Thursday, February 4, 2010

Conundrum(and could you share your insights ASAP on this, people, please and thank you?)

I was just emailing a friend and was telling her my latest parenting dilemma and asking for her opinion and well, her parenting policy basically, on this issue. The brain wave struck me that I should bring it to my blog and ask all of you for your thoughts as well. Why not use the tools at my disposal, right? Not that I'm calling you guys "tools" or anything. 'Course not.

The only caveat is that I need an answer STAT. So, get those comments in quickly. Please. Pretty Please. HELP.

My oldest daughter was invited to a birthday party next Saturday night. I've been holding on to the invite since Monday. I need to RSVP by umm, tomorrow and I have yet to make up my mind. Yes, I'm waffling.

Here's the thing. I don't know this kid, nor her family, AT ALL. I've never met her, I've never met them. My daughter's school joined with another school in a new building and the birthday girl went to the "other" school that joined. Am I speaking Pig Latin? I feel like I'm confusing this issue even more for you. Anyways, hence why I don't know the kid or her family.

The birthday is for 4pm and it says pizza, cupcakes, movies and a sleepover. The parents were conscientious enough to write that if you want to just come to the party and movies that's fine too. (skip the sleepover part) My daughter REALLY wants to go, yet my other issue (and yes, I have many, in general) is that none of her friends are going or were invited. By friends, I mean the kids from her original school that I know and have met their parents. I guess my daughter has been hanging with these "new kids" and they've taken to her. What can I say? She IS my daughter. "The party don't start til I walk innnnnnnnn..."

I have to call these people and let them know soon. Frankly, I'm already breaking my own RSVP rules. My daughter is ten, and at the age where I'm sure she'd be fine, or know enough to call me to come get her if she wasn't. However, I still don't like just dropping my child off with a great unknown.

So, I'm putting it all in your hands. Your thoughts MAY sway my decision one way or the other. No pressure or anything, tools. I mean, peeps. But, um, could you get on it? I have a deadline to work around!

What would YOU do?


  1. Here's my advice for the next invite you get where you don't know the family: I would ask the birthday girl over to your house for a playdate before the party, then pick her up or drop her off so you can meet the parents. Our rule is, if we can't get in the door and talk with the parents, (ie: scope out the situation), our kids don't get left there.

    That's for next time though.....

    For this one, I'd say "no" to the sleepover (because you don't know them at all) and "yes" to the party. I would call and ask what movie they're seeing, how many kids are going and if both parents will be there. (ie: not just the dad by himself or not just older never know). You have every right to ask these questions, it's your kid, age 10 or not and you're responsible for her well being.

    On the day of, when you drop her off...get in the door and chat for a bit with the parents. If you feel comfortable, bid her farewell and good wishes for a fun party. If you get a "bad, unsettling feeling", as hard as it might be, say that you're just not comfortable with it afterall and leave. That's the hardest thing to do but it's not likely that it will get to that. (Things that would make me feel uncomfortable: teen siblings smoking on the front step, a disastrous dirty, messy house etc.)

    You might think I'm being "anal" but I know how you worry and am offering a possible solution based on your post.

    Good luck and let us know the final verdict!

  2. I don't know if it's too late for further input but I'd go ahead and let her go to the party but postpone the sleepover portion for another day after you've had time to get to know the parents enough to meet your comfort zone.

    We kind of experienced this in reverse recently. Madison had a party a few months back and invited girls whose parents I knew only very casually through classroom volunteering. Several of the moms kind of 'auditioned' me via phone or even just by dropping in to chat for a few minutes at the start of the party.

    I think our kids almost always have a pretty good sense as far as choosing friends. You'd know if she were moving down the wrong path, you know? And still, it's really, really hard to ride the line between being an involved, attentive parent as opposed to being a helicopter parent.

    Good luck on your decision, Trace!

  3. I would do as the others said; just the party not the sleepover. Explain to A your reasoning for not allowing the sleepover (if you haven't already done so)and go over all of the *safety* things she should know before if feeling unsure, the same rules apply there as they do at home, etc. Good luck!