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To expect that a mum supervises the children on a play date?

(307 Posts)
Livvilou Tue 19-Feb-13 20:27:30

Please bear with this long post. At my DDs school play dates are common. I am not so bothered about them as I didn't go to people's houses when I was a child. My DD went to a child's house the mother told me she would pick her up from school. I called later and it seemed to me the mother was not at her house as expected. I sent my DH to pick up our daughter and the mother of the child said she had run an errand and left my DD with her partner and her daughter. Her partner had also picked up my DD from school but I didn't even know his name, he has only ever said hello to me and she said she would pick up my DD. my DD didn't have a good time at the playdate because her daughter didn't want to play with my DD because another friend of hers was also at the house. The same mother asked if my DD could go on another play date and this time I spoke to her about what happened last time. She claimed to have no knowledge of the fact that her daughter didn't want to play with mine. Which is ludicrous as she told this to my husband when he came to pick up DD and my DD told me what happened too.
Today my DD went to another child house. This child was supposed to come to our house and this morning her father tell me she wants my DD to come to her house. I said this isn't what has been agreed. The father says he asked his daughter today and she wanted my DD to come to their house. He then asks my DD if she wants to go to their house. Of course she says yes. I was livid! The mother made the original appointment with me, and didn't tell me she would be working. I dropped my DD off at the house and her friend comes to the door in a vest and pants and I wonder what she is doing. Her father says she is dressing up. I pick my DD up an hour later and find that she has also been dressing up and has to put her trousers and socks on before she can go home with me. I do not feel happy having my DD being supervised my male partners. I am not saying that anything has happened but I can't imagine why this isn't seen as strange. My DH spoke with our DD and told her she is not to undress at anyone's house and she said the house was really hot, and she is right as I remember thinking that as I stood at the living room door. I understand that dads also look after their kids and i think that is great, but in the climate that we live today, I need to feel I am doing every thing I can to keep my DD safe without being paranoid. Any thoughts as I have been in a distressed state all day. Not only because a 5 year old managed to change the plans, but because I feel now I have to explain myself to keep my DD safe. I am sure I will upset someone if I say what I really want, ie. for the mother to be there at the play date. I have felt terrible all day from the worry.

shesariver Fri 22-Feb-13 21:11:20

As my DH is a male child-minder I'm just glad the parents of his mindees aren't as narrow minded as some here thankfully!

Oh for goodness sake.

My ex had DDs birthday party this year. Eleventy million wee girls for a sleepover. He made pizza and fajitas with ice cream for afters.

I stayed at my house and drank wine. I call that a win win grin

Why is this even an issue? Both parents are just parents. There is no more reason to think the father will be a child molester than there is to think the mother will be a raving alcoholic or child abuser.

5madthings Fri 22-Feb-13 14:12:26

exoticmy do does shifts and so does the school run quotes bit, more than me often and parents who know him now talk to him, but there is a definite difference in the way I found it much easier to involve myself in playground chat and integrate. It helps that we have three children at the school so have been around years but certainly with reception class parents it was/is harder for him to chat to them at drop off and pick up. Those who have older children in the school and so already know dp are fine but those new to the school experience would talk to me when I did drop off and not to dp. Its better now as its been few months, but there was a sort oif women sticking together and not talking to the dads that did drop off to begin with smile

Groovee Fri 22-Feb-13 13:23:19

If you are uncomfortable with your dd going to others to play and may be have lunch or tea, then it's best to say no.

As someone who works with children, it's sometimes other women I am wary off. There is one mother I'd never leave my children with despite her desperately offering a lot to have them.

When I've felt uncomfortable I've just said no!

exoticfruits Fri 22-Feb-13 13:19:38

I follow all that BUT if the Dad always did the school run, she saw him everyday, and the mother was always at work , she still wouldn't want her DC going home with him.

THERhubarb Fri 22-Feb-13 13:07:05

I think the OP was reacting defensively as she was torn apart. This is how I see it.

I don't think she was tarring all men with the same brush at all. She made the point in her first post that she did not know the father. She didn't know his name or anything about him.

Same when she went to collect her dd. She had made arrangements for this friend to come round to hers, she made those plans with the mother, then the father (who she doesn't know) turns up and says that he wants her dd to play at theirs instead. When she turns up to collect her dd, they have been playing dressing up and her dd doesn't have her trousers on.

Now we can all get super paranoid about that but to be fair we all have parenting boundaries. When my kids were younger I would not have felt comfortable with them getting undressed at a friend's house either. It may be different if I had known the parents but if it was first time round at a friend's house with adults I didn't know then I would also be worried.

As a mother I would also discourage visiting young children to get undressed at my house. I remember a party I had for my ds when he was 6. These little horrors all came into the house and one little lad was running around with his trousers round his ankles showing everyone his bum and willy. My dh actually told him that if he didn't pull his trousers up we'd call his parents.

Kids will be kids though! But I was very aware that the parents didn't know us very well and so I really didn't want their kids getting undressed at ours. And that's with me there. I would also not let dh supervise young kids who he didn't know alone. Not because I don't trust dh but it's not fair on the child to leave them with an adult they barely know.

So I don't think the OP is being unreasonable. But some of you have different boundaries and that's fine.

I think the OP is quite protective of her first child and I'm certainly not going to berate her for that. She never, at any point, said that her fears were based purely on the fact that it was a man. Never. She made it quite clear that she didn't know him and that, I think, was her main point. This was the mother's partner who she didn't know.

AngelWreakinHavoc Fri 22-Feb-13 12:32:46

exotic it does seem that way. Fortunately for my dd ( and my ex) they are not surrounded by sexist parents at the school gate and my dd has a good social life including shock horror having friends over to sleep and everything!

exoticfruits Fri 22-Feb-13 12:07:21

It seems that if there is a SAHD he is doomed to have a socially isolated DD. I can't see that OP would be happy to go and have a cup of tea with him, if his DP was out at work.

FrameyMcFrame Fri 22-Feb-13 11:21:16

Plateus???? Playdate*

Stupid autocorrect

FrameyMcFrame Fri 22-Feb-13 11:20:28

I can understand a little bit Op. I would not feel comfortable arranging a plateaus then substituting my partner for me if the children and parents didn't know him.

Also if your child is young it makes a difference too. I don't think it's the fact that it's a man, just that it's a stranger.

stormforce10 Fri 22-Feb-13 10:52:32

I am short on time so can not read 12 pages sorry.

However - dd often has freinds round and regardless of who is supervising it seems to me that they are out of their clothes in into the contents of the dressing up box before they've been in the house 10 minutes. Perfectly normal. Relax

amillionyears Fri 22-Feb-13 10:48:01

She is scared.
Maybe something has happened to her previously.
Or maybe it is all the newspapers that she is reading.

Passthesaltdear Fri 22-Feb-13 10:24:17

You are being v unreasonable

TheFallenNinja Fri 22-Feb-13 10:19:51

My biggest concern is the tarring of an entire gender with the brush of the deplorable actions of some of that gender.

Raising a child with healthy caution is one thing, with suspicion on such broad criteria cannot be healthy.

I'm as protective of my child as anyone and would rain down vengeance with immeasurable fury if ANYBODY hurt them. I am equally protective of any child in my care as this is my responsibility.

AngelWreakinHavoc Fri 22-Feb-13 10:00:54

It is this comment from the op which I find offensive * I do not feel happy having my DD being supervised my male partners*

This is not about plans being changed at last minute or anything else. It is plain and simple the op does not trust men.

As I said upthread my youngest dc live with their dad who takes them to school and drops them off, I am mortified that there is people out there who may see this as weird or think they would keep their dc from playing with my dc because of this reaseon.

This thread is really quite upsetting to read tbh.

exoticfruits Fri 22-Feb-13 09:45:00

My perception is that if the father had arranged it at the school gate she would have declined. He was a man.

exoticfruits Fri 22-Feb-13 09:43:40

I'm sure that every parent is concerned for their child's well being! That is why I let mine visit friends after school.

amillionyears Fri 22-Feb-13 09:43:06

See, I am not sure that it would have mattered to the op whether the "new" parent was a mum or dad.
I think that if she knew the dad at the school gate, and had arranged the playdate with him, and then it was the mum or stepmum or dads partner who showed up and was the playleader, I think she still would have been uneasy as she did not "know" the new person.
I could be wrong, but that is what I thought her emotions about it all were about.
I could have got that wrong, but that is why I responded to the thread in the way that I did.
I dont think the op is coming back.
I think she does come across as anxious and worried, and I suspect she doesnt much like changes in her life.
But that is ok. All people are different.

exoticfruits Fri 22-Feb-13 09:41:52

My grandfather loved small children - if he stayed with us and sat in the garden they used to come around and sit and talk to him. He had the time. He was in his 80s. How sad if the local mothers had thought it sinister - and cut him off from such an innocent pleasure of children's company and conversation - even more so in that you think if it was Grandma it would be perfectly OK.

Imaginethat Fri 22-Feb-13 09:41:30

No I don't think you are at all unreasonable to feel uncomfortable about how plans were changed without your involvement. You are of course concerned for your (v young ) daughter's welfare. Quite right too.

Some parents are very cavalier about play dates, others are cautious. I think you should feel that you can turn them down or ask at least feel you can be open about your concerns. She is your child and ultimately it is your grief if something happens to her that you may have been able to prevent.

I approach play dates from the viewpoint that parents may feel like me, that is, concerned for their child's wellbeing. I let them know who will do pick up, who will be watching them, what they ate and, for sleepovers, when they went to sleep.

My ex offers play dates but cautiously and the parents know it's fine to say if they'd prefer their child visited at my house only. It isn't that they suspect my ex is a paedophile, they just feel more comfortable because I've had more contact with the child/mother. He is fine with this, he works in a part of social services and totally gets child safety issues.

Likewise, we would speak up if we were unsure about an arrqngemnt. We turned down a ride for dd to travel with another child's dad to their holiday house because my dd said it would be weird going only with the dad and not her friend or mum (they'd already gone) We were quite open about it and everyone laughed.

I also expect to be informed if they visit others while at friends and if others visit them.

These cautionary measures are based on my own experiences during childhood and my experiences as a news reporter. It doesn't matter whether they seem over the top to anyone else, they are what is right for me.

exoticfruits Fri 22-Feb-13 09:36:34

Why can't men enjoy the same? Is it odd if a man enjoys it? This is the reason that many won't come forward to be Scout leaders etc- the perception being that they can't just enjoy it and want to put something back into the community.

TheFallenNinja Fri 22-Feb-13 09:32:58

The OP original statement. I love looking after kids, thoroughly enjoy play time and enjoy giving them back worn out and undamaged.

The notion dads are not to be trusted is thoroughly offensive.

OP isn't looking to see if it's an unreasonable point of view, rather seeking support.

exoticfruits Fri 22-Feb-13 09:32:45

It was a long time ago but thanks! I went on to marry again and have 2more so DS got the family he wanted. But that has its own difficulties - people with small children don't want you turning up at their house with an 8yr old if you go for a cup of tea. Equally if you have an older child they don't want a crawling baby when they are past toddler proofing. All this 'only going if you can accompany at the start' is fine if you have one child, or you can leave the others elsewhere - it is unworkable for lots of people. I don't see why people can't use their own judgement- don't they trust it?

amillionyears Fri 22-Feb-13 09:32:13

seeker, it can depend.
As Adversecamber said further up, harmful things did happen to her.
It doesnt seem to happen very often, but it does happen.

Another thing that happened to our family. Again I shall be scant with details.
My boys this time. Used to go to a friends house. Turns out, friends dad had been growing illegal things in his garden.. Friends dad went to court. Got fined.
Some parents then wouldnt let their children go to the house again.
We carried on letting ours. As I told the other parents, we had never had a problem with how our boys were looked after there.
But I did say to our children that if ever they didnt feel comfortable there, or if they were given something to eat that they were not happy with, to tell us right away.

imnotmymum Fri 22-Feb-13 09:22:30

Oh exotic I send you a hug and thanks

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