Mothering Forum banner

1 - 20 of 88 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
647 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
<p>We (DH and I) have friends that have recently moved up to that status (that of "friends") in the last few months. They were acquaintances for almost seven years, though. We have a daughter and they have a son about the same age. The kids play together really well.</p>
<p> </p>
<p>Since the friendship for the whole family is new, we've been having get-togethers. Either both whole families get together, or one adult from each family plus the children.</p>
<p> </p>
<p>The woman friend, let's just call her Dee, has asked a few times if DD could come over by herself. The first time she asked, we asked DD and she said she didn't want to - I wasn't surprised; DD had only been over their house once at that point (mostly mutual playdates at the park before).</p>
<p> </p>
<p>Now DH is not a trusting man. He is not of the "humans are basically good" tribe. He is suspicious of motives. He is fiercely protective of his family. And he has some good reasons to have come to this (I can already hear people criticizing my DH). So the first time Dee asked DD to come over by herself, DH's antenna went up. It bothered him that Dee asked this. No, not like "I'm ending the friendship" bothered, but just like wanting to talk out with me what could have spurred this request.</p>
<p> </p>
<p>Now, I trust Dee very, very much. Our friendship may be new but they (Dee and her husband) have very similar values to us. She is a calm and good mother. And DH was actually the one who decided to kind of bring the acquaintance to the level of friendship, and he did that because he thought they were good people. He is not a man to just hang out with anyone.</p>
<p> </p>
<p>I told DH I thought Dee wanted DD to come over by herself to give Dee a sort of a break. Since the kids play together so well, they could entertain each other while Dee maybe got things done around the house or did a little reading, knowing she could just keep an ear out for the kids. The reason I thought that was because I've had that urge myself :) To have a kid come over and engage DD while I did my own stuff, and a playmate that fit well enough that there aren't fights or trouble is hitting the jackpot.</p>
<p> </p>
<p>So DH asked Dee if she would like to drop her son off here for a playdate. Ostensibly this would give her a break as well. But her son also did not feel ready yet to come over by himself.</p>
<p> </p>
<p>So the matter got put to rest for a while but then it came up again. Dee asked DD if she felt she was ready yet. DD said yes (which might be true, but it's also possible that when it comes right down to dropping her off, she might change her mind, dunno). So now DH is scratching his head again trying to figure out Dee's motives.</p>
<p> </p>
<p>I think he also posted this question on some forum somewhere, and he got mixed responses - some thought he was crazy to have any concern about this, but others thought he'd be crazy to drop off DD with a woman who obviously has some agenda to get DD alone (lol). On the last bit, I have to agree that Dee does have some sort of motive, it's not just a passing thought, she's brought it up more than once. Of course the motive may be entirely innocent (I'm still sticking with the "break" scenario myself).</p>
<p> </p>
<p>Well, what do you think? It seems obvious that I should just outright ask her what her motive is, but it does seem awkward. We are not close friends, just beginning a new friendship.</p>
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
315 Posts
<p>How old are your kids?</p>
<p> </p>
<p>It would never occur to me that our friends had a "motive" for asking if our kids (or one of our kids) could come over. I hope my friends don't think that when I ask if their kids can go somewhere with us! If I felt that uncomfortable about the situation, I don't think I would be friends with those people.</p>
<p> </p>
<p>I can understand being cautious. My SIL dated a guy that just got out of jail and was a sex offender. When she starting calling asking if our girls could go do xyz with them (before I knew he was a sex offender, she didn't tell anyone) I just had a bad feeling about it and didn't let them go. Later I found the boyfriend listed on the sex offender website for our state. I guess if your DH gets that kind of creepy feeling about your friend asking your dd over, he should listen to it but I also think I would break off the friendship.</p>
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,115 Posts
<p>It seems normal to ask a kid over, sure.</p>
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,903 Posts
<p> </p>
<p>Does each family only have 1 child? </p>
<p> </p>
<p>I can definitely understand an invitation specific to just the same-age child if they have only 1 child, but you are bringing 2 or 3 or more kids to their house to play. Their child may be wanting to play with his friend and not an entire family of children. They may be a little more sensitive to little conflicts that arise when there are several children than parents who are used to sorting out sibling rivalries. To you, the children may all be playing normally ("the kids play together really well'), but to them it may be a little stressful. </p>
<p> </p>
<p>That's leaving aside the stress some people feel about hosting an entire family.  For me, even a casual, friendly visit from another family is different than a playdate with just children. I start thinking about scrubbing the bathroom, vacuuming up all the dog hair and planning food. I know I should relax more about it, but I am who I am. People who are introverts may also want to provide a playdate for their child - giving him some social time - without wanting to socialize themselves. Not that they don't want to be friendly and socialize at all with you - maybe just not every time the kids get together. </p>
<p> </p>
<p>In general, I see nothing weird or suspect about a child-only invitation. However, if your parental instincts are kicking in and you aren't comfortable with it, then follow your instincts. </p>
<p> </p>
<p>Another option is a drop off playdate in a public setting. How about suggesting a park playdate or movie or some other outing in "neutral territory"? One family can drop off their child with the other hosting the outing. Would your DH feel more comfortable if it's in a fairly public place? </p>
<p> </p>
<p> </p>
<p> </p>
<p> </p>
<p> </p>
<p> </p>
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9,431 Posts
<p>How old are the kids? </p>
<p> </p>
<p>I think kids being invited to each other's houses to play is extremely common, and in and of itself it's not suspicious -- it seems odd for your DH to automatically categorize a play invitation as having some agenda to get your child alone. That said, I'm very cautious about which houses I'll let DS go inside, so I can understand your DH's concerns somewhat. <em>That</em> said, I don't have close friendships with people who I would not trust to be alone with my kids -- the people I'm wary of are on the acquaintance level, like neighbors and classmates I don't know well. </p>
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,869 Posts
<p>I'll be another person to chime in and say that it is extremely common to have children visit each other without parents, especially as they get older.  I'm really hoping that all the parents that I reach out to on behalf of my daughter to have a playdate don't think I have some nefarious motive!  She loves having friends over and, while I enjoy people and consider myself somewhat of an extrovert, I wouldn't want to entertain another adult every single time she has a little friend over.  And yes, there are times where she wants someone to come play at our house and is very specific about that, which might be what is going on with "Dee". </p>
<p> </p>
<p>I understand being protective of your family, but there is definitely a line between cautious (meeting parents, viewing their home, their parenting style, etc) and alarmist that is hard to find as a mother or father.</p>
<p> </p>
<p>ETA:  I did want to say though that if your husband has some gut feelings about this woman or family, he should listen to them.  I completely believe in honoring our gut feelings.</p>
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
647 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
<p>Kids are 4 and 5. They are both onlies. DH and I are both introverts so we can totally understand wanting to provide a playdate for our kid without having to entertain (though I'd feel the urge to clean house anyway - even with a dropoff, the other parent still sees the house. Or maybe that's just because we're pretty messy). Can I just say that this reply box is acting oddly? I had to switch to Source to get this written, I couldn't put my cursor where I wanted and it refused to make a new paragraph (which I could do now in HTML code if I wanted but.. blah).</p>
<br><p>OK, new paragraph opened manually. I don't doubt that kids have playdates without the parents being there all the time, I guess what bothered DH is that Dee seems to be really <em>emphasizing</em> having DD over "alone" and he's trying to figure out her motives. Which are no doubt completely benign. But I guess he wants to understand them anyway. The introvert possibility is a good one; I think Dee is in fact introverted, and DH would understand that. I think it didn't occur to him because for him, even a dropoff is sort of social, so he'd have to kind of put his social hat on anyway. For me, I'm not bothered, but I completely respect my husband's desire to think this through. I know it's unusual but he's not being irrational, but rather hyper-rational. He is not going to do anything weird like flip out or end the friendship, he's just trying to figure it out so he can feel comfortable.</p>
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
315 Posts
<p>Maybe it would help to know exactly how she is phrasing the request?</p>
<p> </p>
<p>Example:</p>
<p> </p>
<p>"Hey my son wanted to know if your daughter would like to come over and play. You could just drop her off." That would sound pretty normal to me.</p>
<p> </p>
<p>"We'd like your daughter to come over and play sometime without you guys." That would be weirder to me.</p>
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
90 Posts
<p>I would guess that she probably does not want to entertain you and the rest of your family and wants some quiet time to get things done or relax while the kids play. That is what I would assume, anyhow. I don't think it is odd to only want the child to come over and not the whole family but that is just me. Unless you or your husband have a reason to mistrust this family or get a really weird vibe from them, I would not worry about it. I know for me I always preferred just my daughter's friends come over unless I was really close with the parents. Otherwise, I had to entertain them and that was not always something I was in the mood to do.</p>
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,419 Posts
<p>Would you guys be comfortable with your DD going on a play date alone to different person's house? Or is your DH's anxiety only about Dee! If so, is only because the drop-off playdate was her suggestion? Maybe you guys can talk to Dee and let her know that you're just not comfortable with drop-off playdates yet (unless you'd do it with other people). Then you could ask Dee what is her policy on drop-offs just to get an idea of what she is thinking. Or suggest the kids have a drop-off at your house instead. If you feel like Dee checks out OK, you could try doing a very short drop-off to start out and see how it goes. However, if you have reason to think the Dee would harm your child if left alone with her, then your family shouldn't be friends with her family at all.</p>
<p> </p>
<p>Good luck with this tricky situation.</p>
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9,431 Posts
<br><br><div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>seashells</strong> <a href="/community/forum/thread/1289910/friend-wants-dd-to-come-over-by-herself#post_16167753"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a><br><br><p>Kids are 4 and 5.</p>
</div>
</div>
<p><br>
 </p>
<p>Well I'm probably the odd one out, but I wasn't comfortable letting DS go to friends' houses without me until he was 6 (except for his grandparents, aunts, and a couple that we've been friends with forever). But new people like classmates? Yeah, I wasn't cool with that in kindergarten -- luckily most other moms invited both of us over (as I did with them) so it was never an issue. The summer between kindergarten and first grade I started doing some drop-offs with his kindy friends, because by then I felt like I had spent plenty of time at their houses and gotten to know their parents better. It was a really big milestone for me, and I was really nervous about it prior to that, so I can understand the hesitation with kids of that age.</p>
<p> </p>
<p>I think there's nothing wrong with taking your time and continuing to do family get-togethers until everyone feels comfortable with it. </p>
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
647 Posts
Discussion Starter · #12 ·
<br><br><div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>camracrazy</strong> <a href="/community/forum/thread/1289910/friend-wants-dd-to-come-over-by-herself#post_16167864"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a><br><br><p>Maybe it would help to know exactly how she is phrasing the request?</p>
<p> </p>
<p>Example:</p>
<p> </p>
<p>"Hey my son wanted to know if your daughter would like to come over and play. You could just drop her off." That would sound pretty normal to me.</p>
<p> </p>
<p>"We'd like your daughter to come over and play sometime without you guys." That would be weirder to me.</p>
</div>
</div>
<p><br>
I've actually not heard the request myself, she's only talked to DH about it. I doubt he accurately remembers the phrasing, just that the "by herself" was emphasized to some degree or another.</p>
<p> </p>
<br><br><div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>Starflower</strong> <a href="/community/forum/thread/1289910/friend-wants-dd-to-come-over-by-herself#post_16167962"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a><br><br><p>Would you guys be comfortable with your DD going on a play date alone to different person's house? Or is your DH's anxiety only about Dee! If so, is only because the drop-off playdate was her suggestion? Maybe you guys can talk to Dee and let her know that you're just not comfortable with drop-off playdates yet (unless you'd do it with other people). Then you could ask Dee what is her policy on drop-offs just to get an idea of what she is thinking. Or suggest the kids have a drop-off at your house instead. If you feel like Dee checks out OK, you could try doing a very short drop-off to start out and see how it goes. However, if you have reason to think the Dee would harm your child if left alone with her, then your family shouldn't be friends with her family at all.</p>
<p> </p>
<p>Good luck with this tricky situation.</p>
</div>
</div>
<p><br>
DD has not been dropped off anywhere before, so this is kind of a new one for us, and that's probably the bottom line here - that it's new for DH and maybe taking a little getting used to. She has played at a neighbor's house without us before, so I guess that's a dropoff of sorts, but it felt different because it was completely impromptu and unfolded naturally (you know, kids playing in the yard and DD joins, later they run inside to play, etc.).</p>
<p> </p>
<p>DH suggested the dropoff at our house, but Dee's son said he wasn't comfortable yet.</p>
<p> </p>
<p>Thanks for your input, everyone. The most valuable take-aways I got were the ideas about what Dee is going for, particularly the introvert perspective. I will mention that idea to DH, tell him that dropoffs are common, and also ask him outright if he has any feeling/vibe about Dee other than just wondering why she wants DD to be dropped off. The latter is probably the most important question. I strongly suspect the answer is No, because my DH would not want to hang out with her if he didn't think she was a good person. So given that the request is typical and that all other signs are green, I think he can feel better about the request itself. I know this is weird and overanalytical but I'd rather ask a bunch of strangers on the Internet than ask my mom or something - I'll get better and more honest and more varied responses on a forum and not worry about what you guys think of me and DH, lol. Also, just wanted to assure you all that the reason DH had this concern is not because he's a crazy whack who wants to be weird but because his experience has led him to doubt people's motives, he has seen violence, etc. He is not knee-jerk overprotective (though he is protective), he just likes to think things through until he's satisfied. And then he can be comfortable.</p>
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,680 Posts
<p>My DD is 5 and we haven't done any drop off playdates either. The moms always want to come when she has a friend over here too. If you or your DH is uncomfortable with the idea why don't you just say 4 or 5 is kind of young and we just aren't comfortable with drop off playdates yet, maybe when DD's older.</p>
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8,198 Posts
<p>I was in a similar situation several years ago.  My dd was 2 at the time.  Very attached, not wanting to be away from me, etc.  Through a mom's group, I met another mother who shared a lot of the same philosophies and we hit it off well.  Her dd was 2.5 years older and I will just say that she was not a pleasant child for anyone to be around... peers or adults either one.  Anyway, the mom asked me many, many times to bring over dd and drop her off.  She would say, "Oh, why don't you give yourself a break and let her come over here for the day."  I would tell her, "Dd doesn't want to be away from me and I don't need or want a break from her.  I enjoy spending time with her."  It got to the point where she was bugging me about it every single time and I got to be like your dh... what were her motivations to be so insistent that dd come over <em>ALONE</em>.  It really, really gave me the creeps.  It was one of many reasons that I quite pointedly ended the friendship.  Trust your instinct.  If your dh doesn't feel comfortable, then just don't do it.</p>
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,742 Posts
<p>You said that your husband is suspicious of others & has good reasons. I'm not asking for details, but I wonder if he has a history of abuse. I know that I never anticipated having such anxiety over my children being alone with others, but I do. It's very difficult for me even to consider my kids going to others' houses, even if those people are our friends. My protective instincts kick in because I was often in vulnerable situations as a child, and I don't think it's necessarily true that if you trust someone as a friend that you have to let your children stay with them. If your husband's situation is similar, I would just say that it's not about this woman, but you're not comfortable with your child staying at someone else's house alone yet.</p>
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,998 Posts
<p>That wouldn't even be on my radar as something weird.  I don't do drop off playdates per se but it's normal for moms in my group to watch each other's kids.  For years now.  </p>
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,246 Posts
<p>It is very very normal where I live for kids of that age to play at friends' houses without parents, and in fact it would seem odd around here for parents to expect to always be there as well.  The issue is that when the parents are there, you have to entertain the parents, but if you just have kids there they kind of entertain each other and you can keep doing housework or reading your book or whatever.  Anyway, I wouldn't worry about the request unless you're getting weird red flags, and your husband has understandable reasons to see red flags where none exist, but it would be best for your kids as they grow and have friends if he would overcome that.</p>
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
774 Posts
<p>nak</p>
<p> </p>
<p>well i have a history of abuse, i lived with my abusers ( not my parents) for a couple of years and they never allowed me to go to friends homes to play. they would only allow my friends to plat at our house. they also didn't to many of my friends parents coming in. i don't know dee, but i'd really wait until the feeling your husband has passes.</p>
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,105 Posts
<p>Maybe the kids want this? My kids are 4 and 6 and often ask if so-and-so can come over to play one day, or even try to invite themselves over to their friends house. They just think it is so much fun. Sometimes they ask when they are home, so the other child's parents might not know about it, and I might just ask the parent myself. Something like "DS and XYZ like to play together. Can XYZ come over to play one afternoon; how is your schedule?" </p>
<p> </p>
<p>Plus, I figure if XYZ comes over here one day, then another day XYZ's parents may invite my DS or DD to come play over there. That gives me either a break and/ or some one-on-one time with my other child</p>
 
1 - 20 of 88 Posts
Top