Why Playdates Help In Building Kids’ and Our Barkadas

A playdate can create your kids’ future barkada and friend for life.

While homeschooling made us more hands-on with our kids’ learning, there are some things that kids learn more from their peers. Before the pandemic, schools addressed that problem. But now, we need to make a conscious effort in organizing a day when kids can meet other kids their age. These are called “playdates” where kids can have fun together.

What are playdates?

We’ve been organizing playdates for years—it’s just that we never addressed them as such. Playdates are usually when kids meet up and play in all sorts of environments. It can be the park, another kids’ house filled with toys and goodies, and sometimes, it can even be a playground. The pandemic needed us to be more careful where we bring our kids for playdates.

How do playdates help kids and us moms?

These get-togethers help kids in a lot of ways. It doesn’t just beat cabin fever. It also helps them develop and meet certain developmental milestones. But it does more than those things.

1. We find other moms who are going through the same things as we are.

Being in the same community means we’ll have similar experiences to other moms. And how do other moms meet especially after giving up their careers? Through playdates! It’s already difficult for us to find support and sometimes, we find those moms through our kids who want to act out with other kids in killing the Ender Dragon in Minecraft.

2. We have someone else to burn up our kids’ energy, productively.

One of our biggest frustrations is finding ways for our kids to burn their energy productively. Besides creating a barkada, it serves our ulterior motive in finding someone to burn up our kids’ energy. Pretty sure the other moms we’re meeting up with are probably looking for someone similar, too.

3. We can get inside information about other departments.

Playdates don’t always mean kids of the same age. There’s usually an age gap of 1 to 2 years which is pretty helpful in school. As members of a higher batch, they can pass down their books and reviewers to their friends who are moving up. Besides, it also helps others save money because they just need to borrow books or materials.

4. Some tricks are best taught by kids!

Although we try to teach our kids everything, there are some things they can learn better from others. Sometimes, kids can pick up things from other kids. Some of us probably didn’t learn how to bike from our parents. We learned it by watching our older cousins because our own parents found difficulty balancing on a bike.

5. Develops mindfulness and empathy

Playdates involve talking to people of different cultures that can either challenge our existing biases or confirm them. It helps us get out of the little bubble and expose us to different stories, making our kids more well-rounded. Although evolution says we all have a specialty at some point, that doesn’t mean we can go around not learning about everything else.

“Collect and select”: Playdates help moms and kids develop through social learning.

Kids are not the only ones who develop via Social Learning. When Albert Bandura came up with the theory, studies worked on emphasizing how it applied to adults, too. And by culture, Filipinos prefer being in the company of others because we look for a shared identity and there’s a strong need to have a “shared identity” (pakikipagkapwa) among fellow Filipinos.

More about playdates and friendship? Here are some stories!

Moms On Losing Touch With Friends After Becoming a Mother: “It Hurts.”
Minions the Rise of Gru: The Importance of Trust and Friendship
Kelly Misa Fernandez and Bianca Santiago Reinoso: Why Parents Should Have A Support Group

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