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Family friends with younger children -- who needs to say what?

post #1 of 74
Thread Starter 

I have a nearly 13 YO DS and a 9 YO DD.  DD is best friends with 9 YO girl up the street.  Friends family also has a 7 YO boy.  The friend's mom does not want my son playing with her son -- she fears inappropriate conversation and/or actions from my son since he is so much older.  While I think she is over-reacting/over-protective, she has a right as mom to control who plays with her children and I respect that.  

 

Problem is, I don't know what to tell my DS about why he can't play with the other boy, especially since the two girls are together as much as possible.  I have said "X's mom thinks you are too old to play with X".  I have even explained that X's mom is afraid of inappropriate behavior, which of course upset my DS that someone would think he would do "something like that".  So I'm stuck saying "No, you can't go up the street to play" and I do whenever he asks.   But DS is on his own some days this summer and has gone up to see if X can play a couple of times.  The mom won't say he can't play, but will complain to me that DS came up.  I've said "I wasn't home, he came up on his own. If you don't want him there, you have to be willing to send him home."  She doesn't want to be mean so she won't do that, which is nice but puts me in a bad spot.   DS says "Mom, you are wrong, X's mom will let X play with me."

 

So, clearly I need to reinforce "don't play with X" with my DS and I have done that.  But is it unreasonable for me to expect the other mom to say "No, X can't play" and send DS home if he does arrive there?  I will help DS live with her rules, but doesn't she have some responsibility to help as well? 

post #2 of 74
No, it is not unreasonable to expect the other mother to enforce HER rules. You've done your best to respect her wishes and pass that Lang to your son. Now it is her turn to do the same.
post #3 of 74
Quote:
Originally Posted by Evan&Anna's_Mom View Post


So, clearly I need to reinforce "don't play with X" with my DS and I have done that.  But is it unreasonable for me to expect the other mom to say "No, X can't play" and send DS home if he does arrive there?  I will help DS live with her rules, but doesn't she have some responsibility to help as well? 

 

She has every responsibility to help. I think I'd tell her, flat out, that next time she lets your ds play with her ds, you're going to interpret that to mean that she doesn't mind, and you'll no longer be upsetting your son over a rule she's not serious about. It's inexcusable for her to expect you to be put on the spot, explaining rules that you don't even understand yourself, and then not even stick to them herself. It's okay for you to upset your son, but she shouldn't have to? For her own rule? Ridiculous!

post #4 of 74

 

 

Quote:
 But is it unreasonable for me to expect the other mom to say "No, X can't play" and send DS home if he does arrive there?

I don't think so, you should not be having him go up there again- I don't think I would be real interested either because of the large age gap and would wonder why he isn't playing with children closer in his age group. I really would not want a 13 year old playing with my 7 year old of either sex. 

 

Quote:

 I will help DS live with her rules, but doesn't she have some responsibility to help as well? 

Frankly, I feel this should be viewed as your rules-not hers.

 

She already told you NO- what exactly should she do? I would be offend if I was that mom and you thought it was MY responsibility to control your child.

 

Is there no one else for your DS to play with? 

 

 Even is they were the same age the other mother has all the right to say who she wants and does not want around her child, this is what you should be teaching your child not saying it is the other mother's fault (rules)-there should be a teaching of excepting of others desires. I think you should talk to your son more regarding why you just can't go to someone's house without asking you first. I see it as a large age gap and don't see why you don't set up playdates for your DS or other activities so this does not happen.

Being friendly is expected - playing together is really asking a lot -IMO

post #5 of 74
Quote:
Originally Posted by serenbat View Post

Frankly, I feel this should be viewed as your rules-not hers.

 

This is interesting. Why should it be viewed as OP's rules? It's not OP's rules. It's the other mom's...guidline (I can hardly call it a rule, when the other mom doesn't enforce it).

 

She already told you NO- what exactly should she do? I would be offend if I was that mom and you thought it was MY responsibility to control your child.

 

Because it's the other mom's rule. When a child comes over here and takes food in the living room, I say "hey - we don't allow food in the living room". I don't call their parents and say, "you come here and make your child eat in the dining room". I especially don't do that, then tell the kid they can go ahead and eat in the living room if they want to! The "no food in the living room" rule isn't their rule. It's our rule. Why should they enforce it, if I'm going to turn around and say, "oh, no - it's okay". .

 

Is there no one else for your DS to play with? 

 

 Even is they were the same age the other mother has all the right to say who she wants and does not want around her child, this is what you should be teaching your child not saying it is the other mother's fault (rules)-there should be a teaching of excepting of others desires. I think you should talk to your son more regarding why you just can't go to someone's house without asking you first. I see it as a large age gap and don't see why you don't set up playdates for your DS or other activities so this does not happen.

Being friendly is expected - playing together is really asking a lot -IMO



How is OP supposed to explain to her son that she should accept that other mom's desires, when the other mom turns around and goes "sure you can play", because she doesn't want to tell him that he can't. This other mom isn't saying who she does and doesn't want around her child - she's telling the OP that OP's son can't play with her son, and telling the OP's son that he can! Maybe she should make up her mind what she really wants, and then OP can enforce that. The other mom is undermining her own position. If she'd told OP's ds, the first time he showed up at her house, that he couldn't play with her son, this whole situation would, in all likelihood, be over with.

 

Mind you, I'm boggled by the "there's too big an age gap to play together" thing. It's never made any sense to me at all.

post #6 of 74
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by serenbat View Post
Is there no one else for your DS to play with? 

 

 Unfortunately, no, there are no young teens/tweens within walking/biking distance that we know.  That's a whole 'nother story at the moment.   And I do understand the age difference and why she isn't comfortable with it, even if I don't necessarily agree that all such age differences in playmates is automatically bad.  They have found some things they both like to do such as Legos and Wii games, which we have done when the families get together.

 

As I said, I wasn't home the last time this happened -- it was one of the few weeks that the kids didn't have a camp to go to and DD was up playing at their house all day (as previously arranged and agreed to between us) and DS went up to join them.  I *had* told him he couldn't do that and I *did* reinforce that when I came home -- along with not leaving food in the living room and neglecting the dog -- sigh.  It was the first (and for this summer, last) time that I left him alone while I went to work.

post #7 of 74
Quote:
How is OP supposed to explain to her son that she should accept that other mom's desires, when the other mom turns around and goes "sure you can play", because she doesn't want to tell him that he can't. 

 

 

guess the other mom could be mean and nasty and just tell the DS flat out but seems like she went to the OP FIRST and frankly I would not be thrilled if I spoke to the parent and this happened again- would make me think the parent doesn't respect what I feel by just letting the child continue to come over

 

 

the OP has the problem-IMO, her child did not listen to her- he should not be at other homes-IMO without first asking/telling her/letting her know- she stated she told him they could not play and yet he didn't listen to the OP and went again-how is this the fault of the other mom?? The OP's child disobeyed her-the other mom didn't do anything - IMO but be nice when she clearly has every right to say who her child plays with.

 

What makes this all on the other mom's to say NO to the DS?

How is it the OP isn't responsible for her DS's actions? I don't get this making others do the parenting as this seems to be suggesting. 

 

 

post #8 of 74

I can see both sides to this. IMO, let it go and don't leave DS alone home again (sounds like you've already decided that).  Hopefully this blows over.  On one hand yes she should stand up for her rules - in that black and white, you should always follow everything you say way - but if she's a nice mum maybe she didn't want to hurt your DS, who is, after all, still a child.  I can see why she would hesitate to do so face to face with him. 

 

I don't agree with the PP though that you should be expected to control every move of your 13 year old though - that's totally unrealistic, especially when you aren't there.  

post #9 of 74

I would have a hard time bending over backward to support someone else's rule that I didn't agree with.  And I do think it is the other mom's rule.  They may be 13 and 7 now, but when they are 35 and 41 who would care if they hang out?  Also, at 13 I was babysitting 7 year olds!  I played with them and had a fine time.

 

I think you need to talk with mom about what would make it *okay* for them to hang out.  Unless it is her ds who is uncomfortable and has asked mom to limit interaction, I would try to figure out a way to make mom more comfortable.  Constant adult supervision?  Only rated E games?  Only outside where people can see them (riding bikes or whatever)?  

 

Or she needs to tell the op's ds "sorry ds can't play right now sorry." or "I spoke with mom about this already, I know you know the rule. Please go home."

post #10 of 74
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by serenbat View Post

 

 

guess the other mom could be mean and nasty and just tell the DS flat out but seems like she went to the OP FIRST and frankly I would not be thrilled if I spoke to the parent and this happened again- would make me think the parent doesn't respect what I feel by just letting the child continue to come over

 

 

the OP has the problem-IMO, her child did not listen to her- he should not be at other homes-IMO without first asking/telling her/letting her know- she stated she told him they could not play and yet he didn't listen to the OP and went again-how is this the fault of the other mom?? The OP's child disobeyed her-the other mom didn't do anything - IMO but be nice when she clearly has every right to say who her child plays with.

 

What makes this all on the other mom's to say NO to the DS?

How is it the OP isn't responsible for her DS's actions? I don't get this making others do the parenting as this seems to be suggesting. 

 

 

 

Um... your child has never disobeyed you?  I would *love* to know how you got that to work!!!  He's 12.  He doesn't always listen and/or remember what I said at 7 AM on Monday by 4 PM on Wednesday, yk?  I didn't say it was all on the other mom and I do respect that she has the right to say who does and doesn't play with her children.  I did discipline my child for the disobedience.  But yes, I would have preferred her to politely say "I'm really sorry but X can't play".   The way it stands now my DS thinks that I was lying when I said that other mom didn't want him to come up to play.

post #11 of 74

While the other mom certainly has the right to screen and decide who her child plays with, I think she is overstepping her bounds by wanting to control every other person who may want to play with her child. I think she will have better success teaching her child how to respond to his environment (i.e. choosing "appropriate" playmates) than having the environment (i.e. other people) respond to her wants.

post #12 of 74

I think i'd want to talk about it to ds WITH the other mom.  She doesn't get to not be the "bad guy" here.  If she's serious about it then she needs to step up a little.  She asked you to deal with it, you really tried, and her inability/unwillingness to back you up has now made you a liar in your son's eyes - i'd be MAJOR pissed about that if i were you.  It's NOT acceptable for her to tell you that she doesn't want him around then throw the door open to him if he shows up.

 

Say to her "i have now told him repeatedly you'd rather he didn't come up to play with DS7, but since you then DID let him play when he came up last week/whenever it was he now thinks i'm a liar so he may well come up again.  Your changing your mind that time has totally undermined me in his eyes.  This time PLEASE be honest with him about your desires."

post #13 of 74
Quote:
Originally Posted by serenbat View Post

 

 

guess the other mom could be mean and nasty and just tell the DS flat out but seems like she went to the OP FIRST and frankly I would not be thrilled if I spoke to the parent and this happened again- would make me think the parent doesn't respect what I feel by just letting the child continue to come over

 

 

the OP has the problem-IMO, her child did not listen to her- he should not be at other homes-IMO without first asking/telling her/letting her know- she stated she told him they could not play and yet he didn't listen to the OP and went again-how is this the fault of the other mom?? The OP's child disobeyed her-the other mom didn't do anything - IMO but be nice when she clearly has every right to say who her child plays with.

 

What makes this all on the other mom's to say NO to the DS?

How is it the OP isn't responsible for her DS's actions? I don't get this making others do the parenting as this seems to be suggesting. 

 

 

This isn't about expecting others to do the parenting. It's about the other mom being totally inconsistent. When OP tells her son that the other mom doesn't want OP's ds playing with her son, and OP's ds doesn't agree with or understand that rule (he's 13, and he's not an automaton - he's going to press on some things, especially when he doesn't get it), the other mom is going to have to stand by her own rule. OP basically told her son that he's not to go play with neighbour's son, because the neighbour doesn't like it. OP's son (being 13) went ahead and tried, presumably because he likes the kid...and the mom who supposedly doesn't want him to come play said "yeah, sure". OP's credibility with her own son has been undermined, because she's clearly misrepresented the other mom's rule (from OP: DS says "Mom, you are wrong, X's mom will let X play with me.")

 

Yes - OP needs to reinforce that he's not supposed to go play at the neighbour's house. Her son clearly did something he wasn't allowed to do. But, unless she lies to her ds and claims that she doesn't want him there (which I totally disagree with, on every level), the boy is going to know that it's supposedly the other mom who doesn't want him there. Then, when he tries his luck...boom! Guess what? Mom was wrong. Neighbour is totally okay with me being there.

 

If I have a house rule that affects visitors, it's up to me, not anyone else, to tell them that.

 

I tell kids they can't come over to play with my kids, or my kids can't come out, or whatever, all the time. There is absolutely no way in which that qualifies as parenting the other child. If OP's neighbour doesn't want to enforce her own rules, maybe she shouldn't bother having them. It boggles my mind that someone would say, "sure - come on in and play to a kid", then go to the mother and say, "he's not allowed to come over here". Yes - he is! You let him in!

 

 

ETA: Nobody said, or suggested, that the other mom has to be "mean and nasty". She can simply say, "I'm sorry - you can't play with ds. I told your mom about this, and I thought she'd told you." Done.


Edited by Storm Bride - 7/16/12 at 3:49pm
post #14 of 74
Quote:
 The way it stands now my DS thinks that I was lying when I said that other mom didn't want him to come up to play.

 

 

How was the mom to know you really talked to your DS? Sounds like she is the one being nice here-she easily could have been rude and told him but thought that should be your responsibility. She should have hurt your DS's feeling and sent him home to an empty home? Who knows if she felt bad for your child being left alone or not.

 

Personally I would have done what this other mother did- talk to you first and see the you take responsibility at your end. If you work you are still responsible if your child breaks into a neighbors home and causes damage, etc, if your child can not follow your rules you need to set up an alternative plan- a care taker for him, etc. that what most people have to do.

If your DS disobeys you that is your responsibility to deal with the discipline not someone else.  Blaming the other mother doesn't mean she has to allow your DS to play with hers- that's crazy! If someone had this much problem (and I was that mother) I don't know that I would want the DD's even playing anymore- you really seem to want to blame her for it all.

 

 

 

Quote:
with, I think she is overstepping her bounds by wanting to control every other person who may want to play with her child.

way I read this- the other mother has every right- this is HER home, it's not free and open to who ever- a lot different than being out in public

 

 

 

 

Quote:
They may be 13 and 7 now, but when they are 35 and 41 who would care if they hang out? 

maybe the OP's child should hang out with 18+ year olds instead of 7 year olds and maybe the OP would have an issue with it and if so, that should be respected as well

 

I really don't get forcing this child to have to play with another in this way.

post #15 of 74
Quote:
Originally Posted by serenbat 

 

 

 

way I read this- the other mother has every right- this is HER home, it's not free and open to who ever- a lot different than being out in public

 

 

so why doesn't she enforce her own rules?

If I keep letting the Mormons and Jehovah's Witnesses into my home everytime they knock in my door, I have no one to blame but myself if they are encouraged by it and keep doing it.

post #16 of 74

I can definely control who goes into my house but not really who knocks on my door.

post #17 of 74
Quote:
Originally Posted by serenbat View Post

How was the mom to know you really talked to your DS? Sounds like she is the one being nice here-she easily could have been rude and told him but thought that should be your responsibility. She should have hurt your DS's feeling and sent him home to an empty home? Who knows if she felt bad for your child being left alone or not.

 

No, it should not be OP's responsibility - not entirely. If the other mom doesn't want OP's ds to come over, it's basic common sense to say, "no - I'm sorry - you can't come over". If she can't bring herself to believe the other mom talked to her son, then she can leave it at that ("you can't come over") and then talk to OP again to confirm that OP did talk to her ds.

 

So - what's your argument? That the neighbour shouldn't have to "parent" OP's ds (ie. enforcing her own rule), or that she should parent OP's ds (deciding whether he should or shouldn't be sent back to an empty home)?

 

Personally I would have done what this other mother did- talk to you first and see the you take responsibility at your end. If you work you are still responsible if your child breaks into a neighbors home and causes damage, etc, if your child can not follow your rules you need to set up an alternative plan- a care taker for him, etc. that what most people have to do.

If your DS disobeys you that is your responsibility to deal with the discipline not someone else.  Blaming the other mother doesn't mean she has to allow your DS to play with hers- that's crazy! If someone had this much problem (and I was that mother) I don't know that I would want the DD's even playing anymore- you really seem to want to blame her for it all.

 

Who said the other mother has to let OP's ds play with her ds? The only one who did that was the other mom! What does a break-in or causing damage have to do with anything? The other mom basically told the OP's ds that his mom is a liar. OP's mom told her ds that other mom won't allow him play with her ds, then the other mom did let OP's ds play with her ds.

 

 

way I read this- the other mother has every right- this is HER home, it's not free and open to who ever- a lot different than being out in public

 

Yes - it's free and open to whomever the other mom lets in...which includes the OP's ds. The other mom told OP's ds, through her actions, that she doesn't have any rule about him coming over to play with her son.

 

 

maybe the OP's child should hang out with 18+ year olds instead of 7 year olds and maybe the OP would have an issue with it and if so, that should be respected as well

 

I don't get your point here. I hung out with 18 year olds when I was 13.  Some of them weren't great influences, and some were...and some of my 13 year old friends weren't great influences, and some were.  However, I don't see where OP isn't respecting the other mom's rule. She told her son that he's not allowed to go over there. The only parent disrespecting the other mom's rule is the other mom!

 

I really don't get forcing this child to have to play with another in this way.

 

Who is forcing anyone to play with anyone? The other mom let OP's ds come over, after saying he wasn't allowed. This isn't about OP expecting the other mom to parent her son. This is about the other mom expecting OP to be her gatekeeper. If she doesn't want a particular child to come over, then it's her responsibility to say "no" when they come to the door. She actually undermined OP's parental authority. No - OP's ds shouldn't have gone to the other house, after being told that he wasn't allowed...but now the other mom has basically said, "yes - you are allowed".

 

I guess I don't understand why OP should continue to tell her ds that he's not allowed to play with the other mom's ds, when he clearly is allowed to do so. Her ds was reprimanded, because the other mom told his mom he wasn't allowed to play with her ds, and then let him play with her ds.

 

So, really - you think the other mom should go around saying, "this kid can't come to my house" and then letting the same kid come to her house whenever he knocks on the door? You don't think this is sending mixed message, to both OP and her son? OP is trying to enforce the rule, even though she doesn't see the sense in it, out of respect for the other mom's house. The other mom isn't enforcing her own rule, for reasons known only to her.

 

Honestly, if my neighbour was going to play headgames like this with my kid, I wouldn't want my kids going over there at all.

post #18 of 74
Quote:
Originally Posted by grumpybear View Post

so why doesn't she enforce her own rules?

If I keep letting the Mormons and Jehovah's Witnesses into my home everytime they knock in my door, I have no one to blame but myself if they are encouraged by it and keep doing it.

 

This. Exactly. So succinct. :)

post #19 of 74
I think this is mostly your issue but you also should ask the mom to clarify her rules. If at all possible I think you need to find a way to get him involved with other kids his age even if it means expanding his biking distance or dropping him off somewhere. I would take his reluctance to follow the rule you gave him.as a sign of serious boredom not as a sign that he has a burning desire to play with a child half his age. Are there any teen programs at your local pool, community center, boys and girls clubs, YMCA, or libraries? Maybe a 4h group through your local extension agency? Those may be good places to help him meet his need for making friends with peers and most of these types of places offer scholarships to make them accessible for all teens.
post #20 of 74

I think your neighbor is a couple of fries short of a happy meal.

 

First, the notion that all boys who are past puberty are potential predators is crazy and destructive. You would think that the mother of BOY would realize this. I would be tempted to point this out to her (even though its most likely not something that will help the situation). Does she seriously plan to make sure her own son is never near younger children once he is 12 or 13 to ensure he doesn't molest anybody? She is just a loon. Your son is a kid she knows who she can supervise -- she's being crazy.

 

Second, I've got zero respect for a mother who is unable to say the word "no" to a child who is currently at her house. What is that about? I get it for new moms hosting their first play dates -- we've all been there. But she has a 9 year old. By this point, most of us have figured out how to say "no." It's one of those situations what causes me to long for a female phrase that means "grow a pair."

 

I suspect she has some deep seated issues left over from her own childhood that would best be worked our in therapy. Because she is a loon.
 

None the less, this is your DD's friend's mother and you've got no control over her mental health, so they only thing you can do is talk to your son. I'd say something along the lines of:

 

"Mrs. X is a loon. She says one thing to me, and another to you. Because of this I don't trust her. I don't feel her house is a safe place for you play because I feel like she has it in for you and I know she talks negatively about you when  you aren't around. I don't want you to go there any more. I know you like playing with (kid's name) when you are bored, but the situation has gotten weird because the mom is crazy, so it's just out for now. I'm sorry, but there's nothing I can do about it. Would you like a new video game?"

 

I am a survivor of childhood sexual assault - I understand the issue. But I believe our society as a whole as swung so far in the opposite direction that older boys and young men can be accused of things they would NEVER do, and be assumed to be guilty. If I had a son, I would want to protect him from adults who are so busy looking for perpetrators that they sometimes see them where they don't exist, and wreck lives because of it.

 

My kids go to a mixed age school, and there's nothing odd to me about a bored 13 year old playing with a younger child. I think it's nice. I enjoyed playing with my much older and and younger cousins when I was a child. I think its a shame that we live in a society that such a natural thing as different aged neighbors hanging out together is seen potentially evil.

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