Saturday, October 25, 2014

Sorry Kids... No sleepovers

My kids are 9, 7 & 4 and with age have come the invitations for sleepovers.  But we are that family that doesn't do sleepovers.  I know I know... sounds so strict and crazy but I have my reasons.  And after talking to other parents who I admire and who have older kids, I feel at peace with our decision.

I thought I would write about it in case there are people like I was... You have that nagging feeling in your heart but don't have the words to accompany it to explain why you don't want your kids going to someone else's house to sleep and wake up.  Or maybe you feel pressured because other parents are letting their kids do sleepovers but it doesn't feel right to you.  And the other reason I write... simply to give parents something to think about!

"Everything is permissible"--but not everything is beneficial." ~ 1 Corinthians 10:23

My reasons...

  1. My kids are young and need their sleep.  Sleepovers often don't involve sleep {go figure!} and the family has to deal with the consequences of overtired children the next day.  No thanks.
  2. Many homes and kids have the internet just a click away and some young kids I know have their own iPhones and iPads!  I used to look up "naughty" words in the dictionary never mind what kids could do now!  
  3. Friend's friends.  I trust many of my friends to take care of my kids and I genuinely like their children.  But we really need to think about those strangers who would be also spending the night with our kids!  Kids from families we don't know and that's something to think about.
  4. Possibility of sexual abuse.  It happens and is very real to me.  It happened in my family and I have friends who've been abused.  If we have to be the uncool parents to avoid this risk then so be it.  I can take a knock in my reputation to protect my kids from this nightmare.
  5. Nothing good happens after bedtime.  Truth or dare, freezing bras, sneaking outside, etc.. come to mind from my own childhood.  Sleepovers did not add to the quality of my childhood.  Some nights will filled with unnecessary anxiety and stress.  {I actually remember a friend of mine crying for her mom and how she was teased.  Not cool.}
  6. Sleepovers don't deepen friendships.  My kids aren't missing out on connections by not sleeping over at a friend's house.
  7. My kids are still pretty young.  As their mom and guide, I don't feel they have the skills to speak up if something is happening that they know is wrong or against our house rules.  I intentionally protect my kids from overexposure and one day I have to trust them to make decisions for themselves.  BUT at their current ages, I don't think it's fair for me to put the full burden on them.

clipart source

So ya, those are my reasons and my kids really don't feel deprived.  The older two have been invited to a couple sleepovers now but they have only attended one each, not staying the whole night.  The parties usually start around supper time and I just pick them up a little after their normal bedtime to give them a chance to enjoy the evening activities with their friends. 

Also, it's not like they don't ever spend the night at friends' homes.  Recently they stayed with friends while Jay and I went away for our first ever get-away since married!  Obviously we make exceptions depending on the circumstance but overall, sleepovers aren't a normal thing around here.
I want my kids to enjoy their friends and time with them but in the end, we are the parents and we need to trust our gut and make decisions that will keep them safe....  Even if that makes us the most unpopular and uncool mom in the neighborhood.

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