Does The Apple Fall Far From The Tree?

?? - posted on 12/16/2009 ( 11 moms have responded )

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I don't know that many people in this area, I know even less with kids my sons age and the only people I do know with kids my sons age I would never ever hang out with them.



1 girl is 24, has a 5 yr old son, 14 month old son and is pregnant with her 3rd - she is a theif, she's was a slut, the only reason she's with the guy she's with (the father of her youngest and the one she's pregnant with) is because he will get her pregnant. They're both on welfare (and have been reported) I would not put it past them to steal or cheat or lie or teach their children to do it too - but I don't know if they actually would let their kids do it (I haven't spent nearly enough time with them to know for sure to be honest).



1 girl is 19, has a 15 month old daughter who she drops off with Grandma every morning, she goes off shopping and hang out with her friends before she goes to work (she's a waitress at a bar) and she's out until late at work before she stops by to pick up her daughter or she will leave her kid there with Grandma if she's been drinking.



1 girl is 18, her daughters dad is a drug dealer. She is a drug user, she drops her daughter off with her Grandma and she goes to work and then goes partying.



You get the idea of the type of people.

There is only 2 girls in this area that have kids my sons age that I would hang out with.





So my question is... even though we know that these kids parents are horrible people and really are bad parents..... should we let our children get to know their children? They will be going to school together afterall (if we stay in this area - I so hope not) and right now they aren't even 2 years old and we will have control over the situations in which we're in -- obviously I will not invite them to my home. Should we let our children become 'friends' with kids that we can SEE them being mini versions of their parents? The kids are generally good kids - innocent in the whole situation -- but does the apple fall far from the tree?

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Heather - posted on 12/20/2009

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Ok, in my own experience growing up, my father was a Minister and his ministry was to children and mostly single mothers(some were drug addicts and prostitutes) who were the poorest of the poor, and lived in the projects. As a kid, most of my friends were the children of these women. I was raised in a very happy 2 parent home, I cant even recall a single fight between my parents, we lived in the burbs, had a nice home in a good neighborhood, we were the typical family. At a very young age I learned compassion (which has helped me in my career as a nurse) I learned tolerance, forgiveness, grace, and most importantly, a love for those who seem unloveable, thanks to my parents exposing me to these people, they never let me spend the night in the projects, they never put me in harms way, they did encourage me to not judge the children because they were different than us, they encouraged me to befriend people who were friendless, and that has stuck with me my whole life. Children are innocent, especially the very young children you mention, they have no control over what their parents do, letting your child play with these children could be one of those teachable moments for your child, and be a much needed reprieve for the other children. I am thankful my parents let me have those experiences, because as an adult, I can relate to many people, and truly have empathy for them without being judgmental.

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Maybe if these kids see how you are with your son and how you interact as a family it will be a positive influence in their lives (judging from what you say, they sure need one). I'm not suggesting that you let them run around free but maybe some closely supervised play time.

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I would be concerned that some children might be a bad influence on my son. I would try not to make that judgement before I had the chance to see how those kids behave first. I know some bad parents who have nice little kids. I hope they don't adopt their parents attitude as they get older.

Mel - posted on 01/14/2010

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Id like to say the kids shouldnt be judged for the parents because I try not to be judgemental but Im not so sure I could let my kids hang out with them. Kids are really impressionable. That said I know mothers who do drugs for a good time when they have the money but are fine mums

Rosie - posted on 01/14/2010

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if they are teaching their kids these habits then yes, you should be concerned. most kids are "programmed" the way they are going to be by the time they are in their teens, so younger children probably are alright. they are innocent in all this, but after years of seing things that their parents do, most of the time they are going to end up like them. not all of the time-mind u, but alot of the time.

Amie - posted on 12/20/2009

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This is a hard thing to weigh in on. My kids have had friends whose parents I could not stand before. They lived in our neighborhood so they were exposed to them before school even. The one house on the block that's rentable (everyone else owns) had to be across the street from us. It was not a good experience. We tried hard to accept the children and show them that how their parents behave is NOT an acceptable standard for any home. Their dad was a lazy schmuck who did nothing at home and couldn't hold down a job. Their mom to make up for it worked brutal hours. I don't hold many hard feelings towards her but her head was in the clouds when it came to raising her kids. I know the only reason they rented in our neighborhood too is because they needed the space. They had 5 kids at last count.

So while we tried to be a good influence and allow the kids here to play it did not work out. The ones who did come over were 1, 4 and 7 at the time. The 1 year old came over because I babysat him for the mom because the dad couldn't be bothered to watch his own kids! That baby broke my heart multiple times. It took him so long to realize if he was hungry it was OK to ask for something to eat. I don't even want to speculate on why he thought he wasn't allowed to ask for food. It was the same way when he needed a drink. I had to constantly ask him if he needed a drink or a snack because he wouldn't ask for himself. The other two were horrid little creatures. They would just walk into our house! That pissed me off more than anything. I explained countless times that they were not allowed to just walk in, it is not their home, they had to knock or ring the bell. I am not kidding, it took a good 6 months for them to understand this. I don't know how many times I would turn around in my kitchen to see one of them standing there saying I'm hungry. /:) Ugh... This is not including property damage either.

Now that mine are in school it comes and goes. Our kids have huge hearts, they want to help and take care of everyone. I am glad they are compassionate, I am glad they care but sometimes I need to step in and say no. I have no issue with kids who come from less than stellar homes but when they are here they need to show the proper respect for their elders and follow our house rules. There have been a handful that haven't done so and I've had to send them home but on the whole the kids do well with the structure of our home. I think it's because they need it and want it at their own homes but don't have it.

Esther - posted on 12/20/2009

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I would be very careful who I would let Lucas play with. I would most definitely not allow him to spend any time in these people's homes. When they were a little bit older and if the kids generally seemed like good kids, I might invite the kids over for play dates at my house, but without their parents. At Gabe's age, that's not an option yet, but maybe when they are 4 or 5 or so I would be willing to do that. Until then, I think I'd stay away.

Jodi - posted on 12/20/2009

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That's the reason I send my kids to the local private Catholic school, and my son goes to a private college for high school next year. Unfortunately the local primary school has a culture of bullying they are doing nothing about, and that is because the next suburb from us has a huge amount of public housing, which is often the result of many (but not all) parents from a welfare background or a background where the kids are latchkey.



Yes, I do feel for many of these kids, absolutely. But I have a friend whose son was being bullied. She was told the school had done all they could. They had attempted to contact the parents and set up about 6 meetings with them, and not once had they made a phone call or turned up to the meetings. Apparently, they had reached their legal limit, and they are entitled to free public education, so they can't be expelled. Her best strategy was now to move schools.....she moved them to the private Catholic school my kids are at. I've never had an issue, and neither has anyone I know who has kids at that school.



If I were you, I'd be looking at my options for school......



I am not a snob, by any means. I am the product of a public education, and a large family. And I love my upbringing, I would endorse it to anyone. But it all comes down to the values. And if you feel the basic "values" of these people are lacking, and you are not comfortable, then I'd be having a look around at my options.....



I know you are not in any way religious, so I am not trying to push Catholic school at you, my point is simply that sometimes, you need to look outside the box and consider alternatives if you are that uncomfortable with the default option.

Krista - posted on 12/16/2009

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It's a tough call -- you don't want to raise your kid to be a snob, but there's a big difference between your kid's friend having parents who are poor and/or uneducated, and your kid's friend having parents who are criminals or completely irresponsible. It's sad as hell, because it's not the kid's fault. But, I just wouldn't want my child to be in that environment. If they want to hang out together, they can do so at our place, and even then...I'd be keeping a close watch to make sure that my child's friend isn't a negative influence.

Kylie - posted on 12/16/2009

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I don't think it's a good idea to let your LO form relationships with kids of parents you wouldn't want to spend time with.. especially at this young age, you have got to like the company of the parents and the children playing and getting along is a bonus. If you see these families at the park and the kids choose to have a run around together i don't think it matters. kids don't care, everybody can be a friend to them.
But it is harder to control who they like/ befriend once school starts..you can control the after school play dates but i don't think its a good idea to say ..no such and such is not coming over to play after school because his mum is a dropkick.
My husband is a good example of this .he grew up in a tacky area his parents sent him to a very dodgy public school and allowed him to form relationships with kids from families and parents that didn't have many standards for themselves . he though it was normal and cool to smoke weed at lunch times and get drunk on the weekend at 14 and honestly a good proportion of his school friends are drug addicts or in jail or are dead now. And he said most of the girls had a kid before they turned 18...but he turned out OK though even though he was forced to grow up too quickly he got through it because he came room a very loving and educated home.

Dana - posted on 12/16/2009

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I'd say generally, no. Does it happen sometimes, yes. I do think it usually only happens when the child is older and is able to remove themselves from their parents. There's no way in hell I'd let my kid hang out with those kids unless they were at my house and that's the only way, I'm not even sure if I'd do that. I'd have no qualms making it clear to the mother either.

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