Play Dates with Dads. Yay or nay?

I love the diversity of modern parenting. I’ve met same sex parents, multiracial couples, and families of different faiths. I think it is great for kids to be exposed to a variety of backgrounds in all facets of life. For my family it’s a no brainer. Everyone is welcome to play as long as they’re nice.

There is an issue my husband and I once had to tackle: play dates with dads. I asked my husband how he felt about me hosting a play date with a father and his son at our home while he was at work. My husband was not thrilled with the idea. I wasn’t too comfortable with it either but couldn’t immediately articulate why. After some discussion we realized our discomfort did not have anything to do with the fact that the parent was a man. We weren’t fully comfortable with the idea because we didn’t know the person well enough to have him in our home without both of us present. That’s fair.

It led us to discuss our comfort levels with opposite sex play dates. We both concluded that it wasn’t the gender of the individual that mattered but our personal relationship with the person and the location of the play date. If the parent is a fairly new friend we think a public play date regardless of gender is fine but at either home is off limits. We might be a bit paranoid but we feel one can never be too safe. Until we feel comfortable with new friends we prefer to hang out in public. If the parent is a long time good friend and definitely not some sort of shifty eyed violent criminal (white collar criminals are acceptable if the criminal is Martha Stewart since I am a huge fan but wait a second her kids are older than I am, scratch that, no play dates with Martha either) then in home play dates are fine. My husband and I decided that is what is best for our family and I am content with our choice.

How does your family handle play dates with opposite sex parents?

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3 Comments on "Play Dates with Dads. Yay or nay?"

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D.
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I can’t help but wonder if this varies based on where you live and what your context is. We live in an urban area with a broad mix of family types, and it’s never crossed my mind to think about a dad playdate versus a mom play date (or to consider an opposite gender playdate shady!) We have several friends where the stay-at-home parent is dad (and a couple of friends where both parents are dads) so those play dates are generally with dad. We do follow the first-playdate-in-public (first several, actually) if it’s with someone totally new (and not… Read more »
lars
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I agree, mostly, but would take it a step farther. I would feel more comfortable with ANY opposite gender playdate taking place in public. Unless the other parent is a relative, I feel very strongly that one should always live “above reproach,” which means never putting oneself in a situation that might be interpreted as anything shady.

lars
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I agree, mostly, but would take it a step farther. I would feel more comfortable with ANY opposite sex playdate taking place in public. Unless the other parent is a relative, I feel very strongly that one should always live “above reproach,” which means never putting oneself in a situation that might be interpreted as anything shady.

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