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This is a "Mind your own business" thing, right? -- Taken Care Of


TheReader
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UPDATE -- So, in the end, it came up in conversation with the one mom I thought would have an issue with things, and so I just said that no, DH did not see the other mom walking with the kids, but if she did, great, glad the kids have fun. She thanked us for DH hanging out too (which he did so as not to lose the work day, b/c it's a 40 min drive, one way, w/o traffic), and that was that, and so apparently I was stressed for nothing like most of you predicted. Thanks for the good conversation about it all though! I appreciate the feedback. 

 

My youngest (16) is out with friends at a mall. This outing was presented to me (and presumably to the other grown-ups) as having one mom & adult older sister in attendance, sticking with the kids/supervising the kids.  My DH went as well, with the plan to sit in the food court and work, b/c said mall is far enough from home that going/coming/going/coming just seemed like a waste of his time, since he had to drive (I had another obligation and couldn't). 

He reports that the majority of the kids have split off into one group, and 2 of the kids are on their own. Neither group has the alleged mom/adult sister with them. Possibly they are also hanging out in some area of the mall, like DH, and never was the plan to actually walk around with the kids. I'm not sure. 

Now, we personally are fine with this, but also our son is one of the oldest kids in the group if not the oldest. 

But still, it's not MY job to tell the other parents that, hey, in fact, the grown-up we were told would be there, wasn't actually with the kids.  Right? I can & should leave that up to each child to tell his/her mom, and otherwise stay out of it, yes??? 

I know one of the moms well (and she'll be annoyed, I think, when she finds this out), and the other mom I'm getting to know (and I'm not sure her feelings on it), and the third mom I only sort of know, but she was going to be the additional chaperone at one point but then the schedule changed, so again, I don't know her feelings on it. 

*despite this being our youngest, he's our first to really have friends that do this kind of thing; oldest/middle were much more into just  hanging out at people's houses, so this never came up

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I would not expect chaperoning for a mall trip, same for cinema/fast food/supermarket trips or library trips. My kids hang out in the mall food court while we buy things since they were in 5th/6th grade. So in our case, we won’t tell. My husband and I were latchkey children and hang out at malls even in our elementary school days.

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Agree with other posters...my daughter at 16/17 has been driving by herself 1.5 hrs to pick up best friend (from the city we used to live in), and then go shopping together at a huge big city mall.  Unless the younger kids alone are much younger (under 12), I would have no problem with this.  When DD and her friends were 12-14ish, we would go to the big city mall together, and I would send them off by themselves to shop and ask them to meet me at a certain time (one kid always had a phone for emergencies, and I stayed in the mall).

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4 minutes ago, Jean in Newcastle said:

16 year olds?  I was taking trips around the country by myself at that age.  I can't imagine insisting on close supervision at that age! 

 

2 minutes ago, Danae said:

I honestly can’t imagine anyone expecting 16 year olds to be continuously supervised at a mall outing.  16 year olds work at malls.  

 

2 minutes ago, mommyoffive said:

How old are the youngest kids?  

Yeah when you are saying 16 and their have to be adults there seems really strange.  I mean I get why your dh is there, but 16 year olds do not need parents walking around with them.  

Sorry, I thought I said -- my 16 yr old is the only 16 yr old in the bunch. The others are 12, 14, 14, and I think 12. (those are the ones walking around with my son). Then the other 2, walking around on their own, are I think both maybe 14? Not sure. Maybe 13? No idea. I know one of those 2 does not have a cell phone or anything, and that person's mom was the one who was going to go as (her words) "a second chaperone" for the trip. 

(the one 12 yr old might actually be 11 -- just entered 6th grade...? whatever age that is) And mostly all girls, if that matters. 

And, as I said, *we* are fine with this arrangement and how it played out, but I know the moms of one of the younger set will (likely) be annoyed. I just don't know if it's *my* job to tell her what occurred, or let her own children report back to her (she is the mom of the youngest in the group). 

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My 16yo routinely drives herself to/from work at various pools in our region. She shops and strolls through the mall with friends all the time. I would've assumed one of the kids was getting a ride and a parent/sibling was on site, not that they'd be watching the teens like a hawk.

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1 minute ago, TheReader said:

 

 

Sorry, I thought I said -- my 16 yr old is the only 16 yr old in the bunch. The others are 12, 14, 14, and I think 12. (those are the ones walking around with my son). Then the other 2, walking around on their own, are I think both maybe 14? Not sure. Maybe 13? No idea. I know one of those 2 does not have a cell phone or anything, and that person's mom was the one who was going to go as (her words) "a second chaperone" for the trip. 

(the one 12 yr old might actually be 11 -- just entered 6th grade...? whatever age that is) And mostly all girls, if that matters. 

And, as I said, *we* are fine with this arrangement and how it played out, but I know the moms of one of the younger set will (likely) be annoyed. I just don't know if it's *my* job to tell her what occurred, or let her own children report back to her (she is the mom of the youngest in the group). 

Not your job to tell anybody.

At 12, my kids were using public transit across a city in another country. It would not have occurred to me that they would need to be chaperoned at the mall.

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1 minute ago, TheReader said:

And, as I said, *we* are fine with this arrangement and how it played out, but I know the moms of one of the younger set will (likely) be annoyed. I just don't know if it's *my* job to tell her what occurred, or let her own children report back to her (she is the mom of the youngest in the group). 

Yes, I think it's a "mind your own business" because that seems pretty reasonable, as long as no one is actually alone, even for an 11 year old.  That family may have a different rule about it, but since it isn't life threatening or really all that dangerous, I would just leave it alone.  

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1 minute ago, regentrude said:

Not your job to tell anybody.

At 12, my kids were using public transit across a city in another country. It would not have occurred to me that they would need to be chaperoned at the mall.

I was using public transit across a city in another country at age six.   With a transfer halfway!  While I wouldn't expect to see that in the US, 12 year olds (and even 11 year olds) are perfectly capable of handling the rather sterile environment of a US mall with open stores and food courts. 

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Just now, kirstenhill said:

Yes, I think it's a "mind your own business" because that seems pretty reasonable, as long as no one is actually alone, even for an 11 year old.  That family may have a different rule about it, but since it isn't life threatening or really all that dangerous, I would just leave it alone.  

thank you, yes, that's what I was asking. 

None are alone, DH has had eyes on them multiple times, everyone seems fine, etc., and DH plans to stick around until the younger ones have all been picked up by their appropriate grown-ups, just in case. But thank you for confirming what I thought. 

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I took myself by bus to the mall at age 9, so ....

My 14yos are encouraged to go and handle their own transactions.  They've been left all day at large shopping centers.

At 16 I was driving myself to college.

Short answer - I would not tattle on the host mom, with the possible exception if you know she outright lied in order to induce other parents to send their kids with her.  Like if she told the mom of the 12yos "she'll never be out of my sight."

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Just now, Jean in Newcastle said:

I was using public transit across a city in another country at age six.   With a transfer halfway!  While I wouldn't expect to see that in the US, 12 year olds (and even 11 year olds) are perfectly capable of handling the rather sterile environment of a US mall with open stores and food courts. 

My question was more about......I know that at least one of the other moms was under the impression that the adult in charge of this outing was planning to stay with the kids.  So, not so much "is it okay for 12 to 16 yr olds to go to the mall and walk around alone" (I agree, it's fine), but "If you knew that a stated situation happened differently than you were led to believe, and other parents were led to believe, and you knew that your friend allowed her kids to go under the belief that a grown-up would be with the kids, supervising them, but then that grown-up was never seen at all, would you let your friend know that the expectations were miscommunicated &/or the kids portrayed things in a misleading manner on purpose, but that in fact hey, just so you know, said grown-up did not actually supervise the kids as you thought they would....." 

I guess I'm curious whether the inviting teen/tween knew that said grown-up would not actually walk with them? (which again, is fine) and just chose to portray it to the other grown-ups/teens as that the mom would be there? did all the teens realize the grown-up wouldn't stick with them? Just some? Etc? 

And do the parents who *did* allow their kids to go, under the assumption of having a "chaperone" present (whether we agree/disagree that it's necessary in this case, that was the expectation the parents had) -- do those parents need to know that there wasn't one? 

And if yes, is it the job of the other parents (us) to let them know, or leave it up to their children (who may or may not have been "in on" the dishonesty or misleading info about the chaperone in the first place)?  

 

BUT, yes, reading through all the responses, I'll stay out of it, I just was thinking along those lines -- not was it okay for a bunch of teens to hang out at a mall, which is obviously fine, but whether or not any lying/misleading was done and needed to be shared with the other parents. 

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An I the only one who thinks the age grouping is odd? Unless the 11 and 12 yo kids are younger siblings. In which case, a 14yo taking her 12yo sister is less weird. My guess? They see your 16yo as THE chaperone. 
 

Here’s the deal - no issue with teens at the mall. However, a mom would never have planned it as a supervised thing then bailed. That’s not cool.

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Also - if I had an 11/12yo who needed constant supervision at a mall, I would never expect another mom to take her, along with a whole busload of other kids.  That's too much to expect of a hostess IMO.

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I would have been fine with my kids at 12 with a responsible older teen in a public setting like that.  They have an adult on site, I assume at least one has a phone, I wouldn't worry about it.  Especially as the parent of the oldest in the group.  

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2 minutes ago, SKL said:

I took myself by bus to the mall at age 9, so ....

My 14yos are encouraged to go and handle their own transactions.  They've been left all day at large shopping centers.

At 16 I was driving myself to college.

Short answer - I would not tattle on the host mom, with the possible exception if you know she outright lied in order to induce other parents to send their kids with her.  Like if she told the mom of the 12yos "she'll never be out of my sight."

that was what I was really asking about, yes. I do not know if she ever specifically stated that. I know what I was told -- the mom will be there, along with the adult sibling, and they will be "supervising" the kids. I know that one of the other moms was going to go "as the other chaperone" (her words) but then couldn't due to a schedule conflict. I know that one of the moms checked with me this morning to find out the details, was this happening, who would be there, etc. and that on a previous group outing with many of these same kids, that particular mom would not let them branch off in an art museum, even when some of the other adults (myself included) volunteered to stick with the kids who were wanting to take their time while she went ahead with the faster kids. 

But I don't know if anyone ever specifically SAID that the host mom would stay with the kids at all times, or that they'd all stay in one group. So, yes, I'll keep it all to myself unless asked point blank. 

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7 minutes ago, TheReader said:

I just don't know if it's *my* job to tell her what occurred, or let her own children report back to her (she is the mom of the youngest in the group). 

I have a non-neurotypical 12 year old who I would probably not feel comfortable allowing to walk the mall in a group with no adult supervision.

However, if I did let him go in the situation you describe, I would feel it was entirely my responsibility to communicate directly with the parent that said they would be supervising to make sure we were seeing eye to eye. If their version of supervision meant sitting in the food court, and I felt my son needed at a distance visual supervision regularly during the trip, then it would be up to me to either provide that supervision myself or not allow my son to go.

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3 minutes ago, BlsdMama said:

An I the only one who thinks the age grouping is odd? Unless the 11 and 12 yo kids are younger siblings. In which case, a 14yo taking her 12yo sister is less weird. My guess? They see your 16yo as THE chaperone. 
 

Here’s the deal - no issue with teens at the mall. However, a mom would never have planned it as a supervised thing then bailed. That’s not cool.

Yes, 2 pairs of siblings; the 12 yr olds are younger siblings to the 14 yr olds. They are all kids from youth group. 

And that last is the part I don't know about, as I don't actually know the mom who was "hosting". She may well be present in the mall (presumably??), I don't know. 

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20 minutes ago, TheReader said:

 

 

Sorry, I thought I said -- my 16 yr old is the only 16 yr old in the bunch. The others are 12, 14, 14, and I think 12. (those are the ones walking around with my son). Then the other 2, walking around on their own, are I think both maybe 14? Not sure. Maybe 13? No idea. I know one of those 2 does not have a cell phone or anything, and that person's mom was the one who was going to go as (her words) "a second chaperone" for the trip. 

(the one 12 yr old might actually be 11 -- just entered 6th grade...? whatever age that is) And mostly all girls, if that matters. 

And, as I said, *we* are fine with this arrangement and how it played out, but I know the moms of one of the younger set will (likely) be annoyed. I just don't know if it's *my* job to tell her what occurred, or let her own children report back to her (she is the mom of the youngest in the group). 

Right...I mean, everyone is saying what THEY let their kids do and what they did as kids...

as I understand it, that is not your question...the other parents are/were under the impression a parent would be there. That parent is not there. So, your question is: Should I tell the other parents that the other *expected* chaperone was not there...

and yeah, I would. It’s not a question of my standards for my kids or what I did as a kid...it’s that the situation was not as portrayed.

i mean, it’s not the end of the world. But I do think other parents should know that the expected chaperone wasn’t there.

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3 minutes ago, pinball said:

Right...I mean, everyone is saying what THEY let their kids do and what they did as kids...

as I understand it, that is not your question...the other parents are/were under the impression a parent would be there. That parent is not there. So, your question is: Should I tell the other parents that the other *expected* chaperone was not there...

and yeah, I would. It’s not a question of my standards for my kids or what I did as a kid...it’s that the situation was not as portrayed.

i mean, it’s not the end of the world. But I do think other parents should know that the expected chaperone wasn’t there.

thank you for understanding my question. ❤️ 

So you would NOT leave it up to the other kids to tell their parents?  that's exactly the part I am unsure of (especially after this thread). Because I did talk to one of the grown-ups, who is the one that told me the other mom/adult sibling would be supervising the kids. And then one of the moms asked me for the details, and I passed on to her what was told to me -- that a mom & adult sibling would be supervising the kids, and that my DH would be in the food court for them to check in if needed. And at least that one mom said yes based on that info. 

:sigh: 

Situations like this stress me out. 

 

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As long as everybody has someone they are walking around with or a cell phone, I am fine with that.

Public transportation in Europe or Japan? I am totally ok with that. Statistically my kids are much much safer there. Public transport here? You have to be 16 to be on the trains alone in my family and have enough street smarts to handle the mentally ill, especially if my family member is female.
 

Same with malls. My 12 yo gets a lot of leers because she looks 20. She still is uncomfortable being left alone in public spaces. I’d be upset For Her if she was ditched at a mall. She’d want to be with a buddy….enough so that she’d call for a ride. 
 

So, if everybody has a cell or a buddy? I am good. No expectation of adult supervision.

ETA: I wouldn’t tell the other parents because the kids weren’t placed under my care. It’s not my place to tell. 

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2 minutes ago, pinball said:

Right...I mean, everyone is saying what THEY let their kids do and what they did as kids...

as I understand it, that is not your question...the other parents are/were under the impression a parent would be there. That parent is not there. So, your question is: Should I tell the other parents that the other *expected* chaperone was not there...

and yeah, I would. It’s not a question of my standards for my kids or what I did as a kid...it’s that the situation was not as portrayed.

i mean, it’s not the end of the world. But I do think other parents should know that the expected chaperone wasn’t there.

I do think that what most parents would do matters when we define "there."  I would have thought "I'll be there" meant the host parent would be somewhere on mall property.  But that is because it's what I mean when I'm "there" at the mall with my kids.  🙂

I took a bunch of kids, ages 12-14, camping on a lakefront farm.  I told parents 3 adults would be "there."  At one point, Adult1 was on the beach with 1 kid, Adult2 was walking around with another kid, and Adult3 was sitting in a chair reading near the barn.  The remaining kids were in the barn, out of every adult's eyesight.  Did I lie to the parents?  I also wasn't ever in the kids' tents.  Pretty sure the parents didn't expect me to be.

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1 minute ago, prairiewindmomma said:

As long as everybody has someone they are walking around with or a cell phone, I am fine with that.

Public transportation in Europe or Japan? I am totally ok with that. Statistically my kids are much much safer there. Public transport here? You have to be 16 to be on the trains alone in my family and have enough street smarts to handle the mentally ill, especially if my family member is female.
 

Same with malls. My 12 yo gets a lot of leers because she looks 20. She still is uncomfortable being left alone in public spaces. I’d be upset For Her if she was ditched at a mall. She’d want to be with a buddy….enough so that she’d call for a ride. 
 

So, if everybody has a cell or a buddy? I am good. No expectation of adult supervision.

But if you *did* expect adult supervision, would you want to know that was not what happened? And if you later found out one of the other parents knew that said supervision did NOT happen, would you be mad that this parent didn't fill you in once they knew? 

1 minute ago, SKL said:

I do think that what most parents would do matters when we define "there."  I would have thought "I'll be there" meant the host parent would be somewhere on mall property.  But that is because it's what I mean when I'm "there" at the mall with my kids.  🙂

I took a bunch of kids, ages 12-14, camping on a lakefront farm.  I told parents 3 adults would be "there."  At one point, Adult1 was on the beach with 1 kid, Adult2 was walking around with another kid, and Adult3 was sitting in a chair reading near the barn.  The remaining kids were in the barn, out of every adult's eyesight.  Did I lie to the parents?  I also wasn't ever in the kids' tents.  Pretty sure the parents didn't expect me to be.

That's the big question -- what did each parent mean/hear/understand when they were told "a parent & adult sibling will be there supervising the kids." 

If everyone knew/assumed there wouldn't be direct eyes-on at all times, then we don't have a situation. If some thought "supervising" or "chaperoning" meant "eyes-on" (which is not what happened), then we do have a situation, and then in that case, do I need to let them know? 

But it sounds like the majority here in the Hive would not think/expect eyes-on (as we did not either), even though I strongly suspect my one friend probably maybe did. 

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That should have been clarified by the parents before their children were placed in their care. Your language specified who was driving and who would be at the mall, it didn’t specify that they would be going store to store with them.

My point is that at 12 most parents don’t expect adults to be going store to store with the kids and so there’s a gap in understanding. 
 

If you were part of the convo and heard all parties agree parents would be going store to store with all kids, then it still wouldn’t be my place to say anything necessarily because your dh wasn’t part of that placement of care of kids into adult hands…. It’s this kind of stuff that blows apart friendships and creates long standing feuds so you have to count the cost…because odds are it’s going to cost your kids friendships.

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Did the other parent say what level of supervision they would provide? If they let everyone believe that they would be with the kids at all times and then bailed, that's one thing. But if by supervise, they meant that they'd be waiting in the food court while the kids walked around the mall without them, then it's just a misunderstanding or mismatch in expectations. 

I wouldn't say something to the other parents. It's up to them to clarify expectations with the host mom.  I'd butt out. 

This outing could have been a trial-run of your friend letting their child have more independence, too.

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There is a huge difference in harm, in my mind, between Jane and Jessica going to American Eagle by themselves than Jessica and Justice slipping off to drink White Claw and explore their sexuality behind the Cinnabon.

The first I would let float by, the second would be an awkward convo I would dance around to test the waters (I would have the convo with a mom over coffee rather than anything I would handle by Text).

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It just occurred to me, is this everyone’s oldest child, at age 12ish? 
 

You are getting responses from all moms of college aged kids, even if I still have kids down to early elementary. This might have been an issue for me many years ago when my oldest was 12. It’s the transition to kids doing things independently.

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1 minute ago, TheReader said:

But if you *did* expect adult supervision, would you want to know that was not what happened? And if you later found out one of the other parents knew that said supervision did NOT happen, would you be mad that this parent didn't fill you in once they knew? 

That's the big question -- what did each parent mean/hear/understand when they were told "a parent & adult sibling will be there supervising the kids." 

If everyone knew/assumed there wouldn't be direct eyes-on at all times, then we don't have a situation. If some thought "supervising" or "chaperoning" meant "eyes-on" (which is not what happened), then we do have a situation, and then in that case, do I need to let them know? 

But it sounds like the majority here in the Hive would not think/expect eyes-on (as we did not either), even though I strongly suspect my one friend probably maybe did. 

Yeah, not knowing the exact language used between host mom and your one cautious friend, I don't think we can say host mom lied, even if friend made a wrong assumption about what "there" / "supervised" meant to the host mom.

Friend mom should probably have asked for more clarity under the circumstances.  In any case, I don't think it's your responsibility.  Especially after the fact.  If you are worried about this happening again, you might bring it up in a non-accusatory way, but personally, I probably wouldn't.

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2 minutes ago, prairiewindmomma said:

It just occurred to me, is this everyone’s oldest child, at age 12ish? 
 

You are getting responses from all moms of college aged kids, even if I still have kids down to early elementary. This might have been an issue for me many years ago when my oldest was 12. It’s the transition to kids doing things independently.

No college-aged kids yet, here! Mine is 13yo. I'd be fine letting him wander around a shopping mall with friends and a cell phone. I remember going shopping with a friend when I was 11.  My mom dropped us off at the mall with change for the payphone to call when we were ready to be picked up, lol. 

My kiddo is not interested in that sort of thing yet, however.  🤷‍♀️  

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2 minutes ago, prairiewindmomma said:

There is a huge difference in harm, in my mind, between Jane and Jessica going to American Eagle by themselves than Jessica and Justice slipping off to drink White Claw and explore their sexuality behind the Cinnabon.

The first I would let float by, the second would be an awkward convo I would dance around to test the waters (I would have the convo with a mom over coffee rather than anything I would handle by Text).

I don't have any reason to suspect anything like that, even if the one group that split off from the rest is one boy/girl pairing. Well, unless said guy/girl pairing orchestrated this whole big group outing to circumvent dating rules that may be in place, but those 2 are the 2 I know least/don't know the parents, so I am not getting involved there at all. That would be pure speculation on my part, and I am definitely not going to do that. 

 

 

Just now, prairiewindmomma said:

It just occurred to me, is this everyone’s oldest child, at age 12ish? 
 

You are getting responses from all moms of college aged kids, even if I still have kids down to early elementary. This might have been an issue for me many years ago when my oldest was 12. It’s the transition to kids doing things independently.

The 2 sibling pairs are 14 yr old girl/12 (or 11) yr old boy. And one of the pairs is new to this area. But those 2 pairs, and my son, are all/have all been sticking together (although, according to DH, they are now running 40 mins late and have not yet returned to the food court......). 

The other 2 kids who are there are youngest kid and only kid, and are the host/supervising mom (which brings a valid point -- "supervising" to a mom where her 14 yr old is her youngest very likely does mean a great deal different to "supervising" when the 14 yr old is your oldest and this is her first year being allowed on outings like this), and the kid of the mom who was originally going to be the other chaperone (and who is not from the US and thus again, likely has a different opinion on what supervising means). 

 

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26 minutes ago, SKL said:

I do think that what most parents would do matters when we define "there."  I would have thought "I'll be there" meant the host parent would be somewhere on mall property.  But that is because it's what I mean when I'm "there" at the mall with my kids.  🙂

I took a bunch of kids, ages 12-14, camping on a lakefront farm.  I told parents 3 adults would be "there."  At one point, Adult1 was on the beach with 1 kid, Adult2 was walking around with another kid, and Adult3 was sitting in a chair reading near the barn.  The remaining kids were in the barn, out of every adult's eyesight.  Did I lie to the parents?  I also wasn't ever in the kids' tents.  Pretty sure the parents didn't expect me to be.

OK, Mr. Clinton. Define there. LOL

 

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I probably would tell the other parents simply because in my area, the teens (and parents) would've been breaking the rules. "XX Mall visitors under 18 are required to be accompanied by a parent or guardian 21 years or older." Right now, they are only applying this policy during weekends, but I do know they change times/days for it occasionally, so I just don't drop my kids off. Is it right that I can't drop my 15 yo off for a couple hours to shop? No, but it is the rule. 

Since it's not a rule in your area, you could go either way and feel just fine about it. 

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28 minutes ago, TheReader said:

thank you for understanding my question. ❤️ 

So you would NOT leave it up to the other kids to tell their parents?  that's exactly the part I am unsure of (especially after this thread). Because I did talk to one of the grown-ups, who is the one that told me the other mom/adult sibling would be supervising the kids. And then one of the moms asked me for the details, and I passed on to her what was told to me -- that a mom & adult sibling would be supervising the kids, and that my DH would be in the food court for them to check in if needed. And at least that one mom said yes based on that info. 

:sigh: 

Situations like this stress me out. 

 

I consider this CYA territory. So yes, I’d tell the other parents bc I would not want it ever to come back to me as: “You, TheReader, told me something that turned out to be not the case.”

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11 minutes ago, pinball said:

I consider this CYA territory. So yes, I’d tell the other parents bc I would not want it ever to come back to me as: “You, TheReader, told me something that turned out to be not the case.”

So, as it turns out, DH is still there waiting on DS (they were supposed to be done at 1:30, it's 2:30 now...). He asked me to check with the mom in question that we know as to what time she was picking up, so he could either hurry (or not) the kids. She is home with hers already, having picked them up at the agreed upon time (and DS just didn't think to say "oh, yes, those 2 kids left already"). Ha. 

So then I said "I wonder if (supervising mom) is out waiting on the kids like DH is" and she replied "Oh, she was walking around with them for some of it" and I was thus able to (honestly) reply "was she? Dh never saw her. Glad the kids had fun!" and that is that, and I think that covers it. 

(DH being the more lenient of us, is allowing DS until 3:00 at which point they will leave, and I assume very likely that the parent(s) of the other kid is there waiting too, and will at some point text/call/hurry their kid/the others as well, but as those remaining are all together and the responsibility of the supervising parent, I think it's okay for DH to leave w/DS whenever he reaches his limit of "now we must go or else, traffic...."). 

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2 hours ago, TheReader said:

So, as it turns out, DH is still there waiting on DS (they were supposed to be done at 1:30, it's 2:30 now...). He asked me to check with the mom in question that we know as to what time she was picking up, so he could either hurry (or not) the kids. She is home with hers already, having picked them up at the agreed upon time (and DS just didn't think to say "oh, yes, those 2 kids left already"). Ha. 

So then I said "I wonder if (supervising mom) is out waiting on the kids like DH is" and she replied "Oh, she was walking around with them for some of it" and I was thus able to (honestly) reply "was she? Dh never saw her. Glad the kids had fun!" and that is that, and I think that covers it. 

(DH being the more lenient of us, is allowing DS until 3:00 at which point they will leave, and I assume very likely that the parent(s) of the other kid is there waiting too, and will at some point text/call/hurry their kid/the others as well, but as those remaining are all together and the responsibility of the supervising parent, I think it's okay for DH to leave w/DS whenever he reaches his limit of "now we must go or else, traffic...."). 

If she was laughing about the other mom  walking around with them for part of it then she’s not bothered by there not being 100% direct supervision. And unless your dh could see the entire mall at all times (in which case he had the kids under his visual supervision anyway) he has no idea if supervising mom  came out of a store etc to walk with them for some of it. 

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Honestly, I can't imagine any expectations of parental supervision of 16 yr olds at the mall. 

I wouldn't lie, if it came up, but I wouldn't be rushing to inform either. 

Maybe if the kids were tweens and it was their first 'friend' mall outing, and the supervising parent flaked out - sure. But 16? Nope. 

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5 hours ago, TheReader said:

So, as it turns out, DH is still there waiting on DS (they were supposed to be done at 1:30, it's 2:30 now...). He asked me to check with the mom in question that we know as to what time she was picking up, so he could either hurry (or not) the kids. She is home with hers already, having picked them up at the agreed upon time (and DS just didn't think to say "oh, yes, those 2 kids left already"). Ha. 

So then I said "I wonder if (supervising mom) is out waiting on the kids like DH is" and she replied "Oh, she was walking around with them for some of it" and I was thus able to (honestly) reply "was she? Dh never saw her. Glad the kids had fun!" and that is that, and I think that covers it. 

(DH being the more lenient of us, is allowing DS until 3:00 at which point they will leave, and I assume very likely that the parent(s) of the other kid is there waiting too, and will at some point text/call/hurry their kid/the others as well, but as those remaining are all together and the responsibility of the supervising parent, I think it's okay for DH to leave w/DS whenever he reaches his limit of "now we must go or else, traffic...."). 

Perfect. Glad that worked out.

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If my husband was just waiting around to drive our child home, I would feel weird saying since he isn’t there as a chaperone. It would feel like we don’t trust the actual chaperone so we stayed around and observe. 

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17 hours ago, TheReader said:

My question was more about......I know that at least one of the other moms was under the impression that the adult in charge of this outing was planning to stay with the kids.  So, not so much "is it okay for 12 to 16 yr olds to go to the mall and walk around alone" (I agree, it's fine), but "If you knew that a stated situation happened differently than you were led to believe, and other parents were led to believe, and you knew that your friend allowed her kids to go under the belief that a grown-up would be with the kids, supervising them, but then that grown-up was never seen at all, would you let your friend know that the expectations were miscommunicated &/or the kids portrayed things in a misleading manner on purpose, but that in fact hey, just so you know, said grown-up did not actually supervise the kids as you thought they would....." 

I guess I'm curious whether the inviting teen/tween knew that said grown-up would not actually walk with them? (which again, is fine) and just chose to portray it to the other grown-ups/teens as that the mom would be there? did all the teens realize the grown-up wouldn't stick with them? Just some? Etc? 

And do the parents who *did* allow their kids to go, under the assumption of having a "chaperone" present (whether we agree/disagree that it's necessary in this case, that was the expectation the parents had) -- do those parents need to know that there wasn't one? 

And if yes, is it the job of the other parents (us) to let them know, or leave it up to their children (who may or may not have been "in on" the dishonesty or misleading info about the chaperone in the first place)?  

 

My response would depend a lot on how the bolded items were communicated and who was doing the communicating.  

Personally, I would never expect the terms "supervise" or "chaperone" for kids that age in a public place to mean that the adult walked next to and had eyes on all kids at all times.  If any of the parents would allow their children to attend only if that was going to be the case, I think it is their responsibility to talk to the adult who will attend and ask specifically if that will occur.  I don't think they should ask another parent (who isn't attending) or another teen what "chaperone" means.

If I told a parent "X's mom will be there and supervising the children at all times" and I knew that the parent allowed the child to go based upon the misnformation I gave them, I would then tell the parent, making it clear that I miscommunicated what I thought supervising and chaperoning meant--and I would apologize for the misunderstanding--if I had given them that impression without making sure that was what the supervising parent intended.

If the parent thought there was going to be constant in-sight supervision because their child told them, then that is their individual parenting issue.

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It is up to each parent to communicate and ensure that their desired level of oversight is happening.  It is inappropriate, I think, to act on the assumption that the “chaperone” ditched responsibilities to someone else’s child.  Each parent has the obligation of clear communication and asking clarifying questions if THEY are expecting something specifically of another adult. 

Did your DH go because he wanted to provide an extra layer of oversight?  If so, your family handled your level of oversight expectations and I would expect other families to do the same.  

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My kids are around those ages and they have become a lot more independent in the past year or 2.  We have a large nearby amusement park and my kids have gone with groups this year.  The norm is that the supervising parent(s) stay in the same section of the park and the kids go ride things and check back in before the group moves on to another section.  The parents may or may not ride things, so the kids are in line by themselves for 5 minutes to an hour at a time. One trip had a 6 year old sibling, and we kept eyes (of an adult or a teen) on that kid, but the 12 year olds could say 'we're going to do bumper cars and then the scrambler' and they'd wander back to the adults when they were done and ready to move to a new section.  So, 2 hrs in a mall would seem pretty reasonable to me.  The rule for our outings has been 'stay wtih somebody'.  

Edited by Clemsondana
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2 hours ago, Doodlebug said:

Did your DH go because he wanted to provide an extra layer of oversight?  If so, your family handled your level of oversight expectations and I would expect other families to do the same.  

He mostly went because he was working "from home" (as is his norm these days), but was the only one of us available to drive, and would have lost too much time "in the office" in driving back/forth, back/forth (this mall is about 40 mins from our house). So he stayed and worked there, rather than lose so much time.  

I do know the other parent(s) involved felt he was a nice extra layer of security/oversight/something, having him there in a central location where the kids could check in/get help if needed, but that was not the goal or reason for him going. 

 

In the end, I just ended up responding to the one mom that no, DH didn't see the other mom walking with the kids, but did not press the issue (it came up in a conversation naturally), and she seemed fine with that, so I was I guess worried for nothing. 🙂 Like everyone said 🙂 

 

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12 hours ago, Arcadia said:

If my husband was just waiting around to drive our child home, I would feel weird saying since he isn’t there as a chaperone. It would feel like we don’t trust the actual chaperone so we stayed around and observe. 

You would feel weird saying to who? 

It's a 40 min drive to this mall from our house, so he would have lost nearly 3 hours of the work day had he dropped off/came back/picked up/came home. He stayed so that he could work from the mall food court and not lose the day like that (he is working from home still, since covid). I am confident all involved parents (including the chaperoning one) understood that, as we have the farthest drive of the kids who attended. 

 

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  • TheReader changed the title to This is a "Mind your own business" thing, right? -- Taken Care Of

How old are the kids?  

Is this a sketchy mall that kids might need adults with them?

Are there kids who make poor choices that they would need adults to supervise? 

Other wise, if the adults are on site,  people have phones, I wouldn't have a problem. 

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1 hour ago, TheReader said:

You would feel weird saying to who? 

 

To the parent who would have chaperone. My husband often stays around and does his stuff. The weird part for me is on passing on my husband’s observation of my kids’ friends behavior to other parents since he isn’t there as a chaperone. 

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1 hour ago, TheReader said:

He mostly went because he was working "from home" (as is his norm these days), but was the only one of us available to drive, and would have lost too much time "in the office" in driving back/forth, back/forth (this mall is about 40 mins from our house). So he stayed and worked there, rather than lose so much time.  

I do know the other parent(s) involved felt he was a nice extra layer of security/oversight/something, having him there in a central location where the kids could check in/get help if needed, but that was not the goal or reason for him going. 

 

In the end, I just ended up responding to the one mom that no, DH didn't see the other mom walking with the kids, but did not press the issue (it came up in a conversation naturally), and she seemed fine with that, so I was I guess worried for nothing. 🙂 Like everyone said 🙂 

 

Got it.  I'm glad everything worked out.  In general, I think your instinct is right, to MYOB.

There is a phenomena I've noticed in my own social circle: Parents whose eldest child is just pushing into teen social activities will opt-in to a gathering that includes some slightly older teens expecting "young kid" rules to apply.  That's an assumption on their end that is quite naturally going to be challenged -- but it's on them to know that and plan accordingly. 

Sharing that because your initial question implied an expectation of oversight I could not reasonably anticipate of one adult, across several adolescents of disparate ages, in a mall setting (where interests are going to go in all directions).  Where there's a conflict between my expectation and what I can reasonably expect given the nature of the event, I know I need to show up and sip coffee on the periphery, or ask a lot of questions and be prepared to turn down the opportunity.  This may not be what happened in your situation, but what I hope to discourage is talking to other parents about a lack of oversight, as though the adult present failed to provide something which was an unreasonable expectation to begin with.  We all have them from time to time! 

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