As a teenager, I can remember begging my parents to let me go on sleepovers. This was in high school and my friends were constantly over at each others houses. I rarely got to join in the fun and was often resentful of my parents about this. The strange thing was that on the rare occasions that they did allow me to spend the night at a friend's place, I didn't really enjoy it. I was uncomfortable being in another family's home. Maybe this was all because my parents didn't let me have enough practice at sleepovers.
Now that I'm a parent, I'm starting to think of sleepovers again. More specifically, how I'm probably not going to be allowing Aaron or Adrian to go to too many of them. Aaron is barely six years old and already the kids are talking about it at school. Even the teachers are touting it as an essential part of growing up. I can't agree with it - especially not for children as young as Aaron.
I'm ok with the idea of an occasional playdate and I think that maybe in the future, if there are groups of children that are having sleepovers, I might suggest that my children will stay to 8pm (depending on how old they are) and then come home to sleep in their own homes.
With the constant headlines of the many types of horrible and crazy people out there, many of whom appear 'normal', how can I let my children spend the night in the home of somebody that I don't know? Even if I have a chat with them each day during school pick up, I don't know anything about these people. And then, even if they were 'good parents', how do I know that they don't have other people who visit their homes? I'm also very strict about the types of movies or tv shows that my children watch - other people may not be. There are so many of these questions that I don't have comfortable answers to. And, I don't think I need to go out of my way to become comfortable with this idea.
While I'm on this topic, I remember reading an article some years ago about teaching children how to speak up if they feel uncomfortable about a situation. The situation could be something a person says or does or even a tv program that they do not feel comfortable watching. I need to start talking to Aaron about these things....
So what do you think? How comfortable are you with your children sleeping over at a friend's place? And grandparents, do you have the same views on sleepovers for your grandchildren as you did when your children were little?
Now, don't anybody mention 'Tiger Moms' because firstly, I've always thought that was a ridiculous term, and secondly, I'm not one and don't aspire to be one either.