Time and time again I have received the “side eye” when asked if my kid(s) go to sleepovers. I mean if you know me then you know I am a really crazy fun down to earth parent and have a lot fun with my kids. They are allowed to do many things that I know other parents would cringe at the thought of ,but the one thing I can’t let them do at the moment is go to sleepovers.
Part of the problem is that as a child and even teenager I was not allowed to sleep at other people’s house. In fact I didn’t go to my first so called sleepover until I was 17 years old. At that point I put up a really good argument because it was getting to a point of stupidity of being that old and not being able to sleep over at a friends house.
Believe me being a military spouse and formerly living on post where things could be really tight knit made me very aware of the sleepover phenomenon. I got that spouses considered themselves to be close friends and took turns letting the kids sleep over at times. Frankly for me I couldn’t see letting my little six year old who I still had to assist with bath time and brushing his teeth go to someone else’s house while I sat and worried about how he would wipe his butt properly if I weren’t there.
The thought of some time to myself also seemed nice but for me it was an I’ll pass situation.
On the flip side the news and talk show addict in me has seen one to many horror stories of kids going to sleepovers only to go missing, be molested or worse. I know that chances are this probably is the rarest case of things happening but quite honestly households are way different then in the past. Yes, yes I know I will have the naysayers who will say you always had to worry about these factors. Say what you will but the truth is the world has changed . Just look at the shootings every five minutes and the ways kids handle fights and bullying etc, shall I go on? The world is not the same!
I digress but I say all that to say you have to many unknowns. Yes little Sally’s mom may be sweeter then a lollipop but what about little Sally’s moms boyfriend who is now spending the night there, or a relative you are unfamiliar with.
One to many times have I searched the FamilyWatchdog.US site only to see my quaint little all American picket fenced neighborhood lit up with red and yellow squares of offenses against children or sexual offenses against adults. You pick a neighborhood based on so many factors and yet when the lovely neighbors down the street allow a family member to come live with them, you can’t help but worry. Hell it could be the seemingly nice all American couple who keeps their house neat and comes and goes normally who you would have to worry about at a children’s sleepover.
I know my critics ( I like saying that makes me feel important) will see this and say “and so is life…don’t let your kid miss out on fun”. Yet I can’t help but to feel that the days of innocent sleepovers are long gone with the exception of people you know really well , and even that is a hard one considering all you hear these days.
Call it overreacting but I am not afraid to admit that the sleepover thing is one event in life I am afraid of tackling.
Do you let your child go to sleepover and what is the youngest you think they should start?
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