Although it is a busy time around our house, we were lucky to have time for a play date on Sunday. My TBP enjoys spending time with a certain friendly brother & sister duo. These are very nice kids and over the years, I have grown increasingly close to the sweet and funny matriarch of the clan.
In the morning, my TBP had an opportunity to enjoy some Mine Craft before we headed off for the date. My son grew a bit nervous about this get together in the car, despite the fact that he has played with them several times. We pulled into the driveway and for a split second, he was hesitant to get out but, he quickly snapped out of it as one of his friends came over to greet us.
We walked in and took off our shoes; my son’s anxiety was present while he asked, “Now, what do we do?” Luckily, the older sibling came and met him with a warm hello and a smile. This was the ice breaker that was desperately needed.
Before long, the three kids were negotiating the rules for a chase game that included Nerf guns. In what seemed like a logical move, the boys decided that they would chase the girl. We have played this game enough times to know that it can be played for just so long before someone grows tired of the two-gang-up-on-one scenario. I was pleasantly surprised that the game went almost and hour and a half before we needed to call it quits.
Thankfully, it didn’t completely fall apart, but it was heading South quickly. We gave a ten minute warning before we put on our shoes and left.
One of the things that made this morning a success, was the deliberate way that we gave reminders and helped to problem solve issues that came up along the way. Obviously, this is part of our daily living but this family also totally gets it. The gentle way that they parent, makes a visit that could have been chaotic, surprisingly calm.
I was so proud of my son’s ability to use his words and to listen to others when they used theirs. That can be hard during a tag game and he did awesome!
This made me wonder today…what do you do to help make play dates successful? What are the deliberate decisions that you make? Inquiring minds want to know! 🙂