Argentine playdate etiquette

BAwithkids

Registered
My daughter has been invited to a couple playdates after school, and she's very excited! I would love some information on norms for playdates. Since these are her first ones, my husband or I will go with her...

How long do after school playdates usually last (her school ends at 5)? Do parents usually go, or just pick up the child at the end (my daughter is 6)? What kind of food is she likely to get (she is used to eating dinner at 6, so will be pretty hungry?)? If we host playdates, are we expected to provide some sort of structured activity? What's the norm on kids watching tv during playdates?

I realize that we will figure some of this stuff out on our own, but would like to have a little clearer sense of expectations!

Thanks!
 

nledec

Registered
I have an 8 year old son who has been here in a private Catholic school with all Argentines since he was 6. This is the norm as I experience it for playdates: the mother/maid will pick the kids up after school and take them home. See if you need to send some kind of permission for your child to go (we have to write a note in their notebooks). Neither you nor your husband should go along. To be polite you should ask what time they want you to pick your daughter up, and they'll probably give you a vague answer. My son gets out of school and 4:00 and parents usually come by 6:30/7:00 to pick up their kids. It is a general rule of thumb and everyone just seems to know when to turn up. On Fridays they stay a bit later. Remember their dinner/bedtimes are much later (compared to the States anyway). When they get to the house they'll have a snack which usually consists of a ham and cheese sandwich or an alfajor with a drink. Then they play. No structured activities or crafts are expected at all. Also, TV for kids isn't stigmatized here so they usually have pretty free access to it. Hope that helps :)
 

Gaby

Registered
Hi! I´m local and have 2 kids and they also end school around 5PM. Let me tell you, that there is not such thing as etiquette regarding playdates here. At least none I´m aware of.
So, I will answer your quuestions as If I were to invite your daughter over to play with my kids after school.

How long do after school playdates usually last (her school ends at 5)? It depends, but around 2hs at the most. At 7 my kids are having a bath, and having dinner around 8.

Do parents usually go, or just pick up the child at the end (my daughter is 6)? They usually pick the child at the end. But since it is one of the first playdates your daughter has, and if you feel a little insecure, it´s ok to ask the kids parent. I would invite you to come over too.

What kind of food is she likely to get (she is used to eating dinner at 6, so will be pretty hungry?)? "La Merienda" chocolate milk or milk, cookies, cereals..maybe toasts. They dont eat much cause they are 100% into playing.

If we host playdates, are we expected to provide some sort of structured activity? No. If you feel like it, it´s fine; but you are not expected to do anything.
When I have one of my 8yrs old son over, they first wash their hands, have their milk, and then start playing. They start playing with cars, legos, board games, and then some physical games - (maybe throwing the ball or hide & seek) and sometimes they play with the wii, but not always and for a long time. That´s it.
Girls play pretend and dress up like princesses. That´s what my 5yrs old does when she is invited over.

What's the norm on kids watching tv during playdates? There is no norm. It depends on the family. You can tell the parent that your daughter does not watch TV at all, or for more than some time..
I try my kids not to watch TV when the have playdates; what´s the point??? You invite a freind to play, and not to watch TV with.


Hope this can help you clarify what to expect.
 

AngelinBA

Registered
What Gaby said fits with my experiences, I have often received that general 'your son should come over for a playdate' but when I politely explain that I would have to go too, the actual invitation never eventuates. However, my son invites kids to our house and it normally works out like Gaby described. We bring the kid home with us from school, they stay for about 2 hours - depending on the work schedule of the parents. Don't ever expect them to arrive at the hour they say they will, as with most activities here there's an expected amount of lateness with this too.
One thing I have learned is to put away the unusual toys before the kids arrive at the house. My son has a great Thomas the Tank Engine trainset with hundreds of pieces of track and battery operated trains. The guests always end up fascinated with this because they've never seen anything like it and my son ends up playing playstation alone in his room.
 
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