Saturday, November 7, 2009

CAN I GO TO MY FRIENDS HOUSE?

I wanted to know what you all do when your kids ask, "Can I go to my friends house?"

I'm not talking about a friend who's family you know personally, and totally trust with your child(ren). I'm referring to the new friend they made at Sunday school (or even just regular school).

Yes, this kid seems nice, and so does the mom (who I've met on a few occasions). I briefly met the dad (who wasn't overly friendly), but I don't want to judge him for that reason. They have older kids who are my older kids ages, however they don't hang out together.

My point is, my youngest son Daniel has a friend in his Sunday school class. They get along really well, and he has invited him to come over after church. We don't know the parents well at all. They are new to our church, and all I really know about them is that they have four kids and also homeschool.

I don't live by "fear", and I don't want to assume that they are a bunch of freaks, but part of my motherly instincts tells me to not to let him go. I don't know if it's God giving me discernment, or I've heard one too many horror stories.

At first, I told her that he could go over there (Eli was going to go too), but after talking to my husband last night, he's going to suggest to them that we all go to lunch to get to know each other better. This way, we can get a "feel" about them and their family.

Am I over reacting?

How do you handle situations like this? I'm curious to know.

29 comments:

Leslie said...

You are a very good parent/parents (your husband, too, I love the lunch together idea). Always check. I still do and did even when my oldest son was in high school (about parties, and if alcohol would be allowed, who would be supervising, etc.) You love your children so you want to keep them safe, that's awesome and smart.

Laurencita said...

Well, that is a smart idea.

Buckeroomama said...

If something is stopping you from outright saying YES, then you should listen to that voice. Having lunch first to get to know more about each other is a wise move.

Brandi said...

Nope, not at all. I would have flat out told my kiddo "no" until we had an opportunity to do something like your husband suggested. Very smart to check 'em out first... see how they parent their kids.

I have a neighbor friend who lives 3 blocks away from us. We actually know them quite well and their child has been over to our house to play several times.

After the mom repeatedly asked for my boys to come to her house and play (and I had run out of excuses as to why they couldn't), I decided to let them go. I walked them over to her house. We were chatting for a minute... I was going to leave and walk home, but I began to realize her idea of "play at my house" was having the kids play outside in the front yard unattended while she was inside. My boys were 7 and 3 at the time. Needless to say, I didn't leave them there. You just never know about people.

Parsley said...

I think God is giving you wisdom.

I suggest meeting at the park. Get a 'feel' for the parents. See how they talk, correct, and watch over their OWN children. You'll know soon if it's 'safe'.

Sawatzky family said...

I always try to know the famiy first. One very nice thing about living in or tiny tiny town is that every really does know almost everyone else lol
I love getting together as families first :)

Laureen said...

My parents also seldom allow us to go out with friends before.They prefer to bring our friends in the house.My friends also likes to hang out coz my parent are so hospitable.

Sara said...

This is such a difficult topic in my house too. Logan has just now started having playdates which are independant of us. Dave doesn't want to let him go. I always try to encourage kids to play at our house instead, and usually that works, we live in the sticks, so we have a lot for kids to do (trampoline, tree house, zip line). So they like to play over here. I would have the child over to play at your house too, then you can get a good idea of what goes on over there, by the way the child behaves. Kids are funny, they say a lot. :0)

Robyn said...

I liked having my kids friends at our house. That way I knew what my kids were doing and how they were being treated. Also kids will tell you all kind of things cause they are honest and you can find out all kinds of stuff just by asking the kids and watching them play.
The one time I didn't follow my heart, voice in my head, God telling me to watch it. I let my daughter go spend the night with a friend, well she called about 9 pm freaking out because the friends mom's boyfriend came over drunk and they started to fight. My daughter freaked out jumped out the bedroom window and went to the neighbors and called me to come get her. I vowed then never again would I second guess those feelings.
Good luck with this and let us know how it goes.

Susie said...

I think if your instincts are telling you no, you should listen! It's God telling you to be cautious. The lunch sounds like a great idea!! Maybe that's all He wants you to do:-)

Denise said...

Praying for you.

Stacy said...

I am now starting to get into that area too. I would def get to know them better:)

Jac said...

I agree with most everything said. You just can't be too cautious where the kids are involved. Besides, it's a great opportunity for you to make another friend too!

Jac @ wuzzlemakesthree.com

momstheword said...

When the kids were little, we mostly hung out on Sunday as a family. We invited other families to our house (or us to theirs). That is how we got to know them.

After we got to know them, then we felt comfortable exchanging play dates.

My neighbor was begging me to let my then-five year old son play with her kids at her house. I told her several times "Let's schedule a time to get together and talk and get to know one another first!"

Each time she refused to get together. But she still continued to ask if my five yr old could come over.

One day, she finally admitted that "I don't have time to meet with you!" and she said she worked from home and she wanted my five year old to come and play with her two and four year olds and "keep them busy while I get some work done."

Needless to say, my son never went over there.

Listen to your heart. Get to know them first!

yonca said...

The lunc is a great idea!I prefer to meet at the park, Mc Donalds or somewhere first. And I get a chance to see his/her mom.

louann said...

No you are not. I think it is perfectly right to be worried. I haven't experienced that but if I were asked that question now, given the same circumstances, I would have to say no. It's a HUGE factor when you know the parents.

Kim said...

It such a hard thing but I say go with your gut. the lunch date sounds like a great idea to get to know the family.

I am glad you posted about this b/c I have been thinking of the same thing. I need to go with my gut too!

Muthering Heights said...

My kids are too little for that, but I don't think I will let them go ANYWHERE unless I know the parents extremely well!

Collette@Jesuslovesmums said...

This is such a hard topic isn't it? I am having similar thoughts with Jacob just now. He has just turned 5 and people think that it is good to organise playdates with each others kids. I wouldn't let him go on his own unless I knew the other parents exceptionally well.
Example; Jacob and I went to his wee friend from school's house one afternoon. The mum is lovely but I was offered a glass of wine if I wanted it(at 2pm!) and I noticed lots of alcohol on display high up on shelves. I am not saying this family drink lots or anything but I just don't know if I want him playing in a home where alcohol is idolised.
To be honest I find this a minefield!!!!!
Love Collette xxx

McCrakensx4 said...

I don't think you are overreacting at all...family time with both is a reasonable request and then you can decide. I hope you have a nice lunch.

Erin said...

I don't have a hard a fast rule but I always trust that little voice. Like others have already told you, you're picking up on something you don't feel comfortable about and you need to heed that feeling. Trust your gut on this one Alicia. If your kids get frustrated with you, you can just use my line, "I will NOT be THAT mother on the 5:00 o'clock news saying, "But they seemed so nice!" "....

blueviolet said...

The only thing I can say is to listen to your gut. It has a way of telling us what to do and it's ALWAYS right.

4 Lettre Words said...

I kind of dread that stuff, which will probably come up soon with Sam. :o(

joanofalltrades said...

You are so not overreacting. And your first instinct is usually the correct one. I don't blame you. When it comes to the safety of our children I think it is okay to judge people to an extent. My next door neighbors have a 1 year old. I told my husband that our child will not be able to play at there house because the other day I saw the mom pushing the stroller with one hand ans smoking a cigarette with the other. Am I judging? Yes, but I'm sorry. I don't want my child directly exposed to second hand smoke. If they can't understand that, then oh well.

Just A Mom (Call me JAM for short) said...

Are you overreacting? That would be a big... NO! As a parent, there are times we can ONLY go on a "feeling". And you know what? In my parenting book, that's enough. Suggesting lunch was perfect.

Puanani503 said...

The lunch ideas sounds great. I'd listen to your feelings and go with the lunch get together:)

Kathy C. said...

Alicia, you can never be too cautious when it comes to putting your kids in the homes of others. Your hubby's idea is a good one, perhaps go out to lunch, then before they can invite him over, invite their family over for dinner (they will be more at ease in your house than a restaurant, this may show how they interract). Trust the feelings you get, it could be the Holy Spirit guiding you.
Blessings to you!

Ms. Latina said...

Go with your gut. There is a reason for the feeling even if you can not vocalize it. God speaks to us; however, many times we do not want to offend, yet its not about offending its about doing your duty. Take our Father for instance, how many times has He had to say no to you even when you cried out for it. He does it to protect as a parent should. You are protecting him. If you are wrong then it will be revealed.

Ms. Latina said...

Also wanted to say that my oldest is 15 but he is not allowed to go to ANYONES place unless I know their parents and their standards. I am more then willing to allow them to come over to my home but otherwise I say no. He has complained but has admitted that he loves how much I care, esp. after hearing stories from his friends. Trust your instincts.

*Hugs*