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strangers in your house

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 

I'm interested in what the general consensus is regarding your kids' friends in your house.

 

My DH, while a wonderful person, has trouble trusting people. He pretty much distrusts people until getting to know them enough to deem them trustworthy. I'm sort of the opposite, in that I trust people until they give me a reason not to.

 

Anyway, our 16yo DS made some new friends at Driver's Ed this week, and mentioned something last night about having them over later this week. This would be at a time of day when neither I nor DH will be home. DH told DS that he is not allowed to have people over if we don't know them and we aren't home. DH is a collector of all things geek....comic books, original artwork from comic book artists, graphic novels, statues and action figures, etc. He has a paranoia of being robbed, in general, and feels that strange kids in our house might be tempted to take his stuff.

 

I understand how he feels, and I don't argue with him about it....but I'm just curious....which one of us is the weirdo? Am I too easy-going about things, or is he too neurotic? Just to clarify, both kids do have friends over when we're not home. It's just that we've known all of their friends for years and years. It's been about 3.5 years since either of them have made a "new" friend that would visit our home. They've been homeschooled, so nearly all of their close friends are the children of fellow homeschoolers (who I know well) or the children of DH's friends from before we met (we've been together six years). They have friends from camp and conferences, but those people don't live nearby and wouldn't be likely to visit. They're mostly Facebook friends.

post #2 of 9

I think your point of view is more in line with the norm.  At 16, your son will be on his own independently in the not so distant future.  I'd figure that trusting him to navigate relationships with new people while making sure that you're family's property safety is not violated is a normal part of helping a teen finish growing up.  That being said, there are always people who are more uncomfortable about trusting strangers.  Could your DH put some of his most prized items in a locked case, etc, to help him feel safer about them?  Or would he feel better if you made very specific guidelines about having guests unknown to you over to visit?  Your son's social world is bound to continue to broaden beyond the homeschooling community's border as he is getting closer to adulthood.

post #3 of 9

I can understand your DH's point-of-view very well. I don't personally worry about theft (though, as a teen, we were robbed by aquaintances of my little brother after he had them over one day... stole a valuable guitar and a dirt bike.) For me, I just like our home to be a private oasis. I love socializing in the outside world but I'm an introvert by nature. Strangers in the house just feels invasive. My kids do have guests over often but due to our location and the fact that my eldest is 14, the idea of them bringing home strangers when no one was home is pretty out in left field.

 

I don't think it's unreasonable to ask that you meet these kids before they are hanging out at the house without an adult. It's an easy enough fix to make your DH a little more comfortable. Fact is, your DS just met them this week and so even he doesn't really know what they are like outside of a structured class environment. Kids act a little less stupid when their anonimity is stripped.

 

 

 

 

post #4 of 9
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by FarmerBeth View Post
Could your DH put some of his most prized items in a locked case, etc, to help him feel safer about them?  Or would he feel better if you made very specific guidelines about having guests unknown to you over to visit?  Your son's social world is bound to continue to broaden beyond the homeschooling community's border as he is getting closer to adulthood.


Not really. His stuff takes up an entire room. Most of his things are in the den....but they are all over the walls and fill up all the shelves. The only option, really, is putting a lock on the door.

 

He doesn't have a problem with unknown guests coming over to visit....as long as they are supervised until we get to know them.

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by whatsnextmom View Post

 

Fact is, your DS just met them this week and so even he doesn't really know what they are like outside of a structured class environment. Kids act a little less stupid when their anonimity is stripped.

 


Actually, he spent several hours after class last Friday parkouring with them, so he has spent time with them outside of class. Just sayin'.

 

post #5 of 9

I wouldn't want kids over when neither parent is home. Otherwise I have no problem, I love the kids having their friends over. My 14 year old just had her boyfriend over for the first time a couple of weeks ago, and that was the first I'd met him(he's a cute nerdy-type guy ;)

 

The only time we've had groups of kids here when parents weren't home was when the girls have sleepovers and we leave for something. It's always been kids we've known for awhile though, and know their parents. Sometimes the neighbor girls come over when we aren't home and hang out with our daughters.

 

I do know a family whose youngest daughter had friends over who would steal things. Very hard for me to imagine but I know it happens!! And I'd have been humiliated to have friends who behaved that way!

post #6 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by 2xy View Post

 

 

He doesn't have a problem with unknown guests coming over to visit....as long as they are supervised until we get to know them.

 


Actually, he spent several hours after class last Friday parkouring with them, so he has spent time with them outside of class. Just sayin'.

 



Honestly, a few hours after class one day climbing walls doesn't equate with knowing a person in my book. Sounds to me like your DH is pretty reasonable. He doesn't have an issue with your DS having new friends over. He'd just personally like to get to know them first before they hung out at his house alone. That's totally reasonable for a variety of reasons. Remember, you are legally responsible for what happens in your house even if you aren't there. If one of these pakour kids decide to scale your roof and gets hurt, you could be paying for that broken arm (yep, happened to a friend of ours.) If one decides to bring in booze, you can be charged with corruption of a minor. It's good to know the people in your house and while I'm positive your son is a great kid, he's not going to be able to control every kid who comes through the door. Just have them over for pizza one night, no biggie.

 

post #7 of 9
I agree with your DH and think he is being totally reasonable. His needs count much more than your DS's new friends. He needs to get to know them first.
post #8 of 9
Thread Starter 

I just want to mention that at no time did I ever suggest that I was trying to discount my DH's needs or feelings on the matter. I was just curious as to how many people feel the same way. He and I are not arguing about it in the least.

post #9 of 9

Having had some of ds's prized collection disappear, I can relate to your dh.  Although I'm generally trusting, I now hesitate to invite groups of kids over (like hosting a group gathering vs ds just having his particular friends).  Your dh's things will be tempting to that demographic if any of the kids have a problem with that sort of temptation.  And anonymity (the kids not having met dh and vice-versa) does make it easier to succumb to temptation.  I wouldn't want kids I didn't know very well coming over without an adult home because of liability issues, either. 

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