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Sleepover dilemma, wwyd??

post #1 of 33
Thread Starter 

My son (6) has just gotten to the age that we felt he was mature and old enough to sleep over at a friend's house. He has only done it a handful of times, but now I'm starting to really, umm, HATE it... and I feel like a grumpy mom. Here's my issue:

 

WE are a very strict household. I was allowed to run wild as a child and I felt like it had a negative impact on me growing up. DH was raised in a very strict household, so he's just carrying on what he felt was successful in his life. By strict I mean my kids have boundaries, which I feel are important. Cleaning up after ourselves, our kids have chores, we follow a schedule, we don't jump on beds, furniture or act like wild animals. Rough play and yelling is fine outside, but inside we expect you to respect our things. You do what you're told, and if there is a problem, we have "time in's" and talk about what the issue is and try to come to an understanding together. I feel like I support my kids and make them feel secure and loved, but have an equally stern, high expectations household.

 

Now DS1's friends house... to me... is wayyyyyy different. His mom is a very loving, laid back women. I can tell she is very well bonded with her kids and is a devoted mom. However, her kids do pretty much whatever they want. While DH and I were over last night, the kids were using all of the furniture as trampolines and somehow got a bunch of play-dough out and were throwing it AT THE WHITE WALLS, watching it splatter. DH and I looked at each other like "ooommmggg is this happening right now?" Their blinds are like completely destroyed from the kids, and I just notice that a lot of their furniture and stuff is broken because everyone is so rough. I mean, the kids were chasing each other around with a tennis racket and hitting and kicking balls in the house. My DS had this glimmer in his eye as he ran around like a wild animal (not listening to me at all as I asked him to respect their house, as she said "no biggie, they're allowed to do that!".

 

So he comes home this morning. I pick him at at noon and he's still in his PJs. He had a chocolate bar for breakfast, no lunch. I asked him what he did and he tells me "I stayed up ALLLLL night! They're allowed to watch TV all night(yes, TV in their bed room nut.gif.. lol.. we don't even have cable) and we jumped on the beds for hours. SO MUCH FUN. We played outside all morning by ourselves!"

 

On the way home, DS started to cry because he was coming home. When we pulled in the driveway I turned the car off and encouraged him to talk to me about why he was upset. Long story short, he's upset because our house is so lame and J's house is so fun. His parents are so cool. He can do anything he wants. I tried to explain the best I could the differences in households, but I mean.. c'mon.. he's 6. I fed him, showered and dressed him, and now he is taking the first nap in three years because he's so completely exhausted from not sleeping.

 

DH arranged this sleepover, I had been trying to avoid them as I find the differences in households to be just TOO much. But now I feel like the jerk, controlling mom who won't let him have sleepovers because I don't feel like the things he's doing/seeing are safe & good examples. 

 

WWYD in a situation like this? DH thinks one night every now and then won't hurt him.. I don't feel like she's a bad mom or anything, I just feel like our households are very different and sending mixed signals. 


Edited by mamanoish - 12/17/11 at 11:19am
post #2 of 33

Well... every once in awhile a sleep over like that, is really AWESOME!  My parents were quite strict as in they didn't allow a lot of shenanegans!  I had a friend whose parents were so laid back.  I was always behaved at their home but I loved the fact that I got to stay up late and I didn't have to brush my teeth!  Good memories!!!

post #3 of 33
So I guess I am the parent you described because nothing you said raised my eyebrow except for the TV, no one has a TV in their bedroom and they don't watch TV all night. But everything else? Common practice here. DD1 has one friend whose parents are more like you. And honestly, I wish DD1 would find another friend. Just because everytime she comes over I have to be on constant guard because she isn't allowed to do so much. I have to monitor what we say, watch, listen to, eat, on and on. By mutual agreement, the mom and I now only let DD1 go there, the friend doesn't come here anymore. They don't want her copying the "wildness" of my house. It is a mixed blessings, because sometimes DD1 just wants to play her her toys with her friends and they live in our neighborhood so it is odd always sending her over there. The other girl is 10, and the girls have been in the same class for 3 years now so this isn't a new problem. This is the only time it has come up, usually I have the house where everyone's else kids want to hang out at! Which is what I wanted, a safe hang out place, I'm hoping that continues as they get older.
Edited by Peony - 12/17/11 at 2:02pm
post #4 of 33

I don't think there is anything wrong with the way you are feeling. Our daughter is two and we have already decided that she will be able to have sleepovers...but at our house only. Too many WEIRD things happened to me at other kids' houses growing up for me to be completely comfortable sending my sweet daughter to anyone's house overnight, other than her grandparents. Like it or not, most kids are not good influences on other kids. The more time they spend together, the more likely they are to do something really stupid. I'm not saying young children shouldn't have friends, just that their time together should be monitored. If you don't feel your DS's friend's parents can do that to your satisfaction, I totally would not allow them to have sleepovers anymore.

post #5 of 33

I guess my house is somewere between the two you described. I'm fairly laid back but not that laid back.

 

Anyway, I'd personally let him go every so often. I don't think an occasional night like that is going to cause harm, and the relationship building and fun will be good for him. Just don't let him go over too often. Chocolate for breakfast? That would be the worst part for me. But so long as it was very occasional, I'd relax about it and think of it like Christmas morning or something. Anyway, just my perspective.

post #6 of 33

I have to share my story about my sisters and their sons, 2 months apart in age.  My oldest sister is a lot like me, permissive about jumping on furniture, though somehow her house was always trashed, and I have somehow managed to avoid that.  My other, next older sister is like you.  Her house is beautiful, quiet and the kids are respectful.  They eat at the dining room table.  She is not overbearing or mean, she just expects respect and chores and cleaning up, etc.  Noisy play belongs outside.

 

Now, the boys love each other, always.  And they both have fun at each other's houses.  BS1's son loves how nice his cousin's house looks and he likes eating at the dinner table instead of in the living room in front of the TV.  And his cousin likes the freedom at bs1's house, even though the house is trashed and he would never want his room or his house to look like that.  My sisters love each other, even though their respective habits drive each other nuts.  

 

6yo is a little young to really grasp those things, but if his friends were to come over and have fun in your house that doesn't involve trashing the house, with a lovely dinner at the table and toys that are in one piece (I'm taking a little creative license here) your son might feel better about the "cool factor" of his own room and house, too.  And make sure they have plenty of boisterous run-and-jump-around time outside.  I suspect that if you allowed it now and then, and invited his friend over equally, the differences will become less emotional for him.  If he and his friend are anything like my two nephews, he will.

 

Edited to add:  if during your talks, you find something he likes about his friend's house that you are willing to compromise on and incorporate, that might go a long ways towards helping him feel better.

post #7 of 33
Thread Starter 

I appreciate the responses! I think my main issue with why this is bothering me is because DS is so resentful of the way we "live" compared to his friend.. like this is a torturous life or something. irked.gif He was literally the biggest grump all day. He slept for 3 hours before I woke him up because I needed to go to the store. He cried and whined in the van the entire way, then moped through the store, then complained all night at home about how bad his day was since he came home until finally crashing about 10 minutes ago. 

 

I explained to him that I understand that he's upset, but if he can't handle that the rules are a little different here, he can't go over anymore...

 

I don't think I'm really "opposed" to him going every now and then, but the main thing that bothers me is lack of supervision. I don't know if I should bring them up with the mom or not... or if I even could without being insulting. Playing outside unsupervised: fine in some areas, not where we live. We used to live across the street actually and moved because it is a pretty heavy drug area. They aren't involved in anything like that and actually moved there after we moved, and they moved here from out of state not knowing the area. But either way, I don't feel like it's safe, plus the street isn't in a neighborhood. I know they're 6, but 6 year olds can wander and do stupid stuff. Her DS is very different from mine. Maybe it IS the way he was raised and that he's had so much freedom, but her son is very CHILL and my son is always looking for trouble. When I've had her son over for a sleepover, he was so quiet, calm and respectful. It was my DS who was constantly driving me bananas. My fear is that with all of this new found freedom and no supervision, my DS is going to do something incredibly stupid. I'm the kind of mom who fears the worst, and she's much more laid back and doesn't think about that kind of stuff. IDK, I admit that I am incredibly over protective, probably because of some things I experienced growing up due to lack of supervision and crazy, partying laid back parents who didn't care what I did or where I went. 

 

Chocolate for breakfast and all of that stuff, I can overlook and cringe in my own way as long as it's not at my house. We also encourage a lot of independent and pretend play, outdoor play and actively do stuff with our kids. DS was talking about how cool it was the his friend is allowed to play video games whenever he wants without asking. We have a Wii for the kids, but DS isn't allowed to play unless he's been good and he has to ask. And screen time is limited. DS's friend's mom did mention to me that she had to put away video games because my DS was OBSESSING over how much they were allowed to play, and it was all he wanted to do. I thanked her for not letting him do it all day at least... redface.gif

 

I don't know, I think I need to try to become a happy medium or something. In no way do I want my kids bouncing on my expensive sectional or standing on my kitchen table throwing play-dough balls... but man... I feel so lame, ROTFLMAO.gif But I feel like with my DS's personality, he NEEDS boundaries or it wouldn't be a good thing. I like the suggestion of allowing things from his friends house into our house. But oh man, it'd have to be something really tame. orngtongue.gif

 

 


Edited by mamanoish - 12/17/11 at 5:29pm
post #8 of 33

Maybe you can be specific about what boundaries you feel like your son needs, and communicate them to her as what you've found that works for you, like "I've found that when I let Mikey do X, then often Y ends up happening, and I want to avoid that because of blah blah, so I'd like it if you wouldn't let Mikey do X when he's over at your house". That way the focus is on what he needs rather than what she is or isn't doing with her own kid.

 

Maybe you can let him throw play-dough balls outside? Or is it the novelty of doing it in the house that's so awesome for him?

post #9 of 33
IMO, kids can understand different rules at different places. I'd let him go, but, maybe pick him up earlier than noon.
The main thing I want to add is that I wouldn't get upset at how he acted the next day. My kids are always tired and disagreeable after a sleepover due to lack of sleep - regardless of what style of house they've slept over at - strict or permissive. If he continues, after catching up on sleep, to voice concerns about your house, then I'd address it. Try not to take too seriously anything he said on 3 hrs of sleep!
post #10 of 33

if there were guns in that house, you would have no qualms about disallowing sleepovers there.

frankly, i would not want my kid (who is not quite 6 yet, but close) staying up all night and then coming home tired and crabby. it would throw off MY entire day.

 

perhaps you SHOULD put the ki-bosh (i know i misspelled that) on future sleepovers at this particular place, but YOU should hand pick another friend and invite that child to sleep over at your house, with the intention that your son could then stay at his house in turn if invited.

 

it gives you a bad feeling to have your son come home complaining about your rules. enough said. no more sleepovers there until he is much more mature and able to understand that going there is the EXCEPTION to his life, not a license to write a new rulebook.

 

six is really young, IMO, to be having sleepovers at all.

 

not really necessary for social reasons, and just invites trouble, whilest very little gained.

post #11 of 33

 I would let the other boy sleep over more.  If he's quiet and calm at your house, he may be enjoying the lack of chaos.  I think the idea that a lot of kids go wild where there are a lack of rules is rather normal.  His mama just might be putting the fear of god in him before he heads out to your place.  My little cousin is a thug and has no rules at all but I know that he will always be pleasant when he's around me and my kids.  Opening doors, wiping ketchup off of little DD2's face, holding their hands in the store.  Some kids crave rules when they are not getting them, while those that live with a lot of rules crave freedom. 

 

Good luck

post #12 of 33

This is where I become Growly Mama:  if something, or the lack of it, is causing over the top fits, I will not allow it, not in my house not anywhere.  It is my last ditch tactic in this parenting arena.  Ice cream?  I like to have it in the house and they can have a little every day, but if it's causing fits because you want to have it for breakfast?  Sayonara, ice cream!  If they are bears the next morning after a night staying up late?  No more late nights for a while.  "I will not allow things that cause trouble in my house."  Period.  Deal with it.  This is after all my sympathizing and discussing and negotiating all end the same way: tears and tantrums.  Time for this mama to lay down the house rule.  I am a very permissive mama, but this is the final straw.

 

So, if this was my daughter coming home, and she is a mess the next day, and if I hear that the other mama had to work to get me to move on from the video games?  Guess what, my darlings, if they ever act that way again they won't get to spend the night again.  And if they still have meltdowns over another's house rules?  Don't even get to go over there.  I would put it in their court in that way.  Now, if your son was like my 5yo dd2, she would scream "Stop talking!  Stop being angry!"  (Translation: "Give me my way.)  And we could go on like this for hours if I were to wait for some sign of comprehension.  But she'll get the point.  6.75yo dd1 will stew and simmer and blame it all on dd2.  But she will get the point, too.

 

Bottom line:  I would give him one more chance, and with my girls I would word it that way and tell them why they only get one and what kind of behavior I expect at their friend's house and the following day at ours.  Then I'd grit my teeth and give them a second chance.  

 

Kids this little deserve "do-overs".

post #13 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by mamanoish View Post

When I've had her son over for a sleepover, he was so quiet, calm and respectful. It was my DS who was constantly driving me bananas. My fear is that with all of this new found freedom and no supervision, my DS is going to do something incredibly stupid. I'm the kind of mom who fears the worst, and she's much more laid back and doesn't think about that kind of stuff. IDK, I admit that I am incredibly over protective, probably because of some things I experienced growing up due to lack of supervision and crazy, partying laid back parents who didn't care what I did or where I went. 


It is good that you are trying to look at this head on. If you don't want him to go crazy with new found freedom and go wild and do something stupid, then maybe the time is now to start allowing him a little freedom. Sounds like you demand a respectful, quiet child. Nothing wrong with that. But if he is respectful, does his chores... then allow him some of that freedom. He has earned it. Let him outside, unsupervised, for 15 minutes more than YOUR comfort zone. Because he has been mature enough to deserve it. And because it is about your comfort zones, and finding out which are fine exactly where they are, and which you need to let go of, because they are only a response to be opposite of what your parents did. KWIM? There is a difference between never jumping on furniture and jumping on everything while throwing play dough on the walls. A somewhat wild, jumping pillow fight on a sturdy bead comes to mind. There is a difference between eating chocolate for breakfast and no lunch and only eating healthy, nutritious foods three times a day. An upside down day comes to mind - you have dinner for breakfast and pandcakes for dinner.

 

Personally I'm neither on your end, nor your friends end, somewhere in the middle I guess. But if my kids were allowed that on occasion, I would let them. My DD's best friend gets to do tons she does not, gets every present she ever wanted, got 5 different christmas calendars this year (lego, chocolate, little pet shop and I don't know what else) where my "poor" DD only got one. Sometimes my DD comes back home with a little bratty attitude afterwards. But it goes over quickly. And more important - she is learning - different houses equal different rules. And it is a dear friend. And yes, it is worth it.

post #14 of 33

I'm not incredibly strict, but I run my home a lot more closely to your household than the friend's. My DD is nearly 7. I wouldn't allow her to have sleep overs with a friend in that sort of household. Not because I see anything wrong with another household operating that way, but because at this point in time, DD doesn't have the maturity and impulse control to handle that situation well. She too would be obsessing over the video games and TV (she's screen-free at home), she'd eat as much junk as she could get her hands on to the point of illness, and she would drive the parents batty asking for more of this, more of that, more, more, more just to see where the limits are. Then she'd come home and throw a massive tantrum. Right now she doesn't do well without limits. At the moment, she isn't allowed to sleepover elsewhere period, because every time we've tried, it's gone very badly. My goal for her is to be able to handle sleepovers with families I trust within the next year or two, and we're actively working towards that. We spend a lot of time talking about what areas she'd most like more freedom in, what I expect from her in order for that to happen, and how I can help her reach those expectations. I give her more freedom as she shows she can handle it. Bedtime is one area in which she has gotten more freedom because she has shown she can handle it. I've given her a little wiggle room, we've talked about the results and she's come to realize how miserable she is the next day when she doesn't get enough sleep, so now she tends to head to bed at a reasonable hour with or without a bedtime in place. I intend to remove her bedtime completely soon (likely on her birthday next month). We're tackling other areas pretty much the same way. I've learned that just tossing her into a situation like that doesn't end well for any of us, so we're working up to it.

 

I also make a special effort to make our home fun especially when friends come over. Despite the fact that I am somewhat strict (often more strict in some ways that the parents of friends that visit), I tend to be considered the "cool" mom. I may not allow complete freedom, over the top mess making, or totally unsupervised time, but I have my own ways of making things fun. DD's friends having a lot of fun with her here and telling her how awesome I am seems to keep the complaining on her part to a minimum. None of her friend's moms make homemade granola bars, hot cocoa from scratch, homemade dinners, know how to make a castle from construction paper and cardstock, make homemade playdough, or throw impromptu "unbirthday" parties. She may not have as much freedom as they do, video games, TV, or numerous (and plastic) toys, but she does have fun, and her friends have always loved spending time with us. Upping the fun factor at home (especially when he has a friend over) without leaving behind what's important to you could potentially give him less to complain about.

post #15 of 33

Well, you son is 6.  You are getting this info from a 6 yr old.  I'm not sure you are getting the entire story or the full version of what really  happened at the sleep over.  They stayed up ALL night?  umm, maybe- but probably not.  At some point the kids probably fell asleep either playing or watching tv.  Most likely just a much later bedtime then usual.

Candy for breakfast?  Again, possible but maybe the kids- or one of the kids- got into the candy and then everyone had candy for breakfast.  But I'm gonna bet the mom provided an option for something else too.

Unsupervised outside? likely just not supervised in the way that you DS is usually watched outdoors.  Maybe mom/dad was watching from a window, maybe the kids stayed in the yard, who knows, but I doubt 2 six year olds were wandering the streets.

 

From your first post and the subsequent posts I'm going to assume your kiddo has a pretty early bedtime and a pretty short leash?  If so, that's fine but he did go into a situation 180 degrees from what is normal.  I would gently ease him into different families and different situations at this age.

post #16 of 33

Sleepovers were usually a time for bending the rules.  I didn't sleep over at 6, however, but when I did we usually got to stay up late watching TV, playing atari, eating too much ice cream and getting generally crazy.  It's possible that could be skewing your son's perceptions about what happens normally over there.

post #17 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by zebra15 View Post

Well, you son is 6.  You are getting this info from a 6 yr old.  I'm not sure you are getting the entire story or the full version of what really  happened at the sleep over.  They stayed up ALL night?  umm, maybe- but probably not.  At some point the kids probably fell asleep either playing or watching tv.  Most likely just a much later bedtime then usual.

Candy for breakfast?  Again, possible but maybe the kids- or one of the kids- got into the candy and then everyone had candy for breakfast.  But I'm gonna bet the mom provided an option for something else too.

Unsupervised outside? likely just not supervised in the way that you DS is usually watched outdoors.  Maybe mom/dad was watching from a window, maybe the kids stayed in the yard, who knows, but I doubt 2 six year olds were wandering the streets.

 

From your first post and the subsequent posts I'm going to assume your kiddo has a pretty early bedtime and a pretty short leash?  If so, that's fine but he did go into a situation 180 degrees from what is normal.  I would gently ease him into different families and different situations at this age.

 

my kids are 9, 10 & 13 & have had many sleepovers, I agree with the above poster.

 

Chances are very very slim that they actually stayed up all night.  Kids thing sleepover & yay we get to stay up all night & is does not happen but they sure like to say that they did.  They were most likely asleep by 9 or 10 & if it is later than their usual bedtime than they wills ay they stayed up all night - especially at 6years old.  They exaggerate to make themselves feel older than they are.

 

Have you verified any of the info with the mom?  

 


 

 

post #18 of 33
My first thought when I read the OP was that I remember sleepovers like what you describe very fondly and as some of the happiest times in my childhood because my parents were strict. But, I cant remember more than a couple the whole time I was in elementary school, they certianly werent happening on a regular basis. I agree with the previous poster who reminded you that the information is coming from a 6 year old. "All night" may have been midnight or 1am, not really all night. I would ask the other mom what is going on before making any big decisions.

Quote:
Originally Posted by alicewyf View Post

I don't think there is anything wrong with the way you are feeling. Our daughter is two and we have already decided that she will be able to have sleepovers...but at our house only. Too many WEIRD things happened to me at other kids' houses growing up for me to be completely comfortable sending my sweet daughter to anyone's house overnight, other than her grandparents. Like it or not, most kids are not good influences on other kids. The more time they spend together, the more likely they are to do something really stupid. I'm not saying young children shouldn't have friends, just that their time together should be monitored. If you don't feel your DS's friend's parents can do that to your satisfaction, I totally would not allow them to have sleepovers anymore.


Wow, blanket statement much? Really? You have already decided that when your two year old grows up a litttle she cant go to any slumber parties? Honestly, I believe that when kids are kept at their house and at their grandparents house for their whole life and not allowed to spend the night with friends or have unsupervised interaction with their peers (b/c, you know, they are all bad influences on each other) it doesnt always turn out for the best. I had a friend growing up whose mom was like that, she was always the host of every party but her kid couldnt do anything without her being there. Camp- nope, mom was a counselor. Dance team- mom was a volunteer and there for every trip. Slumber parties- always at her house, never spent the night anywhere else. It was weird, and when my friend went off to college I dont think she had ever spent the night anywhere other than her house or her grandma's house- social issues ensued. Honestly, there are a bunch of weirdos in this world, but you cant control every aspect of your kids life just because something might make you uncomfortable if you let them do something outside the house.

Quote:
Originally Posted by tropicana View Post

if there were guns in that house, you would have no qualms about disallowing sleepovers there.

frankly, i would not want my kid (who is not quite 6 yet, but close) staying up all night and then coming home tired and crabby. it would throw off MY entire day.

 

perhaps you SHOULD put the ki-bosh (i know i misspelled that) on future sleepovers at this particular place, but YOU should hand pick another friend and invite that child to sleep over at your house, with the intention that your son could then stay at his house in turn if invited.

 

it gives you a bad feeling to have your son come home complaining about your rules. enough said. no more sleepovers there until he is much more mature and able to understand that going there is the EXCEPTION to his life, not a license to write a new rulebook.

 

six is really young, IMO, to be having sleepovers at all.

 

not really necessary for social reasons, and just invites trouble, whilest very little gained.


But, there ARENT guns in the house. Why is that even being compared? Guns and chocolate for breakfast arent even remotely on the same level.
post #19 of 33

Apart from the extremes like guns (and I haven't read all the replies), consenting to sleepovers is, IMO, a trip to crazytown.  You either suck it up and deal with the aftermath until normalcy returns, or you have a rule that you don't do them.  Even in houses with more similar expectations, you're not going to get 2 friends on the same sleep schedule.  At best, they have the same bedtime, go to bed on time, and only one of them loses sleep -- the one who doesn't wake up first.  I have been a mean mom for a couple of years now.  I was tired of crazytown. 

post #20 of 33

I look at it this way, there will be a million things that will cause your child to have a cruddy attitude and it won't just be sleeping over at his buddies house.  Friends having different toys, clothes, snacks at school.  You have to weigh the good and the bad.  Will hanging out with his friend create good memories?  Even if he comes home a bear?  I've let my girls sleep over at houses that were stricter than mine and the mom still allowed staying up late and offered junky food at night.  The houses were not chaotic by any means but there are allowances that are made in these situations that most parents wouldn't normally allow.  My girls still came home like head spinning snots!  Even if they stayed with grandma or their Aunt who is a no bullshit rule abider!  They still come home all snotty.  Everything is still cooler somewhere else.  Grandma has a pretty garden, or feeds 10 stray cats.  Aunty has a two story and let them slide down in sleeping bags.  No matter what you will always find that they will like something new a little better for just a little while.  

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