Would you let your child go to a friend's house whose parents are different than you?

Heather - posted on 06/21/2011 ( 184 moms have responded )

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Would you let your child go for a playdate or sleep over to a child's house whose values, opinions, mores are vastly different than yours?

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Jenn - posted on 06/21/2011

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If you feel like nobody is fine for your kids to go play with, chances are YOU are the weirdo with issues. As long as the people aren't bad people (doing drugs, drinking, non-stop yelling, etc.), so what if they're different? Everyone is different - and hallelujah for that!

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"Okay, say the parents are racist? You hope your child can't be influenced, but I don't know. What about elitest? I don't want that snobby demeanor in my home either. Do you let them go and debrief them later? I would be fine with gay or different religion, there is just none around here."

Sorry Heather but i think it's over the top to think we will stop our children being influenced in life by anyone other then us, the parents. My daughter is 4 and has just been to her first birthday party, shock horror, she was dropped off and left for a couple of hours with a parent i have only met a handful of times and i have never even seen their house. Shame on me for wanting my child to have different influences in their life and to learn for themselves what they are and are not comfortable with.
Just for the people who wouldn't let their children go to a smokers house, i doubt you would even know unless you were close to that parent. As much as i Loath smoking and the smell it leaves i won't be stopping my children from being around people. They will learn and whether i like it or not will make their own decisions in life, with my guidance of course but thats all i offer is guidance as they grow. (age appropriate of course)

Amanda - posted on 06/21/2011

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If i ban my children from every household that doesnt think the same way as me, my child would have no friends. There are only two homes my children can not go to, and that is because I know full well there are zero parents at those homes watching the teenagers. Otherwise I think its important that my children learn how different familys work, learn about different religions, cultures, and even morals. Otherwise how do you know your morals/idealogies (forced apon you from your parents) are actually the morals/idealogies you like for yourself?

As for Lauras list, our children cant play together LOL

Atheists muslim jews, etc- as long as I didnt think they were going to sit my kid down and discuss it, fine

If your child asks me about my faith, I sure will sit them down and teach them.

Swears-no

Yeap I swear! :0)

Smokes, even outside- no

I would acutally like to hear why your child misses out on friends because their parents might smoke outside the house. Btw I smoke outside my home.

Shannintipton - posted on 06/21/2011

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I don't think any of us want our kids to be looked after by someone who does drugs or drinks all nights. So maybe a little more insight might be helpful. Like what values exactly are YOU talking about?

184 Comments

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Kris - posted on 12/08/2012

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Well I'm a very open minded person. I would have to get to know them a little before I made a decision like that. I mean, You could be a devout christian, and they could be athiest, but still be good people, and respect you, your beliefs and your wishes about what they say or bring around your child. Or they could be just as devout as you, and be rude, nasty, selfish people. A good way to tell what kind of people they are is to look at how their child acts compared to yours. If theirs is on the positive side of things, then maybe the parents aren't so bad. If he's on the negative side, they might be someone you don't want to be around, or your child.



Having different opinions and morals and such could actually be a fun and interesting friendship. You can have grown up discussions, and debates, or even arguments, and no one would be hurt or insulted. Stating your different opinions and such in a friendly manner would be good for the kids too. They would see how different you guys are, yet you can remain calm and collected, and have a polite conversation. It could also teach them that you shouldn't judge people before you get to know them.



On the other hand, if they have a reputation for being against you're passionate about, and express their opinion often, I don't think I'd want my kids around that. I'm honest with my kids about things they ask about, because I want them to form their own opinion. I don't try to influence them in any way, except for what's right or wrong.



I guess it would all depend on the feeling I get from them while talking to them. If I was uncomfortable, I wouldn't. If I liked them, I would. You also have to consider how the kids feel about each other. If they get along great, I would go with playdates, but not sleep overs if you're that different. If they get along, but still argue and bicker, I might keep a play date once in a while, but probly keep it kinda short.

Jodi - posted on 12/02/2012

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Depends I guess. I mean, I have no problem with other religions (I'm Pagan), but if I sent my child to a Christian friends house and she came home telling me how she (or I) was going to hell and how we're sinners etc, then I probably wouldn't let me child go back there. It's fine to have different religions, values, opinions etc., it's not ok to overstep your boundaries and preach to another parents child. It's not ok to make a child feel bad because they're raised differently, I would never do that to a child, and I would expect no one to do that to my child.



On the other hand, if they thought it was ok to make fun of people, bad talk people, behave inappropriately etc. and I thought their values or morals would have a negative impact on my child, then they wouldn't be able to go over.



It really would be a situation by situation thing for me I guess.

Cass - posted on 12/02/2012

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as long as my kid wasn't in danger, then its pretty much all good. i could shelter my boy from religion, and opinions and mild stuff like different thinking, but i would rather not. when it comes to drug addicted, alcoholic, pedophiles, and violent people, or people who take advantage of others, then i will never take the risk of letting my kid go there, nor if the parent is a bad supervisor, and not if they live in a sketchy neighborhood. i personally don't smoke, but as long as they are smoking outside, you know, without hot boxing the room my child is in, and not in the car, then its alright. if i just flat out get the creeps from the parents then no, even if i have no good reason. but when it comes to religion, opinion, beliefs, etc., then i don't mind my child observing new angles of peoples perception. i don't want to overly shelter my kid from the world, that's known to backfire in the long run. its good for them to see other perspectives, talk about it and ask questions. if they are exposed to swearing, then its time to sit down and talk about bad language and make an understanding that its inappropriate. sooner or later, one way or another, they are going to come across these things, and i don't think its too big of a deal if your child has mommy and/or daddy's guidance when they come home from a new (SAFE) experience

Isobel - posted on 10/06/2011

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Kitz:...what do you eat,pray or wear, etc that would make your kid come home upset?

♥♪Megan♫♥ - posted on 10/06/2011

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I've only had one person try to complain about my 7 year old daughter. Then she took it back because my 7 year old's good traits thankfully outweigh the bad.

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I'd try it once or twice, but if certain things happen it ends. If my son comes home feeling bad for what we eat, what we pray or wear, etc... I can see it's more harmful to him than getting to play with a kid over there or here. We've had kids come over and berate our lifestyle too and that just doesn't work in our busy lives.

♥♪Megan♫♥ - posted on 10/06/2011

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As long as I had met the parents first, yes I would allow my children to spend the night.

Isobel - posted on 10/06/2011

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yeah...my boyfriend said he played with a loaded gun at a sleepover once...creepy

Brittany - posted on 10/04/2011

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It is not so much the gun I am worried about, as it is the owner. Is the owner licensed? Where are the guns kept?

If Caoleb were to have a friend who's dad hunted and kept them locked away well, I would be fine with that. If the kids dad was Billy Bob Hillbilly then no!

Brittany - posted on 10/04/2011

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"so...would my hippy atheist home with no history or any type of crime or violence be acceptable??? Even though we won't make them pray at night????"

Well, I do not make my kids pray at night, so I suppose they could come over, although I think that would be a long car trip.

I find it to be important for my children to form their own relationship with God. Should they grow up and decide to be a Hippy Atheist, well they are still my children, I will still love them and won't look at them any different.

Religion, in my home anyway, is a relationship not a requirement.

To ease you Laura, if your children were to come stay at my home we would not pray before dinner. It is not like God is going to smite me down for missing a night.

:)

Stifler's - posted on 10/04/2011

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It's just not common place to have a gun here so I wouldn't even think to ask about it.

Stifler's - posted on 10/04/2011

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I never thought about all this gun stuff everyone is going on about. maybe because I live in Australia.

Isobel - posted on 10/03/2011

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so...would my hippy atheist home with no history or any type of crime or violence be acceptable??? Even though we won't make them pray at night????

Brittany - posted on 10/03/2011

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I will say that I will not allow my child to spend the night at another home without getting to know their parents first.

I think it is important to know if there is a gun in their home or something like that. I am sure if my child was curious about something that is going on in a different home that they would come ask me about it.

Brittany - posted on 10/03/2011

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If you are talking about:

Being gay
Non-Christian
Hippies
or
of a different Race / Nationality
or something along that line, then sure my kids can go over.

If you are talking about

A registered sex offender
Child Abuser
Crack head
Drug dealer
Then I would kindly ask my child to find a new friend.

Donna - posted on 10/03/2011

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depends on what you mean by different. if you mean gay, or practiced a different religion, or were hippies than yea i probably would

Trish - posted on 09/27/2011

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Depends if they were good people and my kid would be safe there. If they are good people I would let my child go over there...but if they were devil worshipping drug dealers...No way...

Purplestar_89 - posted on 08/03/2011

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if you don't know the parents i wouldn't let my child go over there you never know whats going on over there its always best to know who you are leavin your child with best of luck!

America3437 - posted on 08/02/2011

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This is why my kids stay home with me! No really, My kids pretty much are not allowed to go over to friends houses! There are a couple exceptions but I have met these parents and kids and they are "good peeps"! We live in a small town where drugs are everywhere so to keep my children from being caught in the middle of some "tweekers" rage they stay with me!!! Their friends are welcome at our house anytime!

Mrs. - posted on 08/01/2011

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That's the thing, it makes me sad to hear that some parents wouldn't let kids come over to a police officer's home. It must be hard to be the kid of a cop already, then you have other parents not allowing their kids over....yeah, seems a bit off.

Sarah - posted on 08/01/2011

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Rebecca, I agree, I would definitely be investigating, if my child was friends with a child who lived in a home with guns. Therefore, I wouldn't be surprised if someone asked to investigate our gun situation.

Jodi, are you saying you don't get the need for my husband, a police officer, to have a weapon? Just trying to clarify. Technically he doesn't own them. (They are department issued, meaning if he left the PD he wouldn't keep the guns.) I'm not saying I don't understand the concern, because I do. I guess I just want someone who says they wouldn't allow their child in a home with guns to explain to me why they wouldn't let their child play in my home. Believe me, I know it happens.

Jodi - posted on 07/31/2011

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Well, I don't get the need to own guns either, so let's call us even :)

Let's just say I know someone who allowed their child in a home where there was an irresponsible gun owner. She's dead now. It does happen.

Mrs. - posted on 07/31/2011

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Sarah, I agree with your opinion of the gun thing. My father has hunting rifles and a service weapon from his time in the military, all of which were not assembled, loaded and put in a safe or lock box. You would have to know how to reassemble them to do anything with them. Not to mention, we were taught what a gun could do, how to use it properly and that under no circumstances were we to use one without supervision. There was no mystery there about my fathers guns, we understood and respected them for what they are.

I know not all families are like this. I would not let my child go over to a place where they were irresponsible gun users who left them laying about.
I would make sure I knew the family and investigate - as you said.
Not all house that have guns are places that children should not go.

Of course, I do understand that not everyone grew up the way I did. I just want to support your sentiment.

Sarah - posted on 07/31/2011

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I honestly do not get this gun thing. Don't get me wrong, I understand that it is your right, as a parent, to not allow your kids at a home with guns, but I just don't get it!! As long as you trust the parents, you investigate how their guns are stored, and know they are careful with gun safety, I don't understand why it is such a huge problem. I mean, I know the argument is that no matter how careful you are, accidents happen, but that can be said for absolutely everything in life. Will you forbid your child from riding in a car with another parent? Because no matter how safe the parent drives, they can always lapse, have an accident, and God forbid loose a child. Will you forbid your child from playing in my backyard because kids get snatched from back yards. No matter how closely the parents watch, they could always lapse, and loose a child. So I just don't get the argument that even though you think you have gun safety, you could still slip?? I mean you can slip in anything in life.



Don't misunderstand, I don't really get why people have guns, simply to have guns. Hunting (stored properly) I get. Police officers, military etc, I get. My husband is a police officer and he owns two guns. A duty weapon and an off duty weapon. When he is home, both are stored in a police department issued lock box that requires a key and a combination. He keeps them in the top of closet that is solely for his uniforms, equipment, guns, etc. that is kept locked.



I would be much more worried about sending my kid to a household where alcohol or drugs were consumed while kids are around.



Physical discipline-my daughter does not receive any form of physical discipline, but as long as they didn't hit my kid, I would be fine. I would hope they wouldn't hit their kids in front of my daughter. My daughter is only 22 months and we've already run into this problem. She obviously doesn't stay at friends houses without me, but when have playdates, she has seen other kids gets spanked and it confuses and upsets her. She yells, "no hit, no hit," because that is what she hears at home. If anyone has advice as to what to do in this situation, I would be grateful. She's too young to understand what a spanking is!!



Different values/morals-I don't think I would have a problem.



Race/religion/sexuality-definitely not



**Edited to add--obviously if there was violence, or anything sinister going on, its a definite no.

Sylvia - posted on 07/31/2011

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It would depend in what way. Obviously (this is probably so obvious most of us wouldn't even think to mention it) if I had good reason to suspect that a friend's parent/s or anyone else in the house might do something bad to my child, then no, she wouldn't be going over there. (If I had good reason to suspect something like that, I'd probably be phoning Children's Aid for the other kid's sake. So far B"H I have never been in that situation.) If DD came home from a friend's house and told me a racist or homophobic joke she'd heard from the friend's parents, then we'd be having a talk about that and I'd certainly be thinking twice about letting her go over there again.

I would not be happy about someone proselytizing to my kid, but I think that could be dealt with by my saying nicely but firmly, "Please don't do that again"; banning playdates with them would be the nuclear option, and I would hope unnecessary. When I was little we had (very nice) next-door neighbours who were SDAs, and it was understood that nobody had permission to try and convert anyone else's kids, and our two families were friends for years and years (they even came to my wedding!). A different religion is only a problem if someone makes it one :P

Not crazy about smoking either, but as long as it's not around the kids, fine.

DD has been spending a lot of time lately with a friend whose parents I'm honestly not crazy about. The parents are divorced. (My parents split up when I was not much older than DD, so this is something I know something about.) The dad is a nice guy and everything, but it seems like every time I talk to him he's got some complaint about his ex-wife, and I'm like, dude, I'm not your friend, I'm just your daughter's friend's mom, and this is totally not appropriate. The mom is the helicopteriest helicopter parent I've ever met, and being around her for more than a few minutes makes me twitchy :P However, since I have no reason to believe that any of this is affecting DD in a negative way, yes, I let her hang out at this friend's house if she wants to.

I live in one of the most multicultural cities in the world. If we didn't let DD play with kids whose parents think differently from us, she wouldn't have any friends LOL.

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I don't trust my dogs completely either because they are animals and they just can't control that sometimes.
When my daughter was around 12months and outside with one of our dogs he nipped at her face because she had pulled on his ear or tail. He hasn't ever done it again and normally gets up and walks away leaving our other dog to deal with the kids. Even though he has never done anything like it again i don't trust him 100% but i do trust the other dog 100% with the kids. I have seen what they do to him and he has never even growled at them or warned them in anyway to stop he loves the attention. I still always am nearby because i think they get to rough for him even if he likes it.

Merry - posted on 07/30/2011

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Yeah I too taught Eric early on to be gentle to animals, but while I was teaching him to be gentle I was also teaching India to be tolerant of roughness. I would pull her hair ears tail scruff feet. Poke her eyes nose. Push her around etc.
She tolerated it like a champ and good thing too cuz even though Eric was very gentle for a while with her she did get a bit of rough time when Eric was about 18 months and he decided he wasn't going to listen to anything I say :)
But I don't trust her completely with other kids. She knew I was pregnant, she knew Eric from birth, she knows he is my baby, and she has been here as he grows up. I trust her completely with eric. But I don't know if she would be just as good with another persons kid.
So far she has been exceptional with everyone she meets but she is getting older and who knows if a stranger kid pokes her in a sore spot or something.
I think there's no absolutes. Especially in the animal kingdom.

Mary - posted on 07/30/2011

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Now, I'm the opposite of Sherri when it comes to dogs. I think we both love our dogs ridiculously, but I tend to be a little more protective of my dogs. Yes, they are well-trained, and kid-friendly. They obviously have their own toddler who crawls and "loves" all over them. However, we have invested a lot of time and energy into teaching her about not pulling, poking, hitting, biting, etc. In short, since she became mobile, we have been instilling "proper" behavior around animals. However, not all parents, particularly those without pets, do the same. A lot of Molly's little friends really don't know how to appropriately "play" with an animal.

Therefore, unless it is one of my friend's kids that I know has been taught how to behave around animals, I usually put my boys elsewhere (usually my bedroom) for their safety.

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Probably not, my son knows better than to discuss religion and politics. he still doesn't get why he shouldn't but otherwise, I'm not worried. heck, I was friends at one point in my life with a girl who's father had a nazi flag over his bed. Freaked my mom out but the girl was ok until we had a falling out over stupid high school stuff and that was that.

Amy - posted on 07/30/2011

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My kids are too little to go anywhere solo. I don't know if my kids will ever go to a sleep over. Seems like kids only do things via technology. Do kids still play? lol. I would get to know the parents and if they are good people in my opinion, I wouldn't see a problem. They don't have to believe in same god, or have same view on abortions, or like same tv shows as me. Every person is different and therefor every parent.

ah pets. we went to a friend's house and that had this psycho cat who took a chunk out of my sis's heel and was caught chasing a fox. yeah..... so not just dogs can be a danger. and really, any dog breed could be a danger if parents aren't responsible about them. Heck, my cousins had a black lab that would run you DOWN! I taught my kids from walks to the post office when they see animals or dogs to not touch them unless the owner is right there and says it's alright and invites you to. so, to me it depends on the parents and i would have to meet and talk with them quite a few times.

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Sherri I don't doubt you trust your dog explicitly but that doesn't change the fact we can never know 100% that anything will/ will not happen in regards to another being. You can be pretty damn certain but not 100%.

Valerie - posted on 07/29/2011

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depends on how old the child...it does present a great teachable moment for you to share with your child and help your child to problem solve

Shannintipton - posted on 07/29/2011

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Yeah I would probably screw it up anyway. The purple looked cool. Just to let you know. :)

Krista - posted on 07/29/2011

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I wouldn't recommend it, actually. Someone just told me that they can't even SEE my response now. So it probably only works in certain browsers or something.

Sigh. Oh well.

Krista - posted on 07/29/2011

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I was just horsing around with some HTML to see what worked on here and what didn't.



And colour works. Blockquote commands are a bit wonky -- they don't really work as well as they should. Boldface doesn't seem to work at all, alas.

Krista - posted on 07/29/2011

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Oh, and obviously it goes without saying that if there is anything abusive or neglectful or sinister going on in the house, then it's a no-go.

Amie - posted on 07/29/2011

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"For those who said they wouldn't screen the family pets- does it make a difference if I said that one of my dogs is a Doberman and one is a Staffordshire Terrier(pit bull)?"

Jennifer, that is an excellent question. =) Sasha is a purebred Staffy, Hooch is a staffy/shepherd cross. (Those are our dogs.) We have had one of our daughters friends, in the city, whose parents wouldn't let her come over into the house when she found out about our dog (at the time it was just Sasha). She had never met her, wouldn't even come to our door - she knew about Sasha because we lived down the street from each other. She was absolutely convinced that Sasha was a pit bull (as in a purebred registered pit - like the one my brother just got [he's one of the most adorable puppies I've ever seen too]) and that she was dangerous. It took some time and a lengthy conversation for her to see differently and come to meet Sasha. She hasn't had a problem since then. She even has no problem with my brothers dog, he bought our house in the city when we moved to our acreage.

I must say too, it annoys me to no end when people call our dogs pits. They're not pit bulls. I have no issue with pit bulls but ours are not pit bulls. A pit bull is my brother's dog, not ours. Most people can not tell the difference, they see their heads, strong bodies and go "oh shit, that's a pit". I even had someone argue with me about it once because apparently I have no clue what breed of dog I own. pffttt...

Krista - posted on 07/29/2011

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I kind of explained that already, Sherri. It would obviously be someone who is NOT responsible and who does NOT have common sense and a good head on their shoulders.

Basically, it'd be someone who comes across as so clueless that I don't even trust them with the well-being of their OWN child, let alone mine.

Krista - posted on 07/29/2011

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I wouldn't necessarily screen the pets, per se. But I would screen the pet owners to make sure that they're responsible and have common sense.

That would be part of the overall theme, really. If you're responsible and you have a good head on your shoulders, then I don't really worry if your opinions or values are different from mine. But if you're a clueless dipshit, then no. My kid's not going to your house to sleep over.

Jennifer - posted on 07/29/2011

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Being as big into animals as I am, I guess makes me more aware of the dangers. For those who said they wouldn't screen the family pets- does it make a difference if I said that one of my dogs is a Doberman and one is a Staffordshire Terrier(pit bull)? Just wondering. My current dogs are wonderful with kids, any and all, but I have had some that I knew were protective enough that I kenneled when other kids were over. My neice was also seriously bitten in the face by a basset hound.

Horses as pets are common around here, and many people have them and no nothing about proper handling. My kids are not allowed around the horses. I've seen way to many injuries!

Sal - posted on 07/29/2011

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depends on what the difference actually is....if they felt ok about doing drugs or drinking loads and had no one sobre to care for my child, no i wouldn;'t let them...my neice went to a freinds house only to discover they were naturalists, and they didn;t feel the need to tell my sil or cover up, so my poor neice was faced with the mums hooters and dads wanger at dinner, that i thought was a bit far, she was only 7, if they had mentioed it and my sil sent her prepared then it would be ok.....

if i send my child i expect them to be treated the same, eat all your di nner, adhere to bed time, etc, if they go to a church i don't follow (for example) then i expect my child to be respectful and not make a fuss...as long as there are no saftly issue, seeing how other peple live is a good lesson for anyone

Tasha - posted on 07/29/2011

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As long as there is nothing unhealthy or unsafe going on, yes. You have to use situations like that to teach your children that not everyone is the same but everyone deserves respect. Just because someone doesnt belive what we do doesnt mean you cant be friends, if i was only friends with people who thought exactly like me id be bored. Thats also how you learn, by being open to others opinions, i think differently than i did 10, 15 yrs ago from learning from others. Again as long as there is no health or saftey issues i think its important to expose our children to the world so they know how to handle it when theyre out there without us, with respect to age appropriatness of course.

Amie - posted on 07/29/2011

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Ah, pets. Our 3rd has a tiny scar on her chin for a friendly dog snapping at her face. The dog had never snapped, nipped or even growled at a person before. The only thing that saved our daughters face was my husband standing next to her and yanking her away when he saw the dog turning it's head to snap it's jaw around her face. She wasn't being aggressive with it, she was petting her and talking quietly. The only thing we could figure out was maybe the dog got intimidated when my husband stood up (he is tall) and reacted. She just got out daughter instead of my husband, who was standing behind her. I don't know, neither do our friends - it hasn't happened since though.

One of our dog, Sasha, is the biggest suck a person could ever meet. She's also still a dog and still has her limits. If she wasn't as well trained as she is, she is another one who would have gotten our daughters face. The kids were bothering her, she gave them warnings, she got up and moved to a new spot, I told them to leave her alone. They laid there for awhile doing nothing, then our 3rd (she's our animal kid) got it into her head to bite Sasha's ear. Sasha yelped, jumped around and went to bite our 3rd. If I hadn't been there to shout her name, she might have actually bitten our daughter. It wasn't her fault, it was very much our daughters fault, Sasha was just reacting like a dog.

People seem to forget that dogs are animals and it doesn't matter how well mannered, well trained or mellow the dog is. It only takes one incident and every dog has their breaking point. Just like every human does.

It is why we don't leave our dogs alone with our younger kids (our oldest knows how to behave with them) and why we don't leave strange adults or allow them to run around when strange kids are around.

A lot of homes I know always, always, either keep their dogs in a kennel or keep them on a leash until the dog and the kid or adult in question has had a chance to get to know them and vice versa.

Merry - posted on 07/29/2011

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True but sometimes they don't know if their pet could be aggressive. Like I said some dogs or cats are totally great with their family because they grew up with them and view them as their pack. But other kids are like traders to their family. If a dog sees a stranger kid as a threat to it's pack it could turn aggressive. I have a friend who took her toddler to a friends house and she was told that their family dog was great with kids and that he was an old dog who had never been aggressive. Well her toddler grabbed the dogs fur and the dog bit his ear. The boy had to go to the er and the wound got closed with surgical glue.
The family never thought their dog could bite, they were shocked.
Obviously they didn't think he was aggressive and yet he bit the boy.
It happens, and it's unfortunate but even good trustworthy dogs can bite if someone pushes the right buttons.

Merry - posted on 07/29/2011

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No, I too would want to screen any family pets. And even if they are fine with that families kids doesn't mean they aren't going to be aggressive with other kids! Some dogs are loyal to their own family but will turn on strangers kids. I'd want my kids to be old enough to understand to leave other pets alone before they go alone to someone's house.

Jennifer - posted on 07/29/2011

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One thing I haven't seen that is an issue with me- pets. I am an animal freak, we have 13 pets in our house. I check out everyone's dog, it better not show fear or aggression. I want to know about exotics (we have two snakes and 4 turtles) and how they are housed. Horses are a big issue. Am I the only one that feels this way?

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