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#61 of 88 Old 01-12-2011, 11:58 AM
 
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nm. Not invested enough.

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#62 of 88 Old 01-12-2011, 12:26 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I take exception to your black and white view. I don't mind at all that some people have weighed in and said that they wouldn't think twice about the situation. Good to know.

 

But you have decided that my husband's perceptions are pathological. You have decided I'm an enabler. Even though this situation is clearly not black and white - plenty of people in this thread have said their antennae would go up.

 

What exactly is my 5 year old oblivious to? How did you leap to the very bizarre conclusion that when middle school hits we're going to be dealing with all these pathological issues? Because we're not entirely ready to send our 5 year old to a playdate alone to somebody's house she's only been to twice? I guess to be normal and healthy we should be shuffling her out the door the moment someone requests it (nevermind that SHE hasn't requested it).

 

It's utterly bizarre to me to read evidence that people think that they know exactly what a situation is - and wow, you can even foresee the future of entirely unrelated events! Again, you'll note I haven't bristled at people who thought DH MIGHT be overreacting. Only to you, who says he absolutely IS.

 

Oh, by the way, it's a little ironic that you say that people's experiences warp their perceptions. I think that your experiences in counseling must have warped yours.

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#63 of 88 Old 01-12-2011, 12:37 PM
 
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hug.gif and clap.gif to Seashells. I'd also be highly offended by that post.

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Originally Posted by seashells View Post

I take exception to your black and white view. I don't mind at all that some people have weighed in and said that they wouldn't think twice about the situation. Good to know.

 

But you have decided that my husband's perceptions are pathological. You have decided I'm an enabler. Even though this situation is clearly not black and white

 


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#64 of 88 Old 01-12-2011, 12:48 PM
 
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.

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#65 of 88 Old 01-12-2011, 01:17 PM
 
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Seashells, I'd be offended, too, by the assumption that your dh is warped. I agree with you that it's cool that some posters would see no red flags in the situation you've described -- and it's also cool that some of us would, like your dh, be a little put off by Dee's seeming pushiness about the whole matter. It's just kind of weird that she can accept her own son's unreadiness to go to your house alone -- but isn't willing to just let things unfold naturally with your dd. I'm not saying it means she has ulterior motives -- but I can't help wondering, why the hurry? Of course, I say this from the perspective of being a mom with a 5 and 10yo, so I know how quickly kids grow, and today's issues become non-issues and then new issues take their place, LOL.

 

And I absolutely agree with you that it's silly to think that a child who's not ready to go alone to playdates at age five is going to still not be ready in middle school! This reminds me of the folks who say things like, "If you don't wean your baby from the breast by age one and have her using the toilet by age two, she'll still be nursing and wearing diapers when she goes off to college."

 

I have to remember that many people really do believe that there's no such thing as an inner clock, and that kids won't develop unless they're forced to, you know, kind of like how it's so useful to pry open the petals of those roses. Those of us who trust our children and follow their lead are actually seen as "warped" by many. Oh well. I wish them good luck dealing with their prejudices!


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#66 of 88 Old 01-12-2011, 03:26 PM
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Wow, sorry this thread has gotten judgmental and insulting. I think your DH is being perfectly reasonable and see value in his trusting his instincts.

 

I think using caution in making decisions that effect our children is better than ignoring our instincts and inner voices. I've already said that our 5 year old doesn't do drop off playdates yet. There are a couple of moms I'd trust enough to drop my DD off with them, but I know them a lot better than 3 playdates and we've still just had parent child playdates so far. For example, one mom is also the 2s and 3s  teacher at our co-op preschool. Our kids were in the same class last year so I've seen personally how patient she is with children. Her DS has a very high energy inquisitive temperament, just like my DD. I've seen enough of her gentle respectful parenting style enough to know she'd deal appropriately with any situations that could arise while my DD was at her house. I couldn't begin to count the number of times my DD has been around her and interacted with her.

 

Not being comfortable dropping my DD off at a friends house when I don't know the parent extremely well doesn't mean I think some one wants to abuse her. It does mean that I'm not sure if other parents would deal with my DD in a way I approve of in all possible situations. It also means I don't think my 5 year is emotionally equipped to deal with a caregiver with a vastly differing parenting style yet.  I've also said the kids my DD is friends with don't seem to do drop off play dates except for a few close long term friendships. I don't know if it's because we're mostly moms from the co-op preschool or if it's just my community. Maybe parents who choose a co-op find personally supervising their young children a more important issue, or again it could just be my community.

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#67 of 88 Old 01-13-2011, 08:12 AM
 
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I am apparently on the far edge of the bell curve in comfort about this stuff--my daughter frequently goes on playdates (we just call them babysitting) without me and she's only 2.5.  Mostly with a couple of awesome mamas I met through MDC (*wave*) but also with other people I have known for years.  It was especially common towards the end of my last heinous pregnancy.  We are currently starting a babysitting co-op and we will be doing way more of this in the months to come.

 

So now that I have established that I am WAY more liberal on this issue than most folks in this thread... if your husband feels funny I wouldn't question it in the slightest and I would be 100% supportive of him being nervous.  I also have a history of extreme abuse and I completely trust my spidey sense.  I turn down or accept playdates/babysitting based on my gut instinct about people.  I'm very quick to judge people and I haven't been wrong in a very long time.  I don't feel bad in the slightest about saying, "I don't feel comfortable with that".  Go you and your husband for doing what feels right for your family. :)  We have an awesome mama in our playgroup who is really uncomfortable with the idea of joining a babysitting co-op with so young a child and I 100% support her in that decision.  My theory is that at the end of the day we are all going to have to face ourselves in the mirror for the rest of our lives.  We should worry only about what makes ourselves happy/comfortable/safe and not prioritize other peoples desires.

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#68 of 88 Old 01-13-2011, 05:10 PM
 
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"Also, I really have a problem with the idea expressed by some that a "history of abuse" is any kind of a reason not to take oneself seriously. Remember, the OP's husband was the victim and not the perpetrator. He doesn't deserve to go through life with "history of abuse" tacked on to him, forever affecting his wife's ability to take his parental hunches seriously. I'm not saying that seashells has let this affect her respect for her husband's opinions -- it just seems that some here are encouraging her to let this be a factor in how she hears what he has to say."

 

 

I agree.

 

My husband experienced abuse from a cousin when he was a child, and decades later he was watching how his sister's daughter was interacting with our son, and he got the huge heebeejeebees.  He spoke up to me, we quietly changed the situation, and we've now just casually not let the girl be alone with DS at all.  Before that, though, I posted on a very mainstream (not parenting-specific but with a lot of different people of different backgrounds) board about the exact situation, and every single person, to a one, agreed with my husband that her behavior was WAY off for a girl of her age, and that he was right to speak up. 

 

I would have thought "oh, cousins don't do that to cousins, you're being silly", and in fact I did, sort of, think that.  My good-cousin past blinded me to the reality of what might have been going on with this cousins of my son.

 

 

 

If the friend were saying "my son wants to have a playdate, can she come over" that's VERY different than the adult just asking for a child to come over.  But then I wouldn't be sending a 5 year old to play with a 4 year old without me there...too young for me!  Unless it were a babysitting situation where I needed the help (but the one alone babysitting time DS had with his own grandma went weird, when she invited some friend over, a friend who weirded my son out so much he still, 2 years later, thinks about it, but he never had the words to describe how she weirded him out).

 

If Dee's son isn't ready for alone-playdates yet, surely she can understand that your daughter isn't either.

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#69 of 88 Old 01-13-2011, 06:52 PM
 
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I totally agree that if your husband is not comfortable with it, then no way should you do it.

 

I wonder if her child is having some separation anxiety and she thinks if he sees a friend he likes going to play dates alone, it will inspire him to give it a try?

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#70 of 88 Old 01-13-2011, 07:55 PM
 
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Personally if one parent has an issue with the play date it doesn't happen. I have a history of abuse and I'm very hesitant to allow the girls to go over unaccompanied, especially at an age where they couldn't tell me what happened during the play date. DD1 is just about 4 (turns 4 end of the month) and it will probably be at least another 1-2 years before I think about having her go over for an unaccompanied play date. I don't mind hosting them as long as I'm comfortable with the parents but I don't have my girls go over to other people's houses unaccompanied. When they are old enough to pick up a phone and call me to tell me to pick them up they can go over to someone's house. Before then Nope, not happening. Even then it will only be OK if both DH and I agree on them going over, if one of us or the other says no then its a no go.

 

OP, I would follow my husband's lead on this one. Its better to wait a while then for either of you to be uncomfortable with something/somewhere your daughter is. Might be nothing or it might be his Daddy senses telling him something isn't right.

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#71 of 88 Old 01-13-2011, 09:00 PM
 
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Blind post (hope that I'm not being repetitive)

 

I'm a strong believer that each parent is given a parental voice that is unique to their child, a sort of "frequency" if you will.  What may be a no big deal for one family group may be a cause for alarm for another family group and that is okay.  I think it can be dangerous to ignore that inner voice.  However, I also believe that if we've spent many years of our lives ignoring that inner voice (i.e. instinct), then we may not be able to "hear" it clearly.   What I would do in your situation is somewhat irrelevant given that I'm not "tuned in" to your child's frequency, does this make any sense?  But if you decide to not send her over alone, then you should explain to Dee that you and your spouse feel content with the current level of friendship and would prefer for your child to have playdates without a parent present when she is a little older.  If she doesn't have an "agenda" at all, she should easily respect your decision and move on.  If she gets upset or defensive, then it is a sign that perhaps solo playdates are off the table.  What are your thoughts on that, seashells?

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#72 of 88 Old 01-14-2011, 08:13 PM
 
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There's nothing wrong with not wanting your young child to go on playdates alone.

 

I admit, if I found out that the parent of one of my child's friends thought I was a creep with an agenda because I invited the child to my home, I'd be deeply, deeply hurt, and would probably not want to continue to associate with people who thought so little of me.

 

Keep saying no to the playdates if that is what you are comfortable with, but make it clear to your friend that the decision is based on your level of comfort, not the fact that your husband suspects her of something nefarious.

 

And for the record, no I don't think there is anything wrong with a parent asking a child's friend over to play. When my kids have someone over to play, I use that time to do my own housework or whatever. It wouldn't want to feel obligated to entertain another adult every single time my kids wanted to play with their friends.

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#73 of 88 Old 01-14-2011, 08:38 PM
 
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I've read most of this thread and say follow you and your DH's instincts.

I absolutely would not let DD go over at age 4 and 5.

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#74 of 88 Old 01-18-2011, 10:40 AM
 
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I would trust my husband.  I also think "playdates" are overrated.  Most children spend hours each week with other children - either siblings, at daycare, or at school.  There is no special need for extra time with friends until a child is much older ~middle-school aged. I cannot tell how much I witnessed/experienced as a young kid (4-9) back in the days of limited parental supervision in the late 70s/early 80s.  And it was less of a matter of adults perpetrating abuse; more often, it was the kids doing it....

 

That said, I don't judge anyone who does participate in playdates, just that they are not a priority for me.


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#75 of 88 Old 01-19-2011, 11:02 PM
 
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I was rereading this a little (even though I should be in bed, ha!).

 

I don't get why some people seem to think that Dee has been terribly insistant about the whole thing? From the OP's first post I get the impression that Dee asked twice. The first time when the parents said dd wasn't comfortable going over by herself and once when Dee asked their dd if she was ready to come over by herself yet.

 

I'm wondering if the OP and her husband have made it clear that they don't feel comfortable leaving dd at a playdate, or if the response was somewhat a vague "oh we may do it sometime in the near future". Saying, "We don't feel comfortable leaving dd unless one of us stays" is clear and direct. Saying, "Oh well we aren't sure dd would be comfortable with that" leaves the door open for the possibility that it could happen if dd said it was fine, so that could be the reason for asking again.

 

I had a situation like that recently with a friend. I had offered to take her out for a drink for her birthday, and she acted like she really wanted to go (she had bought me a drink for my birthday and I thought we had a good time that night). Each time I would try to nail down a time though, she was tired, or this or that. I asked her a few times before finally giving up, because she was implying (in my mind) that it would be something she would like to do. It left me feeling a little hurt and confused. If she didn't like the idea at all I would much rather that she said that the first time I asked her.

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#76 of 88 Old 01-20-2011, 07:45 AM
 
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Our kids don't go places alone with other people, unless it's to my MIL/SILs house. Nobody else. We have many good friends...our circle is small, tight and loving toward our children. There is no one in it we don't trust. Doesn't matter, it's a policy. Period. I do have abuse/dysfunction in my background and that experience has taught me that often, perpetrators of violence against kids are not the strange men leering from an alleyway...but rather, that REALLY nice uncle or the "most popular dad, who all the kids LOVE!" - yeah. Uh-uh. We have friends who have two precious kids and are pretty much the best parents I know, I was talking with the mama one day when I was pregnant with my first and said "How do I know who to trust" - she said, easy....you trust YOU first. Their policy was the same one we've adopted. Nobody, no way, no how, watches their kids when they are not there. Since having our children, we have decided that is what we feel best about doing. Our kids are still young, 1.5 and 2.5, but this will be our policy until we feel comfortable..that may be well into their preteens/teens...who knows? In the meantime, EVERYONE knows about the policy, so no one gets their feelings hurt. I'm not wierd about it...but if someone offers "Hey, leave Avery with me and go get your shopping done" - I just tell them, thats so sweet, thank you, but we're kind of weird and have a policy about leaving the kids places. It makes us nervous and they're still young, so we don't do it!" - nobody has ever thought this was weird before!

 

 

My intuition and general sense of comfort has guided me very, very well in life. Through dating, picking the right man for me, pregnancy and birthing...my career, when I still worked. Everything from choosing a home to deciding whether to make the drive to the store in crappy weather...or dig in the freezer for something to cook for dinner...I use my gut hunches and they never steer me wrong. I don't care if your DH doesn't want your kid there because he doesn't like the way it smells or he thinks the curtains are weird.....if his gut is sayin "no"...you roll with that, EVERY time.

 

When it comes to my kids and my gut instinct, if I'm getting red flags, I don't care if it looks rude, if I seem weird or crazy...or whatever else. I don't ever, ever ignore my gut with my kids.

 

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#77 of 88 Old 01-20-2011, 07:57 AM
 
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I say trust your husband's feelings.  Even without those feelings, I would not let my 4 year old go on a play date by herself.  Maybe I am paranoid or over protective.. whatever.. it seems like too young for me.

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#78 of 88 Old 01-20-2011, 11:53 AM
 
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I've only read a few responses, but wanted to say the first time I did a drop off with Milo was since he's been 7, except for one very dear friend who was almost family to us.  And in her case, we traded our children back and forth bc they love each other and it really did make it easier for us to get a little something done if we had both of them, or, obviously, neither of them.  So, I would not be at all surprised if that is her motive.  So, although I don't see any flags going up...  I do think it's perfectly reasonable to not want your 5yo to do *any* drop offs.  

 

I really don't understand how everyone feels so comfortable dropping their kids off, ever.  (Not referring to anything in this thread, as I've only read a few of the responses.)  I *never* feel comfortable even when I feel very good about the other family.  I feel like you just never know.  There have certainly been times when I've had a bad feeling about someone and then it's been confirmed later, but I bet it happens even more often that I don't get a weird vibe but there is something to be wary of, kwim?  So, I'm really dreading when this becomes more of a thing as mine get older.  

 

So far, he's had two drop off playdates with kids from school, both in the last 2 mos or so, actually, and I felt really good about both of the families, though I haven't spent a ton of time with them.  Both of the kids have been at his school for a couple of years and it's a small school  (only 12 kids in his class, only 20 kids between 5 and 9 yrs old).  Other people that I've known well have been close to both of these families.  Their kids seem very well adjusted (I don't need for the kids to be perfectly behaved, at all, but if they're not acting in a fairly normal age appropriate way, that would make me worried that something was going on).  And truthfully, these two moms make me feel like a bit of a slug bc they are so dedicated and involved and really pay attention to their kids in such a nice and respectful and loving way.  (I am of course some of all of those things, but these two do it with boundless energy, it seems.)   I also really liked both the moms and the dads.  

 

But even so...  ack, you really can never know.  Maybe I am tainted by my time as a criminal defense attny, working for clients who did *really* bad things.  There were a couple who you could see were wacko from across the room, but most of them seemed so normal and just fine and there were several that I actually really thought highly of, though of course they had done horrible violent things.  These were not people that I would normally run across in my daily life bc they were from a different socio-economic place, but I know that people do bad things at all income and educational levels, and can still appear to be very normal and decent.


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#79 of 88 Old 01-21-2011, 10:17 AM
 
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Well, the abuse thing goes both ways. It might be a factor clouding my DH's judgment. At the same time, it might be a factor clarifying his judgment.

 

I like this way of putting it. Because I know first-hand the devastation of abuse and the hard work it takes to move on, I'm not willing to put my children in that position. I will do what I reasonably can to avoid that experience for them. If that means that they cannot go on play dates alone until they're older than 4 or 5, then that's what it means. I would much rather that than to permit them to go (when they're not even asking in the first place!) and find out later that they something bad happened to them there. This does not in any way mean that my kids aren't having a "normal" childhood. Heck, the whole formal invitation playdate thing is really new in the world of parenting anyway.


  


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#80 of 88 Old 01-21-2011, 01:36 PM
 
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Well, the abuse thing goes both ways. It might be a factor clouding my DH's judgment. At the same time, it might be a factor clarifying his judgment.

 

I like this way of putting it. Because I know first-hand the devastation of abuse and the hard work it takes to move on, I'm not willing to put my children in that position. I will do what I reasonably can to avoid that experience for them. If that means that they cannot go on play dates alone until they're older than 4 or 5, then that's what it means. I would much rather that than to permit them to go (when they're not even asking in the first place!) and find out later that they something bad happened to them there. This does not in any way mean that my kids aren't having a "normal" childhood. Heck, the whole formal invitation playdate thing is really new in the world of parenting anyway.


  


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#81 of 88 Old 01-21-2011, 01:55 PM
 
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Heck, the whole formal invitation playdate thing is really new in the world of parenting anyway.
  



This is so true! I'm much happier, frankly, with the general rule that my children play outdoors on the block where I can see them. I think this is so much easier for all of the parents, too. Of course, it's hard now because of the cold, so our social lives are focused more on church and having a few friends over here to play. I feel kind of blessed that none of my dds' friends' parents are pushing for the get-togethers to be in their homes, everyone seems pretty happy with it being at our house. My 10yo did recently spend some time at the home of our neighbors, who we are comfortable with, but her friend's little brother, who was four, was really wild and kept attacking my dd, so she and her friend have decided it's better if she comes to play at our house. Which is totally cool with me.


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#82 of 88 Old 01-21-2011, 02:36 PM
 
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Your husband's gut instincts should be honored and it's awesome that you agree. Imagine if the roles were reversed: a mama here had weird or bad gut feelings about another parent, who was repeatedly asking for alone time with their child (even to the point of asking the young child if she wanted to come over by herself--so inappropriate IMHO), but the DH didn't share those weird feelings and thought it would be fine. How many posters in this thread would tell the mama she was probably overreacting because of her past history of abuse, that she should just let her DH make the executive decision and that it was all in her head?

The refrain I see most often on MDC is, "Trust your gut." That this is a good policy in general is borne out by the research and by most people's anecdotal experiences. An entire book (The Gift of Fear) has been written about how our gut instincts protect us from danger and we ignore them at our own peril.

Your husband has a bad feeling about this woman, so the solo playdate doesn't happen--period. His history of abuse may be making him more likely to see red flags that others might miss. Personally, as someone with my own abuse history, I would be very creeped out by her insistence and the fact that she appeared to be trying to pressure my child since my DH was reluctant. Not cool, and while it may be totally innocent, why take that chance? I'd say no too.

 

 


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When a stupid man is doing something he is ashamed of, he always declares that it is his duty. --George Bernard Shaw

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#83 of 88 Old 01-22-2011, 06:03 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Your husband has a bad feeling about this woman

 



Just to be clear, he doesn't have a bad feeling about Dee. Well, perhaps I'm being presumptuous by saying that, but I know my husband does not voluntarily spend a minute of time hanging out with people he has a bad feeling about. And since I've started this thread, the unfolding friendship has continued. He's seen her (with DD and her son), we've seen her (ditto DD and her son and also her husband), plans have been made for the future as well. 

 

It was just the request itself that he wasn't comfortable with. I'm sure he will be comfortable in the future. I don't think Dee was out of line to make it, either, it just is what it is.

 

Some of this has only become clearer to me after starting the thread.

 

Since starting this thread, I've concluded that there is no problem. I was always more comfortable with it, so I never thought Dee was out of line to ask. And I feel comfortable that DH is not out of line to not be ready yet. It will probably just be a matter of easing into it. Last time we saw them, Dee actually took DD and her son to a different area of the public place we were in and left DH and I to talk with some other people. DD was out of our sight (though we could have gone to find her) and DH was perfectly fine with it. So I think this is really a non-issue.

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#84 of 88 Old 01-22-2011, 06:12 AM
 
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I would trust my husband.  I also think "playdates" are overrated.  Most children spend hours each week with other children - either siblings, at daycare, or at school.  There is no special need for extra time with friends until a child is much older ~middle-school aged. I cannot tell how much I witnessed/experienced as a young kid (4-9) back in the days of limited parental supervision in the late 70s/early 80s.  And it was less of a matter of adults perpetrating abuse; more often, it was the kids doing it....

 

That said, I don't judge anyone who does participate in playdates, just that they are not a priority for me.


I'm sorry you had a bad experience as a child but I strongly disagree from a developmental perspective. I think it's important for children to spend time playing with just one other child. I can't imagine feeling that it isn't important until MIDDLE SCHOOL.

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#85 of 88 Old 01-22-2011, 10:25 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by suzywan View Post

I would trust my husband.  I also think "playdates" are overrated.  Most children spend hours each week with other children - either siblings, at daycare, or at school.  There is no special need for extra time with friends until a child is much older ~middle-school aged. I cannot tell how much I witnessed/experienced as a young kid (4-9) back in the days of limited parental supervision in the late 70s/early 80s.  And it was less of a matter of adults perpetrating abuse; more often, it was the kids doing it....

 

That said, I don't judge anyone who does participate in playdates, just that they are not a priority for me.


I'm sorry you had a bad experience as a child but I strongly disagree from a developmental perspective. I think it's important for children to spend time playing with just one other child. I can't imagine feeling that it isn't important until MIDDLE SCHOOL.

Why is it important, developmentally, to play with only one other child?  In how many cultures around the world it is the norm to have playdates of this kind? In any case, most children would get that experience, either from family or the children of family friends who visit when the parents visit.  I suppose if one is an extreme introvert with an only child and no cousins, etc, it would be important to have them involved in playdates of this nature. 

 

I suppose middle school is a bit extreme - more like 3rd grade or so, when the child can make appropriate decisions (to a degree).

 

No abuse was visited on me per se, I just witnessed a lot.  I think it's more the rule rather than an exception.  Children aren't socialized well by other children, they need adult involvement.  Not to the point of hovering, but enough so things don't get out of hand.
 


me, my man, and our boys (1/08 and 3/11)
 

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#86 of 88 Old 01-22-2011, 12:03 PM
 
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I invited kids over to play when my daughter was that age too.  I didn't want the parents there, because I just wanted my daughter to have someone to play with.  I didn't want to host adults too.  I wanted someone to keep my daughter busy while I cleaned, or packed.

 

I didn't really send my child to someone's house very often without me either.  But, I certainly wouldn't be suspicious or wonder what the motives were.  

 

The motives are probably just normal.  "We don't want to entertain the grownups, but we'd love it if our son had someone to play with for a few hours".

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#87 of 88 Old 05-16-2011, 11:44 AM - Thread Starter
 
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So, this is ancient but some people enjoy knowing how a story ends, so here goes. The topic eventually came up again with Dee, and DH finally blurted out that he just wasn't comfortable with having DD under anyone else's care just yet. Dee took it well. I'm sure she must have had some thoughts about it but just let it be. DH later emailed her and told her he hoped he didn't make her feel bad, and that it was his issue and had nothing to do with her. She said it was fine and indeed she seemed just as happy to get together and hang out as always.

 

So more time passes (months) and she doesn't push him anymore again. I don't either. We continue to get together, and I would say DH and Dee have gotten to be pretty good friends, actually. I mean, me and Dee too but Dee and DH seem to have more in common and click especially well. Last week, he came home with DD from somewhere, and he had bumped into Dee. He told me that he told her that he had thought about it and he was cool with it now. I didn't grill him about his thought process, I just said "great" and started making plans with Dee for a kid exchange, lol.

 

So, yay, a little time and lack of pressure and everyone's happy. That is all!

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#88 of 88 Old 05-16-2011, 05:32 PM
 
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Thank you so much for updating us! I'm glad everything worked out great!


Susan -- married unschoolin' WAHMomma to two lovely girls (born 2000 and 2005).
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