A person has invited our child to come play with her daughter.

We know little about her but we do know unfortunately her husband is currently temporarily forcefully kicked out of the home as he has beaten the woman.

We feel insecure to have contact to that family but also do understand that contributes to social isolation. Still it feels wrong to start socializing from this situation and accept playdates.

Nevertheless I've read many parents decline playdate invites, and safety reason is named as well.

The online advices say "be honest and graceful while declining"

How to proceed in this case?

  • 1
    Since you mention this detail, more info would be nice, as I'm unsure of your reasons for not wanting your child to play with the daughter in the absence of the husband. Discriminating against the daughter (and trough that, the mother) for the sins of the father seems harsh to me. If this is non-negotiable, maybe that tidbit of information should be edited out. Dec 9, 2020 at 17:28
  • 3
    Normally, I think it's appropriate to attempt an answer with timeless advice, but ... right now, isn't this just an automatic decline because this family is not part of your close social group and there's a global pandemic? Dec 11, 2020 at 19:35
  • Please edit the question to clarify what your concern is. As the question currently reads, the husband gone, so it's not clear what the safety concern would be.
    – user9075
    Dec 21, 2020 at 16:52

1 Answer 1


If your concern is simply at their home, then it is fairly simple: suggest they play outside somewhere, or you meet at a common location (zoo, play space, children's museum, restaurant, etc.) That allows you to still let your kids play together, but in a safe place.

If you are not interested in having any contact with them at all, then a simple polite decline is appropriate. "I'm sorry, but we have other plans," or perhaps better "I'm sorry, but our calendar is full right now" - particularly in the holiday season - or even "Right now, we're trying to limit our social contacts due to COVID" which seems like the one I'd go with. You might have to politely decline a few times, but eventually they should understand - and if not, then it becomes on them.

Ultimately, you cannot do either of these things without offending them; so don't pretend you can. Doing it in the most polite way possible is best, but no matter what, if you cut off contact with someone you will hurt their feelings.

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