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  #1  
Old 10-22-2012, 06:41 PM
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Default DD's Classmate Comes To Our Door Constantly - WWYD?

I have a situation that is bothering me and I'm not sure what to do. It's kind of daycare related, but not completely. I'm hoping some of you won't mind giving me your input as a parent and a DCP. Sorry it's so long...

My DD is 9yo and in 3rd grade. She has a classmate that lives in our neighborhood but several blocks away. My hubby and I have never met or spoken to her parents.

A few weeks ago, this girl started knocking on our door every morning to "pick up" my DD for the walk to the bus stop. I walk my DD to the bus stop every morning. I don't mind this girl walking with us, but I have not let her come in the house since it's a very hectic time getting my DD and the 3 DCK's ready to go. She waits outside in the cold until we are ready to go.

At the same time, she started coming almost every day after school wanting to know if DD could play. The first time, she asked if DD could go to her house and said that her Dad said it was okay. I explained to her that DD cannot play at her house since I have never met or spoken with her parents. I gave her my phone number and told her to have one of her parents call me so we could possibly set up a time when she could come to our house to play. She ran home and came back to say that her Dad said it was okay for her to play here. I was a caught a little off guard and let her come in to play for an hour or so.

She comes to our door after school on most days and at least once on the weekends (that we know of). There have been 3 times that she has COME BACK at around 5pm which is when the DCK's get picked up and we are getting ready to eat dinner.

One day last week when there was no school, she came and wanted to play. I asked if her parents knew where she was and she said her Dad had told her it was okay for her to play here. My DD was home and I was taking care of another school age girl, so I again let her come in to play for an hour or so.

Other than those two occasions when she has come in to play, I have had to say no every time she has come...not necessarily because I didn't want the girls to play, but because it was not a good time for one reason or another (DD is at choir, DD is doing homework, we are getting ready to eat, we just got home from a long day of shopping/errands, etc.).

So, here's some of the things bothering me about all of this...
  • I have never met or spoken to her parents. Even though I gave her my phone number, they have never called me and apparently don't have an issue sending their DD to a strangers house to play.
  • She lives several blocks away and walks to and from our house all alone. Although I don't let my DD do anything like that, I'm probably even more sensitive to it right now since Jessica Ridgeway lived not too far from us and the guy that abducted and killed her has not been caught. This whole thing started at about the same time Jessica disappeared...what world do these parents live in??
  • The more I think about it, the more uncomfortable I am having her come into our house. I have no idea what her parents are like...what if they said something happened to her here? What if something DID happen to her here - an injury or something?
  • I know she's just a kid, but it doesn't feel right to let a stranger in our house when there are DCK's here. She would never have the opportunity to hurt one of them since I never leave them unsupervised, but still...
  • Every time she comes to the door, the dog barks and wakes up napping DCK's.

Honestly, I feel sorry for this girl. Am I being paranoid and weird? What would you do?

BTW...my DD says she does not play with this girl at school and is indifferent about having play dates with her.
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Old 10-22-2012, 06:59 PM
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I have a 10 yr DD and would not let her play with someone if I hadn't been properly introduced to the parents. I would send a note home with her the next time she comes and tell her to give it to her parents explaining that you need to meet. My DD has a lot of friends in our neighborhood that she plays with and it's a very safe neighborhood...that being said...all parents still call or text the other parent when they are leaving a house for home so they know to expect them. The kids all know they aren't allowed to go from one child's house to another without checking with mom first. We play it very safe here...you just never know!
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Old 10-22-2012, 07:05 PM
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That's a tough situation. I have a similar situation with a neighbor that's friends with my daughter who will come over when she sees us outside playing in my yard, and often I'll have to turn her away. The problem for me, and I'm not sure if you're in the same situation, is if licensing came, I'd get dinged for having a child there without any paperwork. Another issue that may be a DCP's point of view is that you're essentially caring for a child for free, while everyone else is paying for your services.

For me, I'm friends with my neighbor and explained how, as much as I love our kids playing together, I can't have her over during business hours because of licensing, ratio, etc. She understands this and supports it (although her daughter still comes over on occassion asking). Can you get this child's home number and talk to her parents? I wouldn't risk your business, and by the sounds of it, you have a gut feeling about it anyway. Maybe some weekend playdates would work so you can supervise without overlapping with business hours (if your child wanted). She may just be a lonely kid.

I also wouldn't allow my child to play at anyone's house without me knowing the parents. You really can't be too careful.
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Old 10-22-2012, 07:12 PM
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Are you licensed?

In my state you are not allowed to have any children at your house who are not enrolled and have all the necessary enrollment paperwork during daycare hours. Even if that's not the case where you're at, or you are not licensed, you can always use that as an excuse so it won't hurt her feelings.

Add to that, as a parent I wouldn't want just any child from the neighborhood coming into my daycare providers home while I was paying for my child to be in care.


Aside from daycare hours I would not allow a child into my home who's parents I haven't yet met or at the very least spoken to. Although I would be concerned for a child who's parents don't seem to care a hill of beans where she's at or with whom, letting her know that she cannot visit your home until you correspond with them isn't at all unreasonable. Let her know once you get a chance to talk to her mom or dad you'd be happy to set up a time to play (if your daughter would like of course).
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Old 10-22-2012, 07:55 PM
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I know a child just like this, but she is a friend of my dd. Her parents allow her to roam around the neighborhood. She has a cellphone and they call her when they want her to come home. She came to our door and I told her she had to ask her parents if she could come inside the house. And she literally called her mom and mom said yes, eventhough she had no idea who I was.

It was a sad situation. This girl would be outside at all hours of the day morning to evening roaming around and knocking on "friends" doors to see if they coudl play. Luckily nothing ever happened to her. We always felt uncomfortable for the same reasons that you do. We didn't meet or know the parents and felt wrong having her in our home without talking to them first.

I think eventually someone turned them into cps because she now has an afterschool babysitter (a high school or college student or something) that takes care of her. I don't see her roam around anymore and when I do see her after school she is with her sitter. She has also stopped ringing our doorbell which I am glad for because I never did feel quite right.

I would follow your gut. While you may feel sad for this little girl it is her parents responsibility to take care of her. Let her know that you can only let her into your home if you talk to her parents first in person. And also explain that you don't let your dd outside alone. Honesty is your best bet in this situation. She may not understand WHY but she should understand your wishes. If you are consistent she will eventually find a family that has no problem with her being around.

HTH
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Old 10-22-2012, 08:20 PM
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Susie, here is a note I need you to take to your daddy. I can't have you come in to play anymore till your daddy and I meet. Can you make sure he gets this today?



Dear Dad,

Your daughter has come to my home quite often lately to play with my daughter, and to walk to the bus in the morning. She has shown respect to both my daughter and me. However, I am quite uncomfortable with this arrangement. As a child care provider I have many, many rules that effect my home, and that I must follow when children are in my care. As an example, I must maintain my child:adult ratio at all times. This means that when she walks with us to the bus stop without her parent, or asks to come in to play after school, I am considered to be responsible for her. I cannot take this responsibility for her under these circumstances. Parents of children in my care must submit forms, pay fees, and sign their child in and out.

I am happy to have her come play on occasion after child care hours, if we can arrange a good time. If you would like to meet me to exchange ideas I'd be happy to do so. Until then, I must ask you to contact me directly before she comes over to knock on the door. Then we can make arrangements for visits after my daycare hours. My number is:....
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Old 10-22-2012, 09:33 PM
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If it was after hours, I would probably just walk her home myself and meet the parents face to face .
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Old 10-23-2012, 03:38 AM
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Originally Posted by spud912 View Post
If it was after hours, I would probably just walk her home myself and meet the parents face to face .
Yep. We have a few roamers in our neighborhood and I've walked to their house to meet their parents. I normally only let dd play with them outside in our yard and they have a great time.
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Old 10-23-2012, 05:36 AM
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When she came again I would stop her right there and call her parents to make sure it was OK. I would also mention the dangers of letting her walk around the block by herself (I still walk my 11 year old) and tell her about the recent abduction.

We just had a 12 year old go missing here in NJ on Saturday. I haven't seen any updates this morning but as of last night she was still missing. She went for a ride on her bike in the afternoon and never returned. She had a cell phone on her which proves the point that a cell phone is not the same as supervision.

I just can't understand someone letting their child go out unsupervised and not knowing where he/she is or who he/she is with. Scary!

Edit: I just checked the headlines - her body was found.
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Old 10-23-2012, 07:53 AM
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Originally Posted by Kaddidle Care View Post
When she came again I would stop her right there and call her parents to make sure it was OK. I would also mention the dangers of letting her walk around the block by herself (I still walk my 11 year old) and tell her about the recent abduction.

We just had a 12 year old go missing here in NJ on Saturday. I haven't seen any updates this morning but as of last night she was still missing. She went for a ride on her bike in the afternoon and never returned. She had a cell phone on her which proves the point that a cell phone is not the same as supervision.

I just can't understand someone letting their child go out unsupervised and not knowing where he/she is or who he/she is with. Scary!

Edit: I just checked the headlines - her body was found.
I was just going to tell you that she was found 5 blocks away in a recycling container.
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Old 10-23-2012, 10:09 AM
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I must be a horribly irresponsible parent. My kids were allowed to play in my neighborhood just like I was. Streetlights on, best be home. By 8 or 9 they were walking 4-5 blocks to play with friends. Their friends knew that once day kids left they could pop over. Each year the boundaries got farther and farther.
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Old 10-23-2012, 10:27 AM
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I must be a horribly irresponsible parent. My kids were allowed to play in my neighborhood just like I was. Streetlights on, best be home. By 8 or 9 they were walking 4-5 blocks to play with friends. Their friends knew that once day kids left they could pop over. Each year the boundaries got farther and farther.
Mine too. They have to tell me where they're going but I do let them have some freedom in our neighborhood. I love that kids here still play street hockey, ride bikes and scooters and play hide and seek with multiple ages in multiple yards.
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Old 10-23-2012, 10:29 AM
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I played just like the little girl you described in the 70's. It was normal, if it was a bad time they'd just tell us NO and we'd move to the next house.

The morning bus ride thing was about having a clique. It prevented "mean girl" type bullying on the ride since the drivers rarely interveined. Safety in numbers, not from adult predators, but from the bullies on the bus. At 9 was when it started for me, personally.

Times have changed, though, and my own kids have never had that kind of freedom.

Personally, I'd just get their address, knock on the door and talk to her parents.
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Old 10-23-2012, 10:49 AM
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Would you allow your Daycare children, the ones you are paid to watch, the ones you are responsible for, to walk unsupervised down the street, around the corner and out of sight? Probably not. Think about it.

We are not living in the 1970's any more. I was a child in the 70's. My mother had no idea where I went to play until supper time. Things happend then but it's more frequent now.

Watch their internet use and Facebooks too. This particular girl had over 600 friends on Facebook. I wasn't a "friend" but I could see that she had her address mapped on it. She had her school listed and claimed she was in High School. (She was 12) I don't know if she posted to her 600+ friends that she was going out for a bike ride but I wouldn't be surprised if she did.

Too much information, too much freedom = too much risk

Edit: They caught 2 boys that did it and one of them was a "friend" on her facebook account. In fact, the mother of the boys saw a post one of them made on Facebook which prompted her to turn them into the authorities.
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Old 10-23-2012, 11:24 AM
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easy fix. I would tell the girl that you don't do playdates during the week, but she is more than welcome to walk with you in the morning. Then on the weekend go over and introduce yourself.
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Old 10-23-2012, 11:35 AM
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I think what bothers me is that as a dc provider, I feel taken advantage of when neighborhood parents *ass/U/me* that I will keep an eye on their child since I'm already home anyway Maybe that's not the case here, but you don't know that since you don't know the parents.

I see nothing wrong with kids going back and forth *provided* everyone is okay with it and the kids know not to be pests (ie: don't hang at someone's door watching them eat dinner cause you are waiting for Johnny to come back out to play ). My own kids go back and forth between neighbors - but we all know each other, and everyone is very aware that their kids can't be here during dc unless I have paperwork and they are paying me
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Old 10-23-2012, 08:38 PM
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I have in the past. About 9 years ago my daughter and a dayfriend were both 10 and they rode all over the neighborhood, went three blocks to the park, had fun. It wasnt the first time either but maybe my neighborhood is different? We are lucky ours is much the same as mine was growing up in the 70s I don't keep anyone over 4 now but yes, I do let my own kids go out of sight. They are 14&11 My youngest doesn't have a fb. Nor an email addy. She uses mine for games.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Kaddidle Care View Post
Would you allow your Daycare children, the ones you are paid to watch, the ones you are responsible for, to walk unsupervised down the street, around the corner and out of sight? Probably not. Think about it.

We are not living in the 1970's any more. I was a child in the 70's. My mother had no idea where I went to play until supper time. Things happend then but it's more frequent now.

Watch their internet use and Facebooks too. This particular girl had over 600 friends on Facebook. I wasn't a "friend" but I could see that she had her address mapped on it. She had her school listed and claimed she was in High School. (She was 12) I don't know if she posted to her 600+ friends that she was going out for a bike ride but I wouldn't be surprised if she did.

Too much information, too much freedom = too much risk

Edit: They caught 2 boys that did it and one of them was a "friend" on her facebook account. In fact, the mother of the boys saw a post one of them made on Facebook which prompted her to turn them into the authorities.
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Old 10-24-2012, 09:22 AM
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I don't take SA kids anymore but when I did, they were allowed to leave my property and go 4 blocks away and play at the school on the playground or the rink or to the sliding hill.

My licensing rules/regs state that SA kids must only have an adult available. Which translated by my licensor meant as long as they knew who to come to when they needed adult intervention, help or assistance.

The parents had to sign a permission slip for their children to be able to do this but it was/is pretty normal here.

I also live in a pretty small community where everyone knows everyone and although I know things can or could happen, I refuse to live in fear because of what "could" or "might" happen. If I know we have taken all the precautionary measures we can and the kids know their rules and boundaries, then I can't do anything more than that.
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Old 10-24-2012, 11:27 AM
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I have 3 SA kids of my own, and random friends show up every now and then. Some of them I know, some of them I don't. I live in a small neighbourhood, so maybe it's different, but I let my own child's age be the judge of who I allow them to play with and where.

For example, my 5 year old can play out on the sidewalk within her "boundaries". If a friend comes over to play, she is allowed to play with them within those boundaries (during daycare hours). If a friend comes over for my 12-year-old, he has boundaries as well, but they're alot wider. He can't go into someone's house without telling me who and where (in person, not by phone), but he can roam a street or two over, and then back in the field. Same with my 10-year-old. They can also have friends in the house as long as they play in the basement. I'm always with the dc kids in the playroom or backyard, so they don't cross paths with the neighbourhood kids.

If I haven't met the friend's parents, my kids don't play at their house. My 5-yr-old doesn't play at other kids' houses anyway, because I feel she still needs to be within line-of-sight of me. She also can't have friends inside during daycare hours for the same reason.

I know towns vary, but I would be more than happy to let the "neighbourhood roamer" play with my own kids even if I didn't know the parents. At least the roamer has a safe place to play, kwim? I've even taken a few SA kids home from the bus stop when they've been locked out of their own houses so that they didn't have to sit outside waiting for mom or dad. I'm okay with being known as the "safe house" and I've had neighbours check with me first when they can't find their own kids.

BUT, I've never been taken advantage of. Maybe if I was I'd think differently. Still, I'd hate to be the mom that said "no" only to find out that the roamer went missing afterwards, kwim?
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Old 10-24-2012, 05:31 PM
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Hello, OP here...

May I first say that you folks ROCK! Thanks for all the very thoughtful and helpful replies. You gave me lots of food for thought.

Since my original post, I've read the replies, given a lot of thought to this situation and talked to my hubby and DD. Here's what we decided...

* My DD wants to explain to this girl that she is not able to play during the week but that she can sometimes on weekends.
* If she continues to come over during the week, I will get her phone number and call her parents to explain why DD can't play during the week (daycare, homework time, dinner, etc.).
* The next time she comes on a weekend when DD can play, I will get her phone number and call her parents to confirm that they know where she is, let them know how long DD is able to play and tell them I will either call or text them when she leaves so they can watch for her.
* While speaking with them, I will also ask that, in the future, they call or text me in advance to make sure it is a good time for DD to play.

We believe that this girl is just lonely, wants a friend to play with, and probably doesn't have the best family life (not based just on this situation, but other things she has told my daughter and I). While there does need to be boundaries, we want to support her and keep her safe in the ways we can.

Thanks again to all of you who replied and helped me get this all straightened out in my brain - I really do appreciate it!
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Old 10-24-2012, 06:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Blackcat31 View Post
I don't take SA kids anymore but when I did, they were allowed to leave my property and go 4 blocks away and play at the school on the playground or the rink or to the sliding hill.

My licensing rules/regs state that SA kids must only have an adult available. Which translated by my licensor meant as long as they knew who to come to when they needed adult intervention, help or assistance.

The parents had to sign a permission slip for their children to be able to do this but it was/is pretty normal here.

I also live in a pretty small community where everyone knows everyone and although I know things can or could happen, I refuse to live in fear because of what "could" or "might" happen. If I know we have taken all the precautionary measures we can and the kids know their rules and boundaries, then I can't do anything more than that.

All of this!
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Old 10-24-2012, 07:32 PM
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I get what some of you are saying about living in fear, I really do. In many ways, I wish I could be that brave.

However, to me, the Jessica Ridgeway story is just one recent example of why DD doesn't walk to and from the bus stop alone, doesn't leave our cul-de-sac without an adult and isn't allowed to play at another child's house unless we've met the parents. This took place less than an hour from our home...

http://kdvr.com/2012/10/24/exclusive...eway-revealed/

It's SO very tragic and terrifying. I would never, EVER forgive myself if something like this happened to my DD. Call me overprotective but, in my mind, times have changed from what they were when I was growing up in the 70's.
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