Your Kids and Play Dates: Nanny Edition

If you’re a parent, chances are you are very familiar with the term “play date.” For this common childhood event, your kiddo either has a friend over, or they go over to their friend’s house for some playtime. This time helps with socialization, teaches your children skills like sharing and taking turns, and can sometimes offer parents a little break from being the center of their child’s attention.

Sometimes you may find yourself scheduling a play date for a time when either your nanny or the other family’s nanny is in charge of the kiddo. By following the tips below, you can help the date run smoothly, and make sure that both adults and kiddos have a good time.

Direct communication is best.

Is the play date scheduled for a time when the other nanny will be on duty? Keep details from getting confused by scheduling the date directly with their nanny. This increases the odds that the time will be more convenient for both you and their nanny. The last thing you want to do is schedule a time with the other parent and let your child get excited, only to have them reschedule due to a nanny time conflict.

If your nanny will be in charge during the play date, let them be the one to set it up. If they can handle your little one on a daily basis, then they can surely set up a pint sized play date. This allows you to take a step back, focus on the things you need to get done, and not have them feel micromanaged.

Should both adults stay?

If you (or your nanny) are dropping your child off at the other family’s home when their nanny is in charge, you may be wondering if you should stay. If your child has never had a play date with the other child and you aren’t sure how they will interact, you might want to stay until you feel comfortable that the kiddos will get along.

If the other child is coming to your home, dropped off via their caregiver, let him/her decide if she wants to stay. They may have been instructed to stay and lend a hand by their employer, or they may decide to use this time to get other errands and tasks done. If your nanny will be hosting the date, let them be the one to decide if they need an extra set of hands.

There are certain circumstances when the second adult probably should stay, such as one of the children has special needs or the kids are younger. While two six year olds may be easy for a seasoned adult, two 2-year-olds can be quite the handful.

Remember your manners.

As with any play date, if you aren’t the one hosting it, you probably shouldn’t take it over. While taking special snacks for your kiddo with a peanut allergy is a GREAT idea, taking art supplies and activities is not.

They are the host, and they should be the one in charge of activities. You don’t want to appear pushy, or seem like you have no faith in their ability to host the date. If your nanny is the one in charge, ask him/her if they need anything special for the big day, but chances are they have it handled.

If you are dropping your little one off, ask what time you should return. The typical play date lasts an hour or two. Younger kiddos often do best with shorter dates, while older kids are often fine with dates lasting a few hours. Arrive back a few minutes early so you can help clean up.

If you are hosting the date, be sure to treat the other child’s nanny like a guest, not an employee. Don’t assume that just because they are on the clock that it is fine for you to leave the kids in his/her care while you get things done. A good rule of thumb is to treat their nanny as if they were the other child’s parent.

Have you left your child with another family’s nanny for a play date? Are you comfortable letting your nanny host a date for your children? Do you have any tips or advice for other parents and nannies who may be in this situation? If so, be sure to leave a comment. We LOVE comments, and yours could help others!

Photo courtesy of Brook on Flickr.

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