How To Bring It Up and What To Ask Before Dropping Off Your Kid for a Playdate
Long gone are the days of playdates that consisted merely of running around the backyard playing hide and seek until exhaustion set in. With the internet, video games, and a supercomputer in their pocket, kids not only have a lot more stimuli to handle, they also have an increased sense of curiosity because they know how to explore anything they come across with a quick Google search.
And on the parents’ end, we have easier access than parents past to adult-only goods like psychoactive flower, firearms, and other not-safe-for-children items. That leaves us with added responsibility to our kids and any of their friends that may come over for a playdate. It also leaves us with the added responsibility of talking to other parents about what’s in their homes and how well it’s secured.
That conversation can be an awkward one, but it’s necessary. If you’re curious about how to approach it, read on for our go-to questions to ask before a playdate and tips on how to bring them up without creating a tense or awkward situation.
Questions To Ask Before Dropping Off Your Child for a Playdate
When setting up a playdate for your kids, especially with a new family, it’s important to get some information up front. We’re not trying to stoke paranoia here. Rather, we’re trying to gauge expectations, playdate rules, and safety. Establishing these things upfront sets the tone for future playdates and puts both sides at ease.
We usually ask these questions when setting up a playdate:
- Do you want us to drop them off, or stay while they play?
- Who will be home while my child visits?
- Are there plans to go anywhere other than the home?
- What’re your house rules on internet and screen time?
- Do you securely store any intoxicating substances or firearms in your home?
- What can we bring?
These are simple enough and aren’t usually too shocking to the parents hosting the playdate, though the intoxicating substances and firearm question can get a little tense.
On that note, if we’re the family hosting the initial playdate, we like to set the tone with a home tour that can eliminate the need for that question while simultaneously answering it.
Playdate Etiquette: Hosting the First Playdate
To put parents at ease, we always invite them on a home tour when they drop off their child for the first time. That’s pretty standard, but we add one small stop on our tour that helps to answer the question they may feel uncomfortable asking: are there any intoxicating substances or firearms in the house?
On our tour, we stop to show them our smart-locking Forti Goods credenza that safely stores all of our adults-only goodies, including our plant medicine, alcohol, and prescription medications. It’s a great conversation piece, and it gives us the opportunity to show them that we have the kids’ safety in mind without them having to overtly ask about it. Plus, we show them how the piece works and connects to the password-protected Forti Goods app so they can feel confident that no little hands will be getting in. Or, when the time comes, teenage hands! No need to worry about the old replace-mom’s-vodka-with-water trick. (Seriously, the only way into this piece is either via app or sledgehammer.)
This small gesture can take loads of pressure off a first-time hangout, and it doesn’t have to be specific to smart-locking furniture. You can add a stop on your home tour to “show off” your locked wine fridge, firearms safe, or locked medicine box. And if you don’t want to get too personal with your items and their location, a simple “we keep our firearms safely locked away and out of the main part of the home” comment as you walk through it can be enough. By making the topic seem like just another part of the tour, the elephant in the room shrinks to approachable size, and if a follow-up conversation needs to be had, it’s much easier to broach.
Not to mention, if you start the relationship with this type of home tour, you’ve set the tone for when they host the next playdate. Now, they hopefully understand what to include in their home tour for you, and if it doesn’t come up then, you can feel more comfortable asking about the firearms and intoxicating substances in their home because you already showed or mentioned yours.
Getting to know other families through your child can be fun, and it can be awkward. Especially in today’s crazy world, when so many subjects feel taboo. But taboo aside, it’s our responsibility to make sure our children are safe, and that responsibility extends to when they’re in other people’s homes. That’s why it’s important to get pertinent information upfront, including whether or not the home has safely stored firearms or intoxicating substances.
Offering up a home tour that includes a quick stop at your smart-locked whiskey cabinet or code-protected firearms safe is an unobtrusive way to signal to other parents that the items they may be worried about are safely stored. It’s also a subtle way to set the tone for future playdates, signaling to them to do the same for you when you drop off your child at their home.
Times have changed, and as parents, it’s up to us to have these conversations. Fortunately, with the changing times, we’ve also gained improved technology with added security, making safely storing firearms, alcohol, plant medicine, and other items easier than ever.