Mom Confession: I Don't Let My Daughter Play With Low-Class Kids

Rant 62

swingsIt's the sort of thing mothers think but don't say out loud. So I'm going to say it. There are times when your kid comes home from school babbling about a new friend that leave you cold. THAT kid? Really? My kid had to make friends with THAT kid? The one whose dad is in prison/mom cooks meth/uncle is the village idiot?

Go ahead, Moms and Dads, let it out. You've thought it. And if you haven't, I've got a question for you.

Why not?

Are you afraid someone will call you a snob? That's what happened when a star of the British version of The Apprentice admitted she won't let her kids play with kids she thinks are "beneath them." They called her everything but a nice person.

Granted, Katie Hopkins didn't exactly make the best case for picking your kids' friends when she admitted she judges other kids on things as superficial as their names (she prefers kids with Victorian names or monikers of Latin or Greek derivation because she thinks their parents must be better educated). And forbidding her kids from playing with children who own iPods or iPads does sound, well, snobby!

I wouldn't go that far.

My daughter has friends with names my husband and I never would have chosen. She has a friend who participates in pageants even though I'm not a fan. She has friends whose parents don't make as much money as my husband and I (and some who make much more). I could go on and on, but you get the point. We're not looking to homogenize her childhood, and we know we put our pants on the same way as everyone else.

But I think there's something to be said for looking at the families of the children your child interacts with on a daily basis. Do those families share the same values or will they counteract your discipline? Do they provide a safe place for your child to play? Should you really foster a friendship that extends beyond the schoolyard?

It's not snobby to ponder these questions; it's realistic.

Just last week a mom on the CafeMom boards confessed she's banned her kids from sleeping over at the neighbors' house after her daughters came home covered in bug bites. Moms overwhelmingly supported her decision.

Why? Because the deplorable conditions in that other family's house were hurting her child.

Is it classist to keep your kids from having a playdate at a home that's not as nice as yours? If you're turning up your nose at a family that doesn't have as many bedrooms as you do, then yes. If you took one look at the jungle of rust buckets in their front yard and felt your safety radar go off, then no.

I don't want my kid coming home from a playdate with scabies ... or much worse.

I also don't want my daughter hanging around unsavory characters, the sort of people who think nothing of exposing kids to drugs or telling lewd jokes in front of a little girl.

So yes, I do limit who my daughter has playdates with. Not because I'm a snob but because I'm responsible for raising my daughter.

It's my job to keep her safe, and sometimes that means making tough calls ... like telling her she can be school friends with some kids ... and that's it.

How do you decide who your child can play with and who they can't?


Image via stokes91/Flickr

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nonmember avatar Lilac

Your daughter is a way better person than you are. I was one of those poor, lower class kids you wouldn't want your shining gem of a daughter to be tarnished by. It would have been awesome to have just one friend whose accepted me for the person I was not judging me for my looks or name. I grew up to be amazing in case you were wondering. I have much more going for me than old, popular classmates.

Lovin... LovinJerseyMama

The title of this article and the body of your story are two completely different things. When I first saw the headline I went in prepared for battle. But then after reading the article I can agree on your points. Low class doesn't mean those children are less smart or hygienic. Usually they are more appreciative and raised with better manners. We are a middle class family and I would rather my kids stay with the same or lower class so they are all on a level playing field. But I wouldn't keep them away from a child that was a good friend to them, regardless of status. I find that higher income families are less appreciative, more rude, and more dysfunctional as they buy their way into society through money and status symbols. But that's not a sweeping statement. There are exceptions to everything. I've seen low class assholes and high class assholes. It all comes down to how you're raised. 

Coles... Coles_mom

I'm not worried about true class issues, but I've been called a snob and a (b)itch just this last week because I wouldn't let my kids play with some trashy little dirtbags. Their mama smokes pot and has three kids with three different daddies- two who are in prison. She's a leech that sucks off the welfare system when she is FULLY capable of working and her newest boyfriend is a crackhead drunk who carries a concealed weapon in his pants. So no- my kids can't play with her kids. I am also picky about my kids playing with badly mannered children.

Rhond... RhondaVeggie

I agree. There is usually a correlation between the kids who act trashy and those who live in trashy conditions and the unsavory kids almost always have unsavory parents. There really aren't many in my son's school but there were a lot of trashy kids in my school and I wouldn't go to any of their houses. They had trashy parents and filthy houses. Not the kind of life I want for myself or my kids.

nonmember avatar melmcl

There is a friend of my son that comes over to my house for sleepovers, but I would never let him sleep at their house. To many adult things, no supervision, "uncles" that change every week - it's a horrible situation. That being said, he is one of the nicest kids around and thank God for his grandparents who he has had to stay with multiple times in his young life. I know there are parents in our small town who have forbidden their kids to play with him, just because of his miserable excuse of a mother. I refuse to hurt this boy more than he has been, he will always have a place to stay with us. Some of these kids need to see a stable home, need to be able to get away from scary situations, and they cannot help who gave birth to them.

nonmember avatar Michelle

You don't have to let your child stay at their house if you don't trust the parents, but what about having those same children over to your house? teach your child that no one is better than anyone else. And yea, that means you too. You're not better than the 'low class' parents either.

Lol and yea, have fun believing that only 'dirty' children and families have bugs. though i'm guessing the first time they bring anything home, you'll blame it on someone else. Scabies, lice, pinworms etc aren't limited to 'low class' people dumbass, and sometimes it doesn't matter how 'clean' you think you are.

Shandi80 Shandi80

You're not going to be able to make your kid's friend choices forever...she may grow up to resent you. It's not the "low class" kids faults they were born in those conditions. Children learn from their environment, but everyone should get a shot at becoming a decent person, and not be judged by their parents, since we have no control who our parents are. Pretty hateful and a step backwards for humanity, in my opinion.

OoOJa... OoOJanisOoO

The term "low class can mean a lot of different things and I think using that term does make you sound snobby. I agree that there are many valid reasons why you wouldn't want your child going to someone else's house. If your child is young or doesn't understand your reasoning I would just tell her that we don't know that family well enough to go over to their home. 

SaphireH SaphireH

gee if i were a stuck up bitch like that my kids wouldnt be able to play with 3 of their cousins, whos mom had 3 kids with 3 different dads 1 has nothing to do with theirs, one is in jail and the one uses my cousin like a welcome mat and she is a user of the system, shes lazy, pawns her kids off on her dad and our aunt but ya know what her kids are the sweetest kids ever because they were raised with manners and such due to the rest of our family. my kids are allowed to play with who ever they want

Cristina Wintersheimer

Thank you, Shandi80. Not letting your kids play at someone's house because of safety concerns is one thing, but not letting them play with a kid because of their socioeconomic status? That's just plain rude.
I teach in a district with 80% of kids on free and reduced breakfast and lunch. Many get backpacks filled with food on Friday afternoons just so they have something to eat over the weekend. Are their parents taking advantage of the system? Maybe. But that's not their fault. They didn't choose to be in that situation. And so many of "those kids" are the cutest, nicest kids I know. Let you kids choose their friends based on their character, not their parents' character or how much money they make.
Your kid and your family might be the best influence they have.

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