Sleepovers! Hours of watching movies, nail painting, and playing video gaming (if you were like my husband!). So many fun memories!
Sleepovers, however, can also be the place where your kids view pornography for the first time, become a victim of sexual play, or be bullied.
Evil isn’t lurking at every sleepover, but a parent should exercise caution when considering whether a sleepover is best for their child or not.
Before you make a decision or a sleepover policy for your child consider the following questions:
- 1. Do you feel comfortable letting your child go?
- 2. Do you know your child’s friend well? Do you trust them?
- 3. How well do you know the parents where you child is spending the night?
- 4. Do you know who’s on the sleepover guest list?
- 5. Will strangers potentially be present at the location of the sleepover? (such as other adults or older children you may not know?)
- 6. Does your child know body safety? Do they know how to protect their personal parts?
Keeping kids safe is important and there isn’t ONE right way or answer to issues or situations. If you decide to allow your child to attend a sleepover I would encourage you to review in detail three specific topics before they go: body safety, bullying and an exit plan if needed.
If you decide to avoid sleepovers I would encourage you to find other ways to help your child enjoy the invite and her friend.
One such way is allowing your child to stay late at the party or with a friend, but you will pick them up and they will sleep at home. The term “half over” or “sleepunder” for late nights with friends is sometimes used in lieu of “sleepover”.
Don’t worry if you’ll be viewed as an “overly protective parent” if you don’t allow your children to go to sleepovers. Sleepovers can be a daunting topic but don’t avoid thinking through what is best for your child and family.
Discuss with your child your reasoning behind what you as the parent decide.
Remember, your job as the parent is to work to keep your child safe and informed. Tackle dreaded subjects with others, stay equipped, and as always, don’t parent alone!
Owner | Child Therapist | LCPC, RPT
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Disclaimer: These writings should be considered a matter of personal opinion. They do not reflect professional advice. This medium does not lend itself to the level of detail and intimacy required to provide professional advice. If you are in need of consultation, I highly recommend you seek professional counseling. If at all possible, you should seek a reliable referral from a trusted source.
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