My daughter's classmate, who is 6, has been calling and calling the house for her and asking her for playdates. She doesn't want to go and is not happy about his attention. How to handle this without offending his mom, who is a lovely woman?
From: JMT, Topsfield, MA
Since you seem to like the mom, you could suggest a playdate where the moms are present, or an activity the four of you can do together. You could also suggest that she play with him once, "see how it goes," and then she can decide if she wants to have another playdate or not. I remember a similar situation when my son was this age and he agreed to have "one playdate." It was pretty clear to me that these two kids had nothing in common; I remember being surprised by this for two reasons: 1., that a 6-year-old could know that he had nothing in common with another child; and 2. that children so young couldn't find something they could do together. But they didn't. The playdate was at our house and I could see with my own eyes that they just didn't hit it off.
At 6, your daughter is too young to handle this on her own, of course, so it's time for you to be honest with the mom, that your daughter doesn't want to play with her son, at least not for now, and that her son needs to stop calling. She may not even know he's calling! I know it's hard to say something like that but, really, what's the point of pretending otherwise? There are life lessons here for both children. Your daughter needs to know that she doesn't need to be friends with everyone, but she does need to learn how to be kind even to someone she doesn't like. She also needs to know that it's OK to say that someone is annoying her. The little boy needs to learn the same first lesson, and also that it's not OK to keep calling someone after they have asked you to stop.