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Old 05-21-07, 04:43 PM   #1
Portis
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Kids: Friends Over. How often and why?

Alright we have for years been learning new stuff like most parents and now we are to the part where our oldest (boy) is 8 and between 2nd and 3rd grade. We have probably always been perceived as "up tight" because we haven't let our son roam as some of the other parents have.

One particular boy who is actually a whole year younger than my son is at our house now. He always just shows up and is never invited. We usually tell my son that he can't have someone over unless it is planned. But tonight i am feeling soft and so my son is playing with the kid. This kid has been roaming the streets since he was five and his parents never know where he is. Last year at a game i was coaching, the kid wasn't even there. His dad couldn't find him. Turns out he stopped at a friends house to play and skipped the game.

Now it appears they have given him a cell phone so they can relieve their conscience. So what do (did) you all do? Are your doors wide open 24 hours a day? I don't think I'll ever be up for that, let alone at 8 years old. Did you let your 8 year old roam the streets alone? We live in a town of 50,000. Not a metropolis, but plenty can go wrong here.
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Old 05-21-07, 04:51 PM   #2
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We usually tell my son that he can't have someone over unless it is planned.
Why? Is that for your convenience or his?
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Old 05-21-07, 04:55 PM   #3
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Why? Is that for your convenience or his?
Ours.
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Old 05-21-07, 04:59 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by Portis
Ours.
I love honesty.

And I agree (I live in a house with a teen).
It's better (more peaceful) when they descend upon someone elses house.

Of course, then ya can't keep an eye on 'em...
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Old 05-21-07, 05:12 PM   #5
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I love honesty.

And I agree (I live in a house with a teen).
It's better (more peaceful) when they descend upon someone elses house.

Of course, then ya can't keep an eye on 'em...
Well teens are one thing, but 8 year olds still require a degree of supervision in my opinion. So that leaves me checking on them every few minutes to see what they have broken or what they are doing that they are not supposed to be doing. It's ok if you have planned for that, but not so OK, when it is a work night and there is still supper and a host of other things to do before bed.
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Old 05-21-07, 05:18 PM   #6
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When I was a kid and the streets seemed safer we all roamed the streets and just showed up at our friends houses and theirs to mine. It wasn't a big deal. My wife was similar but she draws the line at letting our daughter sleep over at someone elses house. I have no probs with it since I did it as a kid. But that's the way she feels so I have no prob with it. So unless we know the parent's really well she only sleeps over the cousin's houses.

But if you guys don't want other kids just dropping by until you feel more confortable with the kids and yourself than just stick with your plan. Deviating once in a while is okay. Maybe that'll help you get over your fear of having other kids come over to your house.

One more thing... if we have kids over (cousins too) we worry more when we don't hear them! It usually means they are up to no good! hahaha!

Good luck!
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Old 05-21-07, 05:27 PM   #7
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Eventually you will have the choice. Kids show up at your house, your kid is somewhere else or your kid is an outcast.

I find the first to be best (well combined with your kid being at the house of someone you trust).

Growing up By the time we were 10 there was a pack of kids, membership varying from day to day that ended up at one of 3 houses 90% of the time and a couple of others over half of the rest. Excluding the time were were wandering the hills or storm drains. Better way to grow up than it seems is happening today.
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Old 05-21-07, 05:35 PM   #8
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Bah, when I was eight, my parents gave me a pack of smokes, the keys to the Valiant, and told me to go play at the Y for a few hours. I turned out okay.
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Old 05-21-07, 05:40 PM   #9
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I think I lived at the house where the kids showed up. Mom never turned a kid away, the theory being that at least SHE knew they were safe. Your call, though. You want your house to a "safe haven", or just your safe haven? I lean toward the the general safe haven & take in strays upon occassion. Taking them in for a night doesn't mean you have to keep them, though - be clear on that.
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Old 05-21-07, 07:01 PM   #10
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No more kids in our house. When the youngest was 10, we allowed his friends (brothers) over just about every day after school. They were our nextdoor neighbors. We bought them pizza on Fridays and even took 'em to Disneyland as guests for our kids. I thought they wre tight with our youngest.

My wife had a habit of taking off her gold necklace and laying it on a table in the livingroom. I used to tell her that I wouldn't leave my jewelry laying around. One Fridaynight, we had the kids over for pizza. Next morning we woke up, I noticed the chain was gone. The kids had gotten up early and let themselves out. I went to the neighbor's house to see if they knew anything about the missing chain. THE WHOLE FRIGGIN' HOUSE WAS EMPTY!......Since then, no more kids over and not one thing has vanished.
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Old 05-21-07, 07:31 PM   #11
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Another thing to consider is legal issues now days. Even though we don't have kids over very often, we had a mishap last Summer. A friend of our son's was over to swim in our small pool that we had on the patio. I was at work and my wife was at home.

The patio has a finish that is probably too smooth for water and I have always cautioned my kids to NEVER run on it when wet. They never do. Well, the little boy was over and you guessed it. He slipped and fell while running and hit the back of his head. He got a huge hematoma or something like that and it swelled up real bad.

He ended up going to ER, and the whole 9 yards. We were very relieved to find out that he turned out ok, but it was a wake up call for me. There were never any legal issues but there easily could have been. I too, am of the mind that we live in a very different world from when i was a kid.
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Old 05-22-07, 04:35 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by Portis
Alright we have for years been learning new stuff like most parents and now we are to the part where our oldest (boy) is 8 and between 2nd and 3rd grade. We have probably always been perceived as "up tight" because we haven't let our son roam as some of the other parents have.

One particular boy who is actually a whole year younger than my son is at our house now. He always just shows up and is never invited. We usually tell my son that he can't have someone over unless it is planned. But tonight i am feeling soft and so my son is playing with the kid. This kid has been roaming the streets since he was five and his parents never know where he is. Last year at a game i was coaching, the kid wasn't even there. His dad couldn't find him. Turns out he stopped at a friends house to play and skipped the game.

Now it appears they have given him a cell phone so they can relieve their conscience. So what do (did) you all do? Are your doors wide open 24 hours a day? I don't think I'll ever be up for that, let alone at 8 years old. Did you let your 8 year old roam the streets alone? We live in a town of 50,000. Not a metropolis, but plenty can go wrong here.

I grew up in a town of about 50,000 cows so my situation was a bit different

I was always at a friends house ages 6-11
He lived just down the road from me but I always called "wondering if I could come over today"
Always could. Hell, I would go with them to their grandparents home ..not the ones two homes (1000 ft) away but the other grandparents miles away

I was always at my friends house as a teen
Different best friend ..with two brothers and 3 sisters
1/2 mile away from where I had lived before
Still over every single day but I no longer called every single day to see if I could come over
I knew when to ask whether they needed time alone
but I was pretty much a member of the family. I went with them everywhere they did.

When they moved 13 miles away for a while when buying a new home all of 1/4 mile away from previous home
They would pick me up with their kids after school so that I could play that evening with them
-this was in the winter ..in western NY-
Then drove me home at night

They were cool with it
I would ask if it was too much trouble
They're just great people
It never was




I understand your wanting to be asked
I was raised to be respectful
but I do wonder if you're trying to force adulthood onto your kid ..or somethin'
Planned? that sounds a lot like little Billy is only allowed to play every other weekend.
Planned
That's rough, ain't it?

He can be a kid ..but only when it fits your schedule

I don't know
It sure does make you sound like a prick. I said sound like

"the kid" that your kid plays with might be a really nice kid
Sounds like you'd rather spit on him then let him into your home the way you speak of him
"roaming the streets"

LOL
Hes a criminal that bastard!


I say you just call the cops the next time that wino wanders into your yard ..nevermind trying to instill some of your values
It's too late for that hooligan


Maybe you should be talking about the dad/parents and not the little child.
?
You ain't helping the kid any here ..or anywhere
ever
it would seem

It sounds as though a lot is already going wrong there. Just my thoughts
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Old 05-22-07, 05:58 AM   #13
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you're doing the right thing Portis, boundaries are important so that you can continue having a normal family life withought having extra kids crashing over all the time, plus not only kids need to learn about respecting other families but sometimes some adults do too, we all know one parent who let thier kids go to the neighbors house 24/7 so that they can have it easy!
plus having those boundaries teaches them about how to act when they are older, I mean you wouldnt show up unannounced constantly over other folks house and force yourself on them for dinner, so..
I totally agree with you!
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Old 05-22-07, 06:29 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by Portis
... This kid has been roaming the streets since he was five and his parents never know where he is...
Sounds like every kid in my neighborhood growing up.

Out the door in the summer morning, don't come home till supper, or else there's chores to be done!
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Old 05-22-07, 06:38 AM   #15
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I don't let my 5yo roam, and I know where he is at all times. That being said, I don't mind if neighbor kids come over to play in the yard. I'm not real comfortable with kids in the house, because mine is trained to what he can and can't touch, and where to be careful. Other kids aren't, and some of the kids just want to go around touching everything. So, as long as they stay outside, I'm okay!

My next door neighbor on the left lets his kid roam outside unwatched. Sometimes, he's gone down the street on his bike, but they don't do much to him for punishment, so he's out there the next day doing the same thing. I don't get it. Maybe it's just a difference of parenting styles. I'd hate to say it's cause they love their kid less, but I can't just let my kid out unwatched. There's too many wierdo's these days.
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Old 05-22-07, 06:38 AM   #16
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I grew up in the country with hundreds or even thousands of yards between homes. All the parents knew who's kids were whose and where they could go. Doors were generally unlocked so a kid could use your bathroom if he could not make it home. Whem Mom asked where you had been she usually already knew you had been somewhere you shouldn't have been.
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Old 05-22-07, 06:38 AM   #17
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Old 05-22-07, 06:49 AM   #18
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I grew up in the country with hundreds or even thousands of yards between homes. All the parents knew who's kids were whose and where they could go. Doors were generally unlocked so a kid could use your bathroom if he could not make it home. Whem Mom asked where you had been she usually already knew you had been somewhere you shouldn't have been.
Bingo.

I lived in a suburban subdivision and it was just the same. We felt like we were out on our own, but knew that we could knock on any door in an emergency.

As for there being too many weirdos out there these days. That's just because the media reports it more. There have always been weirdos, but when kids stick together and learn how to keep an eye on one another, the weirdos don't stand a chance.

Often times it's the sheltered kids with strict rules on what they can and can't do that turn into weirdos.
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Old 05-22-07, 07:12 AM   #19
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Bingo.

I lived in a suburban subdivision and it was just the same. We felt like we were out on our own, but knew that we could knock on any door in an emergency.

As for there being too many weirdos out there these days. That's just because the media reports it more. There have always been weirdos, but when kids stick together and learn how to keep an eye on one another, the weirdos don't stand a chance.
That was my childhood experience, as well. I'm also inclined to agree with you about the weirdos.
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Old 05-22-07, 07:23 AM   #20
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That kid is awesome.

Refinish your patio - what were you thinking?

I would have thought that you'd be more concerned if he was a bad influence than if his behaviour was at odds with normality. Personally, assuming the kid's not "strange" or something, I would encourage play with him.

I find it very frustrating to live in a world where grown adults will look at you like you have two heads if you show up at their door unannounced. I'd like to infuse my children with the same sense of spontaneity, openness, and flexibility.

Overprotectiveness and the urge to have total control over one's life and schedule are endemic these days.
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Old 05-22-07, 07:25 AM   #21
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I mean you wouldnt show up unannounced constantly over other folks house and force yourself on them for dinner, so..
I certainly would, and I would expect the same of my friends.
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Old 05-22-07, 07:28 AM   #22
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I certainly would, and I would expect the same of my friends.
Yeah, we knocked on doors with the old line, "Can (what's-his-name) come out and play?"

No phone calls, no 'play-dates,' no plans. That's what kids should be about.

We never stayed for dinner, though. We all went home to our own dinner tables.
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Old 05-22-07, 07:55 AM   #23
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My daughters are now 33 and 30, so it has been a long time since I have been in your situation. Here's my take on it. We knew all of the children and all of the parents on our street. The kids all played together, but if they went into a neighbor's house we had to know where they were.

By the same token, if they were playing in the yard and decided that they wanted to play Barbies in the house, we insisted that they call their folks and let them know where they were.

We did not, however, require that it be a planned event. I fear that the lives of little ones are becoming too regimented and too scheduled. There is much to be said for spontaneity when you are 8 years old.
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Old 05-22-07, 09:08 AM   #24
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The kid that comes over all of the time is not what I would call a GOOD influence. There tends to be a pattern with these kids that are neglected and left to fend for themselves. It's my opinion that you get out of your kids what you put into them, and the parents who put little to know effort into raising their kids usually get a product that is flawed.

This kid fits that bill. He is like a little untamed animal. I know he has a good heart and can be good at times but in the short time he was over last night I know he irritated a lot of the neighbors because he was riding his bike through their yards, kicking balls into them and climbing trees.

I doubt if many had a more RURAL up bringing than i did. I was raised in a town of about 100 residents and a good portion of those were relatives. We roamed all over from dawn til dusk and there was never a concern. But still we never had kids come into my parents house. Not unless they were cousins or other relatives.

I guess it is just so totally different now, with what I am seeing with my son that I am literally clueless. I guess you just have to follow your gut and hope for the best. I fully intend to give my son more freedom the older he gets, but I still think that 8 years old is to young to be turned loose on your own in this day and age.
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Old 05-22-07, 09:24 AM   #25
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The kid that comes over all of the time is not what I would call a GOOD influence. There tends to be a pattern with these kids that are neglected and left to fend for themselves. It's my opinion that you get out of your kids what you put into them, and the parents who put little to know effort into raising their kids usually get a product that is flawed.

This kid fits that bill. He is like a little untamed animal. I know he has a good heart and can be good at times but in the short time he was over last night I know he irritated a lot of the neighbors because he was riding his bike through their yards, kicking balls into them and climbing trees.
Sounds like you could take this as an opportunity to BE a good influence for him.

Not meaning you have to clothe and feed the kid, but let him know you are there if he needs a mentor of sorts. It doesn't take much effort to be a good example, especially if he's already at your house.

Let him know what's acceptable when he is there and if he can't play by the rules that he will have to go home, but that you'd really like it if he was able to stay and play with your kid. Your kid will appreciate that you took the time to straighten the friend out. There's a chance your son has wanted you to do this, anyway.
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