7 year old to the movies, without mom?

movies

“Can I take Pristine to the movies with Jane* on Tuesday?”

* not the real name of Pristine’s friend

I received that SMS from Pristine’s friend’s mom. That time school was out so we’re making ways to keep the girls from getting bored at home. Jane came to our place a couple of times (alone) and Pristine had been to Jane’s apartment but my mother was there with her. Jane lives in a place with a pool in the backyard. And a huge dog. Surely you can’t blame me being overprotective, no? Our neighbors come to our apartment and play with Pristine and I am fine with that. However, when she gets invited to the neighbor’s place, someone has to come with her, either me of my mother. Mostly my mother who takes care of her after school.

The whole going out to the movies is a new thing for me.

I’ve asked other moms I know through this blog and Twitter and some of them said “Yes”, majority said “No”. My first instinctive reaction was to say “No, Pristine can’t go to the movies without me or her father with her” but I played around with my reply until I had no other way but to say what I really wanted to say in the first place. I don’t know if Pristine’s friend’s mom was offended, I hope she’s not and she’ll look at it from a different perspective or put herself in my shoes. Would she trust me to take her daughter out without her?

In any case, I won’t invite other kids to my care without their parents because whatever happens I don’t want to be in trouble (even if it wasn’t my fault).

Pristine is by the way 7 years old. If you are a mom, would you allow your son/daughter to go to the movies alone with his/her friend & their families?

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27 thoughts on “7 year old to the movies, without mom?

  1. Hello 🙂

    I have an almost 7 year old daughter, I would allow her to go to the movies with a friend given that an adult is with them and as long as I know the movie they will watch and the background of the adult person they are with. I’ll make sure I have the mobile number of the kids parents saved in my mobile. I’ll give reminders to my daughter to be safe at all times, I would write her full name, address and my contact details in a paper and keep it in her pocket in case she gets lost. She have her own mobile that I can always reach too. I do believed that Dubai is still a safe place.

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    • Hello, thanks so much for your input. I appreciate other mom’s opinion on this.

      I am hesitant because I am not confident when someone takes my daughter out because of the driving. How will Pristine’s friend’s mom drive? Won’t she be speeding? Will she ask them to put seat belts?

      I guess it boils down to one thing: I do not know Pristine’s mom’s friend that much and I do think (still) that 7 yrs old is still too young to go out without us. But of course it depends from one family to another.

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  2. To go with the friend and the friend’s responsible parent? Of course I would, as long as I knew the parent and was okay with the choice of movies.

    You still send an adult on all of P’s playdates even when the other child’s parent is home? I would never leave Maya and a friend home alone, nor would I send her to a home where there is no adult there, but I haven’t accompanied her on a playdate in at least two years, nor have any of her friends’ parents stayed for one at our house for at least that long.

    Use your best judgment and knowledge of Pristine of course, but she sounds like a lovely, responsible girl and in my country at least many of the apron strings are already loosened quite a bit by her age.

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  3. While I don’t have kids of my own, I am around them all day (nanny). Kids around here (and when I was young too) at that age seem to go play at their friends house with out parents – provided that there is a parent at the house they are playing at and they are somewhat supervising. TAKING the kids somewhere is a whole different story though – If you don’t feel comfortable with the parent, and don’t know them well enough, go with your gut and say no! Now, I have taken the 3 year old I watch to the movies – but her mom is more than comfortable with me driving, and on top of it I don’t have my own kid to watch too!

    Here is a suggestion though… how about instead of saying no, just explain that you think she’s to young to go out without a parent or your mom and that Pristine would be happy to go if they don’t mind you tagging along – maybe this way you can test out the other kids mom’s driving and get to know them a little better 😉

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    • Great suggestion! I really wanted to tag along ? she wants me to tag along but I have to work. Maybe one of these days I?ll sacrifice half day of work to see how she drives. 🙂

      Thing is, when someone?s taking out their kid(s) with my kid and *knock on wood* something happens, I am sure that someone will save her own kid first before mine. That thought just drives me crazy.

      By the way, you are doing a great job! The 3 year old?s mom totally trusts you!

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  4. It all depends on my mummy gut instinct – if I had the slightest doubt, then it would definitely be a no!

    However, I am all for creating independence in my kids, and as long as I know the parent well, then I encourage play dates and cinema trips both for my own kids, and inviting their friends to come along with us.

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  5. I say – Follow your instinct! If your instinct says ‘NO’, I’m sure there is a valid reason. You are one of the most reasonable and full-of-sense person I know. And I think, you actually do have a valid reason here.

    And I think watching movies has become more crucial now. P has to be with someone you totally trust, not just with the driving but also with morals you agree with. What if P sees some scene in the movie she has questions with, you should be there to answer that question according to your beliefs. And, what if P reacts to the movie in a very not-so-pleasant way, because she’s very sensitive, you should be there to comfort her. Of what if the movie has some scenes that are not very nice or with inappropriate expressions, you should be there to point that out right away. Just saying that movies these days have become so graphic and realistic, even those animation movies or those supposedly rated G or PG, that kids must be guided accordingly especially while they are watching it.

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    • Thanks for the input fellow mom! 🙂

      I do trust Pristine completely to be good. And if I trust the adult with her like if you would take her, I would let her go with you because I know you can answer any questions and comfort her if she’s scared or something.

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      • My comment is based on your previous posts, when you and P were watching ‘Mama Mia’ and ‘Harry Potter’. I also based it from my own experience watching movies with Matthew, when we watched the supposedly harmless rated-G ‘The Diary of a Wimpy Kids’, which is terrible movie in terms of message. I sent him out right away when the movie was turning bad, and I pointed out right away all the bad messages he saw from the movie. (I don’t think other adults would have caught that because the movie is funny, but has so many wrong messages.)

        It’s one thing keeping our kids safe physically. And then, there’s keeping their mind and spirit safe as well.

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  6. I don’t have any children, but over here in Canada its common to set up play dates and leave your child in the care of the hosting parent. There are no nannies (at least, I’ve never even met one…maybe the milionaires who live in Toronto have some?) so its always mommy (or sometimes daddy or babysitter granny) who supervise.
    I would be ok with it IF I were on good terms with the friends mother and trusted her not to speed or forget seatbelts…(Have you been to her house? Is it somewhat organized? Is her daughter well fed/put together?)
    Most of the time here my friends leave their babies with (mommy) friends or family members for play dates…And thats a lot younger than 7!
    Maybe we’re the irresponsible ones? lol

    On the other hand, you or your mom could tag along for a double date 🙂

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  7. Under these circumstances I wouldn’t allow Pristine to go to the movies without you. If it was a friend of mine taking her child and I knew she would never leave them in a million years, then yes, I’d let her go. Unfortunately in the world today, there is too much that can go wrong.

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    • It is better safe than sorry. And I am lucky that Pristine understands. Oh the thought of Pristine away from my protection (though I know I can’t protect her forever) just drives me mad. I don’t want her to get hurt or God forbid lose her just because I wanted to please other people (her friend’s mom, whom I don’t know that long and that much).

      You are right, if it’s a friend I know and trust so much, then maybe I will let her go.

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  8. My son is now 8 years, and we have a few friends, all close by in the neighborhood, where my husband and I are also friends with the parents. We trust those people completely, and I let Sky, my son, go to the movies with any of them. I know that there is always an adult with them that I trust, and I also know that my son is very responsible. Our kids play together all the time at either our house or any of their houses, and I don’t feel the need to be there at all. Yes, when I pick him up it usually takes me forever because then we adults start chatting and having a good time!
    With that said: I would not let my kid go with anyone I don’t know and like and trust, so if you are not very familier with the other family I understand your hesitation. Just trust your heart – but also trust your daughter, kids in general can handle more then we think they can in a good way!

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    • Thanks Annette, it’s lovely to see other mom’s opinion. I guess I just don’t know Pristine’s friend’s mom that much and that long. Add to that I don’t know how she drives so I have my fears.

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  9. My answer would be no. If something happened to your child without your watch you would never get over it. Even if it is someone you know or trust, what if they are distracted for just a second? Also, I agree with you not having kids over unless one of their parents is there. Your daughter will understand, if not now when she gets older. Also you can take her to the movies with her friend with their parent(s) sometime.

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    • Thank you very much for your precious comment. Yes, even with people we know and trust, anything can go wrong and unless my daughter is a bit older to take care of herself (like when she’s 10 maybe?) I can’t let her go out alone without supervision – especially if the one taking her have small kids of her own with them too.

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  10. I think your biggest concern here is not necessarily her age, but the fact that you don’t know the other mom very well. And that’s a reasonable concern. I know growing up we had a large circle of friends where our parents were all friends and we were allowed to be with them and go out with them when they were doing things and vice versa. The same will be true of my kids, when they start school (if they go to public) they will be allowed to go to other friend’s houses IF I have met the parent and been to the house myself first. And probably not until they are at least 8 to go on their own. However if it is a family that we’ve known as long as we’ve had the boys then it would be a totally different situation and I would feel much more comfortable that way!

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  11. Nope. I will not allow my son at that age to go to the movies even with his friend’s family. Well, unless I am really that comfortable with the parents, trust them enough to care for my child, too.

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  12. You know, even though a lot of kids these days are more independent at a young age, I think you did the right thing by saying no. Even if kids ARE more independent these days, it definitely does not mean they SHOULD be, especially at the age of 7. Now if it was 10 or 12, I can see letting her go, but I think 7 is still too young.

    Always listen to what your instincts tell you Grace! They’ll never steer you wrong.

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