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To not want DD to have play-dates or attend parties in certain areas due to safety concerns?

(641 Posts)
HourOrTwo Sun 26-Apr-15 16:15:00

She is 7. Until now she only has playdates with friends whose parents we know well, but now she has a bigger group of friends. Some of these friends live on local council estates. One of these estates has a particularly bad reputation (drug problems, unemployment, high crime rate). When I drove through it recently I noticed kids playing out in street, groups of youths standing around smoking and drinking, big dogs in studded collars roaming around (no muzzles), rubbish everywhere etc. I don't mean to sound judgemental but it's not the sort of place we want DD playing or walking around.

We're happy for DD's friends to come play at ours, and we want her to socialise with children from social different backgrounds... but recently she's been invited on several play-dates on these estates plus a party. So far I've made excuses, as I don't want her playing out unsupervised and TBH don't like her going to houses unless I know the parents and trust them to keep a close eye on her. Even if I chatted to these mums at school gates and they promise to supervise, I don't want her going to houses where anyone is smoking, drinking or teenage siblings are coming in and out with their mates, or any household with a dangerous dog (there are a lot of pitbulls and rottweilers on the estate), but I can't really ask this.

How do we politely decline these play-dates without offending anyone? Is there a way we can have DD's friends at our house without her going to their houses? And what do I tell DD, without mentioning it's because of the area her friends live?

Theycallmemellowjello Sun 26-Apr-15 16:18:56

Oh god. Yabu. Safety on a play date is about how well the parents look after the child. Conscientious carer in a 'dangerous' area - fine. Madman/woman in a middle class suburb - bad idea. Surely this is a reverse?

ihatelego Sun 26-Apr-15 16:20:14

oh dear op biscuit

Sirzy Sun 26-Apr-15 16:20:21

So you are judging people, and their parenting, based on where they live?


JanineStHubbins Sun 26-Apr-15 16:20:34

What exactly do you think will happen to your DD if there are 'teenage siblings coming in and out with their mates'? Or even, <horror>, someone smoking or drinking?

Why not just admit you are being snobbish?

Sounds like a reverse, actually.

PtolemysNeedle Sun 26-Apr-15 16:20:56

I think you might have to accept that if you're going to judge against people, the they will be offended. I don't think you are wrong to feel the way you do and you are free to make whatever choices you want for your own child, but you can't expect people not to be offended that you don't want your child seeing their way of living.

You can continue to invite the friends to yours at the same time as declining invitations, but eventually, people will cotton on, including your dd. Tbh, I don't think there's any point in hiding it from your dd, and I'm not sure why you'd want to if you believe in the choice you've made. If you can't justify your choice to your child, then maybe you should rethink your choice.

Spero Sun 26-Apr-15 16:20:59

The thing is, its safe enough for these other children to live in all the time isn't it? But not safe enough for your child to visit for a few hours.

I highly doubt in a few hours she will be stabbed, shot or mauled by a pit bull. I would far rather check out the parents - if they seem sensible and alert and their child has made it to 7 years without visible stab marks, you should probably be ok.

One parent kept asking my daughter round for a play date but my daughter said she didn't want to go as both the mother and the grandmother smoked and she didn't like the smell in the house. The mother was also a former (or possibly current) heroin addict. So I just kept saying that my daughter was shy. That excuse has a shelf life. I solved the problem by moving house, but that's probably a bit extreme for everytime this happens.

So I don't think you can keep declining without eventually offending someone - and I think frankly it is a pretty offensive assumption that your child will come to harm in their care.

KindergartenKop Sun 26-Apr-15 16:21:11

So middle class kids don't have teenage siblings? How about the threat of an aggressive Labrador or spaniel? You're a snob.

SewingAndCakes Sun 26-Apr-15 16:21:19

YABU and quite snobby.

Mrsjayy Sun 26-Apr-15 16:21:54

Yabu a snob and dont trust these childrens parents to look after your child therefore their own children what you are saying is you want ypur child to have poor socially diverse friends but only on your terms do you think she is going to be savaged by some beast of a dog at a birthday birthday party maybe the birthday parents will offer cider and wickedmilkshakes,

Sn00p4d Sun 26-Apr-15 16:23:19

I have an aggressive Lhasa apso. Books & covers spring to mind. hmm

DoraGora Sun 26-Apr-15 16:23:51

Yes. You make choices about where you want your children to go and to play, in just the same way as other parents do. I should imagine that if you're brought up on an estate, such as the one you're describing, you come equipped with survival skills which you'd not have had you been brought up in the leafy streets of central Cambridge.

KindergartenKop Sun 26-Apr-15 16:23:52

I'd love a wkd milkshake. I will serve them when Tabitha and Sebastian visit.

fattymcfatfat Sun 26-Apr-15 16:24:34

shock horror! I live on a council estate and own a german shepherd.
my 6 yo plays on the street, teenagers walk about in groups and people smoke...
nope don't see your problem

Unexpected Sun 26-Apr-15 16:26:21

So you vet all parents for smoking, drinking and older children - or just the ones who live on the nasty council estate? Yup, thought so. As long the smoking and drinking is done in nice middle-class houses, that's ok is it?

How do you know she's going to be out playing on the street if she visits these houses? Do you have proof that everyone on the estate is allowing their children to run wild? How about you try to get to know some of these mothers - or are you afraid that something common might rub off on you if you associate with them?

HeeHiles Sun 26-Apr-15 16:27:59

You want your child to mix with different social groups, but you don't really do you?

Jennifersrabbit Sun 26-Apr-15 16:30:22

I think (owning a 6.5 year old DD) that it's fine to consider where you want her to play, but I would judge her safety on the responsibility of the parents not the area per se. Id probably take DD round to someone's house the first time and at least hang around for a cup of tea to get the picture.

The parent I would have been most terrified to leave my DS with was the über-middle class Steiner mum who said 'doesn't he know his own limits?' as I dashed forward to restrain 4 year old, non swimming DS from paddling in the flooded margins of a large and treacherous river!

MrsTerryPratchett Sun 26-Apr-15 16:31:06

There are places I absolutely wouldn't let DD have a play date; Sudan; Beirut; Afghanistan. If you live somewhere adjacent to them YANBU.

DoraGora Sun 26-Apr-15 16:32:53

I don't let my children play in front of my own house, and it's both leafy and niace.

Marcipex Sun 26-Apr-15 16:32:57

I completely sympathise with your concerns about the dogs.
Could you explain that to dog owning families, saying your DD isn't used to dogs? Unless you have your own dogs of course.

TeenAndTween Sun 26-Apr-15 16:33:29

You say yes under certain conditions.

Yes she'd love to come, but I need to check a couple of things first:
Does anyone smoke in the house? She has a bit of a weak chest.
She's a bit scared of dogs - are there any in your house?
We don't let her play out unsupervised yet (or watch overage films)

With respect to other stuff, you need to teach her to judge whether she feels safe, and to say she's feeling ill, please call Mum if she feels unsafe.

You can also drop her round first time, you may be invited in.

My DDs have been to 'respectable' houses with rubbish supervision, and 'poor' housing with the most fantastic parenting.

HourOrTwo Sun 26-Apr-15 16:33:40

I don't mean to offend anyone or sound snobby. I just don't feel comfortable with DD playing on estates that have bad reputations.

I'm not saying everyone who lives there has a big dog or lets kids play-out unsupervised, but I can't ask mums these questions at school-gates or trust families I know nothing about. If I knew some of the mums well and had been to their houses, and knew they never let their DD play-out unsupervised, I'd be ok with it.

DD is not streetwise and TBH even if she was, I don't agree with children her age playing out in the street without an adult supervising.

Fairy13 Sun 26-Apr-15 16:33:43

I think it is really valuable for children to learn to mix with children from all walks of life.

Your income and area you live does not define your parenting abilities. There is no issue with getting to know parents and making sure you are comfortable with them but that is about their parenting, not the estate they live on.

floatyflo Sun 26-Apr-15 16:37:51

Your OP has made rather angry

Open your small narrow mind.


LonnyVonnyWilsonFrickett Sun 26-Apr-15 16:39:57

Well you have offended people and you do sound snobbish.

But fear not, if you've passed those attributes onto your dd the unsuitable invitations will soon dry up.

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