Let’s be honest, playdates are not the idea of the kids at all. Most parents pick play dates based on the child(ren)’s parents. Do we have the same interests?…Are we like minded in our hobbies or parenting?…Where the family lives, etc. The lists goes on, and in essence, you can actually be very picky about who you choose to share your time with (I mean who your child shares his/her time with). However, I have quickly learned that this isn’t really the case for me. Perhaps when I was back home, I could schedule playdates with friends and peers who had children around Duce’s age. But now, in a new city that I call home, I have learned and accepted that I can’t be TOO picky! After all, what is more important? My feelings and pet peeves, or my son’s social and motor skills and desire to meet and play with kids? The latter is obviously the answer of course! If not, then yes, I’m judging you. **Shrugs** But let me explain…
Playdates are so important for your child (ren) as they grow and develop their social and fine motor skills. They also help your child connect more deeply with peers, learn to accept differences and have fun! I have always told myself, that no matter if my child stayed home with me, they would still be able to have a social life with others around their age. I have observed my son over the last year, and have learned that he loves people, especially kids, and he loves exploring-indoor and outdoor. So it is my priority as his mother to make sure that all those things are achievable in his day to day interactions.
So let’s talk about finding these glorious, fun-filled and adventurous playdates! How do you find playdates in a foreign place that isn’t populated with family and friends’ kids? Well let me tell you-it’s not as “easy” as it sounds; nor is it as “complicated” as many make it. I have found a couple of boys that Duce plays with, and thankfully the list is continuing to grow. Where did I start? Facebook of course! There are many mommy groups out there that cater to working moms, stay-at-home moms, moms in your community or part of town you live in, and more! So I started joining groups, introduced myself and my son, and putting us out there for a “Blind Date.” Because really, that’s what it is…eHarmony and Match for stay-at-home parents and their kids! My posts consists of me saying something like: “Hi! My name is Da’ Quisha. I am a 30 year old married mommy that stays at home with my 2 year old son, Duce. We live on the Far West side of San Antonio. We love going on walks outside, the zoo, museum, and indoor and outdoor parks. We are willing to travel for playdates, and would love to meet new people!” SEND! Then you sit back and watch the likes and comments come in! When they do, what’s next you ask? Well of course you ‘VET’ them…A.K.A Facebook stalk their page! Because let’s be honest, I have a strong desire for Duce to meet new kids and play, but he isn’t just playing with ANYBODY’S kids! No! I look for many things: family dynamics, faith, hygiene, intellectual level with posts, pictures and posts about kids, and more! All these things matter and help me to decide if I’m going to slide in their DMs to set up a playdate! And pray it all goes well!
Now, I have to be honest and say that I have had playdates with people that I wasn’t too fond of as it pertains to my own personal annoyances. However, Duce and the child have enjoyed each other’s company so much, that I have sucked it up and continued them-in moderation. I have also found playdates in the VIPKID groups that I am in! Most of the teachers are stay-at-home moms so this is wonderful! Our schedule usually meshes well, and us moms can talk about the job while we supervise the kids playing. VIPKID has really helped me AND Duce of course, to foster some new relationships with great people.
Lastly, I am excited to lean on my Sorority-Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., for playdate options as well. This is an extra bonus to me, because I can almost guarantee that most of the women in my chapter have like-minded views, values and passion, that brought us to Delta in the first place. More importantly, they look like me, therefore, my son gets to play and build relationships with other brown boys and girls, which is very important to me, living in such a diverse city that we have grown to love!
So there you have it! Finding playdates for your little ones isn’t always an easy tasks. However, I hope that my tips and experiences I have shared will you encourage and give you the initiative necessary to find little ones for your dear son and/or daughter to play with. After all, they have to have a social life just like mommy and daddy.
**Bonus: What has been nice about having playdates is that we have been able to explore the city and learn about new and fun places for Duce to break out and explore. There is so much to do in San Antonio, and the perfect weather is the icing on the cake! Some playdates have provided extras bonuses like these and others. Need some ideas on where to go for a playdate? See my list below:
- Splash Pads
- Pet stores
- Playrooms in a family’s home
- Indoor playgrounds/gyms
- Kiddie amusement parks
- Restaurants with Play areas (Chic-fil-a, McDonalds)
**My next blog will share how to properly prepare for playdates so that you aren’t that crazy bag toting, hair disheveled, late and exhausted mommy we have all seen and hoped we’d never become. =)
Proverb 18:15: “The heart of the discerning acquires knowledge, for the ears of the wise seek it out.”
-Soli de Gloria💜
Copyright © 2019 by Da’Quisha Whitaker
All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, distributed, or transmitted in any form or by any means, including photocopying, recording, or other electronic or mechanical methods, without the prior written permission of the writer.