Do any of you get this way?

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-09-2008
Do any of you get this way?
3
Fri, 04-25-2003 - 10:25pm
My 10 yo dd is sleeping over at her friend's house tonight. Every time she has a sleepover that is not at our house I have all these thoughts run through my head that she's going to be raped or molested by the father or older brothers if there are any.

I know people who simply do not "do" sleepovers to avoid any possibility of anything happening, and to avoid explaining why it's okay to have a sleepover with so-and-so, but not this other person. I feel like sleepovers are an important, fun part of growing up; I loved them. I also know that I can't protect my children against every contingency. But there is a part of me that is like, "if it does happen, it's your fault for not making the decision not to allow sleepovers." It's so scary, too, because you can't identify a perp by appearance or demeanor, necessarily.

The dad of my dd's friend came with friend to pick my dd up. I was doing yard work and we chatted while the girls got dd's stuff together. All the while I'm looking at him trying to determine whether I can get a feel for whether he would do something like that. My dd has been friends with this girl for 4 years, and until this year sleepovers were always at our house because they had some difficult family situations going on. We just always invited her friend over when they wanted to have one, didn't make a big deal about the other stuff; they have an older son who has several chronic illnesses, and for a while there were severe marriage problems. Over the last year things have settled down over there and she's slept over twice. Each time when she comes home I watch her demeanor and she's always happy when she comes home.

Am I nuts? I hate this! Most people wouldn't even be thinking about this every time their kids have sleepovers! I've talked to my husband at length to see if he feels any level of concern about this, and he doesn't. He said that he thinks it's just close to home for me and I project my feelings onto my daughter. He himself experienced SA growing up more than once, so he understands my feelings.

Please tell me I'm okay and that I'm not being irresponsible about my daughter's well-being! Sometimes I feel like I'm losing my mind!

Thanks, Heidi

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-22-2003
Sat, 04-26-2003 - 1:20am
Heidi,

you are NOT losing your mind! I feel the same way. My daugher is only 6 and has not slept over anywhere yet except at my sister in laws, but my older son has slept over several times, but mainly with the same three people, and I know the families well. My husband and I have a rule that the kids do not sleep over at anyones house until we meet the parents, and typically that has meant having them over for supper. It feels uncomfortable at first, but anyone who has accepted our invitations have turned out to be people we feel comfortable with ourselves. Quite simply, declined invitations mean my kids won't be staying with you at your house. It has not always been dinner, but it's at least coffee and conversation with the kids around so we can get a feel for the way they interact with their own kids and with ours. I think that this day and age you can't be too careful, and I can't imagine myself NOT doing it this way. But I would never judge anyone for doing things differently, and in fact several kids have spent the night at our house and we never even met the parents, they just rode their bicycles over. Our house is the house where the kids always are, and my son prefers to have kids stay with us anyway.

I like that.

Lynn
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-21-2003
Sat, 04-26-2003 - 1:28am
I *do* get this way, but I have to say, I am one of the parents who (at least for now) has the "no sleepover" rule in effect. Although, that is changing very soon. My dd was invited for a sleepover at a very close friend's house--this is someone whose entire family I know very well--and I said yes. And you know what? I don't feel badly at all that I said "NO" to a sleepover invite at another of her friend's house last month, because I didn't know her family all that well. (And it turned out that they let the girls sleep outside, without an adult--so I'm *really* glad I didn't bend my rule for that one!)

My attitude is this: If someone doesn't like my rules and my decisions about my kids' welfares, they can kiss my you-know-what. LOL That's my attitude! There are *very* few places I would let my kids sleep over. I have 3 or 4 friends where I'd let them sleep over, my sister's, SIL's, MIL's, and G-MIL's. That's it. Anyone else, the answer is no. I don't care who thinks I'm a meanie or an over-protective smothering mom. It's my right to say no, and I'm exercising it! :o}

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-02-2003
Sun, 05-11-2003 - 9:37pm
this has been a hard thing for me as well...my eldest daughter (my other children are still babies) has slept over a friend's house a couple times but I know the family pretty well...but it's always there in the back of my mind that you can't ever really truly KNOW someone. So I worry constantly...she's also slept over another friend's house but the only male is a young child.

Mostly, I'd rather have the friend stay HERE where I know they BOTH will be safe (because I also worry about my daughter's friends being abused).