Friday, 17 September 2010

Late party problems and decisions to be made...

My son has been invited to a birthday party.My son is 11 on Monday and his own birthday party consists of 3 friends, his brother and my husband and I going to the cinema and then out for lunch. The party he has been invited to is for 50 children, at a swimming pool from 8pm to 9.30pm some other day.

My son's usual bed time is 9pm and although he does sometimes stay up later than this the thought of him being in a swimming pool at that time of night with 49 other children... is ridiculous to say the least. Call me old fashioned and an over protective mother, but I am feeling really quite irritated that the parents of his friend have been so blasé and, frankly, irresponsible.

I could, of course, tell him he can't go, but then his friend would be upset because this friend is supposed to be his best friend.I also do not want to upset his friend's mother. However, their feelings are not really my priority - my son's safety is. I know the sort of behaviour that will be acceptable at the party and its not the sort of behaviour that I am comfortable with.

In the past I have avoided play dates because of lack of supervision. The last time my son played at their house he came home very proud that he had saved his friend's life.When I asked how he had saved him he said that they had been playing out in the front of the house and his friend had been in the road. A car had come down the road, not seen the boy and my son had dragged him out of the way just in time.He was 8 at the time. When I asked why they were out on the road and where the mummy was I was told that this was usual practise and mummy had been in the house.He has not played there since.

I am too much of a wimp to be honest and up front about this event, but it has tainted my opinion ever since and I have backed off from my friendship. This latest problem is just another example of how different we are. I suppose, to be honest, I am controlling, she is easy going. We each have the right to parent as we please. She is a lovely person and if our children were not an issue everything would be fine. But they are an issue. I am unhappy trusting my children with her or her offspring.

Next year they will all go to new and different schools and the problem will be over hopefully, but for now I have to decide what to do. Do I let my son decide for himself and hope everything is fine? Do I say no to the party and tell the truth as to why he can't come? Or do I say he can't come and make up an excuse, somewhere between the truth and a kind place? I just don't know...


Gail said...

Can you volunteer to help? That would solve both problems.

Trish @ Mum's Gone to... said...

Found your blog on British Mummy Bloggers so thought I'd add my two-pennorth!

I really like Gail's idea if that's possible. If not, I think you have to stick to your guns and be honest with your son. We have had similar occasions with our boy (now 14) where we didn't want him to go somewhere and we found by being upfront about our concerns he often would say that he was worried about going too. Relief all round.

sarah at secret housewife said...

Thanks for your input. I think, from the lack of comments on this one, that most people disagree with me and my viewpoint, so its good to hear what you think.
Your idea of going along to help is a good one Gail. My husband had told my son that he would be very happy to come along.
It seems, though, that my son has made his decision and does not want to go. I am going to give our apologies and we will still send a card and a pressie.
Thanks for commenting and Following Trish!See you again soon I hope!

Anonymous said...

Actually I agree with you erring on the side of caution, my 12yo has a friend that is allowed to walk her dog and regularly crosses a level crossing. I found out afterwards that my daughter walked the dog one day with her friend. I was horrified and while she is allowed to visit the friend, she is NOT allowed to go near the level crossing, and I have told the friend's mum this. All parents have varying levels of what their children are and are not allowed to do - luckily my daughters are aware of their boundaries and (so far) adhere to them.

I also agree that sometimes they want us to say no on their behalf, my 15yo does this, I can usually tell and ask her what she wants me to say! It lets her off the hook with her friends and I don't mind taking the blame!

Mystica said...

Being cautious is good. Its wonderful that the decision was taken out of your hands though!!! 50 boys - it would be almost impossible to monitor, watch and take care for just parents alone. It seems far too big a crowd for a birthday.