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Quick question - How much info do you insist on knowing before letting DC sleep out?

(31 Posts)
Nameforposting Wed 31-Dec-14 21:42:13

Hi, This is new territory for me and so I'm not sure whether I'm being over-protective or not.
My Year 8 DD (with asthma and nut allergies) has started receiving invitations to sleep over at the houses of different girls from school, the invites seem to be from the girls themselves via snapchat or text.
I don't know any of these girls, and sometimes my DD hasn't even mentioned them prior to the invite.
I don't feel comfortable allowing my DD to sleep at the house of what is essentially a bunch of strangers but am I being over-involved?
Is this usual at this age?
I have in the past prevented DD from going when my DD (and/or the friend) have been unable or unwilling to give me a contact number for the parent so I can talk to them beforehand.
I'm only doubting myself because it appears (on having newer friends over here to sleep) I've had to do all the chasing about for parental contact numbers etc - the other parents haven't appeared to see contact between the two set of parents as essential.

Please share your thoughts or experiences of this age group - it was so much easier when she was at Primary School!

notquiteruralbliss Thu 01-Jan-15 08:07:55

With younger DCs, I always used to check with the parents that they know about a proposed sleepover. Not so much with a year 8 though. There would occasionally be some contact with parents but often not. All I would usually do was make sure DCs phones were charged, that they had some £ in case it was needed and that i knew what time to pick them up.

DustInTheWind Thu 01-Jan-15 08:20:46

Depends how responsible and mature your DD is, and how close the friendship. You don't need to say yes to al of them, get her to choose one that she really wants to and see how it goes.
One thing both of my children have is what they've always called 'A Thunderbirds ticket' That's a promise from me that they will be rescued if necessary from any situation at any time in an emergency. DS called it 'Thunderbirds are Go' and it stuck. smile
Comes with a code phrase as well if they couldn't speak freely...not being dramatic, more about not losing face in front of peers, so it would be me insisting that they come home and not them being afraid to stay.
The times that I had to thunderbird were less than once a year, and they are 20 and 24 now. Ticket is valid for life.
So yes to going with money, charged phone and knowing the address of where they are. You don't need contact with the parents as they get older, you need to know that your child is able to assess situations and contact you if there's a problem, and in your DD's case, that she can manage her allergies even under the pressure to be polite. Does she have ICE on her phone and do her friends know what to do in an emergency?
It's scary when they start launching out into the world, but it's an essential part of growing up and living your life.

mollysmummy1970 Thu 01-Jan-15 08:24:36

That's a great idea Dust, u sound like a lovely mum smile

DustInTheWind Thu 01-Jan-15 08:31:56

Thank you, but it's for me as well as them. I don't lie awake fretting and worrying, because I know if they need me, they'll call and that if there is a problem, they'll work through possible solutions before phoning.
It's a safety line, and they don't misuse it.

Vvvoom Thu 01-Jan-15 08:39:52

We insist on a number and I call to double check the invite is real. dss lives in a different town so we can't go collect him at a moment's notice. We had two of his friends to stay for a weekend - one's dad rang, the other didnt. They were 15.
I'd have been mortified if my mum had called friends' parents at that age - but I think it's more accepted today - we tend to be more protective of our children.

SecretSquirrels Thu 01-Jan-15 10:36:24

Nameforposting Year 8 so 12/13?
I think at that age it's borderline. If mine were going to a known friend I would not have rung, but a complete stranger I would have said not until they were a little older. You say she has a nut allergy and if that is a genuine life threatening allergy I would most definitely speak to the parents before allowing her to visit.
I can honestly say that not one single parent has ever rung me to check on a sleepover hmm. That may just be because we are very rural and so parents would have to drop off and pick up.
It's so much easier at primary school.

Coconutty Thu 01-Jan-15 10:46:52

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Mynewnamenotyours Thu 01-Jan-15 13:54:32

We have the same thunderbirds system in place, although not called that! Might have to call it something though!

We do phone people we don't know, DS is yr9. One time we phoned, the mum said yes fine he can sleepover then mentioned as an aside later in the call that she would be on night shift so there would be no adult there overnight! We said no on that occasion although he has since slept at that boy's house when an adult was there.

With allergies and a yr8 child I would want to make contact.

2fedup Thu 01-Jan-15 14:01:27

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Claybury Thu 01-Jan-15 15:35:40

If at all possible I say you should set a rule of knowing the address and phone no of a parent at a house they are staying at. If you don't do this now you will not be able to start doing this when your DC is a bit older. If your dd really doesn't want you to know, you may want to ask yourself why the secrecy. Teenagers can be very manipulative and persuade you this isn't the done thing but I can see you feel uncomfortable about it and you are right to question it.
I was in the same situation as you when DS was in year 8. It was probably about a year before I found out he was not always actually at this friend's house, but 'out' and often smoking weed at any house where there wasn't much parental supervision then just going back to the friend's house later.
I was really upset when I realised how much freedom he'd had and what he'd been able to get up to.
ime sleepovers were a way of getting stoned / drunk and not needing to see your parents afterwards. We all live close by so there was no need for staying over.
I never thought this would start so young, and it was more a boy thing, but I'm just saying once you allow the freedom it's pretty hard to tighten the reins.
DD however has never minded me phoning the other parents, and her group of friends never had anything to hide.

AmantesSuntAmentes Thu 01-Jan-15 15:47:10

A point of law is that while under 16, our children are our responsibility and it's our responsibility to place them in the care of a responsible adult, if not in our care.

Obviously, we make leeway on occasion but I would use this, if I needed to present a reason for needing to know where my young teen was and who with.

Nameforposting Thu 01-Jan-15 16:36:59

Thank you for your replies and some really good ideas that I hadn't thought of.
I think some of my main worries are around her 'exposure' to things I think could be harmful, cigarette smoke is an obvious one and for good reason but also things like watching 15 or 18 films (which she tells me her friends do).
She is a fairly responsible girl but she is only 12yrs old and does seem to have a habit of placing herself in the middle of any dramas.

I'm finding it difficult to recognise when I'm being over protective as she constantly tells me that my rules/views are old fashioned (I'm 43)
A lot of her friends have parents who are a lot younger and some of them are only actually in their late 20s shock

The code word is an excellent idea which I'll definitely use.

Nameforposting Thu 01-Jan-15 16:40:43

Oh just to add, DD has only been at this school for 7 months, she hasn't really made any close friends, as the friendship groups were already well established when she joined.
She has found it difficult to make friends in her new school so I'd like to encourage any opportunities that come her way, having said that, these kids are complete strangers, some invitations are from girls she's only been on speaking terms for a week or so.

DustInTheWind Thu 01-Jan-15 17:59:45

'I'm finding it difficult to recognise when I'm being over protective as she constantly tells me that my rules/views are old fashioned'

I think you'd struggle to find the parent of a teenager who hasn't had something of the sort said to them at some point. grin

Theas18 Thu 01-Jan-15 18:30:10

We have thunderbirds too. Best name for it ever! - no questions asked, if you want out I'll be there - including to help / remove others from the scene if needed. Agree " valid for life" if I can possibly get there too - though the biggies are in Germany at the moment!

Means you stay sober and alert but that's ok.

However with you dd being what 12/13yrs if would also depend on the severity of her asthma and allergies. If we are talking mild asthma never admitted and allergies including rash needing antihistamine but again never admitted I think that's ok. However acute severe asthma that might need 999 or epi pen use for allergies I think it's not fair unless you know/ trust the parent and they are aware. Mind you I think you'd be pleasantly surprised if you asked - there are a lot of epipen and 1st aid trained people out there - DH and i for instance as work in Health care and teaching and are officially trained - many TAs , nursery workers and those with family members with allergies too .

I think this age is too young to be responsible for severe allergies yourself, and you can't rely on another home being allergen free.

MerryMo Thu 01-Jan-15 18:44:30

My DC is year9 and I insist in parent contact details and address. I also call to ensure the invite is genuine.

I am now familiar with DC circle of friends however, we are about to move a few hundred miles away, so everyone and even our locality will be new and strange! I am starting to freak out about these scenarios already.

I suppose I will just insist still and use the excuse I need directions for drop off/pick up as a reason to call.

LynetteScavo Fri 02-Jan-15 11:56:06

I'm obviously weird, as I don't let 16yo sleepover without at least texting a parents first (apart from his very good friends, where he regularly goes, and I usually send a thank you text at least)

DS has invited some friends to sleep over tomorrow. I've no idea how many will come. I really wish their parents would text me to check it's OK....I actually think it's a bit rude to drop your child off outside someone's house, presuming they will feed and care for your child for the next 12/24 hours.

Nameforposting Fri 02-Jan-15 12:50:17

In terms of her asthma, it has in the past been described as brittle (in that she can go from fairly ok to serious concerns very quickly) having said that though, her asthma has seemed very stable for the past year.

With regards her nut allergies, her official allergy is to Peanuts but recently it seems Almonds and Hazlenuts might be becoming a problem too - the worst reaction she has had so far has been immediate vomiting and huge swollen lips & tongue, itchy mouth, hives.
We have been told (by the Peadiatric dept at the Hospital) that she does not need an Epi pen.

I really appreciate all the different opinions and it's helped me to reach more clarity on what I feel is acceptable (or not).
My thoughts are that until I'm sure she can absolutely manage her own medical condition (and she isn't consistent about doing this) then I need to keep the reins on a while longer.

Thanks all

DustInTheWind Fri 02-Jan-15 12:59:11

I don't think you're weird at all Lynette, just that you parent differently.
I'd expect my child to be the one saying thank you and taking a little something for the parent, not me. Likewise any rudeness about checking would be on the part of the individual doing the inviting, not the parent of the invitee.
I did what you do when my children were younger, but by Y9, I expected them to have the skills to manage themselves appropriately. My sister is much more like you. Both methods seem to be fairly effective.

MerryMo Fri 02-Jan-15 13:56:25

Lynette - I am like you.

I think its rude as well and I am worrier so I need clarification for my own mind where and who my child is with.

DustInTheWind Fri 02-Jan-15 14:03:15

Do you not trust your teenager to tell you the truth?
Or to have the good manners to manage a sleepover and the expected courtesies?

Claybury Fri 02-Jan-15 14:40:54

lyntte - all teens are different and honestly I'd be laughed out of town for texting the parents of a 16 year old after a sleepover. It's not about you being weird, it's about your DC's being a different sort of teenager !
At most 16 year old sleepovers I know of it really is not a case of another adult 'feeding and caring for ' your child is it ?

But I do agree, if they are being dropped off it would be polite to pop in and I would do that if the opportunity presented itself.

Dust - teenagers lie !! It goes with the territory.

DustInTheWind Fri 02-Jan-15 15:06:09

'Dust - teenagers lie !! It goes with the territory.'

Yup, but it depends on the teenager as to what sort of lies and to whom.

BackforGood Fri 02-Jan-15 15:18:37

Same as dustin, theas18 and others - though not heard the 'Thunderbirds' label before.
That said, my dc dont have allergies.
Generally, I've never had a parent phone me about their dc being here, and I've never phoned about my dc going somewhere, ( and my yr 8 is the youngest) but if a child were coming to my house with a life threatening illness or allergy, then that puts it in a different arena, and I'd appreciate a heads up from the parent first.

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