Playdates Are A No-No in My Neighborhood.

Why playdates are a no-no in my neighborhood.  The story of how my kids socialize.  Is it the same in your community?


My kids haven’t been on a playdate in years.

You see, in my neighborhood, kids are still free to play in the day time.  They usually don’t have schedules that keep them running from activity to activity until they fall into bed exhausted.  For the most part, they must entertain themselves.  You know, find something to do.

First Day of School

Maybe it’s the location or perhaps it’s the bad economics in the area.  I’m not sure, but I do know, we don’t really schedule playdates.

I kind of like it that way, because “playdate” makes me break out in a cold sweat.

It leaves me with the impression of clean houses, healthy snacks, and a safe environment that fosters play, imagination (but not too much imagination), and some sort of learning.

1st Day of 8th Grade

Here’s how it works around these parts.

You may not even be out of your pj’s before the knocks come. My door gets knocked on every single day, usually multiple times a day, so I’ve come to know certain knocks.

With each passing hour, the house fills with more kids until you kick them all out to go on a bike ride or something.  Then you search the back of the cabinets and rustle up some of food for lunch.  It could be anything.  They aren’t picky.  Just be sure it’s a lot, because thirteen year-old boys eat more than their weight in food.

1st. Day of 6th Grade

Every so often, you yell at them to get their stinky feet off your couch pillows or to lower the volume before your head explodes into a thousand little pieces that you will most certainly make them clean up.

You tell them to watch their potty-mouths before you get a bar of soap.

And you say, “Only one cup.”

Then you repeat.

It’s like a weird mantra that saves you from having a sink full of dirty dishes and no clean glasses when all you want are a few drops of water.

You know they “get it” when at dinner, they jump up and retrieve a cup from sink saying, “This one was mine!”

Good boy.

Two Middle Schoolers

Yesterday my son thanked me for putting up with all the kids that flow in and out of my house.  The truth is, I wouldn’t want it any other way.

Sure they get on my nerves sometimes, but I like knowing who my children are hanging with.  I like that I don’t even have to vacuum the floor before they all pile in and make themselves at home.  I like that I don’t have to schedule playdates into my calendar or worry about if my kids are feeling bored and lonely.

All I need to worry about is how I’m going to fit them all in the truck when we want to go swimming.

You can say we live in a Mayberry of sorts, only Mayberry probably didn’t have abandoned buildings, burned out houses, paint chipped porches, and people selling drugs.  I kind of doubt they had playdates either, so maybe we are in Mayberry.

So tell me, how do playdates work in the rest of America?

Do you love them or hate them, or maybe you live in your own Mayberry??


new signature


  1. Natasha says

    I am jealous of your neighborhood full of kids. Here where we live I can count the kids on one hand. Sad. I am looking forward to moving.

  2. says

    Love this post! I had ONE scheduled playdate at my house a few years ago…it was my first and last to host one like that! My clean house was a mess, they went in my son’s room while he was at school (my daughter was still home with me) and took out all his toys and didn’t put them up, food everywhere, crayola marker streaks in my bathroom sink, I think you get the idea! I stopped going to them as well, they are too stressful for me.

  3. says

    Unfortunately we live in one of those suburban jungles where everyone is working, and although there must be tons of kids, they are invisible. Fortunately we have very good friends with multiple siblings not too far and usually those ‘playdates’ and I also have the work, turn into a free for all with several girls from the same family who I cart all over to the park. I love that, even if it involves finding nachos under pillows or in the couch. They do get a bit of that at their father’s house which is the kind of neighborhood I would love, with bikes and badmitten raquets left on the lawns. Despite the burned out houses, you are very lucky! :o) I miss when I was a kid for sure.

  4. Jen says

    We chose our house with this very thing in mind. There are lots of kids on our street. Unfortunately, the are so booked up, our kids nevèr see them. And the kids that are around seem to have parents that encourage bullying. S, we encourage our kids to call their friends and have mom bring them over. Often. I kinda’ miss the good old days.

  5. says

    I totally agree with you. Because we live in the country, play dates were a must because of distance but most of them happened at our house because Pam and Laura’s mum was ‘fun’ . I was glad they were here where I could keep an eye on things!

  6. says

    Love this post! LOL We live pretty much the same way, knocks at the door, kids playing basketball in the street and yelling….much yelling! LOL Kind of like the fact that they are hanging around their own house as well. Thanks for sharing and have a blessed day! :-)

  7. says

    Those days have passed for us. Miss them. We bought a house in an established neighborhood; we should have known better. Nice neightbors but all their kids are grown in college and older except one HS kid. A plus, it’s a short drive ot get kids or drop them off. And our grands are minutes away and love our tire swing and hammock. PS hate the concept of play dates too!

  8. Mom says

    Your father used to mumble as he counted extra heads in the house and wonder if he could claim all the kids on his income tax!

Please Leave A Comment