Help outfit Michael, Sarah, and John

Saturday, March 03, 2012

Social Dilemma

So, my friend has this friend at school that she's been wanting to play with outside of school. As Anna hasn't made too many close friends here in FL, we are wanting to encourage friendships for her. I took Anna over to this little girl's house recently. The mom was very nice and we chatted for a bit before I dropped Anna off there for a few hours. The mom told me that she worked a lot and wasn't home much, but that her husband was home. This made me uncomfortable, but since the mom was there that day - I didn't think much of it. When I went home, I didn't like the idea of future scenarios with Anna being there with her friend and supervised by the dad only. Plus something just seemed off when I met the dad and he had a friend (also male) over that really struck me as not the sort of person I want to be around, much less my daughter. It may seem paranoid to some, but children are molested by people that they know and trust - and I don't know these people. The little girl is so incredibly sweet and this family may be fabulous - but I don't know that and I don't feel comfortable with the situation. And my number one job is to take care of my children - not worry about what other people may think.

Anna came home from her friend's house. She said that she had a nice time...but then she said she felt uncomfortable being there. I asked several questions trying to see if any funny business has occurred, but she said it was just a bad feeling that she had a couple of times. I told her that this was the Holy Spirit warning her and I praised her for being sensitive to feel those important promptings. I also told her how I felt about her going back and said that I didn't want it to happen again. She agreed with me and wasn't upset with my decision.

Fast forward to today - this friend was supposed to come over today to play. Anna was excited for her to come over and I was looking forward to learning more about her - by all accounts, she is an incredibly sweet girl. I have seen her a couple of times before now, not to mention the many phone calls...anyhow, the mom calls and said that the girl is feeling sick to her stomach, can we reschedule? I said that next weekend I would be out of town (Time Out For Women in Orlando) and then the following week we are leaving for Russia. I mentioned that her daughter could come over after school next week, sometime, but the mom didn't want to schedule anything. I guess some people aren't planners like I am. ha ha. Anyhow, I already knew that I didn't want for Anna to go over to her house again, but I didn't know how to go about saying that. You know? So, I said that we would be pretty busy when we bring our boys home from Russia and would not be having playdates here for some time - so the boys can attach to their family members. The mom accepted that and said that they would just have Anna come over there....I said that I appreciated that idea. I didn't know what else to say. "No, I'm sorry, I don't trust you people with my girl!" just doesn't flow very well, or sound very polite.

And so...what would you do? How would you broach this situation? Keep in mind that my mind is made up about Anna NOT going back to their house. And this girl will ask for Anna to come over again. She is the only girl in the family with an older brother - and she really likes Anna. I know that this isn't the end of this situation. I await your comments full of wisdom.


Diana said...

I would do just what you did. As for play dates at her house, just simply decline and try to reschedule another time when it works for you at your house. Otherwise, let it be. It will work itself out.

Courtney said...

Oh, I really wish I had some words of wisdom! Tim got invited to a friend's house this weekend to play (and to sleepover). I declined the sleepover on account of church, but really because I do not feel comfortable letting my kids stay at other people's houses yet. We ended up declining the play date as well, due to other stuff going on. I just don't think they are old enough (emotionally, socially, etc.) to be able to handle uncomfortable situations. And I know this mom leaves Tim's friend home with his older brother (who is in middle/early high school) and I REALLY don't feel comfortable with that possibility! All that to say, I totally understand and I hope someone else has a great way to handle these situations.

I think if we let Tim go over for a play date that I may just stay and chat with the mom instead of leaving him there. That would make me (and probably him) much more comfortable.

Katie said...

Just put it out there. Tell her that you realize you are "overprotective," but you just aren't comfortable with your daughter being in a house without an adult female present. Then, assure her that you hold to the same rule regarding your husband with other people's girls--just so there is never any question.

For what it is worth, I don't think you are being overprotective. There are kids on our street that my children are NOT allowed to play in their house, and I won't let them in my house. If they are going to play, they do it outside. If I'm not comfortable in ANY way with a situation, I won't put my kids in it. And that is because I was exposed to WAY more than I should have been as a child at the homes of friends.

Try to set up playdates in a neutral place or make yourself the sacrificial lamb, but trust your gut.It is better to act on the feelings and be wrong than to not act and be right.

Brianne said...

For after you bring your boys home and you want to help them attach to their family members, just let the other mom know that you don't really want to send Anna to other people's houses during that time because it's important for them to develop a relationship with her, too. I second what has already been said, can decline an invitation for Anna to go over there without saying why, or you could suggest that the other girl come over and you can teach them both how to cook something. You can always try the neutral zone idea; I think that could work well. Or perhaps this girl could join Anna on a playdate at another girl's house that you are comfortable with.

Mom of 2 said...

I have 2 teen sons..and to be honest I mostly had kids come here! Just invite her over and don't be afraid to say that having the friend over is easier for you..most parents love when their kids play at someone else's house!! I wouldn't have liked my boys being around 2 men I didn't know either :)