Playing at neighbor\'s house - help, need advice!

Posted on: Mon, 10/18/2004 - 12:13pm
anonymous's picture
Joined: 05/28/2009 - 16:42

We've recently moved into a new home and have become familiar with our new neighbors across the street who have a little boy same age as DS. Today he came over with his mom and wanted Cade to come to his house and play. I let him go. This isn't the first time. I'm trying to let him be as "normal" as possible and this is one thing that DH and I think is important for him to be able to go and do.

The mom and I have discussed Cade's PA on numerous occasions and she's familiar with it due to PA kids in her older kids' classrooms and she gets it. I asked her to please not let him eat anything at all and she absolutely agreed.

When Cade got home I asked him if he ate anything when he was there and he said yes, he had had some Nerds. After questioning more, I found out the neighbor boy had them in his room and they ate them in there and the mom didn't even know. DS knew that he has eaten Nerds before so he thought it was OK.

I'm so mad but not sure who I'm mad at - DS, the mom, the boy? I really like this family and want to continue to let the boys play together and I'm not sure how to handle this. Any advice?

Lynee', mom to:
Cade - PA, egg whites, seasonal
Carson - NKFA, seasonal

Posted on: Mon, 10/18/2004 - 12:37pm
Sandra Y's picture
Joined: 08/22/2000 - 09:00

If this happened to me, I'd be mad at my son. Don't know your son's age, mine is 8 and he knows the rule. Most kids will have some candy tucked away in their room and the mother may not even know about it. My son knows he shouldn't have any without my approval, even if he has had it before (this will change when he gets just a little older, then he'll be able to use his judgment a bit more).
My son took a Tootsie Roll from his teacher at school and he ate it. I was mad at my son, not the teacher. She thinks TRs are safe, since I sent some in his safe snacks. He KNOWS it depends on the label and if it was manufactured in the U.S. (I'm pretty sure they're all safe, but he has some in his safe stash at school, so why not just eat the ones I sent?)
The great thing is your son's new friend lives so close!! I'd tell my son next time give me a call, I'll run over to check the label or talk with the other mother on how to check the label.
I think it's normal for your son to do something like this. It just means he's getting older, understands the rules, and thinks he's ready to make some of the easier calls. I didn't get TOO mad at my son--but just reinforced the rule with him and explained more about why I have this rule.
(Also, I think I read recently that some of the Nerds labels have changed and some now say "manufactured on..." or something like that. We have old ones without the warning)

Posted on: Mon, 10/18/2004 - 12:44pm
momma2boys's picture
Joined: 03/14/2003 - 09:00

I agree, I wouldn't be mad at the mom, she really had no clue it happened. I would discuss it with your son, and maybe just mention it to the mom and ask her to explain to her son that he can't share food with your son.
Next time he goes over I would just remind both boys together.

Posted on: Mon, 10/18/2004 - 12:53pm
NutlessinNJ's picture
Joined: 02/23/2004 - 09:00

Hi Lynee
I recently had the same type of thing happen in my neighborhood with my PA/PN son. He has been going to a little boy down the road's house for a while and usually he does not eat anything without talking to me first. This one time the two boys were in the basement (at my neighbors house) and I was out back with the mom and the husband came out with this look of panic on his face. Kyle had given Max Pringles with writing on them without checking with any of us. He told my son it was OK to eat them because he would never give Max anything that had peanut products in them. (By the by neither one of them can really read Max 4 and Kyle 5) Needless to say I was angry. I was upset that Max decided to take the word of his 5 year old friend over mine and basically disobey the food rule. I was upset at Kyle too for giving Max food in the first place when he knows that Max could have a reaction. Max and I had a really long heart to heart that night about how even though Kyle is his friend and he would not willingly hurt him, he very well could have and he should never take food from anyone, even if he has had it before, without checking with me first. If I am not there he has to have the mom or dad call me. We haven t had any incidents since so I am hoping that I got through to him. He doesn't really go to Kyle's much any more. I'm not really sure why but he doesn't ask to go there anymore. Kind of makes me wonder if there is more to the story...As if maybe Kyle dared him to eat it...or called him a name so he wouldn't ask me first...I don't know ...but I have never had this problem anywhere else. Hopefully this was just an isolated incident with Cade too ... you can always talk to the mom again and just have her remind her child that he/she should not give Cade anything to eat for any reason because it could potentially kill him. Sometimes you have to be really blunt to get your point across!! Hope this helps a little. Be well

Posted on: Mon, 10/18/2004 - 1:21pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous (not verified)

Cade's Mom, how old is your son?
When my son was 2-1/2 years old, he was finally allowed to go next door to play with the little girl who always came into our house to play. It was irritating to me because I would have the child in my house for hours (literally) and I could hear her Mom doing her housework (vacuuming), etc. and there I was watching my guy, her gal, and my baby. Anyway.
Finally allowed Jess to go over there for a big half hour. They knew he was PA.
But they didn't quite "get it" like the Mom you mentioned. They fed their child pb on toast while Jesse was there.
Jesse comes back home (with the girl in tow) and he's having an anaphylactic reaction. I'm trying to strap the baby into the car seat and then the wagon, get the kid next back home and get Jess to the clinic right next door.
I frantically asked if he had eaten anything while he was there. No. Then, much later it was DUH, we couldn't figure out how our daughter's pb on toast got eaten so quickly, I guess your son had some of it. [img][/img]
Jess was 2-1/2 and he didn't know pb from tea in China (whatever that expression means [img][/img] )
I was extremely angry with the parents. Not because they even fed their child what they did necessarily but because they didn't have their wits about them to watch my child, who was there for an almighty half hour ONCE, to make sure he didn't ingest poison.
I swear, this was after hours and hours and hours of basically free babysitting on my part with their child in my house.
However, Jesse was 2-1/4.
Now, he's nearly 9. I would be angry with him if that happened now.
I had an awkward situation happen just a couple of weeks ago at the school and it's awkward because all of the PA children are still sitting together on the "peanut free" BENCH (yes, it's still a bench). Well, Jesse was trading his Cheese String (pricey thing that it is [img][/img] ) for a piece of candy from another PA child.
I'm like OMG! First of all, what happened to no sharing? Second of all, what happened to not eating anything except stuff that comes from home unless I say it's okay?
But here was his reasoning, which I completely understand - the other child is PA also.
I later did a check on the candy and it is questionable whether or not it is "safe" and whether or not it fits within my "comfort zone" for my son.
Then, last week (or perhaps the week before), he asks me if O'Henry Milkshake Drinks are PA safe. I said, I don't think so Jess. O'Henry basically equals peanuts. Well darned if another PA child at the "peanut free" bench wasn't drinking one of those.
I checked my local grocery store and couldn't find an O'Henry one - there were four other kinds, all by Nestle, but no O'Henry, so I don't know if the bloody thing is PA safe or not, but to me, I just don't want him drinking it because, again, O'Henry = peanuts.
So, I just explained to Jess, in that case, that yes, although another PA child was drinking it, it was NOT okay for him to do so and why.
So, if you read about the first thing, about the trading of the cheese for a candy, Jess has basically done what your child did to-day, but Jesse thought it was okay because it was out of the lunch box of another PA child. He still got read the riot act and an explanation of how other PA parents/children do different things than we do and why we do things the way we do.
No, it depends on your son's age, but if he's around my guy's age, I'd be upset with him and just speak with him about it.
Best wishes! [img][/img]

Posted on: Mon, 10/18/2004 - 1:42pm
anonymous's picture
Joined: 05/28/2009 - 16:42

Thank you all for your responses. Cade is just about to be 5 so he's getting to the point where he's understanding much, much more about his PA but I don't completely trust him. He's never had an anaphylactic reaction and it's been over a year since our last contact (small hive) reaction so he doesn't really understand what will happen.
The other boy is 5 too but already in kindergarten and Cade told me that he knows how to read and he had read the label. I know for a fact that he doesn't know how to read yet!!!!
I think that I'm definitely going to mention it the mom and I know that she's going to feel awful. I think it's a good idea to remind both of the boys too when leaving.
Thanks again for all of your support and help.
Lynee', mom to:
Cade - PA, egg whites, seasonal
Carson - NKFA, seasonal

Posted on: Mon, 10/18/2004 - 2:27pm
wendysco's picture
Joined: 05/03/2003 - 09:00

Maybe ask the other Mom to help talk to both of the boys together. You reinforce your rules to your son and maybe she can lay down her own rules to her son AND yours that there is to be no sneaking any food while they are playing together. Maybe that would have more impact while they are in her house. Just an idea.

Posted on: Mon, 10/18/2004 - 6:16pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous (not verified)

Cade's Mom, I like wendysco's idea. That's the other thing I was going to ask - can your son read? My son has been reading labels since he was 4.
But even though he's been reading since perhaps that young age, he's always been told that he has to ask me (or Dad) if something is safe or not. Some of the items have been cute - chewing gum for example. The girl next door (an older woman, but younger than me) asked him if he wanted a piece of gum, which he did. He read the label but he still came in and asked me if it was okay for him to have some. He would have been 6 or less at the time.
Now my problem seems to be with what other PA children are eating/drinking at the "peanut free" bench and how it differs from what Jess is allowed to eat (and would probably make a good other thread).
No, I like what wendyso suggested.
Please let us know how it turns out. [img][/img]
Best wishes! [img][/img]

Posted on: Mon, 10/18/2004 - 9:38pm
Christabelle's picture
Joined: 10/03/2004 - 09:00

This is a really difficult topic for me. I do NOT trust other people at all. I have a friend who is as paranoid as me - and she does not have a PA child. There is no way she or I would send a small child over to someone's house without knowing the people well. I know - most of the time - they are safe and good people. BUT - what if they are one of the bad ones? Or have a visiting uncle or friend who is weird? I read the newspaper and it's not a pretty thing.
On top of that, I have this issue with PA to worry about. Bottom line is - I do NOT trust ANYONE. They may look like they get it, nod, even repeat back what I say, but then they turn around and do something highly unsafe. This happens with me PRESENT so I shudder to think what would happen when I'm not watching.
This is a big dilemna. I do not want the children to be isolated. It's socially damaging and I do not like it, trust me, I wish things were Norman Rockwell safe and that everyone really got PA. It isn't, and they don't.
How I handle it - probably not the best way - but here it is - we are friendly with but not social with our immediate neighbors. We have friends from preschool and church and friends of the family with children who we invite over and who we go on outings with (the zoo, the park, etc.) This does not lend itself to my kids just 'running' next door to the neighbors without me (because they do not live close enough) and, it also does not set up a situation in which I am the sole babysitter for the neighborhood because it's only safe over at my house.
Probably not 100% ideal but that is how I deal with it so far. My oldest child (also the PA child) is only 4 - we'll see how long this 'goes over.'

Posted on: Mon, 10/18/2004 - 10:25pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous (not verified)

Christabelle, welcome! [img][/img]
Funny thing you should mention it, but I was almost going to re-raise the "free babysitter" thread last night here because I ended up having TWO of my daughter's (non-PA) friends in for dinner last night and actually in here for a couple of hours.
My PA son is almost 9. I have felt, for years, as though I had "free babysitter" stamped on my head (only because I believe people do take advantage of the situation) because I knew that it was truly safe in my home for my son.
I wanted to re-raise the thread last night because I'm not sure now if it's just PA related or not. I did want to discuss the situation with one of the children and I think really, for me, it's because I won't allow my daughter to go to her home, but I do let the child come into mine. My daughter has very strict instructions that she is NEVER to go into the child's home.
I wanted to raise a separate thread Off Topic about that whole situation as well because it is quite sad.
Now, certainly, if my PA son was getting invitations for playdates, etc. at other people's houses, at his age (again, nearly 9), as long as I knew the parents well enough, he could go. He just doesn't get the invites and never has.
Best wishes! [img][/img]

Posted on: Tue, 10/19/2004 - 4:57am
k9ruby's picture
Joined: 03/25/2004 - 09:00

Why doesn't he take some SAFE treats?
webmaster of [url=""][/url]

Posted on: Tue, 10/19/2004 - 6:05am
anonymous's picture
Joined: 05/28/2009 - 16:42

wendysco - I will do that with the mom. Good plan!
k9ruby - I think that's a great idea. I will just send something with him and if he has to have a snack then that's what he'll have. What a novel idea! Why I didn't think of it I don't know.
Christabelle - I completely respect your opinion on the issue. I understand that everyone has a different comfort zone when it comes to not only PA but just life in general. I, myself, cannot live that way not trusting anyone. I have to believe that there are good people in the world. I spent hours on end at neighbor's houses as a young girl and have such great memories of play time with friends. My next door neighbor growing up is still my best friend and we even live in the same city now that 250 miles away from "home." I want those same memories and relationships that were/are so important to me for Cade and I just feel like it's a risk I'm willing to take after I iron out all of these details. Cade is just 5 (no Cindy he's not a reader yet!) and this has just become an issue for us and I know from having older nieces and nephews that this is just the beginning and I want to be prepared to handle these situations.
Thank you again for all your responses.
Lynee', mom to:
Cade - PA, egg whites, seasonal
Carson - NKFA, seasonal

Posted on: Thu, 10/21/2004 - 12:38am
Christabelle's picture
Joined: 10/03/2004 - 09:00

Definitely, everyone has different comfort zones.
A friend of mine from work was sent a sex offender search engine by zip code, which listed sex offenders by work zip code and home zip code - it was awesome. I will never forget her shock and tears, her absolute surreal experience, when she saw her husband's small business employee listed there - he had done many years of prison time and had raped a 10 year old girl. She has two daughters, 6 and 3, and he and his wife and children had been to their house numerous times, bringing pies,socializing, and he had the security code to her garage which connected to the house, for business purposes.
He was listed as a sexual predator, the type most likely to re-offend.
I also used to play at the neighbor's - at will - as a youngster. Times are so different now.
If you ever do a WORK and HOME zip code search on one of these sex offender sites, you will be shocked at how many work with children. There were sex offenders listed at a children's music lesson place, a children's build-a-bear shop, etc.
Not to mention, in all areas - living among us - in all economic levels -
I was never this paranoid until I had children. Then I started checking out just who they let out of prison - over and over again.
I've read too much about it to ever feel comfortable.
I do agree that MOST of the time most people - our neighbors and coworkers - are good people.
But I have to be SURE. [img][/img]

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