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To not allow DD to attend sleepovers?

(107 Posts)
DizzyPhillips Sun 24-Mar-19 00:49:50

I have name changed for this.

DD1 is 4 and starting school this year. I am wondering how necessary it is that I let her attend sleepovers. Probably a while before I have this actual scenario I know (I was 6 or 7 when I had my first one). However, I have just been chatting with DH about this (conversation stemming from chat about “that” MJ documentary) and I’m just interested in points of view (DH thinks I’m probably being unreasonable although “sees where I’m coming from”).

I worry mainly about the possibility of abuse. Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely understand that there is not a paedo on every corner etc etc and not every man is a paedo etc etc and this is generally not something I tend to spend much energy worrying about. I suppose I worry that we might be unlucky. I know how small the risk is but I guess it seems like a hell of a gamble.

I mean I vaguely know some of the parents of girls who will likely be in DDs class at school and they all seem perfectly nice. But 🤷🏻‍♀️ it’s not like you’d know, is it?

I used to go to sleepovers when I was young and nothing untoward ever happened so I accept I am probably being ridiculous. I also worry about her not being looked after properly and getting hurt or trying to get home etc but I think this is me just being silly.

I definitely sound ridiculous don’t I blush i don’t want to be that parent. I just hate the idea of it. But accept I may just need to be ok with it.

I have found that my anxiety has been quite bad since having children, although I’m getting better at hiding it. It’s just that it all seems so depressingly common these days. I feel like every day there is another story about something bad happening to a child.

Applesandpears23 Sun 24-Mar-19 00:54:27

I understand that you feel anxious. Please try not to worry about sleepovers until you get to that point in your daughter’s life. Otherwise you will always be looking for trouble ahead.

DizzyPhillips Sun 24-Mar-19 00:56:15

You are right of course.

It just seems that very soon she will be looking for more independence and I don’t know how I’m going to deal with that.

Sara1999 Sun 24-Mar-19 00:59:57

Message deleted by MNHQ. Here's a link to our Talk Guidelines.

MiddleClassProblem Sun 24-Mar-19 01:00:35

I think you can’t look at it as a hypothetical situation. You could become really tight with parents, you might feel indifferent due to the child’s behaviour, it might be a single parent, it might be siblings, it might be a gay couple (make it female), there might be a dog you’re not sure about, they might have a job that makes you have extra trust like a nurse in the house or such...

There are so many variables that could make you fine with it or not that there is zero point in worrying about it now. When it comes around, look at it then...

CBT teaches us about useful worrying and unnecessary worrying. Worrying about it now will only make your anxiety higher atm, and there’s nothing you can do to solve that right now as it’s a hypothetical situation. However worrying about it when it crops up you will have actual things to examine and evaluate and be able to manage.

Applesandpears23 Sun 24-Mar-19 01:01:18

I understand how scary it is. My eldest is 5 and it is hard sending her off to school.

DizzyPhillips Sun 24-Mar-19 01:03:52

Thank you. It is so hard. I am anxious about it. But it’s not about me and I can’t let her see that.

She’s going to be one of the youngest too. She’s very close to me, comes into our bed every night to be close to me. She’s quiet and sensitive and I feel like I’m throwing her to the wolves.

YogaWannabe Sun 24-Mar-19 01:04:10

No I’m with you OP and my DD is 8.
My friends 9 year old was shown porn at a sleepover recently. For many reasons I’m just not ok with it.
Maybe around 11/12 but I’m generally not a fan of them.

gluteustothemaximus Sun 24-Mar-19 01:04:35

Sleepovers aren't the law.

You decide what's best for you and your child.

DizzyPhillips Sun 24-Mar-19 01:07:03

MiddleClass thank you. Your post makes a huge amount of sense and I’m going to try to hold on to those points.

Dramatical Sun 24-Mar-19 01:09:07

@Sara1999 that's incredible, you have seen into the future shock

RedHatsDoNotSuitMe Sun 24-Mar-19 01:13:57

I think the majority of abusers are well known to the child (i.e. family members) sad

And I think sleepovers totally depend on the child (and, to the parent).

My DD had her first 'sleepover' at her GP's house within the first few months, and they regularly had her overnight. She ADORED sleepovers.
I know other parents who's kids have NEVER slept anywhere other than their own bed.

I don't think either is wrong or right, but (as you recognise) what the child wants and is comfortable with should be the priority, not the anxiety of the parent.

Boredgiraffes Sun 24-Mar-19 01:14:54

Honestly OP you are going through a normal response. Every adult or teen may be bad. Every car may hurt her. Every bit of food not small enough may be a danger. These are all small chances but when it’s your own child it feels like gambling. If you do a sleepover the best you can do is get to know the parents, nothing is ever certain but that’s the best you can do

Lovingbenidorm Sun 24-Mar-19 01:18:36

Op you really don’t have to be worrying about this now, 4 is very young.
My youngest had her first sleepover at 8yo
It was with a family that I had known for years.
Us mums had a kind of deal that we would send pics and let the kids say goodnight.
My kids only ever stayed with people I trusted 100%
You are absolutely not BU about your dd’s safety

clairemcnam Sun 24-Mar-19 01:21:14

Invite other kids over for sleepovers first. But remember that those parents are having to trust you.

Kids do generally love sleepovers though. I think though that kids can sometimes pick up negative signals from another adult that they are untrustworthy, that other adults don't see. So if your child says they don't like a friends parent, and there is not an obvious reason such as they got told off for being naughty, then listen to that.

Aquamarine1029 Sun 24-Mar-19 01:22:27

I think you are being completely reasonable. My daughter only had sleepovers with one friend and that is because my husband and I knew her parents very well. Obviously that is no guarantee, but I have always been flabbergasted at the parents who will send off their young child to a friend's home and they know absolutely nothing about the other parents.

LucyBabs Sun 24-Mar-19 01:30:36

Sara your post is ridiculous. Children are a lot more vulnerable than adults..

op my daughter is 10 and had her first sleepover with her friend who is our neighbour when she was 9. I didn't feel comfortable with a sleep over before she was 9. I'll be honest i didn't want to agree but felt I needed to relax a bit, she was desperate and begged me for days! She stayed up until 4am at the sleep over and cried for her bed at 7pm hahaha

Deadringer Sun 24-Mar-19 01:30:43

I am not a fan of sleepovers at all and I don't suffer from anxiety. I just like to have my DC safe at home where I can keep an eye on them, that is perfectly natural imo. I am not keen on taking on other people's children overnight either, we had have a few over the years, but only occasionally. Luckily they are not a big thing where I live and generally don't start until about age 10. Try not to worry about this sort of stuff yet, as your child grows you will likely find that giving her a little more Independence will come naturally to you.

DistanceCall Sun 24-Mar-19 01:31:57

I worry mainly about the possibility of abuse. Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely understand that there is not a paedo on every corner etc etc and not every man is a paedo etc etc and this is generally not something I tend to spend much energy worrying about. I suppose I worry that we might be unlucky. I know how small the risk is but I guess it seems like a hell of a gamble.

You can't keep your daughter in a bubble because there is a minuscule risk of something awful happening. You just can't. Are you going to stop her from crossing the road too because she might get run over?

Lovelylugs Sun 24-Mar-19 01:32:05

I don't think any of your worries are unreasonable and are what any concerned parent would think. My daughter didn't do sleepovers to friend's houses until after aged 9 and then only for birthdays and with families we knew really well. I decided if she wanted sleepovers we'd host so she was happy with that. Even at that one mum just went off to bed and let them stay up all night unsupervised messing with making food kettle/toaster/ microwave. She was annoyed someone puked on floor and place was a mess in the morning!

DistanceCall Sun 24-Mar-19 01:33:31

And also, as other PPs have said - when the time for sleepovers comes, you get to decide which parents you trust and which you don't, so don't worry about that now. But you really need to avoid projecting your own anxieties onto your child - children absorb everything.

HennyPennyHorror Sun 24-Mar-19 01:35:33

I didn't let my DDs stay with school friends until they were about 9. Younger than that, they're at the total mercy of strangers.

Unless you know the parents well just don't do it.

DizzyPhillips Sun 24-Mar-19 01:36:43

DistanceCall i know this. I do. And if my friend came to me with this, that’s exactly what I’d say.

...But actually yes. If I could keep her in a bubble to ensure she would always be safe then I probably would blush

Papergirl1968 Sun 24-Mar-19 01:38:39

Mine have never had sleepovers, at least not till the oldest, now 17, temporarily moved out.
Part of the reason was because they are adopted and were very unsettled for many years, bed wetting, nightmares etc.
Part of the reason was because I feared they'd be sexually abused by another child's father or brother. Irrational maybe but I worked for the police and had knowledge of many cases where outwardly decent and upstanding members of the community were arrested for abuse or possessing porn - a firefighter, a driving instructor, several teachers etc.
But the other reason is that I knew from other parents, including my sisters, that kids would come home from sleepovers exhausted, crabby, or upset, having been up till the early hours, bullied or excluded, or just homesick.
In my unfashionable view, children need security and routine, and sleepovers are best avoided until aged ten at the earliest, preferably secondary school age, and then only in school holidays and with families who you know well.

Crabbyandproudofit Sun 24-Mar-19 01:47:14

Don't look too far ahead, you will always be able to find something to worry about. I known this is easier to say than to do. It is 6 months before your daughter starts school and she will change and grow a lot in that time. There will be challenges for you both and your role is to support and help her to deal with them. You want to protect her and you can do this by being equipped with as much information as possible. But eventually you surely want her to be independent and happy, confident in the choices she makes. When she starts school that will be a first big step.

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