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Being judged by other children's parents.

(23 Posts)
notsogoldenoldie Fri 15-Jul-11 13:43:31

My DD has a friend, and they are both 9. They attend the same school and live close by - close enough to see each other outside school on a regular basis. The other girl's DMother is preventing her DD from seeing my DD apparently on the grounds that she disapproves of my parenting style (I have heard this from another parent). I would be happy to discuss this with her, but she has not approached me directly about the issues she has.

DD has plenty of other friends, but she has picked up on this other parent's apparent disapproval of her and is now desperately trying to justify herself to the mother in order to be allowed to play with her DD. This is making me cross, and a bit sad that people judge other children in this way. I would never prohibit my DD from mixing with a child whose parents I don't particularly like, as I think, as far as children's friendships are concerned, you should live and let live.

Has anyone else come across this attitude from other parents?

Rosebud05 Fri 15-Jul-11 13:44:51

What exactly does she disapprove of in your parenting style?

colditz Fri 15-Jul-11 13:46:49

Without knowing what she disapproves of, I can't give any opinion.

colditz Fri 15-Jul-11 13:47:53

By thatI mean I cannot tell you whether she's being a looper or not. My friend disapproved of me taking my child's unfinished meal away and not force feeding him. I didn't really care what she thought, we quite clearly disagreed

ragged Fri 15-Jul-11 13:51:05

You need to give us an idea of what she disapproves of, how is she a different style parent from you. Is there something specific that has pissed her off?

I have something similar going on, the boy DS calls "my best friend" the family are completely disinterested in encouraging their son to socialise with DS outside of school hours (actually, it wouldn't surprise me at all if they have strongly tried to discourage it during school hours, too).

iMemoo Fri 15-Jul-11 14:07:32

How do you know all this if you haven't spoken to the mother?

SuePurblybilt Fri 15-Jul-11 14:14:27

I don't know. I know someone who has a very different style to me. For example, if they visited and had a biscuit, she would think nothing of any of the following:

watching the child lick a biscuit, put it back and select another
take a biscuit from another child
child has meltdown because of something tiny (biscuit not biscuity enough) and be totally indulged - offered alternatives, treats, to have another child's biscuit etc
letting the child pull her, shout over her when she's talking to other adults

I could go on........... The children are six or seven, not toddlers. So I find some socialising with the family very difficult because we obvisouly disagree and it usually ends up with my DD having a shit time to stop tantrums in their children.

In your example it seems a little extreme though - is there more? Are you very laid back and is she very strict?

notsogoldenoldie Fri 15-Jul-11 18:59:17

Thanks all. I can only guess at what's pissed her off, as she avoids contact with me (and the other local mums). My DD is far more independent than her DD, and quite able to come and go locally as she pleases (as long as she lets me know) to call for friends etc. She's allowed to go to the park across the road (with lights) to play and to go to the shop, and comes home from school on her own occasionally. She's extremely polite and well-socialised, but I have a feeling that this mother is one of the sorts who thinks children that are free to mooch about the neighbourhood are oikish!! Her child does not socialise either with the other neighbourhood children and is thought of as spoiled by some. It's almost as if nothing - and no-one - is good enough for her DD.

I think it's sad for the child, who is not able to be part of the gang, and hard on my DD, who likes her, has made an effort to be friends, only to be snubbed by this mother.

ohnoudidnt Fri 15-Jul-11 20:24:27

Maybe she thinks 9 is too young to be wondering around going to the park,shops etc.I wouldnt allow my dc to do that either.There is a mum at school that allows her dd to play out and go places by herself or with others that live in the neighbourhood but I will not allow my dd to go there for tea after school simply because of this.

Rosebud05 Fri 15-Jul-11 20:26:50

Are you 100% sure that she's judging you on your parenting skills, or could there be some other reason for her behaviour?

tabulahrasa Fri 15-Jul-11 20:36:33

'My DD is far more independent than her DD, and quite able to come and go locally as she pleases (as long as she lets me know) to call for friends etc. She's allowed to go to the park across the road (with lights) to play and to go to the shop, and comes home from school on her own occasionally.'

If I didn't let my child do those things, I can't say that I'd let her play with your DD either - as I'd worry that my DD would be doing things I don't allow with yours (and whoever else is there).

HappyMummyOfOne Fri 15-Jul-11 21:06:34

Have to admit that I wouldnt encourage DS to be friends with somebody who has so much freedom at such an early age - it would only cause problems when I wouldnt let him do the same.

notsogoldenoldie Fri 15-Jul-11 21:55:47

Thanks all. That's useful stuff.

anothermadamebutterfly Sat 16-Jul-11 11:36:14

I am really surprised by these answers - how much freedom kids have depends so much on where you live, so it is impossible to judge your parenting style from it! We moved last year, before that my dcs (who are younger than your dd) had about as much freedom as your dd (as did most other kids in the area), but since moving they don't because the neighbourhood is different and kids around here don't go out much by themselves.
When we go on holiday to my parents, my kids go out on their own, they are 6 and 8, they go to the shop and the park by themselves, and so most of the other kids. Some are not allowed to, and probably disapprove, but hey, that is their problem not mine.

thebeansmum Sat 16-Jul-11 12:15:10

I allow my 8yo sons a little freedom with going out to play - it's a safe, quiet area, the few cars that are around having little choice but to drive slowly, we feel they are sufficiently 'grown up' enough to play in a group, be back at the time we tell them or they'll be grounded etc etc.

However, if they have friends from school to play and we don't know the parents very well, they absolutley are not allowed to go out of the house/garden as we are very well aware a lot of parents would be horrified at the thought, and rather than mentioning it to us after, they would simply discourage a friendship than confront us with their views.

pippop1 Sat 16-Jul-11 13:28:54

It sound's like that's it then.

Some years ago I had a friend who, when my DS visited hers, allowed them to walk to the sweet shop on their own to buy football cards. Friend did not ask my permission and the boys were 10. She gave my DS a pound or two. I had not yet allowed my son to do that kind of thing and would have prepared him carefully for such an outing before I did.

On their way back they were confronted by some older boys who asked for their newly purchased cards, of course they were flashing them about in the street as they knew no better. DS1 said afterwards "Don't worry Mum, I only gave them doubles!" (one that he already had).

I was v cross with friend as she hadn't asked my permission. I would have told DS1 to put the stuff away and only look at it when he got home. He was really shaken up by this incident. She had an older child so it wasn't such a big deal to her.

Parents should always ask permission of another parent if unsure.

ohnoudidnt Sat 16-Jul-11 14:15:21

anothermadamebutterfly I disagree.Where I lived would not make any difference to me allowing my dc out of my sight.Some may say I am too ott about safety,but I really couldnt care less what they think.Weirdos can live anywhere...How would you know?....and once its happened its too late.

RMutt Sat 16-Jul-11 14:23:56

My dd is 9 too. She's allowed out to play near the house but not to go off wandering about.

So I guess if I thought that was on the cards when she was visiting a friend I wouldn't be happy about it.

thebeansmum Sat 16-Jul-11 14:33:16

ohno - so how and where do you draw the line with that then? When will your dc be allowed to ride a bike, climb a tree, walk to a shop? Never? My DC are always with other kids when they're out, if there is nobody else around they will come home. They know they are not allowed to roam around alone, so they don't do it. Of course where you live would make a difference - small village with very little traffic vs main road in middle of town? My kids have to 'check in' with me every half hour or so, and they do it or they don't go out again for the rest of the week. When I mean check in, I mean come home, say hi, not phone - they don't have phones.

It very much matters where you live and if you feel your DC are ready and able to be trusted to do the right thing and not dick about with their responsibility.

thebeansmum Sat 16-Jul-11 14:45:20

(Obvs ride, climb, walk etc ALONE! sorry!)

cory Sat 16-Jul-11 14:47:38

It might help if you could reassure her that you would not be assuming her dd is allowed to do what yours is if she came round.

I am quite liberal when it comes to my own dcs, and would happily leave them alone in the house/let them play outside, but when it comes to other people's dcs I watch over them like an anxious mother hen, because you never know what they are used to or what they can handle.

Possibly I overdo this- am sitting her MNing and not doing the weekly shop because ds has an 11yo friend round- yet I would not have hesitated to leave ds when he was 8. But with the other lad, I don't feel that is my call to make.

But I do think parents who would break up a friendship just because they can't be bothered to explain to their dcs that they want them to obey different rules are whimps. There are plenty of things ds' friends have been allowed over the years that he has not been allowed, but that is up to me to deal with.

ohnoudidnt Sat 16-Jul-11 18:54:34

thebeansmum- I do understand your point but I choose not to take chances when it comes to safety. Cant help the way I am and not sure when I would allow them to go out alone.They seem to be happy playing in the garden as it is rather big and they always go to friends houses,have friends over and do lots of clubs etc after school etc.That said they are aware of traffic, stranger danger etc,so it isnt them I do not trust,it is simply other people,therefore I do not think where you live has anything to do with it.

create Sat 16-Jul-11 19:14:04

I don't think it matters if the OP is right or wrong to allow her DD this freedom, that is her choice and depends on the area and the child, but if her daughter will be allowed the same freedom when she is with you, then I'm not surprised her mother doesn't want her with you. It's not to do with your parenting style, it's to do with wanting her DD to be kept safe in the way she thinks is best.

BTW my 10yo DS is allowed to roam the local streets and park with his friends, with very strict understanding about where he can go and when he's to be back, but if he has a friend round (ie has been specifically invited to our house, rather than met in the street) then I don't let them go out, unless that's what's been agreed with the other child's parents

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