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  #1  
May 15th, 2011, 04:04 PM
Gaby&Emmy'sMama's Avatar aka NZ-Emma
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Gaby has a very close friend - Z.. they used to live next door, but have moved away, but still have play dates once a month or so. Z's Mum has a new boyfriend, and they are now living together.... It came to my attention on facebook that he is a Neo-Nazi/Skinhead/White Pride follower/believer/whatever... and it has come to light that she also supports that movement.

I don't know if I want Gaby playing with Z now - I know that HE doesn't have those beliefs (well, being 5 you'd hope not).. but he is too shy to come to our house to play, so any playdates are at their house... and I just don't know if I want Gaby being in an environment where there are those beliefs & that mindset.

I'm very big on 'love everyone, everyone is special'... and i just don't feel quite right about letting Gaby be there now......... I"m well aware I could just be being over protective... but I want to know what everyone else thinks? Do you think you'd be feeling similarly?
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  #2  
May 15th, 2011, 04:12 PM
IAmMomMomIAm
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I would be concerned, just like I'd be concerned if my child was playing at someone's house that practiced Voodoo. I don't have an issue with that religion, but I would take some issue with it being practiced in front of my child. It's not my job to tell other people what to believe, and if they want to be racist.. well, that's sad but there's nothing I can do about it. The question would be whether they are trying to influence my child to their beliefs.

If there are "white power" posters or whatever all over their house, or if they constantly reiterated it to my child, I wouldn't let them play there, no.

If I were in your shoes, I would talk to Gaby and try and feel out if it's having an influence over here. Chances are her friend Z would be repeating things his parents say, even if he doesn't fully understand them. If she knows the words "white power" - I would be very concerned.

Otherwise.. well, it's totally possible that she knows nothing about it, and the only thing she realizes is that her friend's dad has a shaved head.
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  #3  
May 15th, 2011, 04:35 PM
SweetSimpleThings's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
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No way, jose.... I don't think I'd let it continue. That's just too big of a philosophical breach for me to be able to cross, even if it's just kids. Kids pick up a LOT.

I am all about families of different backgrounds and religions and races and countries of origin being together ... we have friends that are every colour and religion.

THIS to me is not an innocent "belief system" or lifestyle. It promotes hatred, anger and often even violence.

If Gabi was older and VERY attached to someone who was a dear friend, and also old enough to talk about the issue, I'd maybe approach it differently - but at this age, I think she won't be as affected by the loss of a friend that she sees infrequently, kwim?

I don't know, I sound all heated and certain about it, but in your shoes, I don't know what I'd really do - it's easy for me to say to not see them, but in real life, things aren't always that easy
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  #4  
May 15th, 2011, 05:50 PM
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No way. I am my child's censor and there is no way I would expose a little one to that kind of thing. It's sad that Gaby might get hurt and the little boy too, but I think that is the right, safe thing to do. I'm sorry you've been put in such an awful situation.
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  #5  
May 15th, 2011, 06:03 PM
Gaby&Emmy'sMama's Avatar aka NZ-Emma
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thanks for the replies ladies, I am feeling torn about it, because Gaby ADORES Z... but at the end of the day it's just not an environment I want her exposed to. I know the boyfriend is very open about being loud & proud white power, so I'm assuming it's not something that'd be kept quiet around the kids. My gut instinct says to stop the interactions at his house, and I think I need to follow that gut instinct, when it comes to something like this....
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  #6  
May 15th, 2011, 06:08 PM
Mama Chemist 73's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
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If you are not comfortable with your child being in that type of environment, then you should not feel guilty about cutting ties with Z. That will most likely be a bit hard on Gaby, but in the long run it most likely will be for the best. Good luck.
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  #7  
May 15th, 2011, 06:28 PM
IAmMomMomIAm
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You could always push for Z to be able to go to your house. And if Gaby is really sad about the "break up" you could always try to set up some kind of video chat or something for the kids. Though I'm guessing that if you're vocal about the situation with the parents, they won't be happy about it.

Oh, and by the way.. I don't want to give the impression that I'm okay with the whole white power movement like I'm okay with other culture and religious beliefs. I mean, I respect their right to be racist douche bags, but I certainly don't like it, and wouldn't want my kid exposed to it. I would just make sure exposure is a real concern (which you said it is).
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  #8  
May 15th, 2011, 08:32 PM
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I definitely wouldn't let my child spend time in an environment like that. First, because I am the parent and the one who is supposed to be making decisions that are best for my child while she can't make them on her own. Second, because just like has been said, that type of lifestyle is based on hatred and violence against anyone who is different than them.
The whole 'white power' movement is not just against people of different colors but anyone who lives a different type of lifestyle. I wouldn't want my child subjected to anybody preaching hate to anyone else.
What would be your reaction if you kept letting Gaby play with Z and one day while you guys were out she made an innocent comment about someone who was different because she heard it from Z's mom or mom's boyfriend or even Z. At their age they don't always understand what they are saying, they just say it because they've heard it before and it's in their head. I would hate for someone to overhear something that a child says unknowingly that may make you look like a parent who pushes those types of beliefs on their child, ya know?
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  #9  
May 15th, 2011, 09:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MomMomMom View Post
You could always push for Z to be able to go to your house. And if Gaby is really sad about the "break up" you could always try to set up some kind of video chat or something for the kids. Though I'm guessing that if you're vocal about the situation with the parents, they won't be happy about it.

Oh, and by the way.. I don't want to give the impression that I'm okay with the whole white power movement like I'm okay with other culture and religious beliefs. I mean, I respect their right to be racist douche bags, but I certainly don't like it, and wouldn't want my kid exposed to it. I would just make sure exposure is a real concern (which you said it is).
Kes, this made me laugh out loud... I'm not sure why, but I love the term douche bag. It just wraps up so many sentiments in one.
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  #10  
May 16th, 2011, 04:46 AM
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I ditto Christina! I am too lazy to type at the moment LOL, I also am a fan of the word douche bag, it is one of my favorite words
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  #11  
May 16th, 2011, 08:48 AM
who_it_is's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
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I pretty much agree with what everyone else has already posted. If you are not comfortable with it, then playing at Z's house would no longer be an option. Maybe you can meet somewhere neutral so the kids can still play if you really want them to be able to continue their friendship, like the park or something? And stay and supervise the play date.

I, like a lot of other posters, am all for everyone having their own belief system and doing what works for them. BUT some things just do NOT need to be passed to children or discussed in their midst. This would be one of them. I would hope that the mother in question would be smart enough not to share this belief system with her child, but by the sound so of it (boyfriend and herself posting on facebook) I am gussing that it's not how it is. I would be WAY leery of my child spending time at that home, and would want to supervise any further play dates my child had with her friend. Which is sad, because it isn't Gaby or Z's faults at all.
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  #12  
May 16th, 2011, 10:42 AM
IAmMomMomIAm
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Can you go with her on the play date, and stay and supervise? Then at least you could see what's going on.

I'm not trying to undermine your decision or suggest that I think you're making the wrong one, just tossing out ideas.

I am Mormon, and I talk about it on Facebook. But if someone's non-Mormon child is in my home, under my care, I am perfectly capable of not trying to convert them. However, I do have Mormon pictures on some of my walls, and several Books of Mormon around the house. So even though I'm not saying "hey kid, you should be Mormon!" they are still exposed to it, even if it's on a mostly subconscious level. I would assume the "white power" sentiment is the same in their house.

And while we (the non-racist bunch of human beings on the planet) hope they aren't telling their small child about these things, it's safe to assume they don't think their beliefs are wrong and are most likely sharing them. While they may not be telling him that slavery is awesome and lynch mobs are the coolest, they are probably setting him up to believe that he is better than others because he is white, of a specific religious denomination, and heterosexual.

Last edited by IAmMomMomIAm; May 16th, 2011 at 10:45 AM.
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  #13  
May 16th, 2011, 03:27 PM
LisaB's Avatar Mom to twins + 1
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I wouldn't let it happen. I've learned from my kids that they pick up on a LOT, much more than I think they would pick up on... even my slightest mood change, which they never used to comment on, they now are verbal enough to ask "What's wrong, Mommy? Why are you mad?" or the like. Even though it's sad, I would do the break-up. You could tell the parents why, in a non-judgmental way of course, by saying you want Gaby raised to think all people are equal, and are concerned that their fundamental difference of opinion from yours would trickle down to Gaby. Which id undoubtedly would. Not to mention, the violence that is typically accompanied by that racist mindset would concern me - what if someone were to torch the place or do a drive-by? You just never know. Of course I'm speaking in generalities, you know your specific situation best!
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  #14  
May 16th, 2011, 05:27 PM
handymandy's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
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I agree with Lisa. Maybe you could take your play-date elsewhere mutual or somehow convince Z to come to your house?

I don't know, that's a tough one. I hope they would have enough sense not to openly express feelings like that in front of impressionable minds, but like someone else mentioned, if that is what they believe then they see it as nothing wrong or different or however you want to look at it.
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  #15  
May 16th, 2011, 06:19 PM
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I think it depends on what the environment is....I don't always agree with what is going on in the lives of other parents but I still have playdates sometimes. I would say that you should go over there and see what goes on and then decide.
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  #16  
May 16th, 2011, 06:35 PM
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I'm going to assume you are not there during their playdates? I would make it a point to be there, and if you are not comfortable with being there, then you know your daughter shouldn't be there either. Even after that, I would suggest playdates at the park or some other location. If that does seem to work out and if he can't come to your house, then I would just let the friendship fade out naturally. Sad as it may be, friends move in different directions and sometimes no matter what you just can't make it work out. Is his mom close to you? If she asks will you be able to be forward with her about your concerns?
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  #17  
May 16th, 2011, 06:45 PM
sugarloafbaby's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
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I wouldn't let her go- stick with your gut instinct. Like others have said, even if Z doesn't understand kids do pick up on a lot and he could easily say/do things that mimic his mom and the boyfriend. If you don't feel comfortable with Gaby being exposed to that, then you as her mother get to decide that you don't have to let her. I wouldn't let any of our children play at someone else's house that had such drastically different outlooks.
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  #18  
May 17th, 2011, 12:52 PM
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Originally Posted by MomMomMom View Post
Can you go with her on the play date, and stay and supervise? Then at least you could see what's going on.

I'm not trying to undermine your decision or suggest that I think you're making the wrong one, just tossing out ideas.

I am Mormon, and I talk about it on Facebook. But if someone's non-Mormon child is in my home, under my care, I am perfectly capable of not trying to convert them. However, I do have Mormon pictures on some of my walls, and several Books of Mormon around the house. So even though I'm not saying "hey kid, you should be Mormon!" they are still exposed to it, even if it's on a mostly subconscious level. I would assume the "white power" sentiment is the same in their house.

And while we (the non-racist bunch of human beings on the planet) hope they aren't telling their small child about these things, it's safe to assume they don't think their beliefs are wrong and are most likely sharing them. While they may not be telling him that slavery is awesome and lynch mobs are the coolest, they are probably setting him up to believe that he is better than others because he is white, of a specific religious denomination, and heterosexual.

See, theres a difference though. I was raised being open and shown lots of other cultures and religions and this that and the other. If Nina goes to a pow wow, or a guardwara or whatever I think that's lovely I'm not hiding her from religion or learning new things. If one of her friends parents has a giant poster of god on the wall, no difference to me, teaching her all the different things... but having a giant poster on your wall saying Kill Mexicans is a completely different thing. Theres no way that's ever ok.
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  #19  
May 17th, 2011, 12:59 PM
IAmMomMomIAm
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See, theres a difference though. I was raised being open and shown lots of other cultures and religions and this that and the other. If Nina goes to a pow wow, or a guardwara or whatever I think that's lovely I'm not hiding her from religion or learning new things. If one of her friends parents has a giant poster of god on the wall, no difference to me, teaching her all the different things... but having a giant poster on your wall saying Kill Mexicans is a completely different thing. Theres no way that's ever ok.
I wasn't saying it was okay. I was just trying to say that if the parent of a friend's kid really didn't want them knowing anything Mormon, I'm capable of keeping my mouth shut and not actively saying anything to the child, and respecting the parents desires for their child. However, I'm not going to take down my posters or hide my religious texts because that's going too far.

So while the family in question is probably capable of not telling Gaby she should hate Mexicans, without seeing what their house looks like, there's no way to tell if she'd get the message from them just by being there. If their house is free of white power paraphernalia, literature, and propaganda, and they are capable of shutting their racist faces in the presence of decent human beings, then I'd probably let my kid play there, with my supervision.

After all, along with exposing our children to good examples, sometimes exposure to bad example isn't that bad. Showing our kids what NOT to do can also be beneficial.
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  #20  
May 18th, 2011, 03:45 AM
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I'm late to this...but I wouldn't. I have VERY strong feelings about that kind of stuff, to the point that I don't want Caleb ever even going to my in laws church due to their beliefs about homosexuality (very conservative church). I think I'm hyper sensitive to it for sure, but kids absorb everything and it doesn't mean the family will speak about it. Maybe getting to know them would help too, but I would have a hard time not wanting to punch them in the face just knowing what they believe.
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