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or do I deserve all the eye rolling currently going on here

(68 Posts)
epicfail Sun 09-Oct-11 06:13:57

Twin DDs who are 14 went to a Birthday sleepover on a farm last night. I was not overly happy as it was a mixed sleepover but the mother assured me that the boys and girls would be well seperated and supervised. In the end only two boys stayed and I believe it all went well.

DDs have just informed me that they had fun being driven around the property with them all loose in the back of a Ute, with no adults present and the 14yo birthday girl driving! But that it was "ok mum, she knows how to drive and we weren't going that fast!" One DD has a massive bruise on her hip from being bumped around the Ute tray.

AIBU to be absolutley white knuckled and seeting with rage that the mother permitted this?

TopazMortmain Sun 09-Oct-11 06:54:46


Georgimama Sun 09-Oct-11 06:59:32

YANBU at all. I would ring the mother - did she really permit this? DD and/or birthday girl may be lying about that part.

duvetdayplease Sun 09-Oct-11 07:07:04

I think yanbu, its not very safe. However I would caution being too hostile, young driving pretty normal on farms & my mate used to do the same with us back in the day.

ovenchips Sun 09-Oct-11 07:09:47

I have a funny feeling that as it is on farm land i.e. their own land, it is not illegal for the 14 year old to be driving on it?? Heard a few stories of young people driving around on their parents' farm from a young age. Don't know about not using seatbelts either.

Could be wrong about this, it just rang a dim bell. YANBU to be dismayed but if the above is true then for the family it will probably seem fairly normal and not necessarily something that would upset other parents.

Georgimama Sun 09-Oct-11 07:10:52

It isn't illegal ovenchips but it is dangerous - no doubt the 14 year old was showing off to her friends.

flamingtoaster Sun 09-Oct-11 07:13:49

YANBU On private land it was not illegal. However, without seatbelts, it was dangerous. The mother may not have known what was going on - they may just have gone "out for a walk"!

nooka Sun 09-Oct-11 07:19:37

Well it's not illegal (if you are in the UK and they were on their own property and not the road) and it is quite possible that the girl may have been driving for several years. It would have been very bumpy even at slow speeds - I've been in the back of our pick up truck on a dirt track and got thrown around quite a bit (I'd not do it again, but my children love it) we weren't going at any great speed.

At 14 I'm assuming it was the choice of your children to take the ride, so I'm not sure why you are quite so angry at the mum (plus was there no dad about?)

catinboots Sun 09-Oct-11 07:20:27

It does sound a bit dangerous, but what you have to consider is that it's probably totally normal for the parents - I'm not making excuses for them, but they probably didn't give it a second thought.

This sort of thing is totally normal for farm-kids.

Some of DS1s (12) friends' parents think nothing of letting them out in the evening to hang about at the corner shops. That would scare me more than an unsupervised car ride on a private farm.

Everyone's boundaries are different I suppose (I'm discovering this more and more as DS1 is just starting to stay over with friends I don't know)

It's hard, but you either embaress your DC and send them off with a list of dos and dont's, or you try and learn to let go a bit and take a step back.

MamaMaiasaura Sun 09-Oct-11 07:22:06

Yanbu. The birthday girls mother may let her children drive on the farm, but when looking after other peoples children she has a duty of care to look after them safely. If anything had happened, she would be held accountable I believe.

SeaShellsOnTheSeaShore Sun 09-Oct-11 07:29:55

I use to drive tractors/trucks/quad bikes on farms at 14-as others have said, it's not necessarily safe, but often totally normal for farming children as they have grown up with the risks and have been taught from an early age how to do it properly.

The difference is your dd and friends haven't and the birthday girl could easily been showing off etc which makes it more dangerous. I understand your concerns.

epicfail Sun 09-Oct-11 08:00:26

Futher prodding reveals that the birthday girl took the ute without asking at first, got into trouble for that, but then was allowed to continue driving them around 'as long as she was careful'. It transpires that she was anything but careful, at which point my less adventurous twin became afraid, asked to get out of the rear of the ute and got in the actual body of the car, with her seatbelt on.

The driver was not wearing a seatbelt and was barefoot.

She took a corner too fast, hence DD14's massive bruise.

I have just explained to the girls that I am not angry with them so much, but am very angry that this other parent took it upon herself to put the safety of my children into the hands of her 14yo.

BTW it is not a farm proper, just a house recently built on a few hundred acres and the parents are not farmers. The last time the girls were there in January they went on a quad bike - I am kicking myself I didnt have this conversation with them then.

lagrandissima Sun 09-Oct-11 08:08:36

YANBU. I'd be livid. It's one thing to let your own kids drive around on your own land - but allowing other people's children access to vehicles (even quad bikes) without checking with the parents is way out of order. It's not a question of being over-protective, it's just a fact that if someone rolls a ute, or comes off a quad bike, serious injury or death might occur.

RickGhastley Sun 09-Oct-11 08:09:50


Even if the farm family choose to let their own children drive they should have asked your permission for your children to take part.

Whatmeworry Sun 09-Oct-11 08:18:52

Well I grew up in a rural area so I know farm folk would think you were being a bit precious if you complained, so if you don't like it just forbid your DD to go there.

Proudnreallyveryscary Sun 09-Oct-11 08:24:35

<rolls eyes>

<reads OP properly>

<unrolls eyes>

YANBU I would be angry too and very upset. I'm not sure how I'd handle it, I think I would probably find a non-hysterical/aggressive way to speak to the parent and make your grievances known. And/or make sure dd didn't go there again.

PrettyCandles Sun 09-Oct-11 08:31:21

I disagree with the majority here. Nothing illegal actually went on. Children need to learn to set their own boundaries, and teenagers especially are risk-takers as part of this learning process.

One of your dds has already demonstrated not only that she has discovered her personal boundary in this sort of activity, but that she can deal with it. What we need to teach our children is not to be afraid of taking risks, nor to constantly refer back to an adult, but to have the self-confidence to stand up to peer pressure and say "No thanks, that's far enough for me".

ScarlettIsWalking Sun 09-Oct-11 08:31:59

From your second post I am actually quite horrified actually.

There could have been a horrific accident. Those parents are fucking mad.

epicfail Sun 09-Oct-11 08:33:38

Have just spoken to DH and to another parent, both of whom reacted just as I did, thanks lagrandissima and RG, exactly my thoughts.

Teenagers often take risks without thinking about consequences - adults should know bloody well know better.

And yes, Whatmeworry, given that this mother is so blase about other people's children's safety, I imagine I would be considered (by her) to be quite precious if I did complain, so have decided that the girls won't be going there again. The other girl can come here anytime she likes though.

I realise people learn to drive on farms and I have no problem with that, my problem is with not being asked if it is ok for my children to travel in the vehicle with this girl. Because, my answer would have been absolutley NOT. (she's a nice kid but a show off and a scatterbrain at the best of times in my opinon).

As I said to the twins, its undoubtedly all great fun! - until something goes wrong. FFS.

I still have steam coming out of my ears.

Alibabaandthe80nappies Sun 09-Oct-11 08:34:22

I agree with PrettyCandles

lagrandissima Sun 09-Oct-11 08:36:27

I agree with your comments PrettyCandles re. teaching kids to have the self confidence to say no, but - remembering how hard it is to stand apart from the crowd at that age - I would also expect anyone who was in loco parentis to use their noodle and not allow other people's children unsupervised access to motorised vehicles. Looking at the potential for serious injury/death, there are lots of other character-building scenarios in which I would prefer my DCs to stand up for themselves.

LoveInAColdClimate Sun 09-Oct-11 08:38:33

I grew up in the country and used to do stuff like this at friends' houses, but look back at it and am shock. I don't think you ABU to be upset but I think it will be tricky to raise without offending the parents.

LoveInAColdClimate Sun 09-Oct-11 08:39:47

Oh sorry, just seen your latest post and realised you're not going to raise it.

catinboots Sun 09-Oct-11 09:54:27

A house built on a few hundred acres??

How do they maintain it if it's not a farm? With a lawn mower grin

Sorry, but like Whatme I'm going ot have to disagree with the majorit. Different parents, different lifestyles, different boundaries.

I would just stop you DCs from going there rather than bringing it up with the parents and causing an awkard situation for both you and your DCs

catinboots Sun 09-Oct-11 09:56:20

I also think it's unfair to call the mother 'blase'

As I said in a previous post, all parents have different boundaries.

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