Sleepover ground rules? Addressing issues with Grandma...... LONG post..... - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 31 Old 05-30-2011, 10:57 AM - Thread Starter
 
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So we have been allowing our 7 year old and 4 year old to have sleepovers at my Mom's house for the last few years. They sleep over about 5-10 times a year. Everything was going alright until recently. My 22 year old brother still lives at home (it's just him and my Mom) and she has been allowing him to have small "get togethers" with his friends while my girls are there. My brother and his friends are either in the basement or in the backyard so they are not sitting around with the girls but they are drinking and I am not comfortable with my girls being around drunk people whether it is my brother or not. The last time they spent the night  (about a month ago) my Mom mentioned that my brother's childhood friend that he just hooked back up with through facebook was going to be sleeping over. I was not happy about it but she didn't tell me until the last minuet and the girls were already there. I didn't say anything about it and just let it go. Now I am kicking myself for not addressing it immediatly.

 

So the girls were over there last night for a sleepover and again my brother was having a little party in the backyard again. My Mom called me at 12:30am because my 4 year old could not get to sleep and she wanted to come home. While I was talking to my Mom she mentioned that his childhood friend would be sleeping over again. I calmed my dd down enough to get her to stay over since it was so late and probabily not a good idea to be driving around that late on a holiday weekend (my Mom is about 25 minuets away). I hung up the phone and told my dh about the guy sleeping over and we both feel really uncomfortable about it. We also feel very uncomfortable with the parties going on when our girls are there. We do not drink and we don't raise our girls to think that being "party animals" as my family refers to my brother's behavior is somthing that is looked upon with favor. My Mom is in complete denial that my brother is becoming an alcholic.

 

SO I called my Mom back and told her how I feel. I told her that I am very uncomfortable with the whole situation. She told me that I am insane. I asked her to please sleep with the girls in her room with the door locked and she told me she absolutly would not even close the door. She lives in a small house and her bedroom is off the kitchen so there is no avoiding walking past her room KWIM? I am really angry. I am expressing to her that I have a valid concern for the safety of my girls and she completly blows me off. I told her that she does not even know this friend of my brother's well enough to trust him so blindly to sleep in her house let alone when my girls are there! I told her that children get molested all the time by people who are trusted by family members. She was almost laughing at me telling me how crazy I am. I told her that I also didn't like the fact that my borther and his friends get drunk when my girls are over and she proceeded to tell me that they were in fact not drunk at all. I stopped by there at 7PM last night to drop off benedryl for my dd's allergies. My brother and his 7 friends were in the backyard drinking and if you ask me already a little intoxicated. They were still out there drinking at 12:30am and she says they are not drunk??? SERIOUSLY?????

 

Honestly I don't care if she thinks I am crazy. Her opinion in this matter is not going to be taken into consideration. If she is not willing to put a stop to the parties and adult sleepovers when my girls are there then my girls will not be spending the night there anymore.

 

So if you were in my situation how would you go about handeling it? I am not trying to argue with her but she will see it that way. From my point of view there is nothing to argue about. Either things change on her end or they change on mine. I don't want to come at her like I am telling her how to run her house KWIM? I don't think she is going to see reason here. She lets my brother do whatever he wants and she does not seem to see the issue with what is going on. I also don't want her to feel like I am threatening to take her time with the girls away from her. I don't want her to feel like I am being a jerk. I wish she had her priorities in order and could see that I am just looking out for the best interest of my girls. Unfortunatly I know how this will go down. My Mom will take this as a personal attack and get all angry and belligerent. She will then stop speaking to me for weeks (we are not on the best terms to begin with). She will bad talk me to all of her friends and my Grandmother. This is just how it goes. All the while my girls will be the ones who miss out on their Grandma time :(

 

Amy

 

 


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#2 of 31 Old 05-30-2011, 11:05 AM
 
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Originally Posted by amyandelle View Post

 

Honestly I don't care if she thinks I am crazy. Her opinion in this matter is not going to be taken into consideration. If she is not willing to put a stop to the parties and adult sleepovers when my girls are there then my girls will not be spending the night there anymore.

.


 

 

That is how I would handle it. I'd say just that, in a firm and even tone. Accept the fact that she'll be angry, and accept the silent treatment. Don't be manipulated. You've explained your concerns. Now you become a wall. Block off your emotions so you don't get drawn into a fight. Your job is to protect your children, not to protect your mom.  Good luck!
 

 

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#3 of 31 Old 05-30-2011, 11:22 AM
 
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She can have playdates during the day but no more sleepovers. No one loses Grandma time but you don't have sleepless nights due to safety concerns. Explain it to your grandmother ahead of time.


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#4 of 31 Old 05-30-2011, 04:37 PM
 
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I like both of the PP's ideas.

Just stand your ground, try not to get emotional, and just lay out what has to happen for her to continue to have this time with the girls.

If they are only over there once every month or two, I don't understand why they can't just arrange to have the 'adult' sleepovers any time BUT those days?!?

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#5 of 31 Old 05-30-2011, 04:56 PM
 
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no more sleepovers.

 

She isn't taking your kids safety seriously, so to me, it really isn't about her changing one thing and it being OK for the kids to be there. The bottom line is she isn't taking their safety seriously so she can't be trusted.

 

sleepovers with grandma are NOT important enough to risk molestation.

 

There's nothing to discuss with her. It's her house and she can do what she pleases. It's got nothing to do with you. But your kids don't sleep over.

 

(Actually, I would limit how much time the kids are there when your brother and his friends are hanging out and drinking. Besides the molestation issue, your brother is setting an example of what *teens* act like. Do you want your DDs acting like that in a few years?)

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#6 of 31 Old 06-01-2011, 11:28 AM
 
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I agree with pps.  Your job is to protect your children.  If your mother doesn't respect your requests, then don't let your girls sleep over.  End of story.  Just be honest and calm about it... don't get drawn into an argument about it. 

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#7 of 31 Old 06-01-2011, 01:25 PM
 
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I agree with this:
 

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I agree with pps.  Your job is to protect your children.  If your mother doesn't respect your requests, then don't let your girls sleep over.  End of story.  Just be honest and calm about it... don't get drawn into an argument about it. 

 

I would advise against saying things that attack your brother's activities in and of themselves.  It sounds like you view his behavior very differently than your mother.  He is legal drinking age, and he should be allowed to have friends over to his home.  It is very possible to have people drinking from 7 - 12:30 without anyone getting noticeably intoxicated... I sip a hard cider over a couple hours often, so 2 could last me that whole time.  Since he is referred to as a "party animal" this is probably not the case, but you could give your brother's friends the benefit of the doubt when your girls aren't in the equation.


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#8 of 31 Old 06-01-2011, 01:28 PM
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That is how I would handle it. I'd say just that, in a firm and even tone. Accept the fact that she'll be angry, and accept the silent treatment. Don't be manipulated. You've explained your concerns. Now you become a wall. Block off your emotions so you don't get drawn into a fight. Your job is to protect your children, not to protect your mom.  Good luck!
 

 

 

 

Exactly.

 


 

 


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#9 of 31 Old 06-01-2011, 01:29 PM
 
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I agree with pps.  Your job is to protect your children.  If your mother doesn't respect your requests, then don't let your girls sleep over.  End of story.  Just be honest and calm about it... don't get drawn into an argument about it. 


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#10 of 31 Old 06-01-2011, 03:41 PM
 
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I also don't want her to feel like I am threatening to take her time with the girls away from her. I don't want her to feel like I am being a jerk. I wish she had her priorities in order and could see that I am just looking out for the best interest of my girls. Unfortunatly I know how this will go down. My Mom will take this as a personal attack and get all angry and belligerent. She will then stop speaking to me for weeks (we are not on the best terms to begin with). She will bad talk me to all of her friends and my Grandmother. This is just how it goes. All the while my girls will be the ones who miss out on their Grandma time :(


Well, you *are* threatening to take her time with the girls away from her--because that's the responsible thing to do as a parent.  She *is* going to feel like you're being a jerk, will tell that to everyone she can, and she doesn't have her priorities in order.  Is your fear of that greater than your willingness to step up and do your duty as a parent to protect your girls?

 

You don't control her.  You only control you.  If you allow fear or her to manipulate you into backing down, then that is your choice (not her fault).  Sometimes doing the right thing has a cost.  You have to figure out which cost is the one you're not willing to pay.

 

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#11 of 31 Old 06-01-2011, 03:51 PM
 
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I haven't read responses as I just have a second, but no, your kids shouldn't sleep over there any more.  Period.  These are your kids, not your mom's, and it is your job to protect them--even if it ticks off your mom and she gossips about you and quits talking to you.  What is going on isn't okay and has the serious potential to be very damaging to your kids.  Your mom won't thank you, but your kids will...  Good luck.  It is hard setting boundaries with our own parents but it has to be done. 

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#12 of 31 Old 06-01-2011, 08:44 PM
 
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Well you really can't tell grandma how to run her house and you can't tell your brother what to do so the only thing you can do is decide whats best for YOUR children.  It sounds like no more sleep overs.


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#13 of 31 Old 06-01-2011, 09:17 PM
 
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No more sleepovers.  Yeah, your brother should be able to have friends visit him at home....nobody's saying he can't.  But, seriously, these friends don't have homes where they can get together on the weekend nights that your girls are at your mom's?  That's not at all unreasonable, and if she can't see that, then I would very firmly put an end to them being there when the friends are there drinking.  I'm with the one who said these people are showing your girls what young adults do.  And yes, your job is to do what's right for the girls...if your mom has a problem with it, that's her issue.


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#14 of 31 Old 06-02-2011, 06:59 PM
 
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Your mother's house isn't a safe environment for your children, so they don't sleep over there anymore, end of story. Your mother can sulk and gossip and ignore you all she likes, but don't budge on this. Your daughters' safety is the most important thing here; proceed accordingly. You're the mama and you decide. It really doesn't matter what anyone else thinks about it.

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#15 of 31 Old 06-02-2011, 09:02 PM
 
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Even if the only issue is that the parties are keeping up your kids that would be enough reason to stop. Add in your mother dismissing your concerns and I would just switch to daytime visits possibly with you.

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#16 of 31 Old 06-02-2011, 09:58 PM
 
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I think you should try readdressing this with her at a decent hour to see if she is more open to keeping the kids separated from the parties when they sleep over.  Her reaction may be better and you may be able to express yourself more diplomatically in order to reach an agreement about something you both value.  If someone implied to me that my brother or his friends were going to hurt my child while she sleeps because they were drunk, especially if it was in the middle of the night after dealing with an upset child, I would not be very polite about shutting the suggestion down.  I can only imagine how much more defensive your mother got when the implication was on her son and his friend who she probably believes is also a good person. 

 

I suggest telling her you are worried about the kids ability to sleep at night with so much activity and pointing out that people who are drinking tend to be more uninhibited and you are worried about them seeing or hearing something that they shouldn't be exposed for several years.  If she is not willing to reconsider then I think you should tell her that the girls can't sleep over any more unless it is a night where she can guarantee there won't be drinking.  If you are going to still let them visit her during the day then be sure to say that then so she doesn't feel like you are cutting her off (unless that is what you are doing and you have really thought it out).

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#17 of 31 Old 06-03-2011, 05:59 AM
 
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I think you should try readdressing this with her at a decent hour to see if she is more open to keeping the kids separated from the parties when they sleep over.  Her reaction may be better and you may be able to express yourself more diplomatically in order to reach an agreement about something you both value.  If someone implied to me that my brother or his friends were going to hurt my child while she sleeps because they were drunk, especially if it was in the middle of the night after dealing with an upset child, I would not be very polite about shutting the suggestion down.  I can only imagine how much more defensive your mother got when the implication was on her son and his friend who she probably believes is also a good person. 

 

I suggest telling her you are worried about the kids ability to sleep at night with so much activity and pointing out that people who are drinking tend to be more uninhibited and you are worried about them seeing or hearing something that they shouldn't be exposed for several years.  If she is not willing to reconsider then I think you should tell her that the girls can't sleep over any more unless it is a night where she can guarantee there won't be drinking.  If you are going to still let them visit her during the day then be sure to say that then so she doesn't feel like you are cutting her off (unless that is what you are doing and you have really thought it out).


I think one more discussion is fair, if you think you can persuade her. I like the suggestion to focus your statements entirely on concerns about the girls, not your brother and his friends, your disapproval of alcohol and partying snd your distrust of the friends. She'll have less to get defensive about if you frame things in terms of the girls' point of view.  

 

If you know that she won't agree, or if you cannot trust that it's going to be safe for your girls even if she agrees (which I suspect is the case), then I wouldn't prolong the debate. No more sleepovers, but encourage daytime visits to maintain the relationship. 

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Yes!  This is what I was trying to get at nod.gif
 

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I think you should try readdressing this with her at a decent hour to see if she is more open to keeping the kids separated from the parties when they sleep over.  Her reaction may be better and you may be able to express yourself more diplomatically in order to reach an agreement about something you both value.  If someone implied to me that my brother or his friends were going to hurt my child while she sleeps because they were drunk, especially if it was in the middle of the night after dealing with an upset child, I would not be very polite about shutting the suggestion down.  I can only imagine how much more defensive your mother got when the implication was on her son and his friend who she probably believes is also a good person. 

 

I suggest telling her you are worried about the kids ability to sleep at night with so much activity and pointing out that people who are drinking tend to be more uninhibited and you are worried about them seeing or hearing something that they shouldn't be exposed for several years.  If she is not willing to reconsider then I think you should tell her that the girls can't sleep over any more unless it is a night where she can guarantee there won't be drinking.  If you are going to still let them visit her during the day then be sure to say that then so she doesn't feel like you are cutting her off (unless that is what you are doing and you have really thought it out).



 



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I think one more discussion is fair, if you think you can persuade her. I like the suggestion to focus your statements entirely on concerns about the girls, not your brother and his friends, your disapproval of alcohol and partying snd your distrust of the friends. She'll have less to get defensive about if you frame things in terms of the girls' point of view.  

 

If you know that she won't agree, or if you cannot trust that it's going to be safe for your girls even if she agrees (which I suspect is the case), then I wouldn't prolong the debate. No more sleepovers, but encourage daytime visits to maintain the relationship. 



 


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#19 of 31 Old 06-03-2011, 03:07 PM
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If someone implied to me that my brother or his friends were going to hurt my child while she sleeps because they were drunk, especially if it was in the middle of the night after dealing with an upset child, I would not be very polite about shutting the suggestion down.  I can only imagine how much more defensive your mother got when the implication was on her son and his friend who she probably believes is also a good person.


This.

 

I can completely understand where the OP is coming from, but I am a mother to two young men. If someone, especially another family member, suggested to me that my sons and their friends couldn't be trusted not to molest their child, I would be rather defensive.

 

You have every right to raise your children as you see fit; you do not have the right to tell your mother and brother how to run their home. If common ground can't be found, then no more sleepovers.

 

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#20 of 31 Old 06-03-2011, 03:23 PM
 
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I can completely understand where the OP is coming from, but I am a mother to two young men. If someone, especially another family member, suggested to me that my sons and their friends couldn't be trusted not to molest their child, I would be rather defensive.


But there is behavior that is fine for teens/young adults that isn't stuff that younger kids need to be a part of. I think drinking and partying is part of that.

 

I think that some of the stuff I let my teen DDs watch on TV or DVDs would be totally off limits if we had a 7 and a 4 year old spending the night. Heck, some of the stuff I'm fine with my kids watching is off limits when they have younger friends over! 

 

To me, a drinking party in the back yard doesn't mix with a little kid sleep over. That grandma doesn't get that shows a lack of judgment IMHO.

 

 

 


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#21 of 31 Old 06-03-2011, 03:57 PM
 
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But there is behavior that is fine for teens/young adults that isn't stuff that younger kids need to be a part of. I think drinking and partying is part of that.

 

I think that some of the stuff I let my teen DDs watch on TV or DVDs would be totally off limits if we had a 7 and a 4 year old spending the night. Heck, some of the stuff I'm fine with my kids watching is off limits when they have younger friends over! 

 

To me, a drinking party in the back yard doesn't mix with a little kid sleep over. That grandma doesn't get that shows a lack of judgment IMHO.


I totally agree with this. I'll bet you're surprised, Linda ;).  Sure, its not of OP's business how her mom deals with her son, but it is at OP's discretion to decide how to parent her own children, and putting them in a risky situation is a bad idea.  Sexual abuse aside, young men getting drunk and partying around kids is totally 110% inappropriate and I would never subject my kid to that.  And to pp who said that they would be offended if someone said their adult kid's friends couldn't be trusted not to molest children--I am sorry but there is no way for you, grandma, or anyone else to guarantee that isn't going to happen.  Yes, I might be offended if someone said that about my son, but his friends?  Certainly nobody can make that type of promise about their adult son's friends, and anyone who does is apparently unaware of just how common sexual abuse is.  OPs responsibility is to her kids, not to someone's hurt feelings over the fact that she is being an adult and protecting them as she should. 
 

 

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#22 of 31 Old 06-03-2011, 04:44 PM
 
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I can completely understand where the OP is coming from, but I am a mother to two young men. If someone, especially another family member, suggested to me that my sons and their friends couldn't be trusted not to molest their child, I would be rather defensive.

 


But there is behavior that is fine for teens/young adults that isn't stuff that younger kids need to be a part of. I think drinking and partying is part of that.

 

I think that some of the stuff I let my teen DDs watch on TV or DVDs would be totally off limits if we had a 7 and a 4 year old spending the night. Heck, some of the stuff I'm fine with my kids watching is off limits when they have younger friends over! 

 

To me, a drinking party in the back yard doesn't mix with a little kid sleep over. That grandma doesn't get that shows a lack of judgment IMHO.

 

 

 


Yeah, I think it was the OP insisting that the grandmother sleep in the same bedroom as the girls with the door locked is probably what got the grandmother so upset and defensive.  I wouldn't be worried about sexual abuse per se, but I would NOT want my very young children in a home where there was lots of drinking (a movie and a few beers wouldn't bother me - people drinking in excess WOULD bother me) was going on, and I wouldn't allow my children to sleep at a home where there was that much drinking happening.

 

There are lots of things that can go wrong when adults are drunk that don't include sexual abuse that would come to my mind before sexual abuse.

 

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#23 of 31 Old 06-04-2011, 05:32 AM
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Yeah, I think it was the OP insisting that the grandmother sleep in the same bedroom as the girls with the door locked is probably what got the grandmother so upset and defensive.  I wouldn't be worried about sexual abuse per se, but I would NOT want my very young children in a home where there was lots of drinking (a movie and a few beers wouldn't bother me - people drinking in excess WOULD bother me) was going on, and I wouldn't allow my children to sleep at a home where there was that much drinking happening.

 

There are lots of things that can go wrong when adults are drunk that don't include sexual abuse that would come to my mind before sexual abuse.

 


Same here. And a child molester is a creep whether s/he is drunk or sober, and can cause damage in either condition. So I think the OP needs to figure out whether she is upset at her brother's friends being over or upset about them drinking....because if those friends are sketchy people, they'll be sketchy even if they aren't drinking.

 

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#24 of 31 Old 06-04-2011, 06:20 AM
 
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A creep is a creep whenever, but drinking lowers inhibitions, and it being overnight makes supervision lower.

I'd just say no more sleepovers and deal with her reaction. I don't let my kids have sleepovers with my parents for other reasons, but valid reasons, and I just say no. I dont' get into a conversation about it.
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#25 of 31 Old 06-04-2011, 08:02 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mamazee View Post

A creep is a creep whenever, but drinking lowers inhibitions, and it being overnight makes supervision lower.

Exactly!

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#26 of 31 Old 06-06-2011, 08:30 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thank you everyone for your replies!

 

My Mom stopped by this past Wednesday and asked if the girls could spend the night on Saturday. I asked her if anyone else would be sleeping over and she huffed and puffed that she didn't know and that I am being crazy. I proceeded to tell her that the girls could come over for the afternoon but that they would have to come home that night. She got all defensive and told me that this boy would not be a problem. I told her that my feelings on the matter are not going to change and that I am not singeling out this one boy. I do not want any adults sleeping over if my girls are there and if she cannot agree to that then there will not be anymore sleepovers. I didn't even get to bring up the issue of the drinking because she got up and stormed out of the house.

 

She did come and pick them up for the day on Saturday and she did bring them home that night. However my 7 year old told me that her uncle and 5 of his friends were having a party in the backyard while they were there. She did not say anything about the drinking (I don't know if she realizes that they are not drinking soda) so I don't know for sure that they were drinking but that seems to be what my brother does.

 

So now I am waiting for my Mom to ask me if they can come over again and I will be addressing the partying issue before agreeing that they can come over. My dd said that her and her sister were in the backyard with my brother and his friends. I definatly do not want this going on. I don't want my girls to think that this is acceptable behavior. I know that this is not going to go well with my Mom when I tell her that they cannot come over if there is going to be drinking going on. She swears that they are not getting drunk. Honestly I don't care if they are getting drunk or just a little buzzed. I do not want my children around anyone who is drinking period. Alcoholism runs in my family. My father is a raging alcoholic and that along with drug use is why my parents got divorced after 17 years of marriage. All sorts of addiction runs in my husbands family as well. We want to be very cautious about what our girls are exposed to and this type of behavior is something we want to aviod at all costs. My Mom does not seem to get it or care how I feel so I know there is yet another huge battle coming.

 

Amy


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#27 of 31 Old 06-06-2011, 09:10 AM
 
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That is great that you were able to do that Amy!  The fact that your mom doesn't have the emotional maturity to refrain from throwing a tantrum and name calling is a pretty good indicator that you've made the right choice.  Is there a way you can pop in unannounced from time to time and see what your brother and his friends are up to so *you* actually know and don't have to take your mom's word for it? 

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#28 of 31 Old 06-06-2011, 10:44 AM
 
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Wow, I'm really impressed with how you were able to firmly and calmly set a boundary with your mom.
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by amyandelle View Post
So now I am waiting for my Mom to ask me if they can come over again and I will be addressing the partying issue before agreeing that they can come over. My dd said that her and her sister were in the backyard with my brother and his friends. I definatly do not want this going on. I don't want my girls to think that this is acceptable behavior. I know that this is not going to go well with my Mom when I tell her that they cannot come over if there is going to be drinking going on. She swears that they are not getting drunk. Honestly I don't care if they are getting drunk or just a little buzzed. I do not want my children around anyone who is drinking period. Alcoholism runs in my family. My father is a raging alcoholic and that along with drug use is why my parents got divorced after 17 years of marriage. All sorts of addiction runs in my husbands family as well. We want to be very cautious about what our girls are exposed to and this type of behavior is something we want to aviod at all costs. My Mom does not seem to get it or care how I feel so I know there is yet another huge battle coming.

 

I did want to address this, however. While I understand that alcoholism/addiction runs in the family, there's reason to be cautious about this particular stance. Do you know who's most likely to abuse alcohol?

1. Children of alcoholics

2. Children of teetotalers

 

Why? Neither group has seen/experienced responsible alcohol use.

 

If there are people who drink responsibly in your lives, you might reconsider this stance. My kids, for example, have seen me and my husband drink one beer and stop. They've seen/heard us say "No, I can't have any because I'm driving." When my dh ordered a beer sampler at a brew pub, they heard the waitress say "You realize that's 30 ounces of beer?" and my husband and I discussing that it was OK because I would be able to drive home. They're learning that you don't have to get drunk. They're learning that if you have a drink, you shouldn't drive. They're learning it's normal to say 'no'.

 

Now, in the situation you've described, it's moot point. Your brother does not sound like he's drinking responsibly (it's happening way too often and for too long). Given your family history, I wouldn't want my kids to be there either.

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#29 of 31 Old 06-11-2011, 06:39 AM
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Yeah....my parents were teetotalers. My mom comes from a long line of alcoholics, and my dad was diabetic. I didn't know anybody who drank, and my parents never threw parties or anything.

 

My first teenage drinking experiment caused me to pass out, vomit, and feel mildly sick for three days. I was 15 and had no idea how alcohol affected the body, or in what amounts it can safely be consumed. Seriously....if I hadn't thrown up I could have died from the amount I drank. Straight tequila.

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#30 of 31 Old 06-11-2011, 12:00 PM
 
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There are 3 sisters that I know. They have 4 girls between them. Every single one of those little girls have been molested by an uncle. And never the sae uncle.

 

So, yea, no sleepovers with little girls and adult males in the same home.

 

While I competely understand that not all men are perverts. I have two wonderful sons too.

 

But I wuold never put either my little girl or my sons in a posistion that could be misconstruied or at worst abused.

 

The Grandma certianly trust her son. But the 7 friends....no. How could she?

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