I feel like the worst Mom EVER! Curious as to what the peas would do...

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Posted 1/28/2013 by cnred in NSBR Board
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PeaNut 109,060
September 2003
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Posted: 1/28/2013 10:29:45 PM
Coming out of lurkdom to ask this. My 14 year old DS has Aspergers. Last year at school was horrible. This year has been totally opposite. He is now in high school and doing very well, even made some friends, one girl in particular. They are just friends and she has a boyfriend. She comes over about once a week after school and I take her home afterwards. We live about 5 miles outside the city in a fairly nice neighborhood in the opposite direction of her house. She did live in a housing project that wasn't in a great place but not so bad. I didn't mind taking her home at all.

Last Friday, my son was not going to the homecoming dance when I dropped him at school. When I picked him up after school, he had changed his mind. Ok, no biggie. Except she had talked him into and needed a ride to the dance and back home. Somehow that meant we had to take her home after school, then back to the dance then home. Again, didn't really mind about taking her, more so the abrupt change in plans that I wasn't aware of.

The problem started right as we left for the dance when she asked me if I could still take her home. That's when she informed me that she had moved. Now she lives in the absolute worst area in town, heavy in gang activity and crime. They even burned the police precinct. Had a car jacking there last week. We took her home but I was extremely uncomfortable. So I told my son that we could not take her home again as it was just simply not safe. He understands that. However, he is feeling really bad tonight as they are in drama together and she asked for a ride home and he said we couldn't. She is making him feel guilty for having to walk, about 3 miles home.

Her Mom doesn't work and she now lives with an uncle. She has a boyfriend but he doesn't have a license and his parents will not take her home. I feel bad but I can not do this. Just curious how everyone else would have handled this. To add perspective the dance was over at midnight and play practice is over around 10pm every night.

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PeaNut 262,757
May 2006
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Posted: 1/28/2013 10:44:24 PM
Wow. That's tough.

I would probably take her home BUT I live in a very rural area so I can't say that I really KNOW the conditions that you are describing.

I would do everything in my power, however, to help this girl out (takes a village, and all that)
And if she is your son's friend, and having her friendship is making a vast improvement in your son's life...

I would want to help her. For her sake AND for my son's sake.

Are there any strategies you can put into place to deal with the safety issues?

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PeaNut 272,954
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Posted: 1/28/2013 10:47:08 PM
So why does her mom not pick her up? Or her uncle? Why should it be someone else's responsibility? No, she shouldn't have to walk home, but she and her family have assumed you would keep giving her rides, even though she has moved to a dangerous neighborhood.

I might give her one last ride, if absolutely necessary, but that is hard to say. I don't know if I would have the guts to do it, to be honest. I have driven in the dangerous parts of DC at night, by accident (made a wrong turn and had trouble finding my way back to a safe area), and it was absolutely terrifying! That was back in the days when it was the "murder capital" of the USA, back when they had a gun ban. You couldn't even take mace or pepper spray into DC for protection. And the police were too few to deal with the problems.

I would tell her that she needs to make other arrangements ahead of time, not just ask you when you come to pick up your son, and her family needs to be the ones to come get her since they live in an area that you are not comfortable going to.

Her telling you she has to walk three miles to get home, and go through such a dangerous area sounds like she is trying to guilt you into taking her. It is her family's responsibility. If her family won't do it for some reason, maybe you can talk to the teacher who is in charge of the late night practices, about finding her a ride home.

You shouldn't have to feel like you must put your lives in danger going to her neighborhood just so she can go to drama practices.

However, your refusing to be her chauffeur anymore may turn her against your son. He might lose her friendship over this.

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PeaNut 226,011
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Posted: 1/28/2013 11:02:00 PM
I can't relate to "such a bad neighborhood" that you can't even drive through it to drop a girl off. What are you afraid will happen? This is mystifying to me... but then I've never felt like that anywhere.


PeaNut 434,842
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Posted: 1/28/2013 11:06:49 PM

I can't relate to "such a bad neighborhood" that you can't even drive through it to drop a girl off. What are you afraid will happen?

I'm guessing she's talking about things like a car jacking while standing at a light or stop sign, or random shootings due to gang activity. Especially if she's driving at 10 at night...can be pretty scary.

I don't know what I'd do. I'd be worried about the girl walking 3 miles in that kind of neighborhood. If something happens to her, how would your son take it? I'm guessing he'd have a really hard time getting over that, especially since he struggled with making friends and has gotten son close to her.

Hopefully you get some good ideas and responses.

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PeaNut 51,689
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Posted: 1/28/2013 11:11:59 PM
Pennyring I was thinking the same thing. How sad that people have to live in an area that is so dangerous other people are too terrified to drive through there.

OP,I'm not sure how I would handle your situation. On the one hand I agree totally that it is NOT your responsibility to take this girl home. She has family, they should be doing it. Sounds like they just don't care though. I would be worried that, if her neighborhood is as dangerous as you say, something could happen to her if she has to walk home. Again, not your problem, but still......

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PeaNut 38,879
May 2002
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Posted: 1/28/2013 11:12:49 PM
Is there any public transportation? Can you split the difference and drop her at public stop? Can she get a bicycle?


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PeaNut 79,412
April 2003
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Loc: Utah

Posted: 1/28/2013 11:24:54 PM
If the neighborhood is so dangerous that you can't even drive through it, I can't imagine it being safe for a 14-year-old girl to walk home alone.

I would be driving her, and probably offering to pick her up as well.


PeaNut 109,060
September 2003
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Posted: 1/28/2013 11:28:39 PM
Pennyring, the area is known for gang activity and multiple shootings. Home health requests police escort to see patients down there. When we took her home at midnight Friday night, I had two cars pull in behind me and trail me out of the neighborhood. I'm not sure what would happen but I sure don't want to find out.

I am concerned for this girl. However, her mother has made no attempt to call me until tonight after the fact. It would have been the courteous thing to do to ask before hand. His friend also did not ask anyone else including the drama teacher for a ride. I don't know why her mother or uncle can not give her a ride. When I read the cell phone texts, her bf said he could pick her up to take her to school but not carry her home at night.

Let me add that his friend is safely home and has texted him to say she was quitting the play now as she can't get a ride. This is play week, the last week of practice and the play is this weekend. Now that I think about it, we've never given her a ride home after play practice before. What a mess!

I am also upset that her boyfriend and her mother both use DS's cell phone to communicate with her.

My main concern is my son. I do not want him to lose his friend but will not let him be taken advantage of or placed in an unsafe situation. What I really want to believe is that she is just in a bad situation and wants to be a part of everything but just needs a little help. I hate to think this girl is laying on a guilt trip for both of us. I will most likely consent to taking her most of the way home and letting her walk from the bowling alley into her neighborhood, maybe a block at best off the main road. Afterall, her 'family' could meet her there and walk with her. Also, no one in her family has bothered to call me until about 30 minutes ago when her mother texted my son to call her. Yeah right, it was 11pm. I should already be in bed for work in the am.

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PEAceful Pea

PeaNut 14,521
April 2001
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Posted: 1/28/2013 11:31:32 PM
Wow, that's really sad. I have never been in an area that I would be afraid to drive in...so, I can't relate to that part. My instinct would be to want to give her a ride. But, I also can't really put myself in your shoes.


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PeaNut 92,987
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Posted: 1/28/2013 11:39:04 PM
Because we do have an area like that not too far from us (it's "off-limits" to the military personnel stationed at Ft. George Meade) I understand and have sympathy for your situation.

No one, let alone a child should have to live under those conditions. But... when even the police "stay-out" it's pretty grim.

There is still a police presence, but most delivery places will not deliver there.

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PeaNut 109,060
September 2003
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Posted: 1/28/2013 11:39:17 PM
I tried to edit my last post to say that his friend is safe at home. She has texted him to tell him she is quitting the play. This is the last week of reherasal and the play is the weekend. We have not taken her home from play practice since it started in the latter part of November so not sure what has changed in her situation other than her address.

I do feel bad for her and will be taking her to the bowling alley to hopefully meet her family (mother, brother, uncle). I'm gonna step up to this one and make sure her 'mother' can actually meet her there to take her the half a block home. I guess the bottom line is that she is DS's friend. I don't want her to get hurt or have to walk so far. I hate to see her quit the last week. BUT, I can not and will not place my son or myself in a bad situation.

I hate to think of anybody living in a neighborhood like that but it happens, the sad reality of our world. I know what goes on there is not made up or heresay as I work in the medical field and have worked the ER here for 20 years. It's probably rougher than I think.

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PeaNut 44,870
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Posted: 1/28/2013 11:46:55 PM
I feel like telling you to go back to lurking. You sound narcissistic. This poor girl. You're annoyed you haven't been called by her mom. The woman will let her 14 year old walk in a neighborhood you don't feel safe *driving* in. Do you think calling you is a big priority? sometimes as adults we have to do the right thing because it's the right thing. Period.

So now she's quitting so as to not deal with late ride and that pisses you off, too. One would think you'd be relieved.

If anything happens to her, will that put you out as well?

"When you judge another, you do not define them, you define yourself." -- Wayne Dyer


PeaNut 279,621
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Posted: 1/28/2013 11:56:14 PM
Wow, peasful1, I don't get that feeling at all. I think as a parent, my first priority is the safety of myself and my family. You don't think it's appropriate to want to touch bases with this girl's parents to find a way to help without taking safety risks?

OP, I think your bowling alley solution is about what I would be willing to do.

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PeaNut 289,166
December 2006
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Posted: 1/28/2013 11:56:45 PM
I will back you up and tell you that it's ok to not put yourself or your family in danger by taking her home. We have areas near us that I wouldn't drive in at night.

I hope this girl finds a way out of her situation. You can monitor it and see what happens but if you think she's seriously in danger, I would alert the authorities.

I hope she also remains your DS' friend. You are good to be concerned but in this case, you have to do it at a distance.

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PeaNut 40,275
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Posted: 1/29/2013 12:08:12 AM
That would be a tough call. The town I used to live in had an area like that. A HS classmate of mine got shot in the leg while he was sitting on his porch-it was a drive-by shooting and they were just shooting randomly. My cousin lived near there (not in the area but a couple of blocks away) and I babysat his kids one summer. We would hear gunshots and sirens on a regular basis (almost daily) in that area-and that was in broad daylight. I don't blame you for not wanting to go there, especially at night.

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PeaNut 399,301
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Posted: 1/29/2013 12:12:41 AM
Man, talk about being stuck between a rock and a hard place.

I understand that you feel for the girl, but it's not fair that she and her family are using you as a taxi service, either. To me, this issue is more relevant than the issue of where she lives. I'm also honestly bothered by the fact that her boyfriend and family use your son's telephone to communicate with her.

If her quitting the play is bothersome to you, then perhaps you could take her home for the remainder of the play's run. Otherwise, it isn't really your place to be irritated by her quitting.

The ultimate responsibility for this girl's safety lies with her family, and it seems that they're quite happy to place that responsibility elsewhere.

Your choices are to stop taking this girl home (which I think I'd do in your situation) and not complain that she's quitting the play, or help her get home if her quitting the play is really a big issue for you.

It's all just nonsense anyway!

PeaNut 97,456
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Posted: 1/29/2013 12:41:57 AM
I'm such a sucker, I'd probably have the girl move into a spare bedroom at my house!! That way I'd know she was safe.

I think I'd be driving her home. My guess is nobody in her family has a car, they don't work, they're basically losers. You and your son are probably the best thing that has happened to her in a long time.

I wouldn't feel used, or manipulated, or guilty about anything. It's really nice of you to help the girl out, but that's what good people do, and somewhere down the line you'll be rewarded for your kindness. You are doing the best you can without putting yourself and your son in danger, now let's hope the mom comes through and picks her up...on time.


PeaNut 267,830
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Posted: 1/29/2013 12:51:27 AM
Is there any way she could stay over at yours after play practise since it sounds like it will be done soon? And on the odd occasions they have a dance etc?? Might be nice for HER not to have to go home either??

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PeaNut 224,352
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Posted: 1/29/2013 5:15:43 AM

She has a boyfriend but he doesn't have a license and his parents will not take her home.
If the parents of her own boyfriend will not take her home, I would not feel compelled to do so.
I would not put myself in danger, given what you have described. Burned down the police station!?!?!

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PeaNut 164,125
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Posted: 1/29/2013 5:37:12 AM

I am also upset that her boyfriend and her mother both use DS's cell phone to communicate with her.

I think she is using your son. I feel bad that she lives in such a horrible situation, but maybe she needs to find a different friend to take her home. I would not be putting myself in danger to be honest.

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PeaNut 134,808
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Posted: 1/29/2013 6:55:56 AM
Having gotten turned around in SE DC, I completely understand your concerns. There are some BAD areas of town and frankly I think they are more dangerous to "outsiders" like you than they are to the people that actually live there. The seedy side prey on non-locals like a a dog sensing fear.

I don't know what I'd do to be honest. One part of me would question why this girl is hanging out with my son. Is she using him??? The other part would say that this girl has no choice about where her mother sends her to live and would want to "rescue" her. We've taken in a few "strays" over the years and it always turned out well. But none were as young as this girl.

Do taxis go there? I'd probably pay for a taxi to take her home if it wasn't too expensive.

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PeaNut 25,575
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Posted: 1/29/2013 7:00:47 AM
I'm with I95.

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Posted: 1/29/2013 7:08:04 AM


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PeaNut 421,136
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Posted: 1/29/2013 7:19:14 AM
I agree with I-95. Then again, I used to drive kids to 35th and State and 79th and Cottage Grove in Chicago, so I'm more used to bad neighborhoods. It can be unnerving, but just keep an eye out and watch your surroundings.


PeaNut 122,458
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Posted: 1/29/2013 7:25:30 AM

BUT, I can not and will not place my son or myself in a bad situation.

That is the bottom line. Your responsibility is to YOU and your FAMILY first. As sad as it is to say this, the girl is not your primary concern. I know the type of neighborhood you are talking about. We have them here in Dallas and I have driven through one on the south side of Chicago (we got lost). I would not willingly drive there on a regular basis AFTER DARK. The girl has a mom, an uncle and a boyfriend. While she is your son's friend, she isn't your kid. Don't put yourself in danger if they can't be bothered.


PeaNut 562,204
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Posted: 1/29/2013 7:30:26 AM

I feel like telling you to go back to lurking. You sound narcissistic. This poor girl. You're annoyed you haven't been called by her mom. The woman will let her 14 year old walk in a neighborhood you don't feel safe *driving* in. Do you think calling you is a big priority? sometimes as adults we have to do the right thing because it's the right thing. Period.

So now she's quitting so as to not deal with late ride and that pisses you off, too. One would think you'd be relieved.

If anything happens to her, will that put you out as well?

Well aren't you sweet? I'll tell you what, since you're being so judgmental, why don't you find the most dangerous, violent, crime-ridden place you can locate and go in there daily or weekly or whatever and volunteer. And if you have a child, make sure you take them in there with you too. I didn't see where the OP was "piss"ed that the girl quit the play, but maybe I missed that. I went back and re-read though and still couldn't find that.

Hopefully cnred, you don't go back to lurking as she suggested. I think you've gotten lots of great responses here. Like many have said, I would be very torn on this issue. If someone was in a difficult situation like that, I would want to help. But like you, I would have to balance that with my desire for my own safety and the safety of my family. I've never experienced a neighborhood like what you've described, so that part is hard for me to imagine.

How often is play practice? I like the pea that suggested this girl stay over on the nights where there is play practice. That would certainly solve the problem of driving into her neighborhood. Also, I95's suggestion was wonderful, but I could understand how someone wouldn't be up for that--that's a huge responsibility.

I hope you can find a solution that works for you.

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PeaNut 175,985
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Posted: 1/29/2013 7:35:51 AM
I am not saying you have to drive her but have a little compassion. She is a kid. I am sure she didn't choose to move to this neighborghood. You don't want to drive through but how would you feel walking there at 10pm?

I couldn't send a child into a situation I know is unsafe if I can help it. That is just my feeling.


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PeaNut 31,617
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Posted: 1/29/2013 7:44:05 AM

She is making him feel guilty for having to walk, about 3 miles home.

I simply could not sleep at night knowing I let a child walk home through gang infested areas....regardless of my personal safety.

I used to drive through the worst areas of NYC in the dead of night, so I know what it's like. I would still do it.

ETA: my husband suggested calling the police or informing the school administration supervising the dance...surely THOSE people would not let a child walk home at that time of night, through ANY type of neighborhood.

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PeaNut 226,253
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Posted: 1/29/2013 7:47:46 AM
Safety has to be a priority. But I would have a hard time making this girl walk home in an area where I am afraid to drive. No one should have to live in a place like that, but that's not the issue here.

It is hard to tell from your posts what the girl is like, and how she is behaving. Is she using your ds or is she a friend and a real plus in his life? Is she asking for rides in a manipulative way attitude, or is she afraid to walk home and asking you because you may be the only one willing to help her? Only you know those answers. Peas are not there to see and hear.

I would probably be finding a way for her to finish the play even if it meant finding a place for her to sleep on those nights so she doesn't need to go home so late. I wouldn't drive her there myself for safety reasons. Neighborhoods like that are dangerous and you have been followed once already. But that is why I wouldn't be able to make her walk home. Us your son is directly involved and if she is a good friend to him and making his life better, then it may mean investing in her life as well.

I would be having a straight talk with her to get answers. What is her family life like? Why won't her family give her a ride? There may be far more to her life than you know. Is she honest or is she using you in a wrong way? Is she just asking for help because she doesn't know other adults who will help or is she trying to manipulate you ? The bowling alley drop off may work, but only of her family follows through. What if they don't come to meet her?

In the meantime I would find her a place to spend the nigt after late practices. There is not enough info to tell for sure , but you may be the only adult in her life who she can rely on and over the next years she may really need you. Only you can tell.
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PeaNut 25,135
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Posted: 1/29/2013 7:49:16 AM
I couldn't, in good conscience, knowingly let her walk home at night. That's not safe in any neighborhood, much less one that you know is dangerous. We'd be safer in a car than she would be walking down the street alone, so I'd be driving her and taking whatever safety precautions I could along the way.

And it's kind of funny because I also have a 14yo son with Aspergers who has made friends with a girl from a "bad" neighborhood. My son is friends with a girl! A "normal" girl! He's getting vital social skills practice. He's making friends through her. Her friendship draws other people, who otherwise may have seen him as weird, to sit by him and give him a chance. Friends! Other girls! Text messages! Parties! Normal kid stuff. With Aspergers! My geeky, weird, socially awkward kid who never got invited to parties in elementary school finally has friends and gets invited places. You'd better believe that I've given this girl rides home.



PeaNut 40,147
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Posted: 1/29/2013 10:13:46 AM
What did her mother say when you talked to her?

I don't know what I would do, but really don't think I'd let a young girl walk 3 miles home, especially into a bad neighborhood.

Some kids have it so hard these days...



PeaNut 31,845
March 2002
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Posted: 1/29/2013 10:19:06 AM
My 13.5 year old has Aspergers and I am very happy to hear his reaction. You never know with Aspies.

Personally, personal safety trumps friendships. There's no way I would drive in a neighborhood known for car jackings and violence like that.

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Ancient Ancestor of Pea

PeaNut 163,728
August 2004
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Posted: 1/29/2013 10:19:16 AM
The part where shes trying to use guilt got me. I would think about wether or not shes is using you and your son.
If the answer was no I would do what I could to help her. There are boundaries though and it is your job as mom to set them.
Good luck! Im such a sucker she would be living with me! lol

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PeaNut 32,477
March 2002
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Posted: 1/29/2013 10:36:32 AM
give her a ride

i can't imagine knowing she was walking thru such a rough area...

but that's me

be smart. lock your doors as you are driving (don't most cars autolock anyway).

be alert - what really are the chances of harm when you are in and out just occasionally

another thing...about a phone call and a 'thank you'

sometimes when people live on the edge - it's all they can do to survive

just because you don't get a phone call doesn't mean she isn't appreciative...or maybe she isn't...but you aren't doing it for the mom.

and if the young lady is hustling you and your son for a ride...sometimes kids do what they feel they have to in order to survive

be thankful you live in an area that doesn't require police escorts (and how do you know this anyway?) and do what you can for the young lady

maybe one day she'll come back and thank you...

sometimes we do what is right...just because it's right


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PeaNut 52,817
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Posted: 1/29/2013 10:37:06 AM
I'm sorry, but I simply can't imagine making a 14 year old girl walk three miles home into a neighborhood that you think is so unsafe you are afraid to drive there.

It's one thing for you to decide you can't do it in the future, but I think it's reprehensible to have left her at midnight to walk home into a dangerous neighborhood.

Would you want your son walking three miles anywhere at midnight??

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PeaNut 272,954
August 2006
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Posted: 1/29/2013 10:39:39 AM
Some of the other posters have made good suggestions.

If you don't feel comfortable having her stay with you, does the girl have other friends who are girls that would let her spend the night with them on practice and performance nights, just till the play is over? That would be a good compromise that wouldn't put anyone in jeopardy and still allow the girl to be in the play. It also wouldn't put your DS in an uncomfortable situation where the girl's boyfriend might think your DS is trying to be more than just a friend.

I also agree with the poster who said that you need to talk to the girl to find out what the home situation is that no one from her family (or her boyfriend) can help out at night. And why they have been using your DS' phone.

I wouldn't take her part way and let her walk the rest of the way. I would either muster the courage to drive her all the way home or see if she can stay overnight at someone's home. No way should she walk 3 miles at night alone, even in a supposedly safe area. I don't think she should have to walk even half a block in a dangerous neighborhood.

It would be a shame for her to have to quit the play. Is it possible that she is being manipulative? Yes, but only you can figure out if that is the case, or if she is just a scared little girl who really does need help.

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Posted: 1/29/2013 10:45:18 AM
As she sounds quite manipulative and seems to be 'using' him a little, I think I would be trying to find out what sort of friendship they actually have. I say this as my son is on the spectrum, and I had to stop him seeing one child after school who was seriously taking advantage of his social difficulties and desperation to feel ' accepted'.

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Posted: 1/29/2013 10:52:56 AM
Given that kids live in the neighborhood, I guess it wouldn't bother me, but I would take the usual precautions such as making sure that my doors were locked and windows rolled up at all times.

When I dropped her off, I would make sure that people weren't "loitering" around near where I was dropping her off at.

But then I work for children services and I am often in quite bad neighborhoods in an urban setting doing home visits.

In 20 years, I've never had a problem, but I am always on the alert.

Kerri W
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PeaNut 7,171
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Posted: 1/29/2013 11:20:08 AM
When I find myself in difficult situations I ask ''what is the worst that could happen" and if it did, how would I feel? For ME, if I could help keep her safe I would do it to the best of my ability. If I didn't because I was annoyed by the other outside circumstances and something terrible happened to her, I would have a hard time justifying my decision. If the area is as bad as you say I can't fathom allowing a child to walk home through it.


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Posted: 1/29/2013 11:20:23 AM

sometimes we do what is right...just because it's right


You and I have different definitions of what is right and wrong.
My right is that I keep MY family safe at all costs. If I can help someone else out without endangering my family, great, I'm glad to do that. But I don't EVER risk my family safety for someone else. Period.

I would outright refuse to drive the girl any part of the way home. I would rather she miss practice completely than have her walk home from the bowling alley at night. If I didn't feel safe enough to drive through the neighborhood, I wouldn't want to drop a child off to walk thru it.

As to having her spend the night, no. You don't know the family well enough to have an underage girl in your home. If this was the daughter of a longtime friend who was going thru some hard times, that would be a different matter entirely. Someone who you don't know and who you only speak to when they need something from you, no. I wouldn't put my son or husband at risk of being accused of something.



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Posted: 1/29/2013 11:24:59 AM
I think I would drive her home... what if she was murdered or hurt or kidnapped walking the 3 miles home in the dark(thats an hour of walking)?


PeaNut 13,270
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Posted: 1/29/2013 11:36:19 AM
I keep getting stuck on the part about the dance. It seems like the only reason your ds got convinced to go was because his friend needed a ride. If she had a ride of her own, would she have cared if your ds went? She sounds like she is using him and as much as it is awesome he has a friend, I would hate for him to get hurt in the long run when he (and you) are no longer a benefit to her.
JMO, but she sounds like she is a manipulator.

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Posted: 1/29/2013 11:43:38 AM
What would *I* do? I'd drive her home. But like a couple other posters, my job has required me to go into neighborhoods like the OP described with some regularity, so I'm a lot more comfortable than an average suburbanite.

Since the OP is downright scared, she and her son would be in even more danger than average. Looking unafraid and like you belong is part of your street smarts survival kit, IMO.

So if OP doesn't feel comfortable, she gets no negative judgement from me.

Like some other posters, I'd feel guilty "leaving her without a ride". But in reality, it's her own caretakers doing so. Not the OP or any of us in the hypothetical scenario. I would never take on finding her a place to stay. That's just asking too much.

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Posted: 1/29/2013 11:50:31 AM
I think you are doing the right thing...your son should tell her not to blame him since it is his mom's decision not his.
Don't beat yourself up...you are not a bad mom, in fact, just the opposite, you are a good mom for not driving in a part of town where you feel you and your son are not safe.

I feel bad that the girl has to walk so far but you are not her parent / guardian - it is up to her parent to ensure she gets home safe.

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PeaNut 18,741
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Posted: 1/29/2013 12:44:07 PM
Back in the stone ages, I lived about 10 miles from the high school I attend. Because of family circumstance, I was never able to participate in any activity after school. There was never a parent willing to come get me at whatever time I finished. I *never* would have asked for a ride or expected a ride just so I could participate in activity. I survived without it. My own kids have participated in things but *I* provided their transportation without imposing on others so it wasn't a bother to me.

This girl is guilt tripping you like crazy. She's using you and your son. So is her family. They find a sucker and use them until the sucker finally gets a clue. Then move on to the next sucker who doesn't know any better.

I feel for your son. I really do, but agree with you and others that believe sometimes being charitable is the right thing to do, there are times keeping yourself safe and avoiding obviously dangerous situations trumps everything else.


Stephanie in TX

PeaNut 182,109
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Posted: 1/29/2013 1:02:32 PM
You're not the one requiring her to walk home late at night in an unsafe neighborhood -- her family is!!
I wasn't able to participate in after school activities because
I wouldn't have a ride home -- it never occurred to me to ask anyone for a ride -- and I lived. Lol.
And I was involved in drama classes. I just couldn't do any of the school plays. I rode the bus home from school.

I believe asking for rides is incredibly rude. It is different if you offer without ever being asked.
I would be embarrassed if my children asked others for rides.

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Posted: 1/29/2013 1:14:29 PM
If you are afraid of the area, imagine for a minute how a 14 year old girl feels. Now imagine how that same 14 year old girl feels at 10 p.m., or midnight.

I personally would take the child home and be glad that my son had a friend who was drawing him out of his shell.

While she may not live in the best part of town, it sounds like she is trying to do better for herself. She is involved in the school play and social activities, and your son will be as well, opening doors for more social interaction.

No, she is not your child, but I could not imagine ever letting a 14 year old child walk home into the neighborhood you have described. I am an adult and for better equipped to deal with a rough neighborhood than a 14 year old girl. If something happen to that child because I wouldn't take her home I would never forgive myself and the guild would eat me alive.

For whatever reason, her family is not willing or able to transport her and she is reaching out to you. I understand not being comfortable, but again, think about how she feels at 14.

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PeaNut 199,404
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Posted: 1/29/2013 1:15:16 PM

Like some other posters, I'd feel guilty "leaving her without a ride". But in reality, it's her own caretakers doing so.

This. The adult in charge of the girl should have told her that, given the circumstances, she is not allowed to participate in a play with rehearsals that dismiss at 10pm.

But, since that isn't happening, how do you feel about offering the girl your couch?

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PeaNut 80,815
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Posted: 1/29/2013 2:00:49 PM
I would feel bad. However if I felt I could be putting myself/family at high risk, I wouldn't do it.

I live in a little town about twenty five miles from the really bad parts of Flint, MI. NO WAY in heck would I drive to many parts of Flint. Oh there are areas that are not nearly as bad as you hear on the news and we go there once in a while though really we just avoid the whole area in general for the most part. But there are also areas that I haven't been to in 15-20 years and wouldn't. My sister has to go through one of the worst areas for work on occasion and it's bad. It's not at all rare for her to see abandoned houses on fire, crime scene tape etc. She's a nervous wreck on the days she has to do that.

I would feel for the girl but no. Not if it's an area where drive by shootings etc regularly happen. Honestly even if I were game, my dh would put his foot down on that.


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