The new play dating site FindYourKidaFriend.com has become extremely popular, especially in the kid-friendly community of Stapleton. Stay at home parents are always looking for new ways to entertain themselves, their children, as well as get their kids used to socializing with other kids. In Stapleton, parents typically have used Stapleton Moms Yahoo group to arrange meetings, but FindYourKidaFriend.com has become an extremely convenient way to find and set up play dates. Amy Kleese has had some very good experiences with her daughter Morgan. “At first, we were really against it,” says Amy. “We always thought that the best way for the kids to meet was through pre-school, at birthday parties, or even at restaurants. Let me tell you, there was a time when I never considered this. But it has actually been a good experience.” Morgan has gone on several play dates, and although not all have been great, “overall she has had a great time.” “We definitely have some issues when she points to kids on the computer she would like to have a play date with and then they don’t “giggle” back after she “giggles” them,” says Amy. “I think she does have her feelings hurt sometimes. But it is probably a good lesson to learn early.” Other parents see some of the same pitfalls you see with regular dating sites. “What you see is not always what you get,” says former FindYourKidaFriend.com member Meagan Arthur. “We have had some absolute disasters of play dates. If you say your kid is reading, than he better be able to read. Say they enjoy sports, well, they better want to play sports on the play date. When you say your child is ‘easy-going’, understand that ‘easy-going’ doesn’t mean they cry every time my kid plays with their toy.” Amy has a system she uses when she screens potential play mates for Morgan, and suggests others use it to have a good experience on the popular play dating site:
- See how long they have been on the site. If they have been there a long time, either they are jumping from play date to play date and are unable to commit to just a few play mates.
- Make sure their age matches their pictures. Sometimes parents will use a picture of their child from a long time ago as it sometimes helps the child appear more innocent and friendly.
- Find a parent’s constructive criticism of their child. If you can’t find any, odds are the child is a complete disaster. Your child is not perfect either, and it is okay to let others know your child’s shortcomings, no matter how small.
- Set up a video play date. This can just be for 10 minutes, but you can see how the kids interact and get an idea if they will have a successful play date.