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Would you make your 8 year old stay the night at a friend's house if they weren't happy about it?

(27 Posts)
sandyballs Mon 05-Oct-09 13:10:19

I occasionally have a friend's son to stay the night and she has my twin girls on another night. One of my DD's has never been over-enthusiastic about this but has gone reluctantly and seems to have had a good time, when I hear about it the next day.

They are due to go this Sat night and DT2 is adamant she isn't going. She often has trouble getting to sleep at home and needs quite a lot of reassurance at bed time and I think this is behind her reluctance to go.

I think, fine, this phase won't last forever, she's only 8, I'm not going to make her if she isn't comfortable with it. Her sister can go. But my friend thinks I should force her to go. She thinks I'm molly coddling her and should be 'firmer' with her to get her out of this silly phase.

Advice please you wise mumsnetters!

bibbitybobbityCAT Mon 05-Oct-09 13:12:24

No, in the circumstances you describe, I would be quite happy for my 8 year old to stay at home. What would forcing her achieve?

AbominableDomine Mon 05-Oct-09 13:15:00

No I wouldn't force her - why intentionally make her miserable, 8yrs old or not?? That's not molly coddling IMO.

If you did force her as your friend suggests, you'd be on pins the whole time she's away.

AMumInScotland Mon 05-Oct-09 13:18:22

Forcing children to do things they are scared of does not usually help them to "grow out of it" - that might work if they are just a bit unsure, and you convince them they'll be fine.

But if she has issues with bedtimes even at home, no I don't think forcing her to go and stay at a friends house is going to help her deal with that in the slightest.

Better to work on her confidence and reassure her at home till she works her way through this fear, before making her face something bigger.

petitmaman Mon 05-Oct-09 13:19:48

no. do not force her. surely it is meant to be fun. if she won't find it fun what is the point? and surely your friend won't want some one staying the night who id going to be upset. esp in the middle of the night.
as you say she will grow out of phase but i think that it would take a lot longer if you forced her to go. let her stay at home with you but if i was you i wouldn't make the time at home extra special because it is just her iyswim. i would just make it normal. when her sister comes hime the next day with stories of how much fun she has had she may be keener to go next time.

sandyballs Mon 05-Oct-09 13:30:53

Thanks for your replies. I don't know why this friend makes me doubt my parenting judgement! I know she sees it as a personal slight, the fact that Dt2 doesn't want to stay in her house, regardless of the fact that she doesn't want to stay anywhere, except possibly her grandparents.

Good idea petitmaman about not making it special at home and hopefully hearing her sister's tales of fun might prompt her to try next time.

Kayran Mon 05-Oct-09 13:47:12

Horrid thought but your friend may be concerned that if one of the girls stops going the other might follow and then the reciporcal arrangment of you looking after her son might stop? I cnanot think of any other reason why she would want a child who did not want to be in her home to be forced to go.

sandyballs Mon 05-Oct-09 14:02:47

Didn't think of that - it is a possibility. Although I would be happy to have her son anyway. I'm sure DT1 won't stop going, she is much more confident and outgoing and loves staying anywhere.

The last time she stayed she wasn't keen but went along with it because she knew me and DH were going out for a meal. She asked us to collect her when we had finished and bring her home to sleep. I agreed and she went off quite happily.

My friend then rang and said she was having a lovely time and came up with the idea of telling DD we couldn't get a cab until very late so best if she fell asleep at her house and we would wake her when we got there. I went along with this and DD did stay the night there and was fine. We told a fib in the morning and said we couldn't wake her when we arrived so left her there.

Now I have felt guilty about this, although DD was fine. And I was hoping that she would realise that she was fine and be happy to do it again, but I'm worried now that it has had the opposite effect sad.

AMumInScotland Mon 05-Oct-09 14:12:52

A bit late now, but I think it's had the opposite effect - so now she doesn't feel she can go there knowing that you'll pick her up later, because last time it didn't happen. And even if she was ok about it, she might think that next time she might not be ok, and will be stuck there.

sandyballs Mon 05-Oct-09 14:23:21

Exactly blush. I wish I hadn't listened to friend or DH at the time.

Oh well, can't change that now, so just need to concentrate on making her more confident at bedtime at home and hoping she'll change as she gets older.

Kayran Mon 05-Oct-09 14:51:51

Ah the amazing feelings of motherhood. First comes loves, second comes guilt, third comes recriminaation and then fourth you realise that they have grown up, moved out and ... well okay I have only got to phase three but pretty sure phase 4 will make us all look back on this and if not laugh, at least raise a wry smile.

AMumInScotland Mon 05-Oct-09 15:06:11

I'm sure she'll get better about this in her own time, and if she doesn't then she'll just not stay over at firends overnight, which presumably won't matter terribly much. Just let her get over her nervousness about bedtimes at home for now.

You were trying to do the best for her, thinking it would help her get over it. That's the trouble with parenting - whatever you think will work best, they'll make you wrong!

cory Tue 06-Oct-09 08:08:52

I'd only force her if there was an overriding reason why she had to go: e.g. if you were ill or going into hospital. IF somebody else's needs were greater than hers. Forcing for the sake of it just sounds silly.

BecauseImWorthIt Tue 06-Oct-09 08:17:38

Making her go is bad; lying to her about the fact that you would pick her up is even worse.

Sorry (I know you didn't want to hear that!)

Sounds like your own instinct is spot on and your DD needs a bit of extra reassurance from you. Abandoning her (for that is what it will feel like to her) isn't going to make her feel any better about future sleepovers.

Trust your own judgement!

star6 Tue 06-Oct-09 08:21:46

I remember my parents doing this. I said I wanted them to come get me at a sleepover - I was 7. They said they would, then kept making excuses and I was having fun... I don't remember what happened but fell asleep and next thing I knew it was morning and they hadn't come. After that, I had trouble sleeping over at friend's houses until I was about 13 blush. This is NOT intended to make you feel badly. I'm sure your DD will be fine!! Especially since she had been doing it before that. This had been my first sleepover. I'm just over sensitive in general anyway.

LoveBeingAMummy Tue 06-Oct-09 08:23:44

Agree with amuminscotland. take a look at this thread

ssd Tue 06-Oct-09 08:24:01

op, no way would I force your dd

whats the point?

mumonthenet Tue 06-Oct-09 08:36:37

No, I wouldn't force her.

And I would also make really sure that she isn't made to feel bad/guilty/cowardly/ about not going.

Trust your instincts.

seeyounexttuesday Tue 06-Oct-09 08:38:51

nope, not at all. Receipe for disaster.

sandyballs Thu 08-Oct-09 13:52:02

Thanks for all your replies. Very interesting to hear that you all agree with me, I thought there might be differing views.

I've tried to get her to talk about why she doesn't like staying over but she just gets cross and refuses to talk about it.

I will back off and just say if you don't go, then fine, no problem. I need to chat with friend about this as she is inclinced to try and cajole her or bribe her into going. She has a completely different view of it than myself and everyone on here. Her and her husband believe it's a big problem that needs sorting out and think she is basically being either selfish or a bit wet! And they feel I am handling it all wrong. That's the impression I get anyway.

Many thanks.

mumonthenet Thu 08-Oct-09 22:44:55

god, sandy, am surprised that your friend and her dh are so UNcool about this.

Why on earth can't they accept that children have different needs and desires. Must be very uncomfortable for you.

But you will be proved right - (from your own and your dd's pov) I mean - who cares what anyone else thinks. Your dd is the most important factor here.

OrangeFish Thu 08-Oct-09 22:50:54

Sandy, that last post made me a bit unconfortable, why so much insistance?

MollieO Thu 08-Oct-09 22:56:11

I think at 8 your dd is pretty capable of knowing her own mind. She isn't 5 or 6 and persuadable. I would feel quite uncomfortable that a friend was trying to put pressure on my dd to do something she didn't want to. Having said that I do have friends who only see life according to their dcs and don't always appreciate that other children are different.

piscesmoon Thu 08-Oct-09 23:15:12

Don't force her. They are all different. My DS1 and DS3 had no problem, but DS found it very difficult. He either didn't go or we got a late night phone call to collect him. We just collected him and treated it as natural with no fuss. He gradually gained confidence and now you would never know that he had a problem with it when younger.

piscesmoon Thu 08-Oct-09 23:15:58

Sorry -meant DS2 had a problem.

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