I don't believe in the overscheduled child. How you handle playdates varies widely, depending on your child's age. Two or three dates is plenty during the week, especially if your child is going to school during the day.The first rule of a successful playdate: let your child determine who to invite. When my kids reached the age of four, I started asking them who they wanted to play with.When they hit school age, I started reading names from their class list to gauge their reactions. If they're too shy to suggest a child because they think that child won't play with them, I might tell a little white lie and suggest that the child's mom had called me. Sometimes Mom has to play buddy matchmaker! Playdates with new friends should be one on one -- not three or four on one. After all, there's time for group play at school, and larger numbers at home can result in uncomfortable dynamics and kids who are left out. It's more fun getting to know each other one-on-one.
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