Social Question

Aster's avatar

Is my daughter too strict with this or just plain smart?

Asked by Aster (19886points) July 17th, 2012

When my daughter’s son ,10, wants a boy to spend the night my daughter drives to the school and in a very nice way questions him: “do you smoke? do you drink? have your parents been in jail?” If he answers “yes” to any one question he can’t spend the night. The result? This gets around so no kids who drink or smoke ever ask to spend the night. His friends are happy, good two shoes types. Nerds, even. What’s your opinion of her technique?

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46 Answers

Pied_Pfeffer's avatar

Seriously? Please tell us that you are making this up.

WillWorkForChocolate's avatar

Wow, she sounds a bit over the top strict/paranoid on that. I wouldn’t embarrass my kids by questioning their friends before a sleepover.

She’s questioning other ten year olds about drinking and smoking? Sounds a bit young for that…

mowens's avatar

Parents need to let their kids make their own mistakes. There will be a day when she wont be able to protect him anymore, and he will be helpless against the world if he is sheltered that much. A child cannot simply be told those things are bad. They need to learn why through experience.

Sunny2's avatar

Sounds a bit controlling for 10 year olds. It’ll be interesting to see if she keeps it up when he goes to high school. Will she questions his girl friends?
It would be interesting to talk to her about her system and where it’s going, but don’t criticize or argue about it. Let reality teach her.

Cruiser's avatar

HS! Where does he go to school where 10 yr olds drink and smoke?

SuperMouse's avatar

I won’t let my kids go to their friends house until my husband or I have met the parents. I would not go to the child and ask questions about their parents. If I was interested in having those questions answered I would address them directly to the parents. I think it is over the top that smoking and drinking are deal breakers. My boy’s best friend has a father who smokes, he always does it outside and never around the kids, it isn’t going to keep me from letting him spend time with his friend. With things such as these it is a matter of degrees and exposure.

Trillian's avatar

Are there ten year olds who answer ‘yes’ to the smoking question?

jca's avatar

If someone came up to my daughter at 10 years old and asked her if she smoked and drank, I would probably be inclined to think the person was crazy for asking and also I would probably be offended that someone decided to interrogate my daughter that way.

If the parents drink, that’s a deal breaker? I would say 75% of the people in the country drink, although not excessively, but still. If the parents have some wine on a Saturday night, that’s a deal breaker?

syz's avatar

Why would she go to the school and ask the kid? Why wouldn’t she meet the parents, instead?

Judi's avatar

and a 10 year old is going to readily admit that they occasionally steal one of dads cigarettes and smoke it behind the barn??

tom_g's avatar

Wait. Something doesn’t sound right here. First, you can’t just go to a school and talk to kids. It’s not allowed (at least around here) – and it’s downright creepy. Second, your daughter lives someplace where the parents have a good chance of having been to prison? Third, 10 year olds would not admit to any of these things. And finally, these are the 3 questions that have made the cut? Really?

Anyway, I see that you have described a scenario in which your grandson wants a friend to spend a night at your grandson’s house. What exactly is likely to happen if the boy sleeps over? Usually what happens is the boy is already a known figure since he likely spends a lot of time at the house anyway. If your grandson was to spend the night at the boy’s house, then 3 questions to a 10 year old isn’t going to cut it (in my opinion).

gailcalled's avatar

She should include in her catechism whether the kid carries a concealed pistol or not.

I am having trouble being that the OP is serious. How many of us had friends whose parents had been in jail?

marinelife's avatar

I’m OK with the first two questions, but the last one seems prejudicial. perhaps a child has a parent incarcerated for life. Why should that child be punished by not being able to befriend your daughter’s son or to spend the night?

I think your daughter is too narrow-minded. I could see checking out a kid who had a parent who had been in jail more closely, but not banning them on the face of it.

Judi's avatar

Ther better answer would be to voluinteer in the classroom to get to know what all the kids are like.

JLeslie's avatar

A lot of the answers above are commenting on your child spending the night, or even just visiting for a few hours, the other child in the other child’s house. The question at hand if I understood it was the other child is coming over to your house, or in this case the OP’s daughter’s house. I definitely would not give a kid the third degree before coming to my house, and I would never question a 10 year old about his parents, especially not by approaching them at school.

Disclaimer: I don’t have children.

gailcalled's avatar

If a ten-year old child (son or daughter) of mine had come home and reported that a parent of one of his friends had put those questions to him (my son or daughter), I’d be on the phone to the school to investigate said parent.

Cruiser's avatar

@JLeslie IF you did have kids you would soon find out you do not have to ask your kids friends anything as they are little canaries and will volunteer more than you ever imagined to ask about their home life.

JLeslie's avatar

@Cruiser I have no doubt about it.

gailcalled's avatar

What’s a ‘good two shoes type of kid”?

jca's avatar

@gailcalled: “Goody two-shoes?” You never heard of a goody two shoes? It means a “goody goody” or aka a nerd.

JLeslie's avatar

I hope at ten years old 95%+ of the children are goody two shoes.

SpatzieLover's avatar

I’m a meet the parents type.
I cannot fathom asking a ten yer old those questions and not coming off as a loon.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

My first response was to laugh at this. I mean it’s quite naive to think that this is how you keep your kids away form naughty things like, ohmygosh, cigarettes.

Fly's avatar

Your daughter is really crossing a boundary line with this. Not only is interrogating a child just insane, but these questions really have no reflection on the child whatsoever; at that age, these questions really don’t apply, and any intelligent kid that did these things would just lie. And if I found out that she questioned my child, there would be no way in hell that I would send my child to her house, even if he passed these ridiculous tests. It’s just creepy and unnecessary. If your daughter is really this concerned, she should meet the parents. (Though I wouldn’t recommend asking them if they have had any jail time…somehow, I don’t think that would go over well.~)

P.S. At that age, her son has probably learned to coach his friends about the questions and answers.

jca's avatar

I think a more important question would be to ask the parents if they keep guns in the house.

ucme's avatar

Her technique sounds like what a reincarnated Mother Theresa would use, when drunk.

CWOTUS's avatar

Really. No questions about rape or incest? It’s a sleepover, after all.

I’m sorry to say that your daughter seems to be not only “too strict”, but “looney” about this. Your grandson is going to have some heavy sledding ahead of him in high school.

It’s not that your daughter shouldn’t care about the behavior of children she invites to spend time with her family; that’s perfectly legitimate and proper. But all she should be concerned about is whether the child will drink or smoke in her home, and that is something she already has near 100% control over.

Furthermore, the child may not even know if a parent has been to jail, and when the question gets back to them, they may take strong offense at the question to their child and not in their presence.

Turning this around a bit, how would she like her child to be questioned outside of her awareness, and how much should she feel comfortable if they ask her son about, say, the frequency of intercourse for his parents, whether they’ve ever been divorced, is there any porn in the house, etc.?

Way over the top.

WillWorkForChocolate's avatar

Oh, to everyone who says they’d be upset if said parent questioned their child, I agree wholeheartedly! If a kid at school wanted my daughter (age 11) to spend the night, and that kid’s parent started questioning my daughter like that, I would be beyond pissed off. I’d welcome a meet and greet with the parents, but not for them to interrogate my child.

SpatzieLover's avatar

^Exactly @WillWorkForChocolate. My son would tell me the questioning parents were crazy.

In a normal situation (without questioning parents) we’d schedule a playdate meeting with the parents. That way we could see how the kids interact, too. It’s helpful to know what you’re setting yourself up for ahead of time whenever possible.

Cruiser's avatar

@SpatzieLover I still do this with both my teenage boys. Frankly I am shocked at the number of kids who show up at our house with no parental follow through. When we do call or stop to meet the parents often they will say how glad they are someone cares enough to check things out. It’s a no-brainer to me but I am not going to grill a 10 yr. old about his potential drug use.

WillWorkForChocolate's avatar

Appropriate questions to ask a 10 year old before they spend the night:

Do you prefer tater tots or french fries?
Coke or Pepsi?
What’s a movie you haven’t seen yet that we can rent?
Do you like popcorn?
If you’re ever going to TP my house, will you please let me know in advance so I don’t call the cops?

Aster's avatar

WONDERFUL REPLIES !! THANKS, EVERYONE !! It makes her son roll his eyes when she starts the questions. Nothing he can do to stop her. She has switched school districts for 2012 and has never allowed them to ride the bus . They will begin Private Christian School next month and has just had both kids baptized. I know; I know.

JLeslie's avatar

@Aster Will she be doing the same to children at the Christian school?

mowens's avatar

@Aster I went to private school and public school both. Let me tell you…. I had a lot more fun at the private school…(catholic) which means I want my children as far as possible from them.

YARNLADY's avatar

I have only allowed my children to have overnighters (either their house or ours) after I have met the parents and actually visited their house.

Aster's avatar

@JLeslie I have no idea; I doubt it but I’ll ask her.

AnonymousWoman's avatar

That last question seems way too judgemental to me. Imagine everyone had that attitude. Would the person whose parents have been in jail have any good role models then? As for the other two questions, why can’t she just make it a rule that there will be no smoking or drinking in her home? It seems to me that a better option would be to make the first priority getting the visiting child’s parents permission before allowing him or her to stay overnight.

chyna's avatar

@Aster You do realize that children at the Christian school have parents that smoke, drink and have been in jail also?

SuperMouse's avatar

I would just like to share that I know two people with parents who have been incarcerated since these people were less then three years old. They are both great people, I am glad they are in my life, and I would never consider booting them because of the sins of their fathers!

augustlan's avatar

It’s all been said. This is craziness.

mowens's avatar

I was watching highlander yesterday and they had a perfect quote.

“You cannot prepare your children for life and protect them from it at the same time.”

SuperMouse's avatar

@mowens—one more reason to lurve Highlander.

mowens's avatar

It’d on Netflix. Loved the show as a kid, love it now.

livelaughlove21's avatar

Am I the only one that thinks it’s not overly controlling to not allow your 10 year old to hang out with fellow 10 year olds that smoke and drink? I mean, what 10 year old does that? None that are good news, that’s for sure.

However, going to the school and interviewing your son’s friends is definitely over the top. I say let the kid come over, and see how it goes from there. And anyways, why would a 10 year old admit to smoking and drinking, even if he does? Especially to a parent. On the other hand, telling your kid not to hang out with someone will only make them want to do it more.

As for having friends that are all “goody-two-shoes” or “nerds,” that isn’t exactly the worst thing in the world. It’s the kids that hang out with “nerds” that don’t end up in jail before their 18th birthday. And a 10 year old that drinks and smokes – the future isn’t looking to bright for this little guy. And you know that hideous, though often true, expression – birds of a feather flock together.

WillWorkForChocolate's avatar

@livelaughlove21 It’s not that we think she’s being overly controlling about rifraff her son is hanging around, I think you missed the point of why we’re bothered by this. The point is that most of us here are in absolute disbelief that this mother is so paranoid and thinks every kid her son goes to school with is smoking or drinking, and it’s ridiculous for her to interrogate them about it.

We’re not upset that she’s controlling the situation as best she can; we’re upset because it’s unlikely that the boy’s friends are smokers and drinkers at this age, and she’s interrogating them like they’re rebel teenagers, instead of ten year olds. We’re bothered by this, because she’s being ridiculous and is humiliating her son in the process.

It would be like me questioning my 11 year old daughter’s friends, “Are you sexually active? Do you snort cocaine?” We think her assumption of what 10 year olds are up to is absurd.

JLeslie's avatar

@Aster That always kind of annoys me when someone idealizes a particular group as never doing any wrong. My friends who were most out of control were rebelling against extremely strict Christian parents. Of course I also know wonderful Christian children who never rebelled in an extreme way and had good heads on their shoulders. Still, the most drunken out of control kids I knew were from the strictest households with the most paranoid of parents. I find they were paranoid because they did a lot of crazy stuff themseves as children, but that is not always the case.

I also admittedly roll my eyes at parents who are sure their children come to them with everything and believe they know everything going on their child’s life. At ten I would say probably it is true they know most everything, but not for much longer, especially if the parents are extreme in their judgements and punishments, but even if they aren’t their is still some secrecy. I think your daughter might be heading down a bad road. I hope not. Maybe this is the one thing she is extreme about, everyone has their own paranoias about certain things.

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