Would you charge other parents for playdates?

Adorable little girls and best friends playing in a pink teepee doing different hairstyles having fun playdate
A woman has gone viral after she claimed she charged another parent for a playdate. (Getty Images)

A mother has gone viral on TikTok after claiming that she charged her child’s friend’s parents $15 (£12) following a playdate.

"Recently my daughter had a friend over, and I asked her mum for money, and this is how it went," the TikTok user, who goes by @shay.nanigans87, said.

"After the play date I texted her mum and I said ‘Thank you for letting Jamie play today, please help out with your share of expenses for the playdate totalling $15 via Venmo! Let’s do it again soon!’ because I can’t keep doing these playdates if it’s so expensive."

The friend’s mother wrote back, "Expenses?", to which the user replied explaining that her daughter had "used supplies and food while she was here and this way we can do this more often without a monetary obligation on just one party".

The other mother asked what supplies her daughter had used, and the poster sent her an itemised list of supplies including chalk, juice boxes, fruit, and even three trips to the bathroom.

The poster claims that the friend’s mother sent her the money, and that this would allow them to continue to do playdates in the future.

The video quickly went viral and has now been viewed over 1.8 million times, however many users have accused the poster of ‘rage baiting’ which means making up a story to incite rage and increase video views.

Whether or not the poster is telling the truth, it begs the question: Should you ever pay for playdates?

"As someone who works closely with families, I can certainly appreciate the financial pressures many are facing these days," Jessi Gholami, clinical social worker and senior editor at Start Here Parents, tells Yahoo UK. "The rising cost of living has put a squeeze on budgets in a way previous generations didn't necessarily experience.

"That said, the notion of itemising expenses and sending a bill after a child's playdate feels like it crosses an unspoken boundary; playdates have historically been pretty casual, reciprocal affairs where the hosting rotates, and any costs tend to even out over time. Asking for reimbursement formalises it in a way that strips away some of that easy, informal nature."

Happy, cheerful and laughing children sitting together and having fun at a playdate. Adorable boy and girls enjoying their time together at home. Siblings, sisters and brother bonding and playing
Would you charge a parent for a playdate? (Getty Images)

If you are struggling financially, and cannot afford to host your child’s friends, Gholami says that you could consider having a transparent conversation with your child’s friend’s parents about splitting costs equally.

In terms of other playdate etiquettes, Gholami says it’s best to talk to the other parents about playdate expectations like duration and snacks early on so that you’re all on the same page.

"Keep things low-cost when you're hosting," she adds. "There’s no need for over-the-top activities or indulgences. Simple playtime is perfect.

"Model manners and kindness so the youngsters follow suit. These are learning experiences. And don't overextend hosting if it's a burden financially or emotionally. It's okay to scale back.

"At the end of the day, playdates should ideally provide a relaxed way for children to socialise and caregivers to connect. Keeping that spirit of warmth and community at the heart of it all tends to be the wisest path."