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Let's not normalize sharing the cost of playdates

Marisca is intrigued by a TIK TOK video. Now she's hopes it was just a big joke
The Sticky Files

I saw a TIK TOK the other day that had the title ‘let’s normalize sharing the cost of playdates.’

I was intrigued. My initial thought was that if you invite a child over or to do something, that child is your guest and you should cover the costs but I suppose times are tough and children shouldn’t have to suffer or miss out on stuff because inflation is crazy high and everything is so expensive.

So I kept watching, I needed to know more. The woman in the video said she texted the child’s mother and asked for some money for a playdate that had occurred that day and was shocked when that mom asked for what.

I was assuming they went to a water park or the zoo or something expensive. And was interested to know why the visitor’s mom didn’t know what they were doing.

I think if my child is in the care of someone else, I’d like to know if they go somewhere or roughly what they are up to during a playdate. So I kept watching, growing more interested in this two-minute internet video.

What are we normalizing here?

The video then went to a screenshot of the texts between the two mothers. The original poster outlined the costs of the play date at her house. These costs included the price of a juice box, a snack and wait for it …. the cost of wear and tear on her couch!


She asked for $15 total. (I am assuming this was American dollars, but either way, this is nuts.) The visiting child’s mother transferred over the money and didn’t reply in the texts after that.

I do not blame her. That is crazy. Typically my daughters and their friends go back and forth, and things probably even out.

Of course, we don’t know the backstory, maybe this one kid is always over at the one house or maybe this kid is awful and the mom doesn’t want the kid back. But that wasn’t the point of her message.

She posted on her video that she wants to normalize sharing the cost of playdates. Maybe this whole thing was satire? I watched until the end, hoping for her to start laughing or say just kidding. But that never happened. I think she was serious.

If you can’t afford to have your children’s friends over for a playdate, then don’t have them over. Or take them to the park for an hour or two and serve tap water.

There are a lot of free things to do. Charging guests for wear and tear on your couch is insane.

Please, let’s not normalize this. I know times are tough but we shouldn’t be nickel and diming our friends. Our kids are watching. Demanding money from someone without asking beforehand or warning them of costs that may be incurred is bullying.

I am still rattled. And I am still hoping this is all a joke that went over my head.

Marisca Bakker

About the Author: Marisca Bakker

Marisca was born and raised in Ontario and moved to Smithers almost ten years ago on a one-year contract.
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