Prisoner of the Playdate: Let’s Help This Mom!

Hi Readers — Here’s today’s yelp for help from the frontiers of modern parenting. Got any great ideas? Share ’em!  Meantime, as to her plea, “How can I find other Free-Range parents in the neighborhood?” I really do hope to be revamping this site soon, with a feature to help like-minded folks connect where they live. Give me another week or two. Hopefully it’ll be worth waiting for! — Lenore

Dear Free-Range Kids: We moved to a different state recently.  We never lived in a “subdivision” before.  I thought that having all the kids around would be good for my 6-year-old daughter, who is super-outgoing and social (unlike me).

Where we lived before, the kids were free to play outside and visit each other’s houses (given instructions as to when to be home, and regularly checked up on).  However, here I was surprised to find that the other kids are rarely let out unsupervised.  So I have become a prisoner to “the playdate,” which I find absurdly ridiculous.  Some parents want to stay when their kids are over.  That’s too much pressure for me…maybe I don’t want company? I’m happy to have her friends over anytime, but I don’t want to have to entertain their parents.  I feel so bad for my daughter, who can’t seem to understand why she can’t just go over to people’s houses anymore, or have her friends over spontaneously.  Any suggestions on how to find other like-minded parents in the neighborhood? Or how to change the ones here? Thank you!