Sleep-over for DS (14) am I?(84 Posts)
DS (14) would like to go to a sleep-over with some 'male' friends for his mates 14th Birthday party! It will be in a tent in the garden apparently?
Anyway, I'd like to say "no"
I don't know the friend, or his family. I don't know if one of the kids will smuggle in alcohol. Too many unknowns for me really.
I don't want to stop him from having fun....but I'm sure those of you with teens can read between the lines here.
Normally he is a sensible boy. normally
Do you trust your DS not to be 'lead' if someone does bring alcohol?
Will the boy's parents be there (not in the tent but in the house).
My DS is 13.6 and I think I'd trust him he's shown no signs of thinking about lager/ciggies/girls -so far.
I think I'd be more relaxed with a 14yo DS on a sleepover than a 16 yo. Then I would worry
Do you know of the friend? Or know anyone who knows the parents? I think I would be inclined to let him go as long as I had full details of when/where and he had his phone with him.
When you put * 'male' * in inverted commas, do you reckon there might be girls there?
I think you're being unreasonable tbh... He's 14 and camping in the garden sounds fun! Why not invite the friend over to yours before then if you're concerned.
You're saying he's sensible- so reward that. If you stop him doing things like this then you may find he goes behind your back. By allowing him treats such as this you're showing him you trust and respect him, and it'll encourage good communication between the two of you.
70 well it is always a possibility isn't it?
He will have his phone.
I don't know any of the friends , or any of the parents.
It is not helping that I have a brother who is 17!
Eden we have a great relationship really.
I'm worried mainly about the alcohol. I won't lie. I'm actually scared he might drink too much.
The teens round here do.
At 14 you have to start letting go a bit, surely, unless you have reason to think your son can't be trusted? What makes you think the party will not be as described? We frequently camped in friends gardens from age about 12 onwards.
Off to school. Thanks for replies so far!
It's a very difficult call, I let DD2(12) go in sleepovers with people I don't know as they are unlikely to get up to a great deal, but in the future? Do I trust some of DD2's friends not to smuggle booze and boys into the equation
My DD1(15) isn't a problem her sleep over mates have been friends since she was very young and have parents who would go ballistic at any hint of misbehaviour.
Far stricter than me. But they went to nice public schools not rural comprehensives in police free, licensing law ignoring villages.
DF would be utterly horrified at the sort of things we got up to.
I'd ring the parents & ask them about it. If I were the host parents it wouldn't bother me at all. And I would want to know a contact number for an under 16 in my garden.
So yes it's all a matter of trust. My teetotal Dfather, certainly didn't approve of the boozing, but realised saying no left me with no social life at all. Everyone went to village dances from 14 -25 (having DCs and no spare cash/babysitting).
He trusted me not to get drunk, not to have sex (certainly not to get PG) and to be home in time. I respected that trust.
I was always home on time, very rarely stupidly drunk and never sick except in the loo and never got laid. (I would have once if there had been condom machines back then).
So OP do you trust your DS to be sensible and does he have the self confidence to say no if he doesn't like what's going on.
Have you a clear location for where he's going, a parents phone number and a firm returning home time (These are my rules for the DDs).
Letting go is hard, but it must have been harder still for my parents with no mobiles and even friends who's parents didn't have landlines either.
Of course he should go but .. its reasonable to expect that you have a conversation with his dm and ask her to keep a wary eye open.
It's impossible to know all their friends and their friends parents at 14
If you trust him, let him go.
He's 14, of course he should go.
He's camping in a mate's garden, it's not Glastonbury. Does he never sleep over at friends houses?
As for alcohol, well at 14 they're always going to stretch the boundaries, but you have to learn to trust him.
You have to loosen the cord at some stage. You just gotta hope they don't strangle themselves too often.
Alcohol will probably be there but talk to him about it.
Girls may be there and talk to him about that.
I wouldn't contact the parents to be honest as mine would have been teased about that at 14. Girls yes boys defiantly not!!!!
Sure he's got a phone and Facebook. Get him to text u and know the address just in case and check his Facebook while he's there.
If you start to say no to all teen requests they will do it anyway and lie to you.
My DD (15) went to a tent sleepover last week. I took her there and introduced myself to her friends mum. It didn't occur to me not to let her go
He really should go.
But pick him up super early and have fun with his hangover if he gets one\!
DS1 went to his first mixed sleepover in tents at 13. As 70 said it's actually better at 13 than 16. I knew the parents though.
To be fair even if you did know the parents there is always one who will smuggle in some alcohol.
Have you talked to him about alcohol? What it does to people and what can happen? Explained how sometimes nice quiet people turn nasty when they have alcohol, loss of inhibitions causing risk taking? Has he ever drunk any at home under your supervision?
You have to teach him how to deal with situations when you are not there and show him that you trust him. That will be important to him.
Yes, he has drunk small amounts small, at family gatherings.
Never had any spirits at all. I'm scared he will either get alcohol poisoning or choke on his vomit.
I can't pretend that is not a concern. I think if I knew it was just a sleep -over camping thingy then I'd not even have posted
He has proved to be trustworthy in the past. I don't feel comfortable with this though. I have taken on board all the help here , I'm pondering....
Oh, and I am blocked from anything interesting on his FB.
As we are beyond rural we will have to pick him up and take him.
We are very rural and I think that means there are far more sleepovers-in-tents because all their friends lives miles apart and it saves parents having to pick them up late at night.
I have found there to be no problems with DSs group drinking until they turned 16. At that point most parents seem to accept there will be alcohol and allow themto take it. If DS goes to a party he takes a small bottle of flavoured cider for himself. I don't think they go for spirits much?
Thanks secret I know I am being a bit silly.
I know it helps he is nearly 5 10" and is solidly built.
I'm not nervous about him taking a trip to Earls court in September, this has just got me differently I think?
also...I know what I'm thinking here. We spent 7 yrs living in the US, teens just don't do alcohol like they do here.
I've seen it is possible to have fun, minus it!
<<decides to ask DS a bit more about it>>
I'd want to speak to the parents.
If anyone thinks thats OTT, tough titties
You could call the parents and check that they plan to be on the premises for the whole time, what type of drinks they are allowing, how many others will be there, etc.
You can also talk to DS about risks, temptations, etc.
If you are going to be taking him there, you'll be able to meet the parents of the friend and see where they will be.
Yes, random that is true. I'll be able to
Actually , I'm almost going to have to let him.
My rule has always been that as long as he lets me know where he is , then...
Maybe let him go but ask for an address and/or home phone number that you definitely won't use unless in an emergency? I know it's embarrassing but at least you have a vague idea where he is. More reasonable than saying no completely I suppose.
he has given me the address...I'll know where he is.
Guess I could even text him?
<< comes round a bit more >>
Definitely speak to the parents - I could give you some real horror stories about parties/ sleepovers and tent parties that have gone wrong, without proper supervision. Check that they will be there (in the house I mean), make sure they have your number in case they need it (I had a DS, 10yo, wandering the streets at 4 am, where parents had decided the noise was too loud and threw them all out, without informing parents), make sure he knows YOUR rules about drinking, check whether they will be allowed alcohol etc, etc. If it's OTT, tough!
its better that you know where he is, and he knows if he does drink more than he can handle, he feels that he can call you for help, rather than suffer in silence in case he gets a royal bollocking..
almost all teens learn their limits by the mistakes they make, and the very vast majority come to no long lasting harm..
I would want to know at least where he is and be able to contact the parents - address and phone number. They should have your number too so that everyone is contactable in an emergency. I would also want to know that the parents will be there the whole time otherwise I wouldn't let him go.
I would give him a talking to about what you expect before he goes (drink, etc) and let him know what the consequences will be if you find he has behaved differently. Beyond that, let him go.
You have my sympathies - my eldest is only 4. I can't imagine him EVER being responsible enough to cross the road on his own, let alone go out without me!
Have a secret word or phrase, so that if it is getting out of hand and he wants to come home, he can use it and you can make an excuse to call him home without him losing face.
squeaky that is what I am hoping. That if he does drink he will have some idea about when to stop!
Yes, I'll get some contact numbers. You'd think they would want mine wouldn't you?
Thanks for your help and ideas.
I know that you say you don't know the other boys, but has your DS mentioned their names? If so, then I think you should let him. You could ring the parents, or just speak to them on the doorstep when you drop DS off. You need him to make sure that they will be there the whole time. The one thing I wouldn't be happy about would be if the parents were absent during this sleepover. I expect the parents to be on the premises at that age.
If he's in a nice group of friends that you know the names of, at least, then I'm sure everything will be fine. As others have said, the apron strings need to loosened at some point. Also, perhaps you could talk to him beforehand about your expectations and how disappointed you would be if he behaved badly.
judgejudy he has shown me the Birthday boys picture on facebook, along with his family in an effort to convince me lol!
Anyway....I'm going to chat a bit more with him.
With regard to a sleepover in a tent, he's 14 you know he can leave home in 2years right?
Just make sure he had his phone incase he feels or of his comfort zone
I have a 17 year old DDD and she has been having sleepovers in tents/barns for several years - usually mixed groups - as we live in a very rural area. She knows what I think/expect with regard to drink and sex and I trust her to keep (close) to those expectations. As far as I know, she does. There has been no evidence to the contrary. Some of her friends drink more than her (she has small quantities of alcopops), some don't drink at all.
Let him go and don't worry - if he is so drunk that choking on vomit is a possibility, someone will tell the parents.
funcky yes, he can leave at 16 ...right now, he is still a minor though.
The sleepover in a tent, is a cover IMO.
The latest up-date( from him) is that they plan to go to the park when it gets dark.
Sorry funky I spelt your name strangely.
That is always a possibility OP. Certainly round here there are lots of teenagers spending the nights in the park. Mostly, without major incident, but I wouldn't be happy if it was my own DC doing so.
I would want to speak to the parents. As a general rule if a teenager has the opportunity of sex and alcohol they will take it.I think lots of you have forgotten what being a teenager is like.
OP our dc are 18 and 15 and we are walking distance (OK 30 mins brisk walking) from Earl's Court - so quite street wise London children. At 14 I wpould have expected to know where they were sleepoing, who the parents were, where they lived (in short a bit about their provenance) before I said yes. Of couurse there will be a bit of booze, a few fags and probably a sheesha pipe thingy but it's all normal really providing you know who tjhey are with and where they are. --ds was bunged on a train to cornwall at 14 and had a lovely time with 5 14 year boys, 3 13 year girls all under the wing of 80 year old grandpa and his 53 year old girlfriend. Mum and dad whizzed down for the odd night - but best holiday ever! Will ne fine. Let him go with clipped wings.
Its a bit of a mixed response isn't it.
DS has just told me I won't be meeting the parents!
am originally a South London girl, did my teen yrs there.
I'm not so nervous of scary old London...just this!
Track the parent down and have a quiet Word in secret - they'll be delighted. DS is going to Ibetha next week and three sets of parents initiated a conference call To which DH and I were invited before arrangements were agreed. DH and I hooted a bit but made the right noises. Thjey were all 17. Wha - do you realise they will drink a lot and there are tattoo parlours - Dhj was on thw sofa with a hjanky in his $outh during that call - don't know how I kept myu voice level to be honest. "Ooh Annabel, that's a really justified concern, yes we will talk to him abu that but I think they are quite sensible. Yes I know there are tattoo parlours (I think DH raised his knees to his chin at that point and actively had not to pee himself).
Hope he has a lovely time OP. It's fresher's week training .
Well, at 14 most of my peers were drinking and having sexual relations of some sort and most parties involved this.
However, it was fun, none of us came to any harm and I would have resented my parents if I couldn't go.
However, 23 years later I'm not sure I would want dd to go either.
It's so difficult being a parent isn't it!
My rule was if I don't know the parents enough to say hi if we pass in the street then they don't go to the sleepover. There tends to be 5 of us who hold sleepovers as we have the most suitable houses even to the extent that I hosted dd3 friends birthday sleepover as her mum couldn't. I've always chatted to parents first just to confirm ground rules re alcohol, travel, contact numbers etc and would be worried if someone was hosting a sleepover and didn't do that. If they aren't interested in getting parents details then assume they are not bothering to supervise either.
Oh wow. It is so stressful. I really appreciate all of you giving me help today.
I need find a way of saying a quick hello to the parents while trying to spare DS this
If they aren't interested in getting parents details then assume they are not bothering to supervise either.
I don't think you can assume that at all, jack. These are minors, yes, but not children. I don't know the contact numbers of the parents of any of DDs friends and I certainly do supervise! That is quite an insulting comment tbh. What a sad reflection on people's trust of their children.
Cardibach if you have minors in your house overnight then if something happened ie taken ill how would you contact their parents. You can be insulted all you like but if you couldn't be interested enough to get contact details then to me you're not being responsible enough.
I would contact their parents by them using their phone or my phone to do it ! Actually, that has happened to me, a friend of DDs has a heart condition and before it was diagnosed he was taken ill in a tent in my garden. He revived and phoned home then I drove him back. If necessary, I or DD would have used his phone to contact them or I would have simply driven to his house. It isn't about interest, don't be so insulting! I really, rally object to you suggesting I am not interested in supervising or in the well being of young people in my care! I just don't believe in babying them. Their parents obviously agree as they don't have my number either. Please don't think you are so superior and in a position to insult me.
My son has been on camp outs with his mates since he was 13. He now goes over the local heath, with his mates.
I have no control over this as he was hijacked by his grandparents when I was going through a bad MH patch.
Fortunately he does tell me what he's been upto when I see him because he knows I will discuss rather than lecture.
I am also known as the Mum who can get glo in the dark condoms.
He'll be 16 soon. He has also informed me that girls get all squeaky when he messes about below their waist.
He told his grandparents that he was gay the other day (he's not), just to see the reaction. Nana went into full flap mode and said wait until I tell your grandad, who proceeded to be visually homophobic and just spluttered.
I think I've gone off on a tangent, but this is how being honest about EVERYTHING as he grew up has helped him.
Having contact details is not about babying them but to me common sense. I do not want to rely on a phone which may have no battery or a pin code etc in the case of an emergency. I want to ensure that I can contact parents no matter what.
Each to their own I suppose, jacks. DD is 17 and I have not had any problems. I don't mind you having numbers, I do object to you suggesting I would not be interested in supervising because I don't think it is necessary to have them. That is just a stupid theory.
What? Surely knowing their names and having a contact number is like, bare minimum? He's 14. You just have to exist to embarrass him. Call the parents. Give them your details. Find out the score.
Although my 14 year old would not be hanging round a park at night drinking. So, y'know, maybe my opinion doesn't count for much here.
He isn't going to get alcohol poisoning or choke on his vomit.
He's 14 and sensible. A can of cheap cider will be exciting! At the worst he might have too much and throw up in the flower bed.!
Let him go. Otherwise next time he will lie to you and go anyway.
Each to their own. The circles my children mix in the parents do bother being able to contact so for me that is the norm, it works for us. Oddly enough they tend to also use landline numbers more than mobiles too so most are in my home phone anyway ( serious lack of signal at the house)
And I like the idea of a secret word he can text you and you can call or come pick him up on some pretext if he's uncomfortable with what's happening
A friends teenager doesn't like hanging around at the spot all her friends go to so she tells them she's not allowed and makes suitable roll eyes teenage angst faces
When my DCs went to secondary school I didn't know any of their friends parents. I would have thought most teenagers would have their own phones so wouldn't get parents contact numbers tbh.
My mother didn't know my friend's parents either. But if I was spending the night at their house she sure as hell got their details and spoke to them first. And we all had pagers and mobiles so could be contacted or contact her too.
jacks you are doing it again. Using the word 'bother' so suggesting it is about laziness/lack of care. I've explained why it isn't. usual I'm glad you are agreeing with me as I thought I might have gone mad/strayed into an alternative universe.
And hanging about in a park drinking isn't what we were asked about..,
If you won't be meeting the parents, then in my book, it won't be happening. I agree that at 14, he is of an age to start getting a bit more freedom, but that comes with trust and trust is earned by communication and agreeing to terms and conditions and sticking to them.
Meeting the parents would most certainly be one of the conditions of this one.
going to to a nethuns thing to show my credentials
StM to a now 28 year old, who I helped bring up from age 9, Mum to an 18 year old, as well as my teo youngest.
I agree with MamaTJ and others- you have to meet the parents at drop off, or speak to them beforehand on the phone if they are going to be out (I'd be ok with that if they were home before 11, say, to mop up any disasters).
Cardibach if you read the thread and the additional comments the op has added you will see that hanging around at the park is what is being talked about.
Sometimes its hard to word things right and using bother was not to imply that you are lazy simply a word to state that all the parents I know do talk to each other.
My view is children have to be allowed to make their own mistakes. If it were my DD (or DS, but I have a DD rather than a DS) I'd let her go.
Just ring the parents & say you want to check they are ok with the sleepover & ask what the plans are. If they say they've bought 10 cases of beer & 6 bottles of vodka for 20 children you've got a problem. If they are letting the boys watch a DVD/play computer games then sleep in the tent you don't. I'm sure they won't mind you calling them, why would they?
I would let him go, however
1- I would ask to talk to the parents
2- I would talk about his behaviour and my expectations of him while away
I am answering the question in the OP. The vague possibility if it being cover for hanging about in the park drinking has been mentioned once.
Ok, thanks for all the latest up-dates.
DS is a very mature boy. Wanting to do this caught me by surprise as he didn't like sleep-overs much as a younger boy!
It started with a Birthday party in a tent...I suspected there was more to it and asked what would else they would be doing?
They (apparently) would be probably go to the park and 'play' hide and seek in the dark? "its more fun that way"
For darkness in the summer , he would need to be leaving the 'tent' at round 9-10 at night!
I don't want him wondering around the village at chucking out time from the pubs!
I have been helped by your posts but I'm more confused than yesterday ....and actually quite stressed.
I think you have to grit your teeth and let him. Assuming he has been reasonably sensible in the past, you know roughly where he is, he is aware of the consequences of drinking/sex/drugs etc and has a mobile and knows he can call you at any time if things are not what he expected and he wants to leave. He is 14. He needs the opportunities to take responsibility for himself. Only you know your son, don't punish him if he hasn't let you down before.
Thanks fox wise words.
I'm working on it.
Its strange, I don't know why I have a reacted like this? I have always let him do most other things...<<sighs>>
It must be hard, you want to trust them but protect them at the same time! Trust yourself - you've taught him what's right up to now, let him use what he's learnt.
My ds is 14, I think I would be uncomfortable with this situation.
Sorry, not helpful I know.
My DS is 15 and we have had some real horror stories from parents who haven't checked on where they are. I would allow him to go, I would allow him to go and play hide and seek in the dark (known as Manhunt round here!), but he would also be give strict rules and I would have to trust him to abide by them. Limited alcohol, parents must be contactable and they must be able to contact me (phones are quite easily lost when playing hide and seek in the dark, I should know! ), at least one friend must also have my number saved on their phone in case of emergency (my 15yo is quite likely to break a leg jumping out of a tree!), parents must be at home (NOT a given by any stretch of imagination), and a time to back at the tent/ in the garden (happy for mine to be out until midnight - not causing trouble/ in a residential area making a noise, but NOT happy for him to out until 3). Do you trust him? If so show him. I made a deal with mine, I will trust them unless/ until such a time as they prove me wrong, then they deal with the consequences. I hope he has a great time, and that you manage to get some sleep
If you're still reading replies then sorry, but I do think you've reason to be concerned..or at least to look into it further. My own experience of my eldest (now 18) going to a camp out was that she came back very drunk and some poor soul had passed out in his own sick and had been urinated on (lovely!). My sister let her teenage children have a camp out party in their back field last month - lots of alcohol was involved and some bright spark threw a petrol canister on the fire causing an explosion. One kid had lost his clothes and I-phone and his mate had thrown them on the fire as well.
The key thing is to speak to the parents and find out how many kids are going. If it's a really small number, impossible to gatecrash and the parents plan to go out regularly then it may be ok. As you know though, you may stop him going to this thing but it's completely impossible to police them all the time and they will and do experiment much as we did back in our days!
Thank you just and jane
It looks like there will only be 4 boys attending...hmm I just don't know?
We will drop him off, the village is next to ours....so not too far away.
I'll try to find his parents. I've seen the birthday boy on FB also, looks like a normal family
The sleepover is Friday, so I've one more evening to get more and final details.
Just the four boys? I really think you should relax and let him go. It's a village, there are lots of disadvantages to being rural and one of the few advantages is the safety. Playing hide and seek in the dark will be really fun and you know he won't want to do that in another year or so.
yes, just the four. We have decided to let him go, and we have warned him not to let us down!
I hope he has a great time. Just a thought does the school/PTA not circulate class lists with addresses/phone no's,, emails on them?
We live in London but I still know someone through someone to do a double check in these circs. I've even met mums on mnet I've never met in RL whose DC know my DC!! My DC have chums going back to NCT groups with whom they go to school!!
Apparently this Birthday boy is new to the area/school.
As we are dropping him off, I'll at least have a contact point if I need to.
married you have sometimes mentioned things in your posts , that make me think I might have seen you IRL at some point!
Thanks for your help over the past couple of days...
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