SD's friend can't come over any more...and here's why. - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 120 Old 10-19-2007, 12:11 PM - Thread Starter
 
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My SD, 5, had a friend (another girl, about 6) over last weekend. They played, it was uneventful, etc. She wants to have the friend over again this weekend, and the friend's mom said no.

*Why* she said no had me flipping mad:

1. While the mom knew SD's parents were divorced, she didn't realize it's was SD's DAD here, and not her mom.

2. She will not allow her child anywhere that a male will be the primary supervision of her daughter.

3. When my SO (who was already offended at the implication of #2, but kept that to himself while on the phone) told her that I was there the whole time, she said: "Well, she's not the mother. She's the stepmother. I'm sorry, but that doesn't count." When my SO asked if, then, the playdates could occur at her house or somewhere in public, she said, "no, I don't think it's in my child's best interest to play with a child who's dad is flaunting the other woman. Goodbye." Click.

(For the record...I am not the "other woman.")

Grr. SD, so far, has just been told that her friend can't play this weekend. My SO and I are both insulted.

Any advice on how, or whether, to tell SD that she can't see her friend any more? (She met this girl through a park program, which she's since outgrown, and she doesn't go to the same school. So this is probably it.)

Is this normal? Are we really at this point where all males are automatically disqualified as caregivers, even for an afternoon at the playground? (What would this woman do if her child had a male teacher -- or "worse," a male speech therapist who meets one-on-one?) Are children who are being raised by single dads just not allowed to have friends over at all?

Any insights will be helpful. Thanks.

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#2 of 120 Old 10-19-2007, 12:22 PM
 
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I would be completely offended, too, and honestly, I'd be concerned about my child at THEIR house. Sounds like something is very off balance there.

What a shame -- I feel sad for that family, how very limited in their thinking. I suppose something may have happened to make them react that way, but either way it's sad to have a loving father not able to be in the picture. That's not the state of the society I want to live in.

Talking to your daughter, I don't know...I'll be interested to see what others say. I'd be tempted to let the topic quietly go away as far as your daughter is concerned. You could tell her that her friend can't come over this weekend and y'all could find something else fun to do.

I'm sorry you had to go through this!
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#3 of 120 Old 10-19-2007, 12:24 PM
 
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I have to know any males who are the caregivers of my children for any amount of time. I feel that it's best for the child and the man involved. I wouldn't let my husband be the caregiver of someone else's child because I would fear for my husband's safety if the girl did get abused somewhere else and my dh became a suspect. I know without a doubt that he wouldn't abuse a child, he doesn't even really like other people's children, so he would never willingly babysit anyway. I have let men watch my children before, but only after I felt very comfortable with it.

I remember once when I let a father watch my son on a playdate with his daughter, he was shocked. He was a SAHD and apparently, he'd been turned down for hosting playdates many times. I found that kind of sad.

But you were there, so it's a non-issue anyway, right? It sounds like maybe this woman has been cheated on and now sees you as a homewrecker without knowing the facts. She's got issues that are not your issues. It's sad for your daughter, but it's better to let these people go. Most people are not freaky like that (I hope).

I hope your daughter finds another good friend soon.
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#4 of 120 Old 10-19-2007, 12:29 PM
 
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: i wonder where that would have left me, had i wanted to be her dd's friend -- raised by my dad after mum split with the "other man" (and flaunted him quite proudly, i might add. anywho, i digress.)

it sounds like this mom has ISSUES. i'd be tempted to write a snarky letter outlining the points you raised, but that probably wouldn't help things. : i would maybe tell sd (if she asked) that this wasnt a good weekend for her friend to play. how sad that these kids lose a friend due to an irrational mom.

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#5 of 120 Old 10-19-2007, 12:29 PM
 
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That's horrible and offensive and ridiculous, IMO. I am so sorry for you and your family that you had to go through this.

I think how I'd handle it with your SD would depend on how close she is with the other kid. If you think there's a good chance that she'd forget about the other kid, I'd just leave it as "it didn't work out for this weekend, sweetie. do you want to invite someone else to play?" and then not bring up the other kid again. If this is a very special friend, someone SD will really miss, then I think maybe I would wait until SD asked about it and then leave out a lot of detail, and just say that her friend can't play anymore and you don't really understand why. And then you can talk about how it's sad when we don't see friends any more, and what she could do to make some new special friends.

Again, my heart goes out to you all.
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#6 of 120 Old 10-19-2007, 12:35 PM
 
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I'm just really sorry about this, and I agree with the previous posters.

I do think I'd tend to be a little more cautious if my daughters were going to be cared for by a man--I'd make an effort to get to know him personally, and forgive me, but I'd probably do a little background checking. Fair or not (b/c I probably wouldn't do it for a woman), that's just what my instinct would have me do.

But this woman has made no such effort, and her subsequent comments betray the fact that what she really has a problem with is your quote-unquote "lifestyle," rather than your SO. I feel angry at her and sad for her kid--and yours.
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#7 of 120 Old 10-19-2007, 12:38 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by lisa49 View Post
I have to know any males who are the caregivers of my children for any amount of time. I feel that it's best for the child and the man involved.
This, I have no problem with...I like to at least know who I'm dropping SD off with, regardless of gender. I understand an abundance of caution.

And SD does have other friends, but she's very interested in this one right now...sigh...she does understand "can't play"/"busy" (and is remarkably accepting of it, given what else she'll throw a fit over).

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#8 of 120 Old 10-19-2007, 12:41 PM
 
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Originally Posted by lisa49 View Post
It sounds like maybe this woman has been cheated on and now sees you as a homewrecker without knowing the facts. She's got issues that are not your issues. It's sad for your daughter, but it's better to let these people go. Most people are not freaky like that (I hope).

I hope your daughter finds another good friend soon.
Lisa

I agree. It sounds to me like she's just projecting feelings about her own husband onto your SO. She probably has some deep issues anyway, and
I'd be more concerned about them rubbing off on your SD than anything else. Look at it as a good thing - you found this out now, while you can shield your SD, rather than her hearing something that would be difficult for her to understand later.

If it were me I'd probably just do as PP said and let it pass without much explanation, if you can. Since they don't really see each other outside of playdates, hopefully it won't be an issue once some time passes.

I'm sorry this happened. It's so hard when kids finally find friends and their parents turn out to be such jerks!!

Just wanted to add, I'd have no problem with my child being supervised by a man, but I would want to make sure I felt he'd do a proper job - just the same as I do when it's a woman.
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#9 of 120 Old 10-19-2007, 12:46 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I'd be more concerned about them rubbing off on your SD than anything else. Look at it as a good thing - you found this out now, while you can shield your SD, rather than her hearing something that would be difficult for her to understand later.
That's a good point...a good friend of mine has a daughter who's best friend's mother is a fundamentalist. My friend is not religious and was never married to her daughter's father, and her daughter came home crying and asking her mother what a bastard was, and why they were going to hell.

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#10 of 120 Old 10-19-2007, 02:00 PM
 
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I'm shocked. Literally shocked. First of all, the friend's mom can't seem to get her story straight...is it because her DD was with a male parent? Or is it because DD was at a house with an "other woman"? Or, huh???? : It seems very strange to me...it seems like there might be a back story somewhere with the comment about "flaunting the other woman". Maybe she had a bad divorce, or her parents did or her sister or something. I don't know...

I'm also surprised that people feel more strongly about needing to know a male supervisor of children more than a female supervisor of children. Yes, I'd want to know WHOEVER was supervising my child, but, male or female wouldn't make a difference. By FAR, most children are molested by family members...but that's a completely separate issue.

I'm not sure what I would tell my daughter in your shoes. Maybe something about how her friend's family is having some problems right now and it's not a good time for her to play with her friend? It's not a lie, doesn't place blame on your daughter or her friend, and keeps open the possibility of future playdates. How sad for your daughter and her little friend.
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#11 of 120 Old 10-19-2007, 02:16 PM
 
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Not normal but not your problem.
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#12 of 120 Old 10-19-2007, 02:19 PM
 
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I hate to say it's "silly" cuz these are her feelings but I don't get it.

My daughter, nearly 9yrs, goes to hang out with her friend and friend's dad about four or five times a year. The mom stays at home with the baby and younger bro and it gives friend and friend's dad some time to themselves and sometimes they ask dd to go along. There have been times when the dad takes my daughter and all three of his kids to concerts or puppet shows or the park. No big deal to me. I know this man and trust him. Otherwise I wouldn't feel comfortable. But it has nothing to do with him being male. I'd need to feel comfortable with a woman/mom as well.

BUT I can respect someone else's wishes if they felt this way. It's a tough thing to explain to your daughter...would she accept, "This isn't a good time for playdates. But in time, maybe you can have Friend over when things are OK?"
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#13 of 120 Old 10-19-2007, 02:31 PM
 
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That sucks.

I don't think this particular parent is going to be open to it no matter what. But if the objection were about you being a guy, I'd suggest playdates where the other dad (or mom) comes over too a few times, so they can get to know you.

Still is lousy all around though.

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#14 of 120 Old 10-19-2007, 02:32 PM
 
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Not normal but not your problem.
I agree completely!
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#15 of 120 Old 10-19-2007, 02:46 PM
 
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I know exactly how you feel.

We have a houseful of girls that live a few townhouses over from our own townhouse. My ds (5) and dd (7, almost 8) had been planning a sleepover with them for WEEKS - it's all my kids talked about, non-stop. Their mom even said yes.

Then, the day of the event, all the kids got off the bus excited as could be. The girls went home to prepare for the sleepover and my dd was simply over the moon. Then, their mom's boyfriend said they couldn't have a sleepover. Reason being, my bf could "go into the room at night and touch them".

My kids were totally heartbroken, to say the least. I can see the guy's point to a certain extent, but......... why let the poor kids get their hopes up for WEEKS planning the event and then pull this CRAP???

Ironically, this is dd's first year in a public school. Last December, she was in one of the best private schools on the east coast, and she had a sleepover for her birthday.... and most of the girls were allowed to sleep over, many of who's parents had never even been to our house before :
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#16 of 120 Old 10-19-2007, 03:13 PM
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Seems as if the other mom has some serious bitterness issues going on about perhaps her own divorce, and her ex-h flaunting his new woman.

Her issues, not yours.

Your poor SD. And that woman's poor DC.
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#17 of 120 Old 10-19-2007, 03:37 PM
 
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I just can't imagine not letting my child associate with someone because their parents are divorced.
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#18 of 120 Old 10-19-2007, 04:00 PM
 
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I know exactly how you feel.

We have a houseful of girls that live a few townhouses over from our own townhouse. My ds (5) and dd (7, almost 8) had been planning a sleepover with them for WEEKS - it's all my kids talked about, non-stop. Their mom even said yes.

Then, the day of the event, all the kids got off the bus excited as could be. The girls went home to prepare for the sleepover and my dd was simply over the moon. Then, their mom's boyfriend said they couldn't have a sleepover. Reason being, my bf could "go into the room at night and touch them".

My kids were totally heartbroken, to say the least. I can see the guy's point to a certain extent, but......... why let the poor kids get their hopes up for WEEKS planning the event and then pull this CRAP???

Ironically, this is dd's first year in a public school. Last December, she was in one of the best private schools on the east coast, and she had a sleepover for her birthday.... and most of the girls were allowed to sleep over, many of who's parents had never even been to our house before :
This is slightly OT, but the BOYFRIEND suggested this?? 'Cause that raises red flags for me (and my flags don't go up easily!!)
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#19 of 120 Old 10-19-2007, 04:03 PM
 
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When I read your post, OP, I literally went

That's craziness. Considering that 50% of marriages will end in divorce, are we to assume that it's always 100% the man's fault and that he found some "hussy" to "flaunt" (not that YOU are, just an example! )?

When I was growing up, there was a man and his gf (or wife, I dunno) who lived behind us and every other weekend his two daughters came to stay. I used to spend EVERY weekend they were there playing with them! And it wasn't weird, and no one ever thought the dad was anything other than a dad.

Sheesh. I'm just all irritated now because how many men are out there who are amazing people, dads, partners, etc, but get this really awful rep simply because SOME men are a$$es? It's really unfair to think that someone would not allow their child to play at my house because my dh was going to supervise and not me. Ugh.
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#20 of 120 Old 10-19-2007, 05:18 PM
 
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Originally Posted by lisa49 View Post
I have to know any males who are the caregivers of my children for any amount of time. I feel that it's best for the child and the man involved. I wouldn't let my husband be the caregiver of someone else's child because I would fear for my husband's safety if the girl did get abused somewhere else and my dh became a suspect. I know without a doubt that he wouldn't abuse a child, he doesn't even really like other people's children, so he would never willingly babysit anyway. I have let men watch my children before, but only after I felt very comfortable with it.

I remember once when I let a father watch my son on a playdate with his daughter, he was shocked. He was a SAHD and apparently, he'd been turned down for hosting playdates many times. I found that kind of sad.

But you were there, so it's a non-issue anyway, right? It sounds like maybe this woman has been cheated on and now sees you as a homewrecker without knowing the facts. She's got issues that are not your issues. It's sad for your daughter, but it's better to let these people go. Most people are not freaky like that (I hope).

I hope your daughter finds another good friend soon.
Lisa
My thoughts almost exactly. One other thought came to mind, is it possible that this woman has been "poisoned" by your stepdaughter's Mother?

I pray for the day Family Court recognizes that CHILDREN have rights, parents only have PRIVILEGES.  Only then, will I know my child is safe.
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#21 of 120 Old 10-19-2007, 05:37 PM
 
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I'm shocked. Literally shocked. ...
Me too. For both of the reasons outlined by Katheek. I do not need to scrutinize male care givers any more closely than female care givers. I'm surprised and sad that it seems to be more common to do so. DH babysat as a teenagers in the 70s and he's MUCH better with children than me. He actually plays with them.....

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#22 of 120 Old 10-19-2007, 06:11 PM
 
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That makes me sad, too. DH is a wonderful dad and really invovled parent. Your poor kiddo.
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#23 of 120 Old 10-19-2007, 06:31 PM - Thread Starter
 
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My thoughts almost exactly. One other thought came to mind, is it possible that this woman has been "poisoned" by your stepdaughter's Mother?
Pretty much impossible -- SD's mother lives in another (nearby) city, so I can't imagine they've even spoken to one another. (Remember, this lady was surprised to find out that SD's dad lived here rather than her mom.)

And we all enjoy a relatively decent relationship...SD's mom wants SD to have friends here. (SO: "We went to the pool with Jade and her mom, Kate." SD's mom: "Oh, good...I'm glad you all got some exercise...I hope you said hi to Kate for me.")

It's weird, how some people treat fathers...either they're all potential molesters, or they're incompetent. I can't even count how many times restaurant servers, the people with the samples at the market, etc., will turn to me and ask if it's OK if SD has something, right after her dad asks her if she wants it.

You all are right, though -- it's her issue. I wish it was an issue that didn't affect the kids, though. :

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#24 of 120 Old 10-19-2007, 06:55 PM
 
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I do think I'd tend to be a little more cautious if my daughters were going to be cared for by a man--I'd make an effort to get to know him personally, and forgive me, but I'd probably do a little background checking. Fair or not (b/c I probably wouldn't do it for a woman), that's just what my instinct would have me do.
I'm sorry, but your instinct is not telling you to get to a know a man personally, and not a woman. Your instinct isn't telling you to do any background checking, unless you're talking about something not seeming right about a specific person.

By all means, take whatever precautions you feel are necessary with respect to the people who have charge of your kids. But, don't call it instinct when it's not. If you do get to know someone and find that you don't feel comfortable leaving your kids with him/her, then I'd say that is your instincts doing their thing.

OP: I'd be offended, too. But, it's really her issue, not yours. I'm sorry your sd is being affected by this, though.

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#25 of 120 Old 10-19-2007, 10:22 PM
 
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That is awful!!! I just don't understand the prejudice against men as caregivers.

One of my daughter's friend's parents divorced last year, and I remember another friend's mom saying that she could no longer bring her kids over when T was at her dad's house because "it wouldn't be appropriate" for her (the mom) to be in the house alone with him. :

If it were my dd whose friend had such a ridiculous mom, I would tell her the truth. I wouldn't want to lie about it.

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#26 of 120 Old 10-19-2007, 10:30 PM
 
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Wait, it isn't just that he is male, right? She had no problem with her daughter coming over when she thought you were the biological mother and he was the stepfather. Why is your stepdaughter's father more dangerous to her daughter than your daughter's stepfather would be?

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#27 of 120 Old 10-19-2007, 11:16 PM
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good lord?! is this woman on shrooms? i had no idea they still made that model until i ran into a few myself. at my baby shower some of DH's family were talking about the bad influances at a kid's school saying they fealt sorry for the kids who had such parents. i thought they were talking about meth addicts. turns out they were talking about the children of divorced parents. i laughed and said i'd not even married my 1st sons' father. for a second i thought they were going to pack up their baby booties and head home!

i think it might be a bad call to tell SD that the woman won't let friend play because of the divorce or related issues. it's hard enough on a kid and she's young yet. of course i don't know what else to suggest you say so maybe the truth really is the best. you sure you couldn't have your DH talk to the mom again if the friendship is important to SD?
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#28 of 120 Old 10-20-2007, 01:12 AM
 
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Wow. When I read points 1 and 2 in the OP, I was getting ready to say that I could see where she was coming from, as in not wanting only a man at the house, especially a man she doesn't know. (Yes, it's unfair, and no, I don't subscribe to this blindly myself, but I always let a parent know if only dh would be home for the playdate. It's just a sad fact of life that we are more paranoid about men than women.)

But the rest? OMG, I just wouldn't even know where to start. I'm so sorry.
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#29 of 120 Old 10-20-2007, 01:16 AM
 
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Originally Posted by ProtoLawyer View Post
This, I have no problem with...I like to at least know who I'm dropping SD off with, regardless of gender. I understand an abundance of caution.
I would have to *really* know an adult male who I'm 'dropping DD off' with. Like, really really know. It sucks but what is it? 95-98% of sexual abusers are heterosexual males in their adult sexual interactions? I read that stat a long time ago, but it is an overwhelming majority. And many, many children, especially girls, are victims of childhood sexual abuse. Like, a LOT.

I simply am not willing to take that risk. I put men through an extra screening, and honestly there are only a few who I trust with my daughter. I definitely trust a much larger number of women with her.

It sucks, but unfortunately until men stop molesting young girls, that is how it has to be. No offense against anyone's husband, and honestly I would expect my friends to understand that I need to protect my daughter. It's not personal. It's statistical.
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#30 of 120 Old 10-20-2007, 01:21 AM
 
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But, as someone else mentioned, what difference does it make if the man is the girl's father, living with the stepmother...or the mother, living with the stepfather?

OP: Was this woman totally unaware that there was a man living in the house at all?

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