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mammasita
01-13-2012, 10:01 AM
My son is in 5th grade - 11 years old, he has a friend "J" in his class who he's always wanting to come over or he go over to his house. All good, right?

I spoke with J's mom once on the phone around september because she brought J over to play with my son. When my son asked me, "I said sure, let me talk to his mom first". Next thing you know, he's at our house. No hello from his mom at all. A couple times since then, J has been wandering around our neighborhood apparently "waiting" for my son to get home. J doesn't live within walking distance and all I can think is - what parent would randomly drop their kid off in another neighborhood without coordinating with another parent????

Maybe I'm over-reacting and being over-protective but ummmmm, I personally would NEVER just drop my son off at one of his friends houses without knowing ANYTHING about his friends family. I mean, this really borders on the verge of disturbing for me (again, this could just be me as I will admit I'm a tad overprotective). Standard protocol for me is walking to the door if I'm dropping my son off somewhere ESPECIALLY for the first time and talking to the parent(s) getting phone numbers etc.....


Aclai4067
01-13-2012, 11:01 AM
What qualifies as "not walking distance?" That can be relative to your parenting style. I used to walk or bike to my best friend's house all the time as a kid. She was never allowed to walk to my house, her parents drove her because they thought it was too far.

mammasita
01-13-2012, 11:09 AM
What qualifies as "not walking distance?" That can be relative to your parenting style. I used to walk or bike to my best friend's house all the time as a kid. She was never allowed to walk to my house, her parents drove her because they thought it was too far.

Agreed - I can be a bit overprotective. I know his mom drops him off, not sure how far they live. I'm pretty certain its one or two neighborhoods over. At the same time though, things were very different when I/we were kids (not sure how old you are) Vs the way things are now.


cherrypie
01-13-2012, 11:14 AM
I've got a son who just turned 12. It was standard proceedure for me too a couple years ago. Now not so much. I don't think it's odd at that age for them to set up their own playdates or to arrive at each other's house alone.

kateleestar
01-13-2012, 11:51 AM
I don't have kids yet, lol, but when I do, I will be as "over protective" as my mom was. At first meeting, when ever I would go over/they would come over, the first time there was ALWAYS a phone call. I went to a private school, so my friends didn't live close enough to walk to, so that wasnt an issue. I can see her dropping me off, just to make sure I made it there.

I know even when I was a kid (I turned 30 in December), kids got snatched off the street. Look at the Smart case. Or the Dugard case. I don't think moms are being over protective, I think sometimes parents are never "in the middle".. like, they are either helicopter parents, lol, or parents that give their kid too much freedom. I didn't feel either way, as a child. My parents raised me to be attentive and aware of my surroundings, and gave me freedom too. There's a happy medium, which is what I plan to be. My parents ALWAYS knew where I was, but they never made me feel like I wasn't the one who made the choice to be there, lol.. kwim? :)

In this instance, I don't think that's being crazy or whatever. I think it's strange that he's roaming around the neighborhood waiting for you to get home. Also, if his homelife is leaving much to be desired, maybe he really likes being at your house?

GL! :D

Italiannie
01-13-2012, 12:07 PM
Everyone's parenting is questionable to someone else. Everyone's.
My sons are older now, but when they had a friend who's parents were more casual then we were, we just made sure their friends were always welcome at our house. It was fine.

Sometimes I wish my kids were as independent as some of their friends.

Don't examine someone else more than you want to be examined, because everyone has a completely different level of comfort and kids get in and out of trouble regardless of whether their parents are casual or helicopter types.

Just the opinion of an older chick who's seen it all.

mammasita
01-13-2012, 12:21 PM
Everyone's parenting is questionable to someone else. Everyone's.

Very true!! I agree with that 150%.

I suppose I was just wondering if I was being super over protective about my son going over to his friends house and what not.

@kateleestar - His friend is always welcome to come over which is what I told my son this morning.

kateleestar
01-13-2012, 12:29 PM
@kateleestar - His friend is always welcome to come over which is what I told my son this morning.

Thats good! I had a friend whos parents, even to this day, just... SUCKED. I love her to death, but her parents should never have had children. She pretty much lived at my house.. Her mom wouldn't buy groceries, she would just get something for the her and their dad, and the kids could 'eat whatever'... My friend was at our house a lot, lol, we had food! And running water, and electic... sheesh. They just never grew up and I'm glad she came out as well as she did. Her sister, not so much, lol... Sad.

andrew80k
01-13-2012, 12:31 PM
I have 2 daughters and I don't leave them any where I don't know the parents. I just don't. Mine are still a little younger, 9 and 7, but I don't really think that's going to change any time soon. My children have a decent amount of freedom in our neighborhood and it's pretty big, but my children are my responsibility and I want to know where they are and what they're up to. Most of the parents in our neighborhood are the same way.

flourless
01-13-2012, 12:41 PM
Just as a point of reference, where I live, it's common for 8 year olds to walk/bicycle the mile to mile and a half from school to home. Mine is only 7.5, and did the bike ride home once with her year-older cousin. She goes to the library alone after I help her cross the busy street, and can be sent into a store to perform simple transactions (buy a book at the bookstore, get a snack at the grocery store) without a minder.

She arranges her own playdates, but I usually call or email to confirm, because when something goes through two seven year olds, it can get a little garbled.

My bias is strongly toward independence, because I have a girl who's uncomfortable in social situations, so each independent interaction is another building block for her confidence.

Italiannie
01-13-2012, 12:43 PM
mamasita - If you think the other parents are too casual, don't send your son. You need to trust our own instinct - that's what parents do. We never sent our sons where supervision was outside of our comfort zone. (My kids thought we were evil).

That's why, of course, I always had (and have) a houseful! Boy are they expensive to feed.

My thought here is not to have you second guess your judgement, it's just to point out that because someone else does things differently, it doesn't make their parenting questionable - you heading was "questionable parenting".

mandalinn82
01-13-2012, 12:56 PM
How much freedom is "questionable" depends not only on the parent and his/her own comfort level, and the area you live in, but also on the kid!

My sister could be trusted to do pretty much anything by herself at age 9. Seriously, that girl was a 40 year old in a child's body. I wouldn't call it questionable for her to have been given a little more leeway in terms of personal freedom, setting up her own stuff, etc.

I, on the other hand, had really crummy impulse control until I was around 18. Seriously. My parents knew this, so even though my sister was only a year older than me, she was often "in charge" of me when getting ourselves to school or after school. In fact, after my grandmother died when I was 9 and she was 10, we came home every day after school and my sister was "in charge" until my mom got home from work. Putting me in charge of myself at age 9 or 10 would have been a potentially disastrous decision. Putting my sister in charge made fine sense, and she did a really good job of it.

My parents let her get her driver's license at 16. They wouldn't sign for me, so I had to wait until I was 18. I was mad at the time, but it was ABSOLUTELY the right decision...again, zero impulse control!

It's a losing game to compare what another parent should be doing for *their* kid based on how you parent *your* kid, not only because every parent has a different parenting style, but because every kid is different. What makes sense for your kid, his level of responsibility, and your comfort zone can be totally different than what makes sense for her and her son.

mammasita
01-13-2012, 12:59 PM
Great points everyone - especially when it comes to my instincts, the difference in parenting styles and "maturity" of the child in question. Thank you!

cherrypie
01-13-2012, 01:02 PM
I don't have kids yet, lol, but when I do, I will be as "over protective" as my mom was. At first meeting, when ever I would go over/they would come over, the first time there was ALWAYS a phone call. I went to a private school, so my friends didn't live close enough to walk to, so that wasnt an issue. I can see her dropping me off, just to make sure I made it there.

I know even when I was a kid (I turned 30 in December), kids got snatched off the street. Look at the Smart case. Or the Dugard case. I don't think moms are being over protective, I think sometimes parents are never "in the middle".. like, they are either helicopter parents, lol, or parents that give their kid too much freedom. I didn't feel either way, as a child. My parents raised me to be attentive and aware of my surroundings, and gave me freedom too. There's a happy medium, which is what I plan to be. My parents ALWAYS knew where I was, but they never made me feel like I wasn't the one who made the choice to be there, lol.. kwim? :)

In this instance, I don't think that's being crazy or whatever. I think it's strange that he's roaming around the neighborhood waiting for you to get home. Also, if his homelife is leaving much to be desired, maybe he really likes being at your house?

GL! :D

there is really very little chance your kid will get "snatched off the street". Stranger abductions haven't really increased since the 70's, it's just our perception of them that has changed. As always it's the people in a child's life that are the most dangerous to them. I fear we are raising a generation of kids who will be crippled by fear of things that will never happen rather than giving them the independence to gain a little selfconfidence. Honestly, I think your chances of convincing your kid they are not able to take care of themselves and that they are inadequate greatly dwarf the chances of anything happening to them.

berryblondeboys
01-13-2012, 11:04 PM
How much freedom is "questionable" depends not only on the parent and his/her own comfort level, and the area you live in, but also on the kid!

My sister could be trusted to do pretty much anything by herself at age 9. Seriously, that girl was a 40 year old in a child's body. I wouldn't call it questionable for her to have been given a little more leeway in terms of personal freedom, setting up her own stuff, etc.

I, on the other hand, had really crummy impulse control until I was around 18. Seriously. My parents knew this, so even though my sister was only a year older than me, she was often "in charge" of me when getting ourselves to school or after school. In fact, after my grandmother died when I was 9 and she was 10, we came home every day after school and my sister was "in charge" until my mom got home from work. Putting me in charge of myself at age 9 or 10 would have been a potentially disastrous decision. Putting my sister in charge made fine sense, and she did a really good job of it.

My parents let her get her driver's license at 16. They wouldn't sign for me, so I had to wait until I was 18. I was mad at the time, but it was ABSOLUTELY the right decision...again, zero impulse control!

It's a losing game to compare what another parent should be doing for *their* kid based on how you parent *your* kid, not only because every parent has a different parenting style, but because every kid is different. What makes sense for your kid, his level of responsibility, and your comfort zone can be totally different than what makes sense for her and her son.

Oh so true, so very, very true. I was like your sister. I was babysitting other children when I was 9 years old - not only my siblings, but three other families quite frequentl. In high school. Teachers called me to watch their kids. I guess I was just super mature.

My two kids are polar opposites and what will be their rules will be totally different because of it. I'm just glad ther is nearly 9 years between them so that there're won't be hard feelings when one can do one thing at a particular age when we won't let the other and vice versa.

Julia75
01-14-2012, 12:02 AM
there is really very little chance your kid will get "snatched off the street". Stranger abductions haven't really increased since the 70's, it's just our perception of them that has changed. As always it's the people in a child's life that are the most dangerous to them. I fear we are raising a generation of kids who will be crippled by fear of things that will never happen rather than giving them the independence to gain a little selfconfidence. Honestly, I think your chances of convincing your kid they are not able to take care of themselves and that they are inadequate greatly dwarf the chances of anything happening to them.

I couldn't agree more, I have a conspiracy theory that the news's sole interest is scaring parents. People need to remember that stories are only reported when bad things happen. You'll never read a story about one of the 50 million kids who safely made it home from school, you'll here about the one who didn't.

sacha
01-14-2012, 11:37 AM
After 8 years of working in law enforcement, I have dealt with hundreds of child kidnappings, assaults/sexual assaults, etc... weekly and even daily. I have yet to encounter one where the assailant was not known to the family (and sadly, mom and dad were usually the suspects).

Back to the original question. I think it's fair to say that you can feel how you want abuot that parenting. We all have our own comfort. I come from a very "attachment parenting" perspective (cosleep, babywear, no cry) but my best friend is very much the "in the crib from day 1 and cry all night" crowd. I hate it. BUT, that is her prerogative and should not affect how I feel about him playing with her son.

Now, of course, I can't really compare our 2 year olds to your child - but if you feel uncomfortable then it's okay to say no. That is your decision and choice. My parents were like her - and I think it was okay. I'm not at that stage yet to decide myself as a mother. Good luck!

cherrypie
01-14-2012, 12:39 PM
I couldn't agree more, I have a conspiracy theory that the news's sole interest is scaring parents. People need to remember that stories are only reported when bad things happen. You'll never read a story about one of the 50 million kids who safely made it home from school, you'll here about the one who didn't.

in the "good old days" crime reporting was a local thing. We only heard about crime in our area unless it was something truly spectacular. The national news was all politics and world news. Now we see crime reports from all over the world in graphic detail and we react emotionally like it happened next door. Not only do we see it, but we see it in graphic detail and hear from all the survivors. This adds a lot to our fears. I've also seen studies where people who watch tv are more afraid of crime than people who don't. Our love for cop shows makes us think crime is everywhere when in reality violent crime rates have been dropping.

I saw this author on tv once who had written a book about fear and the media. He said basically, that the media has us so afraid of things that statistically are not much of a threat that we can't recognize a real danger anymore. For example, we have been terrified by terrorism but it's really really unlikely that any of us will be a victim of it, but when a hurricane like katrina comes along, people don't even bother to move out of it's way.

sacha
01-14-2012, 12:52 PM
in the "good old days" crime reporting was a local thing. We only heard about crime in our area unless it was something truly spectacular. The national news was all politics and world news. Now we see crime reports from all over the world in graphic detail and we react emotionally like it happened next door. Not only do we see it, but we see it in graphic detail and hear from all the survivors. This adds a lot to our fears. I've also seen studies where people who watch tv are more afraid of crime than people who don't. Our love for cop shows makes us think crime is everywhere when in reality violent crime rates have been dropping.

I saw this author on tv once who had written a book about fear and the media. He said basically, that the media has us so afraid of things that statistically are not much of a threat that we can't recognize a real danger anymore. For example, we have been terrified by terrorism but it's really really unlikely that any of us will be a victim of it, but when a hurricane like katrina comes along, people don't even bother to move out of it's way.

Hehe, cop shows always make me laugh. I want to hurl something at the TV screen, I just think, "If they want reality, SHOW THEM 14 HOURS WORTH OF PAPERWORK DAMMIT!" or how I toss paperclips at 3:30am while sucking down coffee to stay awake :D

98DaysOfSummer
01-18-2012, 10:01 AM
I do think it's odd to drop off an 11 year old where no one is expecting him and with no plan. "A few neighborhoods over" where I live means no sidewalks, some major roads, and a lot of traffic. I would not feel comfortable sending one 11 year old through all that with no one expecting him on the other end to let me know if he got there or not (or to at least notice when he didn't show up).

I'm all for independence, but also for responsibility. It does not seem responsible (or especially polite) to drop your eleven year old off on someone else (or in their neighborhood with plans to wander in) without letting someone know first.

alaskanlaughter
01-18-2012, 06:09 PM
i agree with the ones who said that each child and each parent is different...so are cultures...i live in what's considered a "big city" but its really not - 40,000 ppl tops...alot of Alaska Native people live here and come from a village culture of everyone taking care of everyone else...we have a family down the street who thinks nothing of sending their little girl to our house when they have to go out and do something..because that's what you do in the little villages...however we don't know these people well and certainly never agreed to let them send her over anytime they please, but she is raised by her elderly gramma and that's what they did in the village back in her day, culturally....

my older son is very independent...however he struggles with ADHD and impulse control/forgetfullness...and as he grew up i had to learn to balance his challenges with his desire to be independent...my younger son, on the other hand, is very conscientious and dependable, however very much attached to home and family...so as he grows up we will have to balance that as well

for what it's worth, my 14 year old roams all over our area after school, about a 3-mile radius and will mostly check in with me and if not, will be home when he's hungry LOL he is also learning to ride the city bus to one destination during the week