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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
DS1 is still pretty young, but I know that within the next few years he is going to start wanting to play at friend's houses and possibly sleepover. The thought of letting him spend time in a home that I don't know much about scares me. At the very least, I'd want to talk to the other parent first and ask some questions. What questions did/do you ask? I remember one mom saying she requires a playdate at her own home first so she can get to know the child. I like that idea. Some questions I'm thinking of are:<br><br>
~Do you have a gun in your home?<br>
~Do you have a pool?<br>
~What will the children be doing?<br>
~Will they be supervised at all times?<br>
~What are your rules on TV viewing? (AKA Will my kid be watching an R rated movie?)<br><br><br>
I really don't care if I come off as an overprotective parent - I am one! I want to know what kind of people DS will be with before he goes somewhere without me. I live in FL and there are some sketchy people around here. I've seen some crazy things since I've lived down here, and some people that I wouldn't ever want around my DS. So how do you monitor who your children spend time with? At what age are they allowed to go on playdates without you?
 

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We don't allow sleep overs at all and only allow play dates (where I drop off and leave) at the homes of friends I know very well. Because I know them very well, I won't have the need to interview them. I'll already know the answers to the questions.<br><br>
If I didn't know them very well, I wouldn't just drop my child and leave. I takes me a very long time to feel comfortable leaving my child. In fact, I only have one friend where I would consider doing this.
 

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My kids are 6 and 4 and haven't had "drop-off" playdates yet. I don't expect they will at homes where I haven't been there first and I don't know the parents. I would never do a drop-off at a home with a gun, ever, and with a pool they would have to be quite a bit older, maybe a teenager.
 

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My girls both have sleepovers at other peoples houses on occasion, but first we always have that child stay over at our house so I meet the parents, they ask questions about what they're concerned about, so you kind of get a feel for what they are like. I also always go into a house before I let my kids play there, to check things out, make sure no one smokes in the house, things like that. We have lots more sleep overs here that my kids do other places, but I know my kids friends well that way, and that helps to keep them safe.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Ohh, that is another good point: smoking. I wouldn't want the kids at a smoking household.
 

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I didn't allow sleep overs with my oldest child until he was almost 11 (5th grade). I plan to do the same with the other two. I wanted my child/ren to be old enough to know when someone is trying to hurt them and to be mature enough to make decisions on their own without me by their side. I don't feel a young child can do that. Younger children are more likely to just do what another adult says because they think mom or dad would probably think it's okay. Plus another adult can tell your child not to tell you and threaten them somehow.<br><br>
I just don't trust anyone with my child, no matter how nice, considerate or genuine they may seem. There are child molesters and negligent parents where you least expect them sometimes. I've heard too many horror stories.
 

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I try to frequently stop by at school and go to all the school events and parties. I get a good feeling about the kids and meet a lot of parents that way. I live in a very small town and all I have to do is call my stb mil and she can usually tell me all about the family or that they aren't originally from here like me, so I need to investigate more. I say yes as often as possible to playdates here and encourage my kids to pick some friends to try to schedule playdates here. We do smoke, but in a separate room in the basement with an exhuast fan. I keep trying to quit, I have gotten it to stick yet. It's hard because most people here do smoke and you'd think they'd never heard it was bad for you! also, almost every house here has guns. Most people rely on hunting to feed their families. It's a matter of knowing where the guns are and if they are locked. There are a lot of pluses to moving into BFE and I have decided for me that this is a good place for us overall.
 

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I agree with pp, it does matter where you live; also if the parents are in law enforcement, there will be guns in the house. Here in MT most everyone hunts. However, most hunters are very careful about guns, have them locked in a safe, etc. I also feel it is my responsibility to give my kids the rundown on guns, and how to be safe with them.<br><br>
As far as having sleepovers, that is also dependent on where you live, etc. Here in a pretty small town, where I know the parents from school, etc. would be different from say if I worked full time, didn't meet the parents, large urban area, etc etc. So I have to know the parents, and also get recommendations/references first from other parents before I would consider having them sleepover, and meet them also because if someone gives me the willies, I won't let them stay...anyway my son had his first sleepover and he had to come home because he was homesick (he said the bed was too hard).<br><br>
It really depends on context, where you live, your values, what you consider important and that varies from person to person.
 

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I don't ask many questions, if any. The things I care most about (pedophiles, verbal/physical abuse) people wouldn't admit to.<br><br>
dd does have one friend with a parent that is a police officer. It's been mentioned in casual conversation, that the gun is kept in a safe box.<br><br>
I do prep my dd before visit and try to target specific things.
 

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I think if I felt I had to ask questions like "do you have a pool", it's a sign I didn't know the family.<br><br>
I think if I felt I had to ask "will the children be supervised at all times", it's a sign that I don't trust the family to care for my child.<br><br>
If I don't know or trust a family, there's no way that my daughter would be sleeping over.<br><br>
Actually... if we invited one of my daughter's friends over to stay at our house and I was asked those questions, I'd assume that the parent was not ready for a sleepover and I'd tactfully back out and suggest we do it when the parent felt more comfortable with my family.<br><br>
As for ages... my almost-6 yr old is actually on her first sleepover tonight. We've had drop-off 'playdates' since about 4.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>Lingmom</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/10774546"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">I think if I felt I had to ask questions like "do you have a pool", it's a sign I didn't know the family.<br><br>
I think if I felt I had to ask "will the children be supervised at all times", it's a sign that I don't trust the family to care for my child.<br><br><br><br>
Actually... if we invited one of my daughter's friends over to stay at our house and I was asked those questions, I'd assume that the parent was not ready for a sleepover and I'd tactfully back out and suggest we do it when the parent felt more comfortable with my family.</div>
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But I think that the only way to really get to know the family and decide whether or not to trust them is to ask these questions and see how they respond to them. If anyone was put off by these questions then that would throw up red flags for me. IMO there is nothing wrong with asking.
 

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Here's a question that has come up twice recently IRL.<br><br>
Once I didn't think to address it when DS went home with a friend of his (who's Mom is also a close friend of mine) in a somewhat unexpected minor emergency situation. The other Mom basically tired of having two kids to watch after a few hours and decided to call DS's father (my STBX) and sent DS to him in a car with another adult, something I never, ever would have wanted or agreed to and something which in fact caused enormous problems for me.<br><br>
Another time recently, DS was going to spend the night with his aunt (his first night away from home ever) and when I brought up the topic of what would happen if he asked to come home I was informed that DS would be told that he would be coming home in the morning! This was totally NOT OK with me at all and I had to insist that if he wanted to come home that the aunt would call me so that I could pick him up.<br><br>
So I learned that it is best not to assume that your child will remain where you leave him or her until you return and that you will be contacted immediately if your child wants to leave -- things that seemed perfectly obvious to me.
 
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