|Beat the Play Date Blues|
Have you attempted to arrange play dates for your child but found that they were more work than play? Maybe you found that your child showed no interest in playing with the friend, refused to share toys or, in the worst of cases, the friend cried and demanded to go home. Did you find yourself trying to manage the play date but found that nothing seemed to work? Please don’t give up! Play dates are an important tool to help your child develop the social skills necessary to relate to peers both at home and at school. Believe it or not it is possible to structure successful play dates!
Try the following suggestions:
Invite a child who has good social skills and who appears to be flexible and easy going.
After you have discussed the list with your child encourage your child to role play the play date while you pretend to be the friend. Have your child start at the beginning by opening the door to you and running through a sample play date. Include all the play date features such as selecting an activity to play, having snack and saying “Goodbye” when it is time to leave. Have your child reverse roles and pretend to be the friend and run through a sample play date again. Do this for a couple of days before the play date and again shortly before the friend is scheduled to arrive.
Personal note from Joan:
Parents of children I have worked with have found that these play date suggestions really work. I would love to hear comments and suggestions from you. - Good luck and have fun!
The following Children Succeed games help children learn specific skills to engage in and enjoy playdates: