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To not let my 4 year old go to her friend's house without me?

(58 Posts)
mrsdom Thu 23-Jan-14 17:14:09

Hello mumsnetters,
Long time lurker looking for some advice. My little girl is in preschool, and turned 4 in November. She is quite a shy girl but has one close friend in preschool and a couple of other friends from the day nursery she used to attend. Actually I think she would like to play with other children in preschool but her friend is extremely reluctant to play with others and seems rather dependent on her (to the point that he used to cry in the first few weeks of preschool if my daughter wasn't going to after school care with him, and his mum tell me he's still really sad about that and has no other friends).
All this is by the by really, but I just wanted to give some background to the friendship. We've had a couple of play dates (I know that lots of people hate that expression but can't think what else to call it!) since before Christmas, to soft play and to each other's homes. His mum is quite nice and I've enjoyed her company but I wouldn't call her a friend (though I encouraged the play dates as I'm not originally from this town and have found it hard to make friends so thought this was one way to try and widen my circle).
Anyway, the little boy's mum keeps mentioning having my daughter over to play on her own and I'm not keen on it. I've only been to her house once but I've never met her older child or her husband. I don't know a lot about them and my kids are used to being left with anyone other than family or teachers/carers. Am I being unreasonable and overprotective to feel uncomfortable with this idea? And if you think I am being unreasonable you should hear my husband's views...!
So, what do you think? Thanks.

Tabliope Thu 23-Jan-14 17:17:26

I don't think that's unreasonable. Just tell her she's not ready to be left.

CakePunch Thu 23-Jan-14 17:18:12

I wouldn't. If your not comfy able don't do it.

Swanbridge Thu 23-Jan-14 17:19:37

If you're not happy, you're not happy.

BUT I would say that if you trust the woman with your DD, I can't see why you wouldn't trust her husband and son. (If you met them, you wouldn't actually know them any better in any meaningful way. It's not like you can get a DBS check done on them!) If your daughter is happy to go then I'd suggest you drop her off, stay for a coffee, then head off, and collect an hour or so later the first time.

rabbitlady Thu 23-Jan-14 17:19:56

do not let your child go to anyone's house if you are not going. she is not old enough to take care of herself.

Iwannalaylikethisforever Thu 23-Jan-14 17:20:50

I wouldn't do it personally. My dd is 6 this year I wouldn't let her either unless I knew the parents.

LyndaCartersBigPants Thu 23-Jan-14 17:22:15

My dd went on play dates from 3 y/o without me, but only with parents we both knew well and she was a very confident child.

If your dd doesn't know the mum very well and is a bit shy, just say that, I'm sure the friend's mum will understand.

I must admit I prefer having children here to play without their parents as it means my DCs are occupied while I get some peace, whereas if the parent comes I have to sit and chat to them (which is nice sometimes and a good way to make new friends, but sometimes it's a pita.)

You could always try dropping her off and going somewhere close by so you're handy if she wants you back, but if you're really uncomfortable with it, just say she's a bit shy. I wouldn't worry about not having met other members of the family though, that seems a bit ott to me.

mercibucket Thu 23-Jan-14 17:23:13

entirely up to you. does your daughter want to go? by herself? if so i would let her, if not then dont.
i would have done and it would be common here but your choice

PhoebeMcPeePee Thu 23-Jan-14 17:26:25

If you're not happy then just tell her DD isn't ready to be left alone BUT I do think you're bring a bit PFB about it. I was just like this with my first but DS2 (age 4) is currently on a play date with a boy from school whose mum I've met a handful of times in the playground, never step foot in their house or met siblings/partner grin It didn't even cross my mind not to trust a fellow school mum for a couple of hours --and I was just relived to be one child less on the school run-/

harticus Thu 23-Jan-14 17:27:24

YANBU - there are no rules about this. Don't do it if you don't want to.

The whole play date thing is a PITA - I am nagged to death by another woman at school who constantly wants my DS to come over for tea. Her house is a toxic shithole. It is growing increasingly difficult to come up with reasonable excuses.

MomentForLife Thu 23-Jan-14 17:27:30

My 5 year old hasnt been to a friends house alone yet. Just say she's a bit young at the moment.

mrsdom Thu 23-Jan-14 17:27:52

Thanks all. See, I felt my instinct was right but as she is my PFB I was afraid I was being a bit silly. The other mum has maybe been through all this before but she does seem terribly casual to me about dropping her kids off with friends. And part of me is afraid of being asked to have her son over to play on his own and having to cause offence by saying no. Argh, parenting politics!! I'm making it harder than it needs to be probably.

PhoebeMcPeePee Thu 23-Jan-14 17:28:04

rabbitlady - do you mean toileting etc or purely because she's only just 4 & therefore may want mum?

BillyNotQuiteNoMates Thu 23-Jan-14 17:29:15

It sounds, from your OP, that it is YOU that have the problem rather than your DD. If my own DD wanted to go to play at a friends house without me then I'd let her tbh. Out of interest, at what age would you let yours go? Would you expect her friends to come to your house with parents in tow - and at what age do you think that would not be suitable?

fluterby Thu 23-Jan-14 17:29:17

I didnt let mine until nearly the end of reception class. If you're not happy don't. Just say she's not ready to be left yet.

mathanxiety Thu 23-Jan-14 17:30:54

YABU and overprotective imo.

I would actually try to let the teacher know your DD is having her style cramped somewhat by this boy and ask them to try to help them both branch out socially.

I have 5 DCs and if every parent of children my younger children wanted to have over to play had the same attitude as yours wrt not knowing both parents or older siblings they wouldn't have had friends. There is an 11 year gap from DD1 to DD4 so when DD4 got to the stage of playing with other children DD1 was a teenager and DS almost at that point. exH had nothing to do with the DCs after school activities and really didn't know anyone in that community.

I personally also prefer not having other parents over as it's much easier to supervise properly without a distracting other mother sitting on the couch trying to converse politely.

diddl Thu 23-Jan-14 17:42:35

Do you not want your daughter to be friends with this boy?

What would be the problem with having him over?

Does your daughter like him & want to play with him?

I can't see the problem tbh-at least trying for an hr or so at first.

I agree that it can often be much easier when you don't have to sit making smalltalk with the other mother.

arethereanyleftatall Thu 23-Jan-14 17:48:42

4 is around the age they do do play dates on their own. Of course up to you. But you'd better start getting used to it!
Remember MN does tend to reprsente the more overprotective of parents, hence why they're on here, so the majority saying yanbu is not representative of average real life iyswim.

2rebecca Thu 23-Jan-14 18:01:07

As you have met the other mum and been to her house I wouldn't say that expecting your daughter to go alone is unreasonable. my kids went to friends' houses unaccompanied at that age.
It depends on whether your daughter wants to go and is comfortable going really. It sounds as though this boy likes your daughter more than she likes him so maybe she doesn't want to go. You also say you don't want to have the wee boy round again so in that case I'd say no.
I never really arranged for my kids to play with other kids, I felt it was up to them to say they wanted to play with x and if they weren't asking for it it didn't happen. They're socialising all day at school, they don't need extra stuff.
The other mum should maybe take him to some after school clubs to encourage him to socialise.

HappyMummyOfOne Thu 23-Jan-14 18:24:17

I tend to host to avoid this problem grin DS is 10 and i still wouldnt let him go to a house where i didnt know the parents or had seen the house. Who knows if they smoke, have dogs etc. Overprotective yes and I may have to grit my teeth at high school age but they would be effectively strangers. I did let him go from about 6 onwards if i knew the parents but he does tend to ask friends over to ours instead.

dingalong Thu 23-Jan-14 18:25:25

I'd be child led, if they need you to stay - if they are comfortable to stay my themselves I'd leave, if I'd met the parent. If they are happy but you insist on staying yabu.

LiegeAndLief Thu 23-Jan-14 18:27:29

I think this is partly a PFB thing.

I have two dc, the youngest is 4 and sorting out play dates is harder than when I had a 4yo and a baby. If I go with her to friends' houses, which I would like to do the first time unless I know the mum well, I have to find someone to have ds or bring a reluctant 7yo along to play with 2 4yo girls. Maybe this is why the other mum wants to start doing play dates on their own?

Equally I find it a bit annoying if a mum I'm not particularly friends with insists on staying as I would rather let the dc play and not have to entertain someone, although I do understand that some dc do not like to be left and don't begrudge a parent wanting to stay.

Think it's a bit extreme to want to meet the dh and siblings though - if the dh is at work likely he won't even be there and the sibling is presumably just another child! If the mum is normal and nice and you've been to the house it is more than reasonable to let your dd go on her own. And equally reasonable for the mum to ask if her ds can come to yours on his own. I really can't see why you would have a problem with that...

mrsdom Thu 23-Jan-14 18:36:06

Thank you all. I suppose it is true to say he likes my daughter more than she likes him but she is definitely very good friends with him. I think he is a nice enough boy, well mannered but clearly not interested in playing with anyone other than my daughter. I had thought of mentioning this to the teachers but I sort of hoped that over time they'd widen their circle of friends. I've been making efforts to stay in touch with other people that my daughter is friends with but his mum seems to only meet us. Anyway, my husband is firmer in his opinion than me - he will not contemplate leaving our child in a house where we don't know everyone that lives there and we don't know who is coming in or out . I might relax a bit about it after a few more visits but I don't think he will! So for now, I'll be at all the play dates (probably being a pita to his mum who maybe just wants a couple of hours peace, lol!).

Musicaltheatremum Thu 23-Jan-14 18:36:11

I must have been a bad mum. Mine both went to other peoples houses aged 3 and 4. Wouldn't say I was more than on chatty terms with the mums. They loved it. Having said that, if I thought they would be distressed I wouldn't have let them go.
They're 20 and 18 now so a long time ago.

mrsdom Thu 23-Jan-14 18:45:59

Sorry, I just realised I sound really weird saying I don't want to have her son over. Of course he can come over to play but I prefer his mum to come too. Because I really just think they're a bit young to be left. And wrt to meeting the older son and Dad, well I don't think it's unreasonable to want to know the people that my daughter (and I) are spending time with.
Interesting to hear all the different viewpoints. I'm sure by the time my little boy gets to this stage I'll be doing a drive-by drop-off at his friends' front door with the engine still running!

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