My son wants to stay over at a friends house but I don’t trust the Mother’s new partner …

Dear Gillian,

I have a 10 year old son and he wants to go and stay with a friend of his for a couple of nights.  The problem is I am concerned about the home he is going into.  The boys mother recently divorced, has a new partner and I feel very uncomfortable around him.  He behaves strangely and seems very intense especially with regards to this other boy.  I want to tell my son he cannot stay over but I feel unreasonable in doing so.  He really wants to go and the boys have been friends for years but have never stayed over. I don’t trust the Mother’s new partner.  I realise these are probably my fears and that I may be projecting or reflecting something (as Louise Hay would say), other mothers think I am just getting anxious about my son being away from home and say I should just let it go.  I know this is not your normal thing but any advice?

Dear Sian,

It is difficult being a parent, finding the right balance between keeping children safe and allowing them the freedom to grow and learn. Whilst I never normally encourage people to entertain their fears (as what we focus on grows) in this case I would say trust your own judgement and say no until you feel more comfortable about this situation and the people involved.  With a child it is too late after something has happened to say “I knew something wasn’t right”, generally Mothers have a sixth sense about these things.  The only proviso I would add is , would you feel the same way about him staying with another friend where you know and trust the parents?  If the answer is yes then you need to address your own fears.  Also you may just feel that he is not old enough yet, whatever it is you need to think it through.

The important thing for children is to know they are loved and they are safe.  Sometimes that means having to say “no” to some of the things they want to do.  In this instance it is a “no not right now, we do not know the family (new members) well enough”.

Hope this helps.