We’ve always allowed sleepovers and I’ve never taken issue with them until recently. We always make sure we know the families really well, and our kids can call us at any time if they feel uncomfortable to come home.
But the combination of the horrendous mood the day after, being in middle school, and having access to technology sort of changes the playing field.
I trust my own daughter to make good decisions…usually. But when faced with peer pressure, sleeplessness, boredom, unlimited WiFi access, and sleeping parents, the world is now in the living room with them. And no one is supervising.
The biggest dilemma I face when it comes to the sleepover, however, is not with my own kids, and letting them stretch their boundaries, and assert their independence.
The biggest dilemma I’m struggling with is with taking responsibility for OTHER people’s kids while they’re in my home over night.
I can’t really take away other kids’ phones after a certain hour, as I would my own kid, so how can I possibly police what they are doing in the wee hours of the morning? Who are they calling/texting? What are they watching? I really have no idea. Yet they’re under my roof, so I’m responsible, right?
I suppose I take on that responsibility every time a kid is at my house, but there’s something extra tempting about the idea that they have virtually no supervision with their phones and other handheld devices while the parents are asleep.
I’m comfortable that no one will sneak out (I’ve got crazy sensitive hearing and an alarm system to boot), and I’m pretty sure no one will steal any alcohol (unless they bring their own – we don’t have any in the house), but abusing the technology…that I cannot guarantee so long as they have their phones with them.
We argued about this last sleepover, and though we gave in and let her have it, my “Mom Radar” was on high alert and I had already decided this would be the last one.
I know, I know…this probably puts me into the “Lame Mom” category once again, and I’ve become one of THOSE moms, but sometimes you have to hold that mantel proudly.
I’m just not willing to be held responsible when I don’t feel that I can guarantee that the kids won’t cross the technology boundaries set by their own parents, while they are in my home.
Our new alternative will be the “Late Over” where they can stay as late as parents will tolerate, but they aren’t left to their own accord in those tempting hours.
I know I can’t protect them all the time, but I can make temptation a little harder to reach.
Everyone has to decide what’s right for their own family. This isn’t a judgment call, and there are always exceptions.