Post Playdate: Can you take the friend home alone?

by epi on March 2, 2012

Q: My 10 year old daughter had a neighbor over to play. When it was time for the girl to go home I offered to give her a ride because it was getting dark and we live on a country road. It was also bedtime for my daughter, so I took the friend home by myself. My husband tells me it is not proper for me to take the friend home without my daughter since she is her friend she should escort the friend home with me. Is there an etiquette rule on this matter?

A: No, there is not an etiquette rule. It may have been fun for your daughter and her friend to be together, but there was no impropriety in your taking her yourself if your daughter was getting ready for bed. There are many concerns these days about children being with adults alone, so only from that perspective would this be something to consider.

{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

cookie March 2, 2012 at 10:34 am

I agree. I would strongly advise a father to have one of his children in the car when driving a little girl home. .to address the concerns mentioned above. Not about etiquette but discretion and safety.
That is the way the world is now.

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polite punk March 2, 2012 at 3:18 pm

It’s actually the way the world has always been, but that’s really neither here nor there.

In regards to the actual question, I remember being a kid and having a car ride home with just my friend’s parent. It was always a bit awkward to be in a car with my friend’s family, but without my friend. While it was nice of you to give the kid a ride home, why not just wrap up the play date 10-15 minutes early so that the friend can have a ride home and your daughter can get to bed on time?

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scdeb March 2, 2012 at 11:21 pm

I think the question should be how would you feel if your daughter was driven home by a parent when she is the only one in the car? If it makes you feel uneasy then there is your answer. Also a frank discussion with the child’s parent could ease the awkwardness–perhaps you all could decide how this should be handled in the future. From what I’ve read of the question it sounds as if the mother was driving the friend home not the father. It also sounded as if the child lived within walking distance but because it was dark the mother drove the child home. If it was a just a five minute car ride I don’t think it would be cruicial for the daughter to come along but I do think that a phone call to the child’s parents is important so that they are aware that their child is arriving by car and who is driving and when.

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Judy Brickel March 4, 2012 at 5:19 pm

I am the stepmom of a widower (we’ve been together for 10 years) who’s 32 year old daughter is getting married. His younger (26 year old) daughter has always been confrontational and rude towards her father (as well as me) is the maid of honor.
She has a lot of issues related to the death of her mother involving anorexia and inappropriate grieving-I believe she is objectifying me now that her older sister is getting married by refusing to communicate with me regarding the logistics of the wedding.
After all these years, I would like to have at least a civil relationship with her, even though she has quite bluntly stated she has no intention of improving our relationship.
Since my husband & I are footing the bill, I think we are entitled to this consideration.
Although my husband has tried to speak with her about her behavior towards me (as well as her hostile treatment of him) she has remained unreasonable & unwilling to get past these issues and has clearly stated to him she is not interested in making this event pleasant for any of us.
I have reached out to her countless times over the past decade, but I after so many attempts after so many years, my husband and I are at our wit’s end on how to handle this awkward situation.
I appreciate any suggestions you can provide to me.
Thank you!

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Alicia March 4, 2012 at 6:37 pm

I fail to understand why paying for older daughters wedding has anything to do with younger daughter being a jerk. It is not about paying for older daughters wedding at all. Yes younger daughter needs to be civil but that is unrelated to her older sisters wedding. Sadly you can not change others. So if younger daughter is goimng to act like a brat that is her loss. The only pull you have is your husbands attention and you probably do not want him to cut her out of his life for being a brat as he probably loves her despite her being a brat. Hopefully she will mature some day

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Just Laura March 4, 2012 at 9:51 pm

Goodness, Judy, this sort of family dynamic would be stressful for anyone. Alicia has a good point: You are paying for Elder Daughter’s wedding (very nice of you, by the way). You never mentioned that Elder Daughter is problematic and ungrateful.
Elder Daughter chose Younger Sister to be the Maid of Honor. This was Elder Daughter’s choice, so please accept it. I assume the two sisters get along (why else would she choose her?), so as for making the event completely miserable for all involved, I don’t think you have to worry about it. Since you will be seated with your husband, and Younger Sister will be standing near the bride during the ceremony, you’ll only have to worry about the reception. Be sure to be seated at a different table than Younger Daughter, and I’m sure you both will hardly notice each other, being too busy socializing with guests.

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Will men today really accept having to behave like former molestors? May 31, 2012 at 2:13 pm

Would this have been an issue if it was a mother/woman doing the driving?

Why on earth should it be an issue just because the parent happened to be a man? Unless this is an adult (regardless of sex) that for individual reasons should avoid being alone with children, that is another case altogether.

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