Mummy Buzz


The Play Date Contract

Sign on the Dotted Line

We live in a world of legalese. It's practically unavoidable. When it comes to daycares and schools, you not only expect a hefty list of terms and conditions, but welcome it. But what signing a waiver—for a play date in a backyard? 

Apparently the average play date is no longer exempt from our increasingly litigious culture. According to Today Moms, some parents—fearing potential injuries from say, a trampoline or a pool—expect you to sign a waiver before letting your kids come over to play.

A Miss Manners column in the Washington Post summed it up pretty well. If the waiver predates a birthday party in which a bouncy castle has been rented, the waiver may in fact be a necessity for the company's insurance rather than parental retentiveness. 
But in the case of an ordinary play date, Miss Manners suggests determining whether there is a "specific safety concern" at the fore. If not, Manners herself suggests you "sign [the waiver] this once, and hang out with another mom in the future.”
Responsible parenting or fear mongering gone too far?