1. Show up on time. If you are going to be late, call. This is less out of respect for the adult and more out of respect for the child. What happens when you are late and you don't call, knowing that your child is coming over, my child waits at the door and asks over and over again, where your child is. I once had a play date call after being an hour late, they said they were on their way. I told my son and they didn't show up for another 45 minutes. Two times he walked away crying and one time he dropped to the ground in a dramatic heap of disappointment. They only live a couple blocks away.
2. Don't cancel at the last minute all the time. I understand stuff comes up, but if you are canceling play dates all the time, maybe you need to reevaluate why you scheduled them in the first place, especially if you are the person that's initiating it.
3. Clean up or at least offer to help. Most people will most likely decline the offer, after all, their house would probably have a trail of toys from one end to the the other without the help of your child. But it's always nice to get an offer to help.
4. When your kid is beating on my kid, don't pretend not to notice.I don't always want to play bad cop in my own house. You know when your child is playing rough. Say something to him. Just because my kids not bleeding and crying, doesn't mean your kid knows when to stop and my kid should put up with it. My kids are guilty of it to and I try and stop excessive rough-housing once it occurs.
5. Don't say you are going to run a quick errand and come right back. Two hours later is not right back. If you are going to leave and come back in two hours, just say so. Nothing is worse than being told by someone they will be right back and they come back a couple hours later, that's just rude.
6. If you remember, come with a drink or a snack to share. I don't mind supplying them, and I have forgotten to bring them with me on play dates, it's not a necessity but it's always a nice gesture.
7. It's not funny or cute when your kid becomes rambunctious and doesn't listen to my house rules. My house rules apply in my house. I don't want my kids breaking your rules, I hope you'd feel the same.
8. In some countries, you leave your shoes at the door. In our country, this should apply to cell phones, no texting. Nothing worse than having a conversation with an adult, they whip out their cells phones, start texting and their words become mere nods of acknowledgement.
9. If your kid is talking my ear off instead of playing with the other kids, kindly gear them in the right direction. I know this may not always work, my daughter is the perfect example. I have pulled her off of play date parent's ears at least a dozen times. But I didn't invite your kids over to keep me company, just as I'm sure you don't want to hear from mine. You may not admit this but you know it's true.
10.Not to sound strict but adhere to time limits. If I say, "hey let's play from like 1 to 3", not that at 3 you have to pick up and jet out immediately, but please don't stay all day. I've got 3 kids and like any other kids, they have time limits on when they start to go sour. Good behaviours go bad fast and usually like clock work in my house. Time limits are set so we all have a nice time.
11. Just like everything else, play dates expire. When the play date starts to go bad, its time to go home. If the kids start to fight, get super hyper and just down right mean, maybe it's time to end the play date. No need to make it worse, it's uncomfortable for me and you.
12. Except for a clear runny nose, if you, your kid or other kids in your family have been sick within the last 24 hours, including but not limited to diarrhea, vomiting and a fever, I know you want to get out of the house, but stay home. I once had a family member come to my house only after having a major stomach virus 24 hours earlier. I know they say, for the most part, once you're sick you're not contagious but I don't buy it. No one needs your sick germs.
13. If you don't like the previous twelve rules, maybe I'm not your play date match.
What's the most outrageous thing that's happened to you on a play date?