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Sleep-overs.... need some advice

(11 Posts)
Mandy03 Sun 26-Jun-05 13:25:27

I'd really appreciate some input on a situation with my sister-in-law. She's lovely and accommodating and everything, but she is being quite persistent about my ds spending the night at her place. She has four kids, two younger ones and two older ones (from a previous marriage) and I only have one child, my son who is 4 yrs old (turning 5 very soon). Quite frankly I don't want him staying over there just yet - I think he's too young. I know she thinks I'm too protective of him, and if I refuse to allow him to spend the night (and the next day, which is what she wants) I know she'll give me a hard time about being over-protective, blah blah blah.

The thing is - he's still only 4. She is a VERY laid-back person and she often doesn't know where her kids are. The two young ones (6 and 4) often just leave the house and go across the street to a neighbour's house, and my SIL doesn't even know where they are, until it eventually dawns on her that they're not around. Then she'll go looking for them, but several times they have been outside riding up and down the road on bikes or scooters, or following older children around who live in the street. It's a reasonably quiet area but cars obviously still drive up and down the road, and as yet, my son still doesn't have a lot of road sense. So if she's not watching them, I don't want him over there for long periods of time when I'm not around. It may sound over protective to some people, but honestly, I have been at her house a couple of times when her kids have gone 'missing', only to discover that her two children have managed to unlock the gate and let themselves out - and one day they were running across a road with my son following right behind them.

I just don't feel comfortable about it. And the worst thing is that dh doesn't really seem to agree with me, which surprises me as he knows what my SIL is like. I know she's going to keep persisting, and I hate confontration so I'm not really sure how to handle it. Please tell me that I'm not being paranoid.. he's my only child and I'd rather wait until he has a bit more sense and maturity before I leave him to his own devices with kids who don't have a lot of boundaries. Thanks....

hercules Sun 26-Jun-05 13:26:32

I think 4 is a little young for a sleep over plus the reaosn you've stated.

Mama5 Sun 26-Jun-05 13:29:08

I am not keen on sleepovers - kids often miss you even though they say they wont and are all tired and fractious the next day. Stick by your guns -- you are his mum! Good luck!

Caligula Sun 26-Jun-05 13:37:21

I wouldn't let him go.

Why on earth does your SIL think it's so important that he goes and stays at her place? Hasn't she got enough children to look after? Why on earth does she have to hassle you? Why can't she take the hint?!

It would drive me nuts!

Fifi1976 Sun 26-Jun-05 13:43:11

My ds is 2 and has slept over at my sister's several times since he was born (mostly in a travel cot and once in a ready bed). He absolutely loves it with his 2 cousins there and I've been fine with it HOWEVER, only because I know he will be kept indoors and no way to get out - my sister is quite strict about her kids going out so I've not got a problem. Also, they are fairly local to me. Her 2 kids (dd 4,ds 7) have also slept over here once and again, they all loved it.

Having said all that, your situation is very different so although I may seem more relaxed, in your situation I wouldn't be happy as there are risks!

Basically, go with your instinct. Sorry I have no good advice about how you deal with the situation, you SIL should just respect your wishes and keep quiet about it!

Mandy03 Sun 26-Jun-05 14:00:28

It does drive me nuts, Caligula. She's nice and we got on quite well BUT she's very different to me, seems to believe in allowing children to find out things for themselves and not protecting them too much. She's the type who will throw her child in the pool to get them used to swimming... and she questions why my ds still swims with armbands on. (Because I don't want him to drown??). I just feel that she thinks the sooner kids are doing things, the better.

I don't know WHY she's so keen to have him over there, I suspect she feels a bit sorry for him being an 'only', and she probably thinks he's missing out on the big, noisy, lots-of-children environment. Which is all very well but I don't really trust her to keep a watchful eye on him, which is more the issue. It bugs me that she won't let it go, even when I probably show that I'm not all that keen on the idea.

Ds has had lots of sleep-overs at my parents' place, but he's stayed there since he was a baby and they are very reliable with him. And as they're my parents, I'm more comfortable in letting them know what I feel strongly about, and they generally tend to understand. One of my best friends is also very protective of her children and always keeps an eye on them, so I would probably feel quite comfortable leaving him with her... different person entirely to my SIL.

Fifi1976 Sun 26-Jun-05 14:19:10

Difficult but don't let her stay over until YOU feel comfortable. Like you, my ds has stayed with my parents at times since he was a baby and the same goes for my best friend and my sister. Sounds like it's loads but actually, my ds hardly ever stays away from home, it's just that these people he has stayed with are people I trust.

As for armbands, both my sister's children still wear them and my nephew is 7! You have to do things when you're ready - also, you know your ds best!

Fifi1976 Sun 26-Jun-05 14:19:36

I meant don't let HIM stay over

saadia Sun 26-Jun-05 14:39:52

Mandy03, I would definitely not let him stay if you already strongly believe she is unreliable.

I don't think you need to give a reason except perhaps in the interests of politeness say you would miss him too much.

Fifi1976 Sun 26-Jun-05 14:50:07

Good idea saadia. She may well have an opinion about that but let her, it's much more important that your child is safe than it is to worry about what people think. I've had all this with my family about things like food - my parents didn't see the harm in my ds tasting naughty foods at a very young age (under 1) and took the mick out of me for being so worried! Funny now that my ds is 2 and eating loads of good food, they turn around and comment on how amazing it is that he eats so well - maybe it's got something to do with me not giving my son loads of crap.

Sorry it's of the subject but I was just trying to explain that MUM KNOWS BEST !

monkeytrousers Mon 27-Jun-05 19:23:21

Or Mandy, why not go and stay over with him and see what the routine is?

I agree though, if you're not comfortable then just don't do it. The explanations you gave here are strong ones and if she's reasonable she shouldn't have a problem. Or even if you just tell her you're not comfortable, as a mum herself she should understand.

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