hate telling kids 'no.' I know you are hating me right about now.
Okay, hear me out...
First of all, I grew up in the 80s and if you think my mom ever called a neighbor to ask for a playdate, you are nuts. We wanted to play - we had to bite the bullet and call (on the home phone). Most of the time, the friend didn't answer the phone. We survived.
Second, I've had several interns in the past. We only take interns who are interning for college credit so most of them have been in their early twenties. One of the things that I've noticed with a good number of them is that they don't have strong phone skills. Texting is easy. Talking on the phone - yiiiiiikes. They hate it.
Top three fears in life...
- Dying in a Final Destination type accident
- Audibly farting while giving a public speech in front of a live televised audience
- Talking to someone who is alive on the phone
Okay, they weren't that hung up on it but I want my daughter to have a strong set of communication skills. I also think it's important so that she gets a few rejections under her belt so it won't be so hard to take when she gets older. Anyone who has worked in sales knows that rejection is just a part of life.
I'm happy to report that my daughter is pretty comfortable with "the ask" now. She knows there's a much better chance that she'll get a yes if she asks. In fact, she slicked one past me today - she knows she can't ask to go to anyone else's house. So, when she asked just to call her BFF and chat today, I should have known what was to come. But, live and learn!
So, other parents - sorry for putting you on the spot. But a mom has to do what a mom has to do. And I want my daughter to grow up to be a strong confident woman. This is just a tiny step in that journey.