Play Date Etiquette

Play Date Etiquette

When you send your child over to someone’s house to play, do they run into their house with their muddy shoes on? Open their refrigerator and look for something to eat? Make a mess and demand only chicken nuggets for lunch? If so, chances are your child will NOT be asked back!


Below are some essential play date etiquette tips for when your child is a guest in someone’s some, when he/she has friends over and is the “host”, and also some tips to help you discipline the kids while at your house.

Watch the June 2015 Charlotte Today TV segment on Play Date Etiquette by clicking HERE.

Read Newspaper Article – Aimee is quoted about play date etiquette along with the Emily Post Institute.


Play Date Etiquette (Guest) – Child is a guest and should be reminded to do the following:


1. Follow the house rules. When arriving at friend’s house ask if you should put your coat/shoes any place special. Also, not to question if the friend says that they are not allowed to watch TV, eat in the living room, etc.

2. Be nice to everyone. Talk to the parents, play with the siblings, and show respect for your friend’s feelings.

3. Clean up your mess before leaving. No parent wants a child over who makes more of a mess!

4. Eat the food served. Do not ask for special food or be picky about the food!

5. Say Thanks. Before you leave, thank your friend’s parents and your friend for having you over.


Play Date Etiquette (Host) – Child is the host and should be reminded to do the following:

1. Provide choices. When the friend arrives offer him/her choices of things to do and then let him/her decide.

2. Play. Don’t play electronic games or watch TV as these are things you can do any time.

3. Share. Remember to share your things and offer your friend something to eat or drink if you are having something.

4. Say Thanks. Walk the friend to the door when they leave and thank them for coming.

Play Date Etiquette – Disciplining

1. Set the rules and boundaries up front. Tell your child if there is anything they should avoid doing while the friend is over so that he/she is prepared. Tell the friend if there is something you want him/her to do like “please wipe your feet before coming inside.” Or, “Tom’s sister doesn’t want you to play in her room so maybe you two can play in Tom’s room today.”

2. Re-direct bad behavior and state what you do want to see. For example, “Since food is getting all over the living room carpet please go into the kitchen to eat.”

3. End the play-date early. If things are really not going well and the guest does something you cannot tolerate or has made your child unhappy, it’s time to call the friend’s parent and ask that they come and pick their child up.

4. No need to tattle. Unless the friend has done something really bad (e.g., stolen something, hurt someone) then it’s best to just tell the child’s parent that the kids just needed a break. You now know you won’t invite this child to come over and play again and so the problem is solved. If the matter was more serious, then talk to the parent with only the facts and with as little emotion as possible. They will need to make the decision on how and if they will punish their child.

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