DD (11) invited to friend's house - first time I've not met or spoken to the parents(16 Posts)
Please be gentle with me, this is all a bit new...!
DD is 11 years old (summer birthday so at the younger end of her year) and in her first year of secondary school.
A friend of hers has invited her to her house on Friday, which is lovely - but I've never met this girl's parents and I'm not even 100% confident that parents will be there at the time or even know that their daughter has invited DD round!
It feels really counter-intuitive for me to say to DD - fine - off you go having not met them or even spoken on the phone with them about this - but then I suppose I'm used to primary school. Am I being ridiculous?
Probably not remotely relevant (but am mentioning it as I don't want to drip feed) The girl in question is, I gather, a bit troubled and has had behaviour issues in school (though she has some special educational needs that have made things socially very tricky for her). When I've met her she's seemed like a sweet girl, DD really likes her and I want to support and encourage their friendship.
I also know from trying to contact her parents in the past (when DD spontaneously invited her friend over one day without checking it was OK with me first) that they're difficult to get hold of and I get the feeling aren't always home when DD's friend gets home.
I think it's the whole unknown thing that feels weird. I'm so used to checking out the situations that DD walks into first! Whenever she was invited to a school friend's house at primary school, all the parents knew one another - but secondary school is a whole new ballgame! I know at some point I need to give her more freedom, but I don't know when and how... I don't want to come across as a control-freak nut-job parent to her friend's parents and embarrass her, or to limit and discourage her friendships - but at the same time I don't want to be irresponsible either!
Please could I get some opinions/perspective here? I feel totally out of my depth.
My dd is 10 and year 6, shes gone to friends houses where I havnt met the parents before hand (will allow the same in secondary), I trust her and shes got a phone so can phone me if she needs me. I wouldn't phone but I have had parents phone me and didnt think there or their children were total nut jobs for doing so.
I would say no or offer a playdate. I had a situation similar to this, request for my daughter to go camping overnight. Turns out SS involved and Mum since banned from all contact. It could also well be fine but if you say invite girl to a playdate then they can play together but you know they are safe. I would vere on the side of caution.
She’s 11 I think it’s a bit ott to bevarranging with parents at this age.
Is it walking distance? What’s the arrangement for dinner and getting home? Does she have a phone? Can you pin point exactly what is making you nervous about this.
Could you let your dd go for a short period of time? And you could go round to the girls house to get your dd if she is not home by the agreed time? My ds is only 9 and is not very street wise but I have let him go into a couple of houses to play where I don't know the parents. They live very near me. Everything has worked out ok and I feel that it has been a positive thing for my ds but it does make me feel very nervous. I want him to get used to being more independent before high school.
My dd is the same age as yours as is in year 7. If I've never met the parents I ask my dd to get the mum's number and I text them to find out what the arrangements are. I've always heard back from the parents but if I hadn't, I wouldn't let her go on the sleepover. 11 is still young and there needs to be some parental input.
The same would apply for a play date too as well as s sleepover.
I would not allow this without being in contact with a parent (or carer) first even if just a text/email exchange. 11 is still very young.
Sounds like a good opportunity to talk to your DD about how to behave in new situations. She needs to understand that she can choose her own friends but that she also then has to be able to take responsibility to get out of any situations where she doesn't feel comfortable.
We had similar issues with DS2 and I only let him go (younger than your DD) when I was confident that he would have the confidence to contact me or come home if he was unhappy.
IMO it is not about whether you know the parents, but more about whether you trust your DD to deal with new situations.
Hmm, my kids are a lot younger, but you are getting the feeling that something isn't quite right here and I think you'd be wise to listen to that.
Less subtly, no way I'd be letting my child go alone, to someone's house, who is 'troubled', when the patents are away, when the parents avoid contact when I try to contact them. Lots and lots of alarm bells there. I agree with spending time with the child yourself to gain a sense of what home life is like, how permissive, what kind of boundaries, observe how she interacts with your DD etc.
Lots of good advice on here already OP. I think I’d be doing TooDan’s suggestion and talking to her and Cloud’s suggestion and texting the parents to confirm details.
Is she just going for a couple of hours or longer?
Thanks for all your responses. The playdate didn't happen in the end. I phoned and left a message on their house phone which no one responded to, (I couldn't text as the mobile number I have for DD's friend's mum isn't working) and the next day, DD's friend told her that something had come up.
I think talking to DD about sticky situations and how to get out of them is a good idea, though DD does have a tendency to get anxious about things, and I need to find a way to talk to her sensitively so she feels prepared and empowered but not scared!
If you’ve left a message on their home phone, then the friend has said “something has come up” do you get the feeling that the parents didn’t know anything about it?
Could you console Dd by having a (different) friend dine around one day next week?
I am struggling a lot with this too. DD is in year 7. Y6, her friends lived in the same village and it seemed the norm to text etc. Now dd's two friends live miles away and involves a 30 minute drive or thereabouts. DD told me it was fine for her to meet a friend a few months ago - we turned up and it was totally inconvenient. Now, I am insisting on an e-mail/text with brief arrangements, I am getting feedback from one of dd's friends (perhaps friends parents) that this is annoying and not the thing to do but it was very uncomfortable the first time when we just turned up.
I hardly know one of dd's friends yet, let alone her parents and she has been invited to a sleepover - I don't know these people from Adam...comments were made along the lines that we are strict parents for wanting to know a bit more but to me this is only common sense.
Like you, I don't want to come across as being a control freak but for me it feels more like instinct to know what situation your child is walking into, plus I would like friends to visit here before sleepovers etc. and before handing your child over to a complete stranger. This situation will rectify itself as time goes on ...will become more familiar with friends and their parents etc. but right now it feels very odd (but obviously not to the other parents concerned). Glad to hear that I am not alone in my way of thinking.
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