Mother just dropped her kid off

moonie_57March 3, 2007

Got a knock on the door and there stands one of my 14 y/o daughter's friends. We had stayed up very late last night working on crafts and she had just gotten out of bed so I told him to give her a few minutes to get dressed and stuff.

His mother just dropped him off. I recognized the vehicle when I heard it stop outside, but didn't know who it was at the time, and didn't see the kid until he knocked. She gave us no phone call, no coming in to see what we were doing today.. nothing! The kid said he was just going to hang around here today.. he has several friends in the neighborhood.

I pondered over whether or not he had plans to go to someone elses house.. whether he was just allowed to "hang around", or if she just assumed I'd look after him. While I was still thinking this over, he and daughter went over to a friends house. I didn't want to question him and embarrass him by letting on that it was wrong for her to just assume he's welcomed here. So, I called her cellphone and got that generic "not available" message.

These kids used to hang out together quite a bit but not so much lately. Several times she dropped him off without talking to me, but that was after phone calls between the two kids and I knew he was coming. I'm just rather shocked that neither daughter or I knew he was coming, and he was just left!

And it's saturday morning and I have not cleaned house yet. Hate it when people show up unexpected like that.

This is a nice kid. I like him and don't want to embarrass him but I don't want to be responsible without prior arrangement either.

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coolmama

Sounds like his mom is somewhat responsible(For this) though.She shouldve made sure he called before dropping him off like that.
I know exactly how you feel,I hate when people come by and my house is a mess.I probably wouldnt have answered the door...but that's just me.
Maybe you could have daughter causually mention to him that next time he should call first cuz you might not be home.

    Bookmark   March 4, 2007 at 4:28PM
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popi_gw

Yes, I think getting your daughter to mention to him that a call first is a good idea, she is not always there, (for instance).

I used to live in a neighbourhood where children where knocking on the door all the time, to come over and play with my two children. This did get on my nerves a bit, but then I thought, they must think my place is a lot more fun that their house. At least I could supervise them all. And I always had the option of saying, "not today", in a friendly voice, and that would send them away.

I think you should think...its your house, your rules, and think about how you would want this situation to continue.

I am sure the boy would not care if your house is a mess.

He is a nice boy and you know him well, so its okay to have him in your house.

Perhaps you are a bit annoyed with his mother's attitude, just dropping him off and driving away...you wouldnt do that would you ?

I wonder how your daughter feels about it...maybe she is at an age where she does not want people turning up at the door, she may not have her "face" on, her hair done...you know what teenagers are like.

My DD 19, told me the other day, that if people are coming over "I" had to give her a warning, preferably the day before, so she could be presentable. So she would collapse if someone turned up at the door now !

Give the responsiblity to the boy, to phone first, forget about the mother.

Good luck with it all...its amazing, with teens, how these situations present themselves, and we are left flailing about, not knowing what to do, or what standard, or precedent we are going to set. Its like tip toeing through a mine field!

Popi

    Bookmark   March 4, 2007 at 6:37PM
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moonie_57

I kind of got over the annoyance soon after and his sister picked him up about 4:00. Just couldn't believe his mother dropped him off like that. Daughter has been informed that we must get a phone call first. She thought it was no big deal. Sheesh!

It rubbed me wrong because it reminded me years ago, when my boys were young and playing sports. I was a stay at home mom and started carpooling for a couple of other mothers who worked. Wasn't long before I became taxi driver and babysitter a couple times a week.. before, during and after games and practice. One of the moms seemed to think since I didn't work, I must not have anything else to do. It was my own fault because I let it happen, but the next year we did no carpooling. I took my own kids, and only my kids.

    Bookmark   March 4, 2007 at 11:12PM
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stephanie_in_ga

I would be most annoyed if I were not home, but my teen son was. Oh no, house rule, no parent, no other kids on the property. And if I had planned an errand, and now couldn't go for leaving another teen in my house, I'd also be angry.

I often have other kids here. I don't usually mind at all, but I don't want to be taken for granted, either. That's how it would make me feel. As if the other person's time is very valuable, and mine is just free for the taking. So I am getting better at just saying "not today, go home" or "It's 4:00, if you don't live here go home" when I'm done with it.

As long as we're venting... There are a couple brothers from our street who come to hang out with my boys almost every day. They go to both houses. If they are at my house for a couple hours and it's lunch time, I make enough for them, too. But my boys will come home starving from their house, saying their mom made sandwiches but didn't offer them one. I tell my kids I don't want to hear them whine to me, if they're hungry they need to follow their stomachs back to their own kitchen. But it does annoy me that I'll treat their hungry, growing boys like my own and feed them, but those parents don't reciprocate. And I don't want to sink to that level and not offer a guest and friend of my sons' food while in my home. So, I'm just venting, cuz I'm not going to change my choices.

    Bookmark   March 4, 2007 at 11:40PM
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popi_gw

Other parents are always going to foist their children on you at least you know YOU are doing the right thing by your children. You can be proud of that.

Stephanie, you are right...don't sink to that level.

    Bookmark   March 5, 2007 at 3:58AM
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wildchild

By the time I was 14 it wasn't unusual for my friends and myself to just hang out at each other's homes at will. "Mom I going to hang out in Billy's neighborhood today. Drop me off?" Same for my kids when they were teens. I thought it was just what teens do. When I saw this topic I thought it was about someone dumping a young child off on someone. Fourteen year olds are pretty autonomous. He had other friends in the neighborhood. They aren't using you as a babysitter. Just hanging out. It's what teens do. You should be glad it's at your house.

    Bookmark   March 5, 2007 at 10:05AM
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lindac

I don't see what the problem is....it's your daughter's friend....do her friends have to make an appointment before stopping by? It's her home too.
Getting up in arms over things like that is a sure way to send your daughter to other people's houses to "hang out"...and to have her friends label you as a crab.
I would choose having my home be the place to hang out, where there are always treats, pizza in the freezer and unlimited popcorn, than have my kids hanging out at another's house.
Linda C

    Bookmark   March 5, 2007 at 10:30AM
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moonie_57

Wow.. wildchild and lindac have me wondering if I'm an over anxious parent. I would -never- drop my child off in someone else's neighborhood and leave her.. and definitely not without a time to be picked up or without a cellphone. I don't want to have to search from house to house in case of an emergency.. well, all in all, I want to know where my daughter is, who she's with and what she is doing.

If she goes to the movies then she isn't allowed to leave the theatre. Skating or rec center.. she isn't allowed to go outside the building.

Friends don't have to make an "appointment" to stop by but I do expect the courtesy of a phone call if they plan on spending the day at my house... crabby or not. :)

Stephanie - We have that same house rule. It not only protects the kids, but home and property as well.

    Bookmark   March 5, 2007 at 2:42PM
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wildchild

Believe me I was the parent who always knew where my children were and with whom. But a 14 year old is no longer a child. His mother dropped him off in a neighborhood where he had several friends. It's not like she left him out in the middle of nowhere to fend for himself.

Many 14 years olds are going out on group dates if not dating by that age. Just when are they supposed to start learning how to get on in the world? Do you keep them on a short leash until the magical age of 18 and then expect them to have the street smarts to go off to college?

There is a huge difference between say an 10 year old who may still need mommy to help make the playdates happen and a couple of high schoolers.

My DS knew more about the city bus lines than I did by the 7th grade and my DD got her first real job at 14. Both knew they had to leave contact info or call me to check in regularly. This was before cell phones. They both babysat for neighbors by the time they were 12 and for short daytime periods when even younger.

My kids grew up with a lot of protectiveness but given the age appropriate freedom to enable them to learn how to survive in the real world while still under my guidance.

Both grew up with an independent nature and the self esteem to avoid being entrapped by peer pressure. The teens are your last chance to enable your kids to gain the skills they will need for the rest of their life when they move on.

    Bookmark   March 5, 2007 at 3:25PM
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coolmama

A 14 year old IS still a child,and they need bounderies. Moonie57,I'm right there with you,in today's world you cant be too careful.
About the boy just showing up and not getting"up in arms about it",it's just common curtousy to call first,no matter WHO you are. I wouldnt even just "show up" at my mom's without calling first. I guess people are different regarding this,but it's how I have always felt.

    Bookmark   March 5, 2007 at 5:51PM
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lizql

I first thought it was about a young child as well. Having raised two DDs there were always kids at my house. Guys especialy. I'd put them to work. You want to hang out? Grab a broom and sweep the patio, the garden needs weeding, take out the trash, carry in the groceries. Most never complained. Those that did, never came back.

    Bookmark   March 6, 2007 at 11:35AM
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moonie_57

I don't mind kids at my house and would prefer my daughter hang here than anywhere else. I was just floored that a mother would drop her kid off like that.

It seems my real problem is determining whether or not I am holding the reins too tightly. I just can not imagine leaving my daughter somewhere like that. Sheesh!

Maybe I'll pose these thoughts on another forum that's very active and see what kind of responses I get. I may need serious counseling after this! :)

    Bookmark   March 6, 2007 at 1:31PM
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Toni S

Imo, your on the money Moonie. I would never drop my 14 year old off in a neighborhood expecting someone will be home to take him in. What if his 3 buddies are gone, or in the middle of chores or grounded or entertaining family ,,,the list goes on. I can see a neighbor kid coming by and asking but being left at someones carport is to assuming. sheesh! Call me a prude but none of my kids have or will be dating at 14. Thats just my rules and all of my friends rules too. My son is almost 16 and the rule is all doors are to be left open, especially with girls! We have made our home open to all their friends and there are places they can hang out but Mom can conveniently pass through to "get something". Luckily they come over and have no complaints about mom making her entrance once in a while, in fact they start telling me whats happening most of the time. We've been lucky parents so far.

    Bookmark   March 6, 2007 at 7:14PM
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moonie_57

toni - I'm just glad to know that I didn't necessarily over-react and that my views on rules for my daughter are not too stringent. Of course, -she- thinks differently sometimes. :)

    Bookmark   March 6, 2007 at 11:36PM
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coolmama

If you watch the news everyday (as I do) you will feel reassured that you are NOT being too paranoid. Geez,some 14 year old was just abducted while standing at his bustop! Tied and left for dead in the woods.If it wasnt for a safety pin he had,he may have been killed.
I honestly dont care if people do think I'am paranoid when it comes to my child.Better safe then sorry.

    Bookmark   March 7, 2007 at 5:27AM
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bnicebkind

Moonie, Stephanie, Toni, I am right there with you, and so are most of the parents I know. I cannot imagine a parent just dropping their kid off and driving away, and not having the basic decency to call first, and make sure that you were going to be home, and that you did not have other plans.

We see kids like this like this, and it seems that no one cares about them. They are just dumped off where ever.

    Bookmark   March 7, 2007 at 6:42AM
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dances_in_garden

I don't care about whether or not it was rude not to call first (after all, they left and went to another kids house and didn't call first, right?).

But the difference is, what if nobody was home? What if your daughter was grounded or busy and he couldn't stay there, and his other "friends from the neighbourhood" were not home? If his mother had to drop him off I think we can assume he is from a different neighbourhood, possibly too far to walk. It's not like he could just go back home if nobody answered the door.

I am sure the mother told him to call her when he was ready to come home. What if he had no way to call? Maybe he had a cell phone too so it is moot, but if nobody was home or couldn't come out, was he supposed to wander around in the elements looking for a payphone (which are few and far between these days, nonexistant in a residential neighbourhood)?

I am 35, and if somebody dropped me off and left without even making sure I got inside I would be quite angry, upset, and feel more than abandoned.

    Bookmark   March 7, 2007 at 10:26AM
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moonie_57

bnice - it seems like some parents have more faith in their children's judgement than others but sometimes... and i don't mean all the time... they may be misguided. And putting the child's welfare aside, it's just plain rude in my book leaving a kid on someone else's doorstep IMO. ((see paragraph below))

dances - yes, they went to another kids house.. without calling. But, it's across the street and I can open my front door and call for her. Is there a difference here? It is from my perspective but these are my views. I wonder if another parent may think it rude though. Food for thought.

I'm 49, and also would be upset at being abandoned, which is what it is. And you're right.. no payphone around here. He didn't have a cellphone so he would have had to use someone elses phone to call.

coolmama - My DD catches the bus down on the corner, by herself. I don't like that so I don't leave for work until the bus has come, which puts me running late a few minutes. Luckily I have a boss that understands.

And, I really don't care if people think I'm paranoid, either. Just want to make sure that my DD is fairly treated and I'm not holding on too tightly.

    Bookmark   March 7, 2007 at 4:38PM
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centralcacyclist

I have a boy 16 and a girl 14. I confess my leash is shorter for my girl-child!

My son and his friends go from one friend's house to another and hang. They bring snacks, they know to help themselves to food, etc. A couple of summers ago one of my son's buds lived at our house most of the time. His parents were going through a horrible divorce and he simply didn't want to be home. He was quiet and respectful and seemed to appreciate neutral territory.

If a boy is here, I make sure their parents know where they are and that it's ok.

Different story for my 14 year old girl! When she began high school, I talked to her about dating: no one-on-one dating until age 16, no dating anyone more than one grade older, group outings are ok as long as I know where and with whom. My little wise-acre pointed out that I didn't have this talk with her brother at age 14! I pointed out it hadn't necessary! At 14 he was small for his age and hopelessly nerdy. She is not. Sigh.

    Bookmark   March 8, 2007 at 1:09AM
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popi_gw

I think the point is we all have to be confident that we are doing the best thing for our children. If it doesnt feel right to us, then its wrong for us.

Seems to me that the more structures and controls we have for our teenagers, the happier everyone is. At least everyone knows what everyone is doing and what to expect.

We are all doing a good job, pats on the back for all of us.

Popi

    Bookmark   March 8, 2007 at 1:42AM
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mary1helen2

How many of you guys know that a rental car agency generally has an age minimim of around 25 years for drivers? If they rent to younger ones of 18 and up they charge a premium, or just won't do it, according to policy.
I mention this because some of you think 14 year olds are not children....yes, they are. Their brains have not matured to the level of adults brains and most certainly they need better supervision than being left to decide everything for themselves. Let them whine and complain, when they get to be parents they will have the same rules, no doubt. As for willy-nilly dropping one of my (now adult) kids off in friend's neighborhoods, I never would have considered it and now with all the increased crime and predators out there, the answer is a resounding NO.

    Bookmark   March 28, 2007 at 9:39AM
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