Would you address this or just let it go? - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 10 Old 12-31-2009, 05:01 AM - Thread Starter
 
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So we moved from the city to the burbs a little over a year ago. We live on a very small cul de sac. There are two corner houses whose backyards face the cul de sac (their front door is on a different street), and then three houses, including ours, in the actual circle. Kids live in each of the two houses on the corner. In one of them the kids are now 6 and 4, so they were 5 and 3 when we moved in.

A few months after we moved here, the kids got to know each other and started going back and forth to each other's houses. I always made sure my younger ds was with his big brother, and they always went in to the neighbor's backgate, which was in the cul de sac, and I can see and hear from my house. So one day the other two boys ran over here and were playing downstairs. The younger one yelled out to me that he was going home, and he walked out. I'll admit that it didn't really occur to me that he was only 3yo, and I was very new to the whole cul de sac, suburban, in and out of the house thing.

A few months later at a gathering, the mom mentions to me that she was in her backyard, heard her kid say he was coming home, and then waited a second before coming out to see where he was, and he was walking out of the cul de sac down to the main street. (It's not a super busy street, but still not where you want a young child wandering around.)

I was horrified. It never occured to me that he wouldn't have gone home, and it was at that moment that I realized how young he was. I was so completely mortified that I hadn't watched him go home, or done something else to make sure he was safe. Since then, whenever the kids come over, one of the parents is there as well. I don't mind this, and I understand that they feel like they need to be watching what is going on because I can't be trusted.

However, because they feel like one of them must always be here, there are a lot of times my kids want to play that they have to say no because they are busy with something. So I kind of want to say something to them to reassure them that I am not some kind of irresponsible space case, but I also don't want to open some can of worms and put them in an awkward spot. So, what would you do? Just let it go, or try to talk to them about it? We see them often and are very friendly.
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#2 of 10 Old 12-31-2009, 08:56 AM
 
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I'd talk to them, just be honest that it didn't click that he was so young and you didn't think he wouldn't go straight home. Say that you will always watch in future to make sure he makes it home, i think they will be reassured.
I think it was an honest mistake which you have learnt from.

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#3 of 10 Old 12-31-2009, 09:27 AM
 
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Talk to them, but understand it might not change anything.

If DS was in this situation, I would probably be annoyed with him and the older sibling. We would go back over ground rules and try again in a few weeks.

Happy wife to DH superhero.gifand mama to DS signcirc1.gif11/05 and DD energy.gif8/07.
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#4 of 10 Old 12-31-2009, 10:37 AM
 
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I would talk to them.

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#5 of 10 Old 12-31-2009, 10:42 AM
 
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Apologize & then chat with them.

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#6 of 10 Old 12-31-2009, 10:58 AM
 
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I see why that happened, I would have been thrown by his phrasing too. He announced he was going home. I bet $100 that if he had come up to you and said "I wanna go home" you would have walked him over.

Now, that obviously isn't his fault or anything, but I can see how being new to an area, especially coming from city to suburbs, you aren't as familiar with how people do things. I can sort of see how you might think that kids might be allowed to roam a bit more in a quiet cul-de-sac than in your former city neighborhood.

Yeah, you should have watched him go home but I can totally see myself making that mistake too.

Definitely worth it to talk to the other mother, apologize, and explain how it happened and how that incident made you fully put your parent hat back on. I dunno what she'll respond, but I think it's important to clear that up even if she does continue to insist on watching her son.

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#7 of 10 Old 12-31-2009, 01:28 PM
 
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Wait, I do not understand why the OP has to apologize so I have a few questions.

Did the mom contact you and let you know that her boys were coming over? Did she know where they were to begin with? Was there an assumption that you were the parent repsonsible or did these children just show up?
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#8 of 10 Old 12-31-2009, 01:32 PM
 
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Didn't read the pp..

I would just say something to them. You said you were pretty friendly with them. So they would probably be open and inviting to the convo.

Mama to 14yo, 9yo, 7yo, and babe born 9/2012
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#9 of 10 Old 12-31-2009, 01:34 PM
 
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Especially since you are friendly with this family, I would definitely talk about it with them. I would probably go about it by taking over some cookies or something, and telling them you wanted to talk to them about something. I would more or less outline what you said in your original post, apologizing, and emphasizing that you really are more responsible than that situation may have shown you to be. I would also let them know that you understand if they still feel the need to be there with their children when they play, but you wanted to talk to them about the past incident nonetheless.

Really, the worst I could see happening would be that they continue to accompany their children to you home-but hopefully, opening up communication like this will open up opportunities for the children to play together more, because they'll be comfortable sending them back and forth.

jamie. crinkly (not quite crunchy) mama to 3 amazing little girls, an awesome little boy, and a baby girl making her debut at the end of this summer.

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#10 of 10 Old 12-31-2009, 03:48 PM
 
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I think it's irresponsible to set a 3 year old out into the neighborhood with a sibling or not- and expect the parent (who hasn't even technically invited the children over) to keep an eye on them. If you're that worried about your child you ask the person if they are ok at your house.

I don't think you need to apologize for anything.

(I don't allow children to wander in and out of my house for this very reason, it makes me nervous that something bad will happen on "my watch" so I need to know if a child is coming to play-then I'm in charge of their safety.)
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