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For genuinely not knowing what to do in this banal parenting situation?

(17 Posts)
scortja Mon 21-Jul-14 18:22:12

I honestly don't know what is reasonable.

We live on a street with lots of children. DS5 has started playing with a boy of 8, they mostly play around the street which I'm okay with (it's a cul de sac).. I am a little wary of the boy - he's a combination of sly and cocky which I'm not that happy with but then most kids seem like that these days to me.. I know his dad to say hello to and he seems nice - friendly, community spirited, knows everyone blah blah blah..

Anyway - they play with another couple of kids around the same age (5 & 8 brother and sister) and I don't know the mum except by sight.. She is fairly shouty and I haven't really had a chance to smile/acknowledge in a neighbourly way.. The kids have all been disappearing into the brother and sisters house and I'm not sure if I should put my foot down or not?! Is that crazy? Should I let my 5 year old play at the house of someone I don't know?!

The neighbours I do know don't really let their kids play on the street - is that the normal thing?!

MaidOfStars Mon 21-Jul-14 18:28:07

Should I let my 5 year old play at the house of someone I don't know?

I don't think so. They might have dead cats nailed to the wall or something. But it's easily remedied - next time you see them playing together, follow them out, knock on the door and introduce yourself to Mum and have a good look inside

scortja Mon 21-Jul-14 18:31:26

I am way too scared to do that though - she is pretty terrifying..

Right now they have all made a den in our front garden so that's pretty cute.. although they're probably recreating a crack den or something..

MaidOfStars Mon 21-Jul-14 18:33:23

Well, I think it's reasonable that you only have them play where you can see them i.e. not in other houses.

NotTheKitchenAgainPlease Mon 21-Jul-14 18:33:47

I wouldn't.

scortja Mon 21-Jul-14 18:34:48

That's a good rule.. I just find them all so annoying!

ApplebyMennym Mon 21-Jul-14 18:35:09

No, I wouldn't let my 5 year old go to a stranger's house. No matter what the stranger was like, even if they seemed lovely and not in the slightest bit scary.

plantsitter Mon 21-Jul-14 18:42:32

If I didn't dare get to know her I wouldn't want my five year old going there, no!

StillStayingClassySanDiego Mon 21-Jul-14 18:47:09

No I wouldn't let my 5 yo go tosomeone's house who I didn't know.

MrsWinnibago Mon 21-Jul-14 18:55:39

5 is way too young to play unsupervised in a stranger's house. Of course it is! You just need to tell your DS not to go in ANYONE'S house. And if they want to go inside they must ask if they can come into yours...then tell the older children to go and ask their parents if they're allowed.

Optimist1 Mon 21-Jul-14 18:59:06

I'm with the rest on this one, OP. Are the neighbours whose children don't play in the street amenable to letting them play in your garden? You don't sound entirely happy with the three kids your little one is playing out with; perhaps you could start with inviting one or two of the ones who don't play out round to yours? Seeing as it's the start of the holidays, I'm sure there'd be a mum or two who would be pleased to accept and hopefully reciprocate on occasion.

Ratfans Mon 21-Jul-14 19:06:51

I let my DD play in neighbour's houses but she has to come and tell me first. Just so I know where she is. I don't really know the neighbours v well except to say hello to and make small talk with. I know the kids v well though because they play at my house a lot too.

TeWiSavesTheDay Mon 21-Jul-14 19:11:41

My 5yo is not allowed in neighbors houses, cars or back gardens without me. She can play at the front if another parent I know is supervisor otherwise I go out and do some gardening while the play.

I don't think she has good enough instincts to play in other homes casually yet.

PosyFossilsShoes Mon 21-Jul-14 19:33:01

Hm. We had a neighbour like the OP when I was growing up - we all used to play outside but would vanish into one another's houses at will (groups of us aged from about 3 up to about 10, the littlest ones were siblings though).

One woman wouldn't let her daughter play in other people's houses without knowing the parents but was too snooty to come and make friends with the other mums, so Emma never got to play with us. Occasionally a "suitable" child would be selected to be allowed round to Emma's house (a pretty girl, I was too hoydenish and her mother disapproved of my mother so it wasn't me!)

Most unfairly we all blamed Emma for this rather than her mother.

I'm sure there are lots of distinguishing features in the OP's situation but really, how scary can this woman be? If I were the OP I would want to prioritise my 5 year old feeling part of the local group ahead of my own shyness of the mother of my child's friends. Of course if it turns out after speaking to her that the other mother is horrific / swears like a navvy / smokes 50 a day with the windows shut / beats the children and shuts them in the cupboard then she'll be entirely justified in saying don't go round there!

scortja Mon 21-Jul-14 19:55:56

Hmmm - that's interesting Posy. The 'nice' children in the street don't play out which is why I've been wondering if I'm doing the right thing letting him play out at all... I do think the kids see me as disapproving (which I totally am!) but I have to say no sometimes and I can't bite my tongue when it comes to things like litter or destroying plants..

scortja Mon 21-Jul-14 19:58:44

Also I think "horrific / swears like a navvy / smokes 50 a day with the windows shut / beats the children and shuts them in the cupboard" DOES describe the mother..

PosyFossilsShoes Mon 21-Jul-14 20:22:53

Oh, well if that does describe the mother then of course YANBU!

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