What are "dealbreakers" when it comes to your kids' friends' home environments? - Page 2 - Mothering Forums

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Old 06-21-2013, 01:38 AM
 
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Originally Posted by isisandshiva View Post

ok so have a semi pertinent question, since having a RSO in house seems to be a deal breaker, my significant other is a RSO, a pawn in a ex-family members custody battle, and I can plainly see that this will one day be a very large issue, how should handle the inevitable issues when my children's friends aren't allowed over?  

 

To start with, I would recommend being upfront with other parents about it. I know its awkward, but its worse when people find out about it later, like we did with our neighbors, who had the boyfriend's status. 


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Old 06-21-2013, 12:09 PM
 
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Originally Posted by momasana View Post
Were all children in the OP's neighborhood conceived via missionary position through a hole in the sheet?

 

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Originally Posted by serenbat View Post

you don't have Megan's law????? I would contact my state rep ASAP! 

 

I don't know exactly what Megan's law is, but going by context, it's a way to check where RSO's live?

We don't have that here either. And although I see the positive side of that, I can also see some not so good sides, maybe.

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Old 06-21-2013, 02:06 PM
 
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hmmm. my dd is almost 11. she started sleepovers when she was 4 with friends we knew well. but by second grade she was going for playdates and sleepovers to houses where I didn't really know the parents well. in fact even in 5th grade we had her classmate over whose parents I didn't even know. never met. so to me my levels of safety was much different at 4 than say at 7.

 

many in dd's class have guns. they are either police officers or in the services and even a couple of hunters. even our neighbor has guns and in all these years dd has never seen a gun on them.  I don't know any of the parents directly, but have seen them in school events and known their kids intimately since first grade. I have never felt uncomfortable sending dd over to their homes.

 

what I am more concerned about is what dd might see. so for me big things are does that family spank. THAT would be a deal breaker for me. because dd would be most upset by that.

 

I don't really care about Meghan's Law. I have never looked at the registry. I live in a giant city. they could be all around us.


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Old 06-22-2013, 08:40 AM
 
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I suppose I live in a small town, since I'm in SD, but from my experience a responsible parent will tell the parents of their kids friends if they have lice. (I have been trying to teach my daughter that you don't share hair things to combat the friend who might have unknown lice). We had a lice outbreak in our town last year and the people I am friends with whose children got lice informed me of it. One of those families got lice from a family that is has a filthy house and refused to treat for the lice or inform anyone that they had it. UGH.

 

As for the sex offender thing, you can look that up on the internet and see a map of where they live, what level they are, what they were convicted of.

 

I am a little more lenient on the smoking issue. I have some friends I grew up with that smoke still. So I make an exception for them. The ones who are worse we try not to hang out inside their house as much.

 

Fortunately, my daughter is a clean freak and so that rules out several issues because then she naturally doesn't want to go to places where there is filth or smoking.

 

I don't think I would have a problem with the mom having two sex industry jobs. I base this on the facts that the mom is careful to keep it age appropriate and away from the kids, and also on the fact that my best cousin sells sex toys and I haven't had a problem with her regarding her and children.


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Old 06-22-2013, 08:53 AM
 
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I forgot to mention about the guns issue. Since I live in SD it is safe to assume that everyone has a gun so that would severely limit my daughter's friends and my daughter wouldn't even be able to go to 95% of our family members houses. I don't know about other families, but we start talking about gun safety from the time we start talking about fire or tornado or toy safety. - which is toddler age. The main rule that young is, NEVER point a gun at a person even if it is a toy.

 

I feel that this is as important to teach as wash your hands and brush your teeth and go outside when there's a fire due to the fact that you can't control every aspect of your child's life at every moment.
 


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Old 06-22-2013, 04:19 PM
 
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Originally Posted by momasana View Post

 

I can understand that concern, but wouldn't that same apply to anyone's profession?  I suppose working in certain industries would put someone in contact with unsavory individuals, but I don't know many jobs that are totally free of crazy-people. I don't know if OP's friend is more likely to have someone come after her than say, oh, a cop, or a counselor, or a teacher.  

 

 

NO, clearly all jobs have different risk level.

 

It also is not legal in all areas, you have to (in most areas) report what type of small business you are doing from your home - failure to do so, as in all you need is that one neighbor who knows someone who collects the local taxes and you mis- reported=$$$, not to mention zoning (neighbors usually don't take kindly to this either), also that other neighbor who's not fond of this mother's job might just decide to call CPS (be it valid or not) and they may pay a visit when your child is over playing

 

most who do other types of a home work (via the phone) are trace by their employer for verification and who knows who has access to this mother's info directly from her employer- people do snoop


 

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Old 06-22-2013, 06:40 PM
 
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NO, clearly all jobs have different risk level.

 

 

Alright, do you have evidence of how many phone sex workers a year are stalked and are harmed or their families are harmed?  Citations would be nice.


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Old 06-22-2013, 07:18 PM
 
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What about swearing?

 

We are a generally very wholesome family.  No illegal activities, no drinking, no drugs, no smoking, no firearms, no vicious pets, I keep a clean house, etc.  However, my DH is a disabled veteran who, since his TBI, has had personality changes where he doesn't really have a language filter anymore.  He is not a threat in any way, and tends to spend most of his time in the basement playing on his computer during the day.  (My kids and I stay upstairs, away from the video games, etc.)  However, he does emerge at times to get a snack or just to see what we're up to.  Even in friendly conversation he will use pretty bad language, be pretty loud, etc.  He is not aggressive, but he's definitely not "polite company" anymore.  (I knew him before his injury so it's definitely noticeable to me, but to others who don't know him I suppose he could just seem low-class.)  He just can't help it, he doesn't even notice.  I'm afraid that no one will let kids play over at our house as they grow older.  It's becoming an issue now that they're becoming school-age.  And we homeschool, too, so we'd really like some friends over to play sometimes.  It's been years since we had anyone over.  =(  We often can't meet at neutral locations because, again, DH would be accompanying us generally...

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Old 06-22-2013, 07:36 PM
 
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What about swearing?

We are a generally very wholesome family.  No illegal activities, no drinking, no drugs, no smoking, no firearms, no vicious pets, I keep a clean house, etc.  However, my DH is a disabled veteran who, since his TBI, has had personality changes where he doesn't really have a language filter anymore.  He is not a threat in any way, and tends to spend most of his time in the basement playing on his computer during the day.  (My kids and I stay upstairs, away from the video games, etc.)  However, he does emerge at times to get a snack or just to see what we're up to.  Even in friendly conversation he will use pretty bad language, be pretty loud, etc.  He is not aggressive, but he's definitely not "polite company" anymore.  (I knew him before his injury so it's definitely noticeable to me, but to others who don't know him I suppose he could just seem low-class.)  He just can't help it, he doesn't even notice.  I'm afraid that no one will let kids play over at our house as they grow older.  It's becoming an issue now that they're becoming school-age.  And we homeschool, too, so we'd really like some friends over to play sometimes.  It's been years since we had anyone over.  =(  We often can't meet at neutral locations because, again, DH would be accompanying us generally...

I have a friend that curses around my kids a lot. She doesn't have an excuse either! I have never said anything to her. I figure what matters most is what my son hears at home.

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Old 06-22-2013, 09:45 PM
 
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NO, clearly all jobs have different risk level.

 

It also is not legal in all areas, you have to (in most areas) report what type of small business you are doing from your home - failure to do so, as in all you need is that one neighbor who knows someone who collects the local taxes and you mis- reported=$$$, not to mention zoning (neighbors usually don't take kindly to this either), also that other neighbor who's not fond of this mother's job might just decide to call CPS (be it valid or not) and they may pay a visit when your child is over playing

 

most who do other types of a home work (via the phone) are trace by their employer for verification and who knows who has access to this mother's info directly from her employer- people do snoop

People also snoop on and deal with unhappy / violent clients in much more "noble" professions such as lawyers and social workers, police officers, therapists. I think it is much more likely that an angry parent in a custody battle with CPS, or violent criminal who wasn't happy with his or her lawyers services would be much more of a threat than a nosy neighbor or tax collector.


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Old 06-23-2013, 02:39 PM
 
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What about parents who set no limits with their children, and/or take their own child's side in any conflict among children (e.g. trying to just let their kid have whatever she took from the other kid to avoid a bigger tantrum, or even yelling at the other child)?

I have an unplanned-parent friend who I'm sure is doing her best but unfortunately does this combo, and I'm fine being around either her or her child, but I can't really handle them together anymore (constant pattern of tantrums / giving in drives me nuts) and I'm not sure I'd leave my LO with her for more than 30min at this point, her child has so little self-control and the mom just goes along with the kid's whims, afraid of her screaming... I lent her a Dr Sears book last year and I'm afraid she may have taken the wrong message about meeting her child's needs!

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Old 06-23-2013, 02:45 PM
 
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As long as the kids get on well together, thats really all that matters...i mean, i guess i wouldnt want loaded guns lying around, or people having sex parties, i dont know...i even put up with parents that i have nothing in common with, so long as the kids are having fun....but i suppose i should read the thread first...how bad can it be?

 

 

Ok, i read the thread. No, it wouldnt bother me, if i already  knew her, had seen her place, and knew that she kept her work separate from her kids...

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Old 06-26-2013, 01:39 PM
 
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Honestly our society is so focused on what everyone else is doing they forget to focus on the important things. I teach my kids personal accountability and responsibility, and they partake in many more "adult" conversations than most kids because I am a doula, a sex educator, and a homeschool parent. I have several surrogate kids who have watched a multitude of friends and family members have teen pregnancies, and they tell me I am the reason that hasn't happened to them.

 

Biggest influence: Families from other cultures that don't view sex as something dirty or naughty...so it is regularly dinner time conversation. Deal breakers for me would be anything which fell into the category of child endangerment. This means my kids don't go to anyone's house that makes their "tummy have an icky feeling" because my kids are taught to listen to their instincts. No inside smokers, no alcoholics and no addicts. We have friends who are messy, some friends run a farm and frequently have baby farm animals in the house (not the most pleasant in early spring), friends with mental health issues, friends with physical disabilities, friends who work at adult entertainment and other friends who are case workers.

 

This means my kids have been exposed to a wide variety of people, the LGBTQ community, minority and disability communities, and have received multiple view points. They have been encouraged to speak up and to speak out. They started an international petition to end discrimination at a local high school (at age 8 and 14). This has happened because we go out of our way to discuss all that our culture calls taboo.

 

This parenting approach isn't for everyone, but it works for us. I have both navel and non-navel kids who call me mom, ranging in age from 6 to 23. Not one of them has gotten pregnant, or become addicted to drugs (2 have experimented). One is a dual-enrollment high school/college student, so everyone 16 and up is in college. The rest are doing well in their transition to a public school setting this year, with the exception of refusing to limit thinking to inside the box. The most important thing my kids have learned is to maintain a non-judgemental attitude. Encoraging exposure to a wide range of people, but maintaining safety parameters, help develop this strength.

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Old 07-06-2013, 10:45 PM
 
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Firearms and aggressive/dangerous pets are big for me. I also pay close attention to older siblings. As I write this I am hosting a sleepover for my 10 year old and waiting for them to fall asleep. I let my 13 year old have a friend here for the party activities but they are sleeping in his room not in the family room with the younger kids because I just think it works better.
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Old 07-06-2013, 11:00 PM
 
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Guns

 

When my kids were small, unvaccinated households

 

Aggressive dogs

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Old 07-07-2013, 08:31 AM
 
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I think the mistake she made was letting neighbors who weren't close friends know what she does for work. If you are a phone sex operator who takes calls after the kids go to bed, don't tell people who you don't know well.

Before my children are allowed to go play at someone's house, I have to do some socializing with the parents first, at the very least getting together and chatting over coffee. Beyond that, my dealbreakers are:

- Smoking indoors.
- Housekeeping that is bad enough to make me uncomfortable (trash, pet feces inside).

- Illegal drug use.
- Any conviction involving harming children.
- Sex offenders.
- People who use spanking or physical discipline often or as a first resort.
- Me feeling uncomfortable about them going over there.


I would go with "Because I'm not comfortable with it." Or you could tell her why.

I agree. But I would add guns to that list. If it was a farm and I knew and trusted that the adults had them secured, then that would be different. More often than not from my experience, they are just for fun and not often locked around here, so that would be a deal breaker for me.

Also, unsecured pools where there may not be security or observation.

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Old 07-19-2013, 05:11 AM
 
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Well,  I guess I am more conservative than most...I would certainly not shun her, but I don't let my kids have play dates at other people's houses without me, so it would never be an issue.  In the 16 years I've been a mom, there have only been 3 homes of close friends that I have been comfortable enough to let my older kids go to without me.  They have  never had a sleepover at anyone's house but my mom's...and that was only once!

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Old 07-19-2013, 12:34 PM
 
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I am assuming that most of the people on this thread with the lists have young children or live in a small town where everyone knows everyone else, because really, how would you know most of those things aobut people in your average community. When my school age children want to go a friends house I don't ask do you have lice? are you a sex offender and if so which level are you? (by the way what are the different levels of sex offender, I've never heard of that!). Parents of kids we have had over have never asked me anything like the things on these lists. In our school community it seems to be if the kids want to get together, and the parents seem normal they let their kids go to each others house. I've met some of the parents before at the school or on field trips, but I by no means know them well.

I don't have a handy list of dealbreakers that mean my kids can't go to someone's house, either. Mostly, all the kids in the neighborhood play together, and go to each other's houses all the time. I try to get to know the other parents a little bit, and go into the house just to see it's not like a crack den or anything, LOL. I have never come across anyone whose house was disgusting, or had drugs or guns sitting around, or anything like that. I wouldn't be comfortable with that, no, but it's not like I go searching for it. As far as something like pot, if I don't know about it, and my kids don't know about it, then I don't care. Neither do I care if the other mom is a phone sex operator, as long as my kids aren't going to be exposed to it.

Lice, pink eye, or other illnesses are different. It's flat out irresponsible for a parent to let other people's kids into your home, or to let your kid play with others, if you KNOW your child has something contagious. If one of my kids' friends' parents did that, I'd be incensed.

As far as the sex offender registry, that is controversial. On the one hand, no, I don't want my kids playing at the home of a child molester. BUT, the vast majority of people on the registry haven't even been ACCUSED of hurting a child. Many have not even committed a violent crime. You can get on the registry just for getting drunk and pissing in public, or for having consensual sex in a car in a dark parking lot. I could have been on there a dozen times over just for all the places DH and I had sex when I was 19! Also, the recidivism rate for offenders on the registry is extremely low. The people you really need to worry about are the ones who haven't been caught yet. greensad.gif

There is only one house from which I have actually banned my children. My teen daughter's best friend's father was recently accused of a horrible crime. Since I already hate him and his wife, I was very glad to have a reason to tell my daughter she can't go over there ever again. It's very hard when you don't approve of your teenager's friends, because you want them to make their own decisions, KWIM? But this crossed a line, and my daughter completely agrees with me.

There is also another mom in the neighborhood who is not allowed to babysit our kids -- ie, my daughters can't go to play with her daughter if I am not home. That's because she has a tendency to send her daughter to our house for me to "babysit" -- without even asking me or checking to see if I am home. Once, I let my two younger girls spend the night, and she sent her daughter and my daughters walking back to my house after dark so she could go run an errand, when she KNEW I wasn't home! (My teenaged daughter was home babysitting my other kids, but still.) My kids can go play over there if I am home, because they are old enough to play outside unsupervised anyway, and I figure it's the same thing, just in her backyard. I don't see her as *dangerous* or anything, just untrustworthy.

On the flip side, there are two little boys in our neighborhood who aren't allowed to play in our yard because their mom says our yard is "dangerous." I have no idea what is dangerous in our yard, but whatever. It's clearly not something against me, because she lets her boys tag along when I take my kids to the pool. So I just shrug it off.
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Originally Posted by petitpois View Post

What about parents who set no limits with their children, and/or take their own child's side in any conflict among children (e.g. trying to just let their kid have whatever she took from the other kid to avoid a bigger tantrum, or even yelling at the other child)?
I have an unplanned-parent friend who I'm sure is doing her best but unfortunately does this combo, and I'm fine being around either her or her child, but I can't really handle them together anymore (constant pattern of tantrums / giving in drives me nuts) and I'm not sure I'd leave my LO with her for more than 30min at this point, her child has so little self-control and the mom just goes along with the kid's whims, afraid of her screaming... I lent her a Dr Sears book last year and I'm afraid she may have taken the wrong message about meeting her child's needs!

My teenaged daughter's best friend's parents are like that. Only I don't think they're doing their best; they're bullies, and teaching their daughter that she's the center of the universe and it's ok for her to walk all over people. I can't stand them. When the girls met, I felt like they were too old for me to tell my daughter who she was "allowed" to be friends with, but I set boundaries, including harsh punishment for going along with one of her friend's stupid ideas. (The other girl's mom was FURIOUS with me for grounding my daughter, too, because I was "punishing" her daughter by taking her friend away for a week.) Honestly, I was relieved to have an excuse to get these people out of my life.

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Old 07-20-2013, 04:19 PM
 
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ITA w some PPs (haven't read them all yet), such as ihave7kids-- we do -NOT- just drop our kids off someplace (even the library or an acquaintance's house) or let them go wander. I've never lived in a place where I felt that was safe enough. (FWIW, as a child, my parents were totally comfortable dropping us off or letting us go wander-- they felt we were safe.) I always take my children on playdates or host their friends here (expecting that other parents may want to stay at my house as well). There are fewer than a handful of friends I feel we know well enough that now that our children are old enough, they go without us. Yes, older syblings are a consideration as well. They nearly -NEVER- spend the night anywhere without us. I can only think of a couple exceptions, like when subsequent children were born & we were both in the hospital. This time 'round they're old enough to be home alone, heehee, but DD wants to be there for the delivery...

 

That said, there is no way my children would be allowed to play at the house you describe without me. I appreciate the mom's sense of industry & protection of her DC from her job, but for us, that woud be a no. I also would not get on a social networking site & trash her-- how rude & inappropriate.

 

I would probably not have any issues with her DC playing at my house or with her accompanying them to my home. In a public setting, like a multi-family playgroup, IDK how anyone would try to impose boundaries that were not agreed upon by the group members in advance, so that's a moot point unless she or her DC displayed some kind of behavior problems.

 

I agree w the PP who said it was a big mistake to let her job choice become public, but it only takes confiding in one gossip for that to happen. It must be very painful for her & esp for her DC who are being shunned & ostracized & they don't know why! I don't have nice things to say about ppl who are mean to little children & from some descriptions this mom's peers/ neighbors are hurting her children bc they disagree with -her-. Not OK.

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Old 07-21-2013, 01:41 AM
 
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Honestly I *have* left my LOs with a friend who smokes indoors. They agreed not to do it while my LOs were around. It wasn't ideal but my friend was a genuine big hearted super mom, so I felt okay with the arrangement.
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Old 07-27-2013, 02:11 PM
 
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My list is really long. I have a hard time trusting people. 

 

However, I would trust this particular neighbor based on the information you provided. 


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