The other day, I got a phone call from one of my son’s friends, asking if he wanted to come for a sleep over.  When I replied that my children were not allowed to sleep out, there was an awkward silence on the line.

Those are our rules and we are sticking to them.  Please don’t judge me, because I am certainly not judging you.  This is just how we feel.

How often have you found out that a couple is getting divorced and you are completely gobsmacked as you thought that they were a match made in heaven.  Or found out that there was something amiss in a household and you thought that there was nobody more picture perfect than them.  We all hear stories of women being beaten, yet they continue to defend their partner by hiding it and making excuses.  Or the Teacher that got arrested for sexual harassment. The truth is, do you ever really know someone as well as you think you do?

The sad reality is that we live in a very dark world and I am just not ready to expose my children to it. Technology has changed and if misused can open your child to a whole new world of pornography and online predators.  I believe that because of the way the world has changed, our children are far more immature and find it hard to make serious decisions without the help from their parents.  On a lighter note, I don’t believe that my children have mastered the ability to be polite, honest and discrete, and If we said yes to some and know to others, there is a good chance that they will end up telling the child that my Mom said………………….can you imagine trying to take your foot out of that one.

Ok so I have highlighted the obvious nasty’s that we all know about, but what if it is something as simple as the fact that they are exposed to something that they are not accustomed to.  My husband and I never argue in front of the children, because we don’t think it is healthy.  What happens if their friend’s parents don’t think there is anything wrong with shouting at each other.

Our feeling is that children that go to bed too late, are grumpy and impossible the next day, so why the need to sleep out.  You can go and play for as long as you wish, but we will fetch you and you will have a good night sleep in your own bed, where we know you are safe and we can continue to protect you.

We do not live under a rock.  We understand that the day will come when we need to let our children sleep out, but before that day comes, there are a few things that will need to be in place.

  • You will have your own cell phone. If you need to contact us at any time, day or night, you can do so.
  • We will have a family safe word. For example:  When will Granny be back from her holiday?  This is a random sentence that the kids can throw in at any time, and we will know that they are not happy and want to go home.  It is then up to us to call the parents and make up an excuse as to why we are fetching our child.  This works especially well if they are not happy with what is going on around them with their friends, but don’t want to look uncool.  They then have an out that they can make your fault.
  • We will have the birds and bees talk prior to them staying out. This includes all the details of what is a personal violation.  If they are not informed about what sex and sexual abuse are, how can they protect themselves.
  • They will know that we need to be informed of any change of plan. If we think you are sleeping at Jacks house and plans change, before you change location, we will know about it and have the right to refuse.

This all sounds so harsh, but as a parent, I have worked far too hard to have someone take it away from me.  You can deal with your child sulking because they can’t go, you cannot erase an awful situation, because you said they can.


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