Saturday, June 4, 2011

growing pains

we've been going through growing pains this year with the girl. she is ready to start spreading her wings and we (meaning me more so than the hubs) are not quite ready to let her. while the hubs isn't ready to push her out of the nest, he is more realistic, knowing that we can't keep her with us forever.

i think we've been pretty fair--we let her go to a boy/girl party; she went to the folly one night w/ just her friends (no adults); we've dropped her off at the movies, etc.

last night was the 8th grade semi-formal dance. months ago she talked about going, with her friends, and was excited to pick out a dress. weeks ago her group decided not go to to the dance, rather they'd go to the movies or someones house. they poo pooed the dance, it would be lame, nobody was going, etc. yeah middle school, god i'm glad i'm not in middle school.

i've been asking the girl for days what the plan was---movies? going to someones house? etc. she said she and another friend were going to a friend's house and the movies. THURSDAY--you know the day before friday--she presents this plan: a friend's mom (whom i know well and like) would pick her up around 3pm and take them to another friend's house (while her mom was still at work and an older brother or sister may or may not be present). that parent would come home at 5 and be there until the evening ended at 9pm.

i have never met this parent and my kid had never been to this person's house. i was opposed to her going there before the mom got home from work (plus this would leave our boy home alone for a couple of hours). we vetoed the idea but said we'd take her over when we (and the girl's mom) got home from work. she pouted and of course hated this idea.

the hubs got home before i did and took the girl to her friend's house. i went to pick her up at 9pm. a tall, teen aged boy answered the door (apparently the older brother). the mom was not there. at 9pm. i collected my kid and started backing out of the driveway. just then the mom pulls in behind me, and then drives through the grass around my car to park in her driveway. never says boo to me.

so....apparently the mom was there when the hubs took the girl over. the older brother was mostly at his girlfriend's house, though my girl is not really sure how much of the evening he was home. after the mother fixed the girls dinner...she LEFT with a friend. LEFT them alone until 9pm. i told the girl this particular friend is welcome to come to our house (and she has) but that i seriously doubted i'd be letting her go to that friend's house again due to the lack of parental supervision.

my kid of course thinks this means i don't trust her or that i think she and her friends are going to do something bad. i have told her a million and 12 times that it is not that i don't trust her or her friends, and that 9 times out of 10 nothing would happen and all would be well....but accidents are called accidents for a reason....that one time someone could get hurt or something could go wrong and no adult would be there. and frankly, i do worry about kids whose parents are so casual (at least in my mind) about their care.

people say we're over protective...and maybe we are. what do you think?


Hotch Potchery said...

Frankly, it doesn't matter if people think you are overprotective. Your kids. End of story.

I tended to err on the as long as I know where you are and you answer your phone or text on demand.

Who knows?

Anonymous said...

This is exactly how I am with the boy. Completely overprotective - but it's necessary, y'know?
With certain kids, I let him hang out there w/out adults. If I don't know the kid or the parents - it's not an option at all to hang out in the evening. Sometimes I am ok with him being at an new friend's house in the afternoon on a limited basis. Totally depends on how well I know the people in question. He's a little bit older than the girl, and still completely hates that I'm so overprotective. But I'm fair and reasonable.
As I type, he's at a friend's house praying no shenanigans are involved.


Pseudo said...

I say hang on to that kind of involvement as long as you can. It keeps them on their toes.

I taught 8th grade last year, switching after 12 years of teaching high school. 8th graders, 13, is such an interesting, in between time. Like kids in big bodies, innocent and wide eyed one minute and on the verge of their adulthood the next.

Unknown said...

I'm with Hotch Potchery. Your kid, your call.

I myself can see done room there to loosen up a teensy bit, but that's just me ; p

Possum said...

Absolutely your child so its your call!
Lock em down let em loose...whatever you do just make sure you keep the lines of communication open!

Surely said...

I think you did it perfectly.

Perhaps explain to the girl that it's not about her or her friends but the chance/opportunity that something CAN happen when an adult isn't there that they might not be able to deal with properly.

Not that the mom seems like she would be any help.

Good job, you.