Saturday, December 16, 2006

New subject. Slightly on the heavy side. Sleepovers. What's your opinion? Last year, My husband and I both decided and agreed that we are not for sleepovers for kids.

I was a kid once and I know what can happen at sleep overs. It's just like they say, the Holy Ghost goes to bed at midnight. Now granted, things happen in broad daylight too but I would say most happens in the dark. Kids are curious and will play nasty sometimes, I am aware of that and it is a choice they make to do. Then there are the times when it is not their choice and would definitely be termed sexual abuse.

I have a dear friend who's son, when he was about 10, went to stay with his dad for a few weeks. That dad had remarried to his ex-sister-in-law. She had 2 kids. So all three kids were cousins and step brothers and sisters. They were all within a few years of each other. Well, one night, this boy was woken up to his cousin doing something VERY bad to him. The 10 year old was mortified and did stop it but was ashamed to tell anyone. He went into a depression, became closed, his grades went down and no one new why. It was 2 years later when this boy and his mom happened to be watching Oprah, and the show was about this very thing, that he said something. Come to find out that the boy who did it too him had had it done to him and so on. These children had something happen to them that they will NEVER be able to forget. It will always be there.

I don't want this for my kids. Yes, it may seem over protective but I would rather they miss out than have to heal the scars for the rest of their lives. I have seem what sexual abuse can do to a person. My mom was abused, my 2 older sisters, my 2 closest friends. It destroys.

The reason it is on my mind is that my little sister wanted our 2 boys to get together Who never see each other much. They are very close. I love her son and he is wonderful and I really don't think anything would happen but we have already made this rule. My sister says she supervises but no one can supervise when they are asleep in their own bed.

Many people feel safer because they say they don't let their children go just anywhere. Do you realize that MOST children are abused by family and close friends? It is seldom someone who is not known well and you can never know. It doesn't matter if a man is a returned missionary, or bishop or priest or whatever. We all know that from the news.

You can't shield your kids from everything, but there are somethings we can do. One of my hero's in life is the mom of one of my best friends. Her name is JoAnn Hibbert-Hamilton. She is kind of famous in the church for being a child advocate. I spent a lot of time at her house as a young teen. She never let her kids have sleepovers and I hated that. I thought she was a prude and over protective. It drove me nuts because there were no such rules at our house. Now I admire her conviction when others ridiculed her. Her kids did have their own struggles but in the end, I think they are all active in the gospel. In my family, out of 9 kids, I am the only one. Hmmmm.

Anyway, I had told my sister that we'd better not. If I say yes here, I have to say yes there. Unless it's a family trip our camp out, the answer is no.


Lisa M. said...

I completely agree. We have no sleep overs either. Except at Grandmas.

I think one of the hardest things in the world, is to keep saying no.

I also think it is our greatest tool.

We talked about this the other day, and you know how I feel.

I'm cheering in your section.


Yolanda said...

I also have a no sleep-overs rule...With the exception of my sister and her children, only because if I die, SHE would get my children!! (and even with that, we've only had ONE sleep-over, and that was when she was giving birth to her last child!!)

I'm a big fan of "late-night-play-dates." You can invite a friend over for pizza, etc. and then watch a movie (approved by BOTH families) and then they can stay up a little later (10pm) and then they are either picked up, or taken home.

Be strong...No one is a bigger advocate or protector of your kids than YOU!!

Maren said...

I haven't even thought about sleepovers yet since Reilly is only 4. But, I think I will probably do this too. It makes complete sense to me.

LammyAnn said...

I had a whole wonderfully worded post...and somehow blogger ate it!
It will be hard to stick to the decision over the years...especially when you totally trust the other family and the kids get along so well. We have actually lost friendships over it...the other family not understanding and taking it personally.
We've always done PJPARTIES and invited everyone to come in their allthe things that would have been done at a slumber party and everyone goes home at 10 or 11.
When my kids are invited to a slumber party, I let them go until 10 or 11 and they can bring their PJ's so when everyone changes... they can too.
My kids don't complain anymore, because I told them their choice is "Come home from the party before midnight or not go at all." It's better than not going at all to them.
Good luck, stay tough, and always keep in mind why you're doing it!
Merry Christmas

s'mee said...

Welcome to the "you're the worst mom ever! -but in reality the best mom ever" club. Your kids may hate you, the other moms will talk bad about you, and most folks will think your children will rebel later...who cares what they think?

I am a strong advocate for kids andfrankly, was way over protective looking back on it. But in the long run, my kids did not rebel, they did make it through school with friends, and the denial of certain social situations didn't harm them at all.

Do what you feel in your gut, chances are it is the Spirit talking to you.

melissa c said...

Thank you all for your comments. I really had no idea so many other mothers felt like me.

It's nice to know there are other moms as "mean" as me!

melissa c said...

For those of you who are interrested, here is JoAnn's website for "strengthening families"

It's wonderful! Visit it!