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Mama, have you thought about whether you will allow sleepovers for your kids?
When I was in sixth grade I learned what an erection is during a discussion with my best friend.
In seventh grade I loaned a cassette tape to a friend where the artist sang about oral sex.
So where did these offenses take place?
At sleepovers, that’s where.
I’m going to share with you five reasons not to allow sleepovers, besides the obvious.
1. I don’t want my kids exposed to conversations between other adults without my supervision.
Married couples discuss so many things within earshot of our children without stopping to think about the little ears that may be listening.
From money troubles to fertility issues to disciplinary problems with older siblings, there are so many possible topics of conversation that I just do not want my little ones exposed to without being there to provide explanations or to guard their little ears.
What one couple may think is perfectly fine for the kids to hear may not line up with what we have chosen to expose our kids to.
2. We limit our kids’ exposure to media.
As a little girl, I was not allowed to watch a lot of the things that my classmates watched.
Most notable for my generation was MTV.
But I sure as heck watched it when I slept over friend’s houses.
Until Madonna’s cross burning video aired, at which point most of my friend’s parents banned it as well.
The things that are on television today could make Madonna of the 1990s blush.
And while my parents could simply enforce the rules by keeping television out of my room, today there are internet radio, satellite radio, tablets, streaming devices, laptops and phones.
I just can’t control what or how my kids are exposed to through media when they are not in my home.
And after the lights go out at night, I just don’t feel comfortable leaving that job to another mom and dad.
3. I want to make it hard for my kids to lie and sneak.
No one wants to imagine that their seven-year-old will grown up to become a deceitful teenager.
But I will tell you that it’s a whole lot easier and more tempting to fall into that behavior as a teenager when opportunities arise that make it easy.
The most outright deceptive thing that I ever did to my parents was in my junior year of high school.
I asked to spend the night at a good friend’s home about a mile away in our neighborhood.
Instead, my boyfriend picked me up at the end of the road and took me to an all-night party at the home of one of his friends, whose parents were away.
My mom did catch me, but not before I had already gone to the party.
When parents do not allow sleepovers, the opportunity to sneak and lie diminishes quite a bit during the teen years.
4. I want my children to learn about sex and growing up from me, not their peers.
Once kids get information about sex, they are very eager to share it with their friends.
Yes, sometimes this information is accurate, as it was when my best friend told me how the mechanics of sex worked (I wondered out loud how “the man mushes that thing into the lady”.)
But these are conversations I want to have with my children, so that I can place that information in its proper context, including discussions about purity.
And especially the lifelong consequences of taking sex outside of its rightful place in a marriage.
5. I want to keep the males in our home safe from false accusations and temptation.
Some families do not feel comfortable allowing their children to sleep at another family’s home.
But that welcome other children to spend the night at their home.
I am not comfortable with this either.
The fact is that there is just no reason to expose my husband and son to the potential for false accusations by another child.
And one way to be sure that this does not happen is to eliminate the possibility that another child could claim to be alone with any of the males in our home.
Finally, my son is two-years-old now.
But when he is twelve, and my daughter is seventeen, I do not want his desires awakened and purity challenged by allowing another teenage girl in her pajamas into his home overnight.
I’m just not willing to take that chance with his spirit or hormones.
Why I Don’t Mind Being The Weird Mom
It’s okay to say no to sleepovers.
There are plenty of other opportunities for your children to spend time playing with their friends during daylight hours.
And when you explain your reasons to other parents, you will probably find some kindred spirits.
Imagine getting through your daughter’s teen years without wondering whether she was safe and sound at night.
And knowing that if accusations against hormone-heavy young men at a field party started flying around, none would land at the feet of your son.
What other ways do you protect the innocence of your children? Please share your ideas in the comments.