~my thoughts about life~

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Call Me (ir)Responsible

I always figured I'd be one of the strictest parents on the block.  My parents were very strict and I came to realize that's the only way to parent.  Both my brother and I turned out well, and my friends who had very lax parents all have issues today.

One rule we adapted when we had children is that they don't spend the night with anyone, except family.  We wanted to make it a rule that wasn't broken so that we didn't have to pick and choose who was trustworthy and who wasn't.  The first time I had to address this rule was when my first son was 4.   Someone invited him over for a sleepover party and I was flabbergasted.  I thought 4 was incredibly early to start sleepovers, especially for a boy! 

Since then, I've had to break the news to parents probably a dozen times that we don't do overnighters.  Likewise, we don't allow children to sleep over at our house. 

It only takes one accusation and a person's life can be ruined.  I know two people who were accused of illicit behavior and their entire family swears by their innocence.  I also know of two fathers of my peers who have recently been convicted of abuse of children.  I spent the night at one of their homes. 

When you have an unbreakable rule set, you never have to worry.  It's better to be safe than sorry.  I don't care if some school mom thinks I'm weird because my daughter can't attend a sleepover.  My daughter will never be the one who was abused at that party.  Even if the parents rank at the top of my list, you never know who their brother-in-law or next door neighbor might be.

One of Big Sis' friends has a birthday sleepover every year.  I just don't understand why they need to sleep together to have fun.  If they're supposed to be asleep anyway, what fun could they be having?  Also, if this little girl has a sleepover every year, where is there to go from there?  By the time she's 16, she'll be bored with sleepovers and want something incredible and exciting.

OK, I'll step off my soapbox for the day.  Do I have any supporters?  Or are you all offended that I won't let my kids spend the night at your house?  :)

The Overprotective Mother


The Lovely One said...

I guess it would matter on the age. Yes, 4 is too young. Bug is almost 7 and has never had a sleep over. But 11, 12, 13... I could live with that.

It might be another story trying to convince The Agent!

Lisa said...

Your rule is right for you. I doubt your children are being socially deprived because of it. It doesn't matter what anyone else thinks. These are your kids and you have the rule to protect them.

Mimsie said...

I'm with you. We never let our kids stay overnight at any friends' homes--only at Grandma's.

Midask9 said...

I am probably speaking out of turn, as I do not have kids...but that said, I would like to add my experience as a child. My BFF for many years growing up lived next door, but then due to divorce moved a couple hours away. Were it not for exchanged weeks, her at our place or me at theirs, we would have not been able to continue our friendship, this was before the internet, and long distance phone calls were not permitted. While I whole hardheartedly feel that filters must be applied to when it is ok, and when it is not - I don't feel that a NO, NEVER rule is quite right...