Mom faces backlash for billing play date expenses

Published Jun 26, 2024


Play dates are an excellent way for children to develop social skills while having fun.

However, like any social interaction, there's an etiquette to follow to ensure the gatherings are enjoyable and stress-free for everyone involved.

The benefits of play dates often outweigh the drawbacks. They are instrumental in promoting social, emotional and physical development.


Contraversial but I think it’s a really good idea. What do you think?

♬ original sound - Shay.nanigans87

Proper planning and communication can mitigate most issues, making play dates a valuable and enjoyable experience for children and parents.

In a recent TikTok post, a mom named Shay, who goes by @shay.nanigans87, sparked controversy by suggesting parents should send bills for play date expenses.

She explained that after hosting a play date for her daughter and her daughter’s friend, she charged the friend’s mother $15 (R273) to cover the costs.

The video quickly gained attention, with many users divided over the idea. Some feel it makes sense to share expenses, while others argue it adds unnecessary stress and awkwardness to what should be a fun and casual experience.

The benefits of play dates often outweigh the drawbacks. Picture: RDNE Stock project/Pexels

“So, recently, my daughter had a friend over and I asked her mom for money and this is how it went,” she said in the post.

“So, after the play date, I texted her mom and I said: ‘Thanks for letting Jamie play today. Please help out with your share of the expenses for the play date totalling $15, via Venmo.’”

Shay said she couldn’t keep up with play dates if they were going to cost her money and explained her breakdown of what it cost her.

“She 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,” she said.

Shay shared a screen shot of the conversation between her and Jamie's mom, showing exactly what the $15 covered.

“There was chalk, apple sauce, fruit, she sat on the couch, that's wear and tear, she actually broke a toy, she had three juice boxes, she went to the bathroom, she had yoghurt.”

Shay shared the breakdown of supplies used:

– Wear and tear on the couch: $1

– Three juice boxes: $2

– Three trips to the bathroom: $3

– Apple sauce: $1

“Then, she actually sent the money and I sent her a message thanking her for it, of course. She didn’t say anything else.”

Before ending her video, Shay asked her viewers a loaded question: “What do you guys think?”

Someone wrote: “Has it not occurred to this woman that when the other party reciprocates with a play date she will have expenses as well? She should take the kids to a baseball game and charge the woman $100.”

Another user wrote: “This has GOT to be rage bait. You can't ACTUALLY be like this, right? Man, you need help. How terrible,” another person said, while yet another added: “I’m learning what rage bait is all about.”

Shay shared a follow-up TikTok video about charging for play dates

@shay.nanigans87 Replying to @Hannah Burmeister charging for playdates #Unconventional ♬ original sound - Shay.nanigans87

“People are really upset about me charging for play dates,” she said. “So upset that they’re asking me to send them money for wasting their time.”

Shay mentioned making adjustments to reduce costs for future play dates and while she didn’t elaborate, she hinted they would make the experience more affordable.