For thinking that if a child comes to your house, you're responsible for them?

(149 Posts)
SteveBuscemisRheumyEye Sun 09-May-21 17:59:00

There's a girl who lives near by who knocks on our front door every day, saying she wants to play with DD. DD does not want to play out so the girl asks to come in. At the moment I've had the reason of Covid for saying no to coming in, but DH thinks I'm BU not to allow them in the garden.

My issue is this - I know nothing about this kid other than her name and that she's 10. I think she lives with her grandparents locally, half the week. I've told her before that I really need to speak to them to check it's okay etc, and she just said "it's fine, they don't mind". Obviously I mind!

DH says just leave them to it and let them play in the garden, whereas I don't want to be responsible for a child that I know nothing about! DH thinks that I'm overthinking, but I work with vulnerable kids meaning my conduct in and outside of work needs to be impeccable. Imagine she had an accident or made a claim against one of us or something?

I asked where her grandparents live but she was quite evasive. She has also told my DD that she was excluded from the school DD goes to, and is now at a PRU. Is this colouring my view?

She's 10, DD is 8 and has ASD (if relevant!).

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nimbuscloud Sun 09-May-21 18:02:49

I would ask her to take you to her grandparents house so that you can meet them. Then you can make a decision as to what to do. If she refuses then don’t have her in your house.

DustCentral Sun 09-May-21 18:04:57


I would ask her to take you to her grandparents house so that you can meet them. Then you can make a decision as to what to do. If she refuses then don’t have her in your house.

This. Without knowing more I’d not let a child stranger in my house. Accusations can arise.

SteveBuscemisRheumyEye Sun 09-May-21 18:06:31

I'll perhaps do that in a few weeks. Today I just didn't want to look after someone else's child, iyswim? She's so insistent, has knocked 4 times!

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nimbuscloud Sun 09-May-21 18:07:25

Tell her to stop knocking and to go home.

TwoAndAnOnion Sun 09-May-21 18:09:37

Why is she at the PRU?

cupsofcoffee Sun 09-May-21 18:09:56

Does she not know her grandparents' phone number? Maybe you could ring them and speak to them?

Seems a shame not to let them play in the garden though - I don't think 10yo's need masses of supervision, really.


SteveBuscemisRheumyEye Sun 09-May-21 18:11:50

@cupsofcoffee no, but my DD is 8 with ASD and does

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SteveBuscemisRheumyEye Sun 09-May-21 18:12:20

@TwoAndAnOnion no idea why she's at the PRU

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Iwantamarshmallowman Sun 09-May-21 18:12:55

I don't agree with your DH. Of course you would be responsable for a child in your home. No way would I allow a strange kid even into the garden, im not sure many people would.
Its sounds like your DC isnt that bothered so i would just say no DC is busy and cant play today... untill she gets thr message and stops calling.

Changethetoner Sun 09-May-21 18:13:58

You are doing the right thing - do not take responsibility for the child without knowing her background. She could be a fireraiser or anything! Or have allergies. And what if an accident happened and you didn't know where her grandparents lived.

No, I'd be exactly like you, be careful and cautious. And if/when you get more info on the child, you could allow playdates.

SteveBuscemisRheumyEye Sun 09-May-21 18:14:19

@Iwantamarshmallowman it's been over a year 😭

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NewlyGranny Sun 09-May-21 18:15:28

This 10 yo clearly does! It's weird behaviour pestering another family to be let in like that. The carers not clearing it with OP is out of order, too.

You definitely do have a duty of care to a child visiting your home without an accompanying parent/carer, and that is not something a random child can force on an adult.

Also, a child who does not take no for an answer from an adult householder is not guaranteed to be safe company for a younger child.

Changethetoner Sun 09-May-21 18:16:25

If you have time, could you ask the child to show you where her grandparents live, and go and speak with them? You said she's being evasive, and maybe there is a reason, but if it's been over a year and you are really annoyed, you need to do something.

SteveBuscemisRheumyEye Sun 09-May-21 18:17:08

@Changethetoner thank you. I thought I'd be jumped on for the PRU comment but in reality, there are clearly difficulties there, whatever their nature. I'd like to have at least a basic awareness.

I should say, DH is the bloody Deputy Head of a PRU, one that I also worked at so we're both very aware of vulnerable children's risks and needs

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PinkPlantCase Sun 09-May-21 18:19:26

How does the girl even know your DD? Did they used to play out in the street together but now DD doesn’t want to?

SteveBuscemisRheumyEye Sun 09-May-21 18:22:05

@PinkPlantCase I think she's just caught sight of DD since we moved here a year ago

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BeneathYourWisdom Sun 09-May-21 18:26:21

Sounds very odd.

I wouldn’t let her in again until you’ve met the grandparents and exchanged numbers, have their permission etc.

What if she had an accident at your home and was rushed to hospital unconscious, how would you find out who she is and who to contact?

Also why has a 10 year old latched onto playing with a child 2 years younger? How did they meet?

WarandFleece Sun 09-May-21 18:26:56

We were "adopted" by a nine or ten year old boy for a while who came to play with our dd. He lived with his grandmother down the road. We spoke to her on the phone but she half hid behind the door when we dropped him back. We didn't really know what to do for the best either but he seemed like a nice lad, and we fed him and dd played with him for one a summer , and then for about ten months after that. He disappeared as quickly as he arrived.
He had obviously been lonely, and if we helped him get through a difficult patch in his life then there's no harm done. I made vague enquiries after him through a friend of a friend who was a parent at the school he was attending, but we never heard anything back.

Lemonwoe Sun 09-May-21 18:27:08

I would be cautious: mostly for the sake of your own daughter

user648482729 Sun 09-May-21 18:28:39

I’d want to knew where she lived if she was going to play in my garden and make sure her parents/grandparents knew where she was. What if something happened or if she wasn’t actually supposed to be out.

SteveBuscemisRheumyEye Sun 09-May-21 18:30:15

@Lemonwoe I am very mindful of protecting my daughter, and that's absolutely another concern I have.

I believe that the other local children don't like this kid, and whilst I'm sorry for her I don't want my DD to feel like she needs to play with her if she doesn't want to. She's quite forceful in asking to speak to my DD after I've said that she doesn't want to play.

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SteveBuscemisRheumyEye Sun 09-May-21 18:30:42

(Obviously I said no)

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Nancylovesthecock Sun 09-May-21 18:31:38

I used to do this as a child. It was because my parents had gone out and I had no way of getting back in for hours at a stretch and no food.

I found if I went round to play I would be offered food and allowed inside if it was cold.

Budapestdreams Sun 09-May-21 18:33:24

This is a stranger's child, asking to come into your home/garden?

I would be fairly appalled if I found my 10 year old in a stranger's house. I might even report them. Also, her GPs need to know where she is at that age. Not appropriate.

I would tell her it will always be a no until you have spoken to her GPs and got their permission. Even then, I would only allow it if your DC really wants her to play.

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