I have always thought (even before being a parent) that I would be the kind of mother who is more of a friend/sister to my future daughter(s). The kind that would always be up for a laugh and never too strict because after all, who tells all of their secrets to a hitler impersonator?!
However, I have recently read a blog post about something I hadn’t ever even thought of.. Sleepovers! But with my daughter soon to be turning 1 (and that year has just gone by in the blink of an eye!) it has really got me thinking.
Back when I was in the prime of sleepovers, -probably between the ages of about 11 and 15 -the dangers of molestation and such just frankly weren’t as big of a deal as they are now! Now I may be wrong, I just may not have payed these stories much or any attention at this age and it may have been a big thing with the older generation, but I never had a ‘stranger danger’ talk so I was clueless.
Of course everybody has had the loosey goosey version of ‘do not talk to strangers’ and ‘run away and scream if a stranger offers gives you sweeties to get in his car’ (Note the HIS, not THEIR or HIS/HER – I honestly had no clue!!) But not once did my parents ever really sit me down and talk to me about the dangers of molestation and pedophilia. I’m not at all blaming them, as I said before, it just didn’t seem as much of a big deal back then! Just as Internet safety was never mentioned and the dangers of social media was never a hype like it is nowadays. It was all kept on a very need-to-know basis and I suppose my parents just thought at this tender age, I did not need to know! Or maybe they themselves never really even thought about it..
Some friends houses I stayed over I didn’t really feel 100% comfortable at because one or both parents just didn’t give me a good vibe. And even at this semi-mature age, I still kept going despite this initial strange feeling.. Because I had fun with my best friend!! Staying up talking for hours.. Gossiping about boys and talking about girls from school and annoying family members and just generally eating junk and playing!
Thinking back, it really worries me just how many houses I had sleepovers at with people I barely knew, and also my parents barely knew!
This is why my daughter will NOT be having any kind of sleepovers at friends homes for a very long time. Even if there are other friends there too, such as a birthday party, because as a parent, I would feel much more comfortable with dropping my daughter off to have a lovely fun filled few hours then making sure she’s home for bed time so I can tuck her in knowing she’s safe and sound. I have no doubt this will induce a multitude of tantrums and door slams but you know what.. I don’t care! I would much rather have a safe and stroppy daughter. For as long as I feel comfortable the only sleepovers allowed will be over grandparents houses. These are the only people I would ever fully trust with my daughter for an over night stay.
Are you more of a ‘parent parent’ or a ‘friend parent’?
Thanks for reading!