I was at a close friend's house for an informal get-together/dinner party. I had my two girls with me ages 7 and 10. My friend has a large house and she has taken in another woman and her 9 year old son temporarily. I know this woman and her son, but more like an acquaintance.
These are the only three kids there, so of course they were playing together in his room. But they were being rather wild, which Im not comfortable with. I could hear them jumping on the bed, etc
Then, they turn the light off in the room and close the door. Im not ok with this so I go in and tell them the light needs to be on and the door open. Then, the boys mother comes up to me and says "actually, they're just playing a game. its kind of fun, really. I play it with him all the time. We turn off the light and hide..." blah blah blah
Grudgingly, I say ok, but they still need to keep the door open. The boy argues with me that that will ruin the game because then it wont be dark. The mother is standing there agreeing with him! What was i supposed to do? So finally they agreed to keep it open a crack, and i decide that I'll just continue to pop in on them frequently.
The "game" continues but he keeps closing the door and turning off the light. Then I hear whispering and giggling so I went to go back in and he locked the door! I about lost it. I said "why is this door locked?!" Im not ok with that, open the door and dont do that again. His mom is right there, doing nothing. Saying nothing.
I finally told my girls that they either needed to find a new game to play or they would have to come out in the living room with me. Which was hard, because this boy totally disregarding the fact that the girls arent supposed to be playing and hes continuing to ask them to come play, or trying to involve them in some game or another.
It was extremely awkward since they live there and his mom didnt seem to care and didnt see anyhting wrong with it. I cant tell someone else's kid what to do, but what kind of a kid does that? Disregards what the parent says and just goes ahead and askes the girls to play?!
What would you have done? Should I have just trusted that the boys mom is well aware of what they're doing and just let them play? should I have told the boy not to involve them anymore??
I think you did the right thing. I am uncomfortable with doors shut and definitely lights out. I had a similar thing happen where an older girl that I didn't know ( her mom was friends with the owner of the house that is my friend ) The girl kept shutting and locking the door. I first told her she needed to keep the door open, when she ignored me, I went in and told my son he needed to come out and find something else to do.
You're right, you can't make someone elses child follow your rules and you also can't be as strict, imo, as you would be in your own home. I think it sets a good example what you did, even if it made your children unhappy to not play the game. You stood up for what you feel is safe, I think that's a good message to send.
I'm a little freaked out that the boys mother couldn't understand why that would be uncomfortable for you.
I have a rule, no closed doors in our house unless you are using the bathroom. There is no way I would be ok with my kids in a room with a closed door, let alone locked at someone else house.
I have no problem firmly stating my one rule while kids are at my house or while we are a guest at someone's house.
simply put, your friend can either support your request for no closed doors or there will be no more going to her house.
I am sometimes met with resistance to my rule. I have no exceptions to it and I don't mind sharing a story with them about what happened to my daughter being a close door at a friends house. Moms should understand, if they don't.