Playdates: Who's responsible for paying?

Filed under: Big Kids, Tweens, Teens, Work Life, Activities: Babies, That's Entertainment

A good friend of mine called the other day. "Andrew (who is 11) wants to take a friend to the fair, but it's so expensive, I don't think I can afford it." She's right, the fair is expensive. But I was surprised to learn that when her son invites friends along on outings, the parents rarely -- if ever -- send them with their own money.

Is this normal? My girls are young enough that outings with friends usually include other parents, so I haven't had much experience with this. I had assumed, wrongly apparently, that when you invite a friend to do something special, parents tuck a few dollars in their pockets to cover costs. But according to my friend, when a parent invites another child along, they're essentially responsible for footing the bill.

For smaller events, like movies, for instance, this probably isn't a big deal. But for bigger outings, like the fair -- where in our town, rides are $3-$4 a piece -- or a water park, this might make inviting a friend along cost-prohibitive. I'm curious, who should be responsible for paying on a playdate?

Who should pay when parents invite other children along?
Parents should pay for their own children. It's too expensive to pay for extra kids.227 (54.7%)
When you invite someone, they're a guest. You're responsible for their costs.158 (38.1%)
Other -- share with us in comments.30 (7.2%)

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AdviceMama Says:
Start by teaching him that it is safe to do so.