I'm pretty upset right now. My daughter is 4 and has a friend from preschool that we invited over to our house a few weeks ago to play. (We've never had other kids over because we don't really know anyone in the area.) I had only met this friends mom once briefly at the preschool meeting to go over the school policies and whatnot. Anyway so I got her e-mail out of the schools directory and asked her if her daughter would like to come over and play since the girls are good friends at school. Long story short the mom came over, dumped her kid off and went home. The child was not well behaved and went running out of my front door and took off and I ended up having to bring the girls inside the house and lock all the doors so she couldn't get out. (my husband thought it was kinda funny) 3 hours later the mom still hasn't come back or even called to see how things were going. I ended up having to call her and say her kid was getting hungry for dinner, it was past 7:00 and we were getting hungry too. Needless to say it was almost 8:00 until the friend went home. My nerves were pretty much shot after that. Last week I got a call from her asking for my daughter to come over to their house to play. I wanted to say no and run away but decided it was ok since the girls really like each other. I told her I wanted to stick around though (I will not leave my child with someone I hardly know!). She was still going to be at work but her husband would be home with the girls. I think she was offended that I didn't want to leave her alone. We got there and her husband asked me to watch the kids so he could run to the bank. Then when he came back he went off and did yardwork and didn't pay any attention to the kids at all. When the mom got home from work she came out and was talking to me and the dad went up on the porch and cracked open a bottle of beer. It wasn't even 6:00!! He proceeded to drink at least 2 bottles in the next 15 minutes until we left. The whole thing just kind of rubbed me the wrong way. I can't imagine what would have gone on had I not been there. We saw the mom at preschool this morning and they are talking about a sleepover now. There is no way on God's green earth I would allow that. Do you guys think I'm being over protective or do I have reason to want to avoid these people? Sorry for such a long post but I needed to get it off my chest!
I'm probably not one to give advice on this subject since my child will be 3 in December and I didn't even let her spend the night with grandparents until a few months ago and only because my husband and I were both sick with the flu. But, with that said, you are so not being overprotective at all. You are the only one who can protect your child and whatever you feel she needs to be protected from is your decision. I personally would not allow my child to return to that home because I feel children should be watched like hawks at all times, not that they can't have fun, they just don't have the ability to know what is and is not safe for them at that age! Good luck on handling this situation and keep us posted.
Your child is 4? No way would I allow a sleepover at that age no matter who the person was. And in this case, you saw who the people were. Do you think they will be more attentive just because you aren't there? No!
You are not over-reacting or over-protecting your child. There is no such thing. No one is going to protect your child like you do. Look, what is easier, to say "no" now or the regret you will go through if something happens to your baby. A four-year-old is still a baby in my eyes. Do not allow sleepovers until she is old enough to understand the rules of appropriate behavior in adults. She would not be able to react or explain it to you if something inappropriate happened, whether it was the parents leaving the children unattended or the unthinkable.
I would allow your child to befriend this child at school but outside school this relationship is just not right for you. Your child having a friend is not worth this turmoil in your life.
Edited to add: My children were never allowed to go on sleepovers. I thought the risks were too great. They are all teenagers now and not socially marked because of it. You don't miss what you don't know. I just don't think sleepovers are worth it.
That is the craziest story I have heard...who drops their kid off at another child's house and doesn't stay for the playdate??? The lady is crazy and I would never let my kid spend the night there or have another playdate again. They are friends at school and that is fine but I would not pursue the friend ship any further, personally. I have a 4, 3 and 2 year old and have never left any of them at anyone else's house without me there. Maybe I am overprotective but it feels right to me. Stick with your instincts!
I'm glad that I'm not the only one that feels this way. When they said sleepover this morning I about fell over. She was almost 4 years old before we even let her sleep over at my mom and dad's house and that was when we went to Canada in January and we were glad we didn't take her because she would have been frozen solid. I just get so upset about people not watching their kids and letting them do whatever they want to do and then trying to make me look like a crazy person for not wanting to be any part of it. We are trying to raise our daughter to know right from wrong and even at 4 years old she knows what she is and isn't allowed to do and why. I don't want to keep her from having friends but I see how most of the parents are with their kids at her preschool and it scares me! I don't want to be known as the mom who never lets her kid do anything but I agree that kids need to be watched like a hawk because at this age they are still learning and pushing boundaries to see what they can get away with and I just don't trust anyone else enough to be comfortable with her at their house if I'm not there. Someone said to me just the other day "You can tell she's an only child. You are so overprotective of her!" It kind of hurt but I thought I'd rather be protective than one of those parents that their kids are acting like wild animals with no discipline.
I would not let my child have anymore playdates with this girl, you are absolutely not overreacting. I've responded to playdate invites with "My son would love to play with your child, but please don't be offended that I need to tag along. No need to entertain me, I'll even bring a book, we just have a rule that we don't drop him off without knowing the family really well." I wound up becoming really close friends with my son's pre-K "girlfriend"'s family this way. I've never let my kids have sleepovers until they are around 7 unless it's family, and now that my 2 older ones are able to go to friends' I need to know the family or they don't go. My 7 year old isn't allowed on any playdates if we don't know the family well, and the playdate rule for my 10 year old is that we need to have met the parents and at least know something of them from mutual friends. I'd rather be over cautious and even risk offending someone than to be the mom on the news saying "I had no idea...".
How can one be OVER protective on a child, whether it is one child or five children! That ladys remark just made me mad reading that, I was an only child, and I have two daughters, all grown up now, beside the point, if it does not feel right to you, then it is not right. follow your insticts. and in my own thinking 4 yrs old is way to young for a sleep over, unless it is a relative. To me sleep overs were for the more of age 10 and up. but I guess that was back in the day, LOL....I would say nothing past the school stuff. but definitly trust your insticts , they are usually right. and there is now way you can ever be OVER protective to a child, especially in this day and age, no matter where you live.
The best thing you can do is trust your gut. Who cares what other people think, this is your child.
Trust yourself, remember- mom knows best!
I have to agree with Brenda. There is nothing better than trusting your own instincts. I have 2 girls, 5 and 1, and yes my 5 year old has been on sleepovers but with family that I know are responsible and will call her on any wrong doings. My favourite saying is "it takes a village to raise a child" but I would like to add to that saying with "but I won't leave my child in the care of the village idiot". Go with your gut hunny...if it doesn't feel right then don't do it!!
Thank you Shannie 13.
Wow I wouldn't even expect that from long time relaxed friends. I would nix the play time outside of school. In school- OK but I would be very uncomfortable with all that also. Kids that young need better supervision. Sounds like if you do let her come over again you may just get stuck with while her none-parenting-parental-units dash off to vegas or something for some extended stay! Not funny.
Just echoing everyone else's advice. Listen to your gut.
I raised my own 3, nannied 5 others, worked with several hundred with the school district - you would not believe the parents of many kids. Yes, you do have to "let go" as they age but NOT at 4. You did a great job in having this girl over at first - big mistake to take your daughter over to their house the next time, thinking you wouldn't be there with her. I advise that if you feel like this is someone you really want your child to spend time with, agree only to meet with the other mom and child in a public park - insist the other mom stay and use the time to get to know her.
In the last couple of years I was amazed at the type of questions I had to start asking - in a very non-confrontational way - Do you have guns in your home? Are they in a safe? How do you feel about drugs? Is pornography allowed in the home or on the computer? Are there older siblings or teenage "friends of the family" who might be there? What kind of video games/ tv /movies are the kids allowed to watch? - yes there are parents who watch ANYTHING on tv with their kids in the room. These people sound like users - maybe not, but be careful.
Sleepovers - my kids loved 'em, but we knew the families and the kids were years older. Maybe pre-teens.?
Good one sadsmile, didn't even think of that one, each time you watch that little girl could get longer and longer and before you know it it will be an all weekend thing. Better just stick with in school stuff. Do you know if they invite other kids from the school over for playtime? If not there might be a reason, better yet , just go with what you feel, your insticts to be on the safe side.
Oh I agree! Stay away from crazy! A lot of people I know think I am over protective with my four kids. However, I don't care what they think. I have one shot at raising these kids. They are kids, it is my job to protect them. Most things, a mistake on your part is a learning experience for all involved but in others that's it....you can't take back hurt, abused or dead. I know that sounds nuts! But it is true. You just don't know what will happen when a stranger, especially one who has proven themselves untrustworthy, has your child. If they act like that around you what is it like when you aren't around?
I think that 4 is just too young for a sleepover. You run the risk of a parent calling you in the middle of the night because your kids woke up screaming and wont go back to sleep or even worse they dont call you and just ignore your kid. I would just politely explain to this other mother that you think that 4 is a little young for a sleepover, but you would be happy to let little Jane come over and play again sometime. My daughter is 6 and she has never been to a sleepover.
Just as a FYI, what I do is the drop-off playdate thing. I usually pick the other kids up and then we go and do something fun (like go to the dollar movie theater, or to the park, or the zoo which are all pretty cheap/free things to do in our area) and then I drop them off afterwards.
That way I am not stuck with an extra kid for an inappropriate amount of time, and I control how long we have the extra kid. Like if the extra has a problem with behavior while we are out, I have a 3 strikes and youre out policy. You get a warning the first time, a must sterner warning the second and if you pull it again we are leaving. I have taken kids home in the middle of movies before. I just dont put up with any crap though.
Remember, she is YOUR daughter and what YOU say goes. Dont worry about this other mother and what she thinks, your childs safety is paramount.
I would just be very honest and tell the mother that you do not ever leave your child with a man you do not know-no reflection on her husband-but that's just how it is. You also should think about whether you want to have a child 'dropped off' at your house for a playdate at that age. Lot's of liability.
sweet-thing , that does not sound nuts to me, about you can't take back hurt, abused or dead. Sounds pretty honest and straight forward to me. But never sounding nuts. Good advice, very good, very well said. Almost sounds like a good title for a book concerning the safety on children. Will have to remember the way you put that. That phrase should hit home with anyone that has children. Thank you for putting it right out there.
You guys have truly made my day being so supportive. I don't even really want my daughter to be around this girl, I have volunteered at her preschool and seen the way she acts. I don't think she has many boundaries in her life. The only people I have ever left her with without us being there is family and it took us a long time to even do that. My husband and I decided last night that there wont be any more play time between the 2 of them at our house or hers for that matter. We have a great park right down the road that we can meet at but I fear that it will turn into me watching her kid again because she doesn't want to watch her even when she's there with her. I'm hoping that we will be able to kind of "phase them out" and find some new friends.
I have four daughters, ages 8 to 16 and still don't let them do sleepovers. Plenty of fun to be had in other ways......
If she tries to leave you and the kids at the park, that is the time you decide you need to go home, that should settle that real quick. and she should get the hint, that you are not going to be watching the kids all by your self, so she will have no choice but to stay and get her child and go home then if you are not staying. and if she does not get the hint, stop her in her tracks and ask her where she is going? and if she says we both don't need to be here, that is when you say, yes we do, because I am not sure how long we will be staying, and I don't want your child to be left all alone here. but whatever happens, do not let her leave , even if it is to run home to get something. because you know she will not be back for awhile, so when she is ready to leave, that is your time to leave then too, and then go back down later with you and your daughter for extra time at the park the two of you unless hubby wants to go too, LOL...hope that gives you some help in some way.
OMG!! I can't believe that all happened when you were there! I would do as your gut says and as everyone else is saying! I am very protective and my kids don't understand why there friends, whichare neighbors get to run the streets and neighborhood when they have to be in my sight ALL the time!! My son is 5 and my daughter is 7....I have a hard time letting them go anywhere or do anything! I need to get over that, but you can never be too protective now a days! So I would have to agree with you totally....sleepover.....probaby not gonna happen at there house!!!!! LOL!!! NO WAY!!! Maybe you can tell her that something is wrong, like your child cannot stay at anyone's house cause they are scared to or something and recommend having it at your house....not telling you to lie, but maybe an idea!!!! Good Luck!!!
My DH and I don't even allow my 15 year old out with his friends without at least talking on the phone to the other kid's parents. And even then, I drop him off and pick him up...drive him to the dance or the movies...etc etc.
We may be strict, but you just never know about people these days. Besides, it keeps our son honest and has really kept the communication open between us. He understands why we have the rules we have.
I won't let me kid sleep over there. You are not over reacting at all!!!
I let my son who was 4 at the time go over a friends house from school. When I picked him up he had a bald spot on the front of hair. I asked what happened and he said Mitch cut his hair with a big scissor. What if he would have poked him in the eye. I was so mad. I asked my son where the mom was and he said she was taking a shower. What kind of mom asks a kid to come over and you take a shower while they play. They are only 4. I never let him go there again. I mentioned to the mom that her sons cut my sons hair and she just laughed saying he does it to his sister all the time. She finds clumps of long blond hair around the house. Just crazy!!!
one more input on this situation!!! My parents when I was a child and ever a teenager didn't even let me do anything with out another adult with me! My curfew went with my age, for example, when I was 14, my curfew (noramlly just had to be in the house) was 4:30!!!! WOW!! I hated my parents for it then, but really gotta give them credit now cause I don't even have a dot on my record and all my friends that I went to school with are either in jail, prison or have a book of records! So being over protective is never bad!!!
Wow, I can't believe that any parent would just leave their 4 year old at a stranger's house and leave them there for that long! I have relied on family and very close friends and they have relied on us for the same, playdates in that manner can be very convenient when there is Christmas shopping to be done! I would never, ever, leave either of my daughters (or sons if I had them) with a man we don't know. They are probably excited about you hosting a sleep over so that they can get a night to themselves. ugh!
The fact that you had to ask means that you know you would not be comfortable with such a sleepover! I don't think you can ever be overly cautious when it comes to the safety of your children, unfortunately not all parents feel the same...
I have two 10 year olds (boy and girl), a 5 yr old boy and 1 yr old boy. My girl has been to one sleep over and it was a horrible experience. She was picked up about 11 pm and has not even asked about it again. The boys have not been on a sleepover at all. The older ones never really asked about play dates. We have kids on the block the same age and this summer I let them go to friends' houses. We got them "kid" cell phones and have to call me or come home every 30 minutes. I have phone numbers of all the parents (there are 3 houses) and I like to show up and check on them all the time.
We got a request for a play date for the five year old a couple weeks ago. I suggested that the mom and friend meet us at Chuck E Cheese because I had some coupons. I felt so much better with that.
I don't want to be known as the mom who never lets her kid do anything
Well, I am known as the mom who won't let her kids do anything! It bothered me when I was younger but there is a freedom you get once you are over 40. You know what...I just don't care what you think of me or how I raise my kids. I homeschooled them because of (among other things) the issues I have with childhood influences. My kids are wonderful...social and intelligent and *GASP*, they never went on a sleepover or playdate without me...ever.
So many moms think they have to go with the flow or their child will be an oddball or "not like everyone else". Who cares? There are many, many people who never let their child go on sleepovers or anywhere unattended. Do you know in many countries, a young girl of any age cannot go anywhere unless attended by a relative? There is a reason for that.
To all you young moms...do not be afraid to be different, say no, or let your child be the odd one. I like that saying that you can't take back hurt, abused or dead. Your kids will not be marked for life for missing sleepovers or playdates without mom. Reach inside yourself and realize what is the most important.
Well said KathysCC!!! better to be involved with your child's friends and where abouts, than not know what they are doing and with whom. Like you said they will not be marked for life for missing sleepovers or not being able to do something. You are their protector, their mentor, their parent. and at least you know your child is safe and sound. These children will FIT IN , in their own way. It does not depend on whether or not they got to sleep over, stay out late or whatever the situation is. and you can bet on one thing, those OTHER mothers deep down inside wish they were more like you. more protective, more knowing of what is going on with their child. It is a shame THEY are the ones that have the NEED TO FIT IN!!! and put their child in jeopardy. I still say, if it does not seem or feel right, don't go through with it!!
I'm sure you'd rather be "the mom who doesn't let her kid do anything" than "the mom of that poor little girl who was in a tragic accident and XX's house because the dad had been drinking and the mom wasn't paying attention".
I get a bit of crap about how protective I am of my daughter, and she is only 1 1/2!! People tell me that I'll allow this and that once I have more, that I'm so silly that I don't let her play in a room alone with her cousins...
I don't care. She's my everything.
Ugh, plus, you don't want your daughter picking up on this kid's behavior.