What should parents do or not do when having kids sleep over? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 10 Old 01-25-2014, 09:40 AM - Thread Starter
 
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This came up in conversation while waiting with other parents while my daughter was at a lesson.

Are there behaviors that you expect parents to abstain from while your kids are spending the night at their house? Specifically, two things.

Should parents abstain from having sex, even with the door locked, if there are other kids in the house? One mom said if she found out the parents of the home were having sex when her daughter was in their house she'd be furious, even if the door was locked, and I asked how she'd know, and then asked if she and her husband have sex when their kids are in the house. She said she probably wouldn't know but still parents should just abstain to be respectful, and that having sex when your own kids are in your house is different than having sex when someone else's kid is in your house. I think this is silly. If the door is locked and you are discreet, the kids won't know, and I don't see how it's different to have sex when only your kids are in the house or when your kids and someone else's are both in the house.

The second thing is alcohol. Should parents refrain from having any alcohol at all, even one beer, even if it's only one parent drinking, if someone's kids are over? I see that as a "know the family" thing. One of my daughter's friends is Mormon, and I don't think they drink, so my husband doesn't drink if she spends the night. We wouldn't want her to feel confused or upset. But he might have a beer or two if the child of someone we know drinks were here. (I don't personally drink.)

I'm curious about thoughts here and reasons behind the thoughts. It was interesting for me to hear these other moms' perspectives. Like the mom who thought it was horribly disrespectful to have sex discretely in your locked room if a child's friend were spending the night. It's hard for me to wrap my head around that but I'd like to try a bit harder to understand.

Are there any other things (other than obvious and/or illegal stuff) you expect parents to not do if your child is at their house?
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#2 of 10 Old 01-25-2014, 11:24 AM
 
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Umm..nope can't say there is. How you do things in your home is not my concern until it is harmful to my kid. Example...waiting to tell me your dog bit my kid on three different occasions. Or rather I had to ask about it to confirm it. They were not telling me on purpose. Blew my mind.

 

As for the sex thing...sex is natural and yes while personal it shouldn't be kept as this big dark dirty secret. As long as you keep your porn stash locked up somewhere and your sex discreet and in a locked room I really don't care. Drinking...won't kill to have a beer or glass of wine. Just don't become a bumbling idiot or so trashed you can't walk.


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#3 of 10 Old 01-25-2014, 05:01 PM
 
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It really is situational. If one of the kids has special needs or is irresponsible or for another reason there's a high likelihood of a big problem and needing quick action, I'd say it's better to have two sober parents and would be better not to do something that takes both parents away from the kids or makes it harder for the kids to contact them (ie. being behind locked doors).

 

With alcohol, definitely make sure that at least one parent is good to drive. Just in case of an emergency. I think this is a good idea in general when you have kids, but it's even more important when you're responsible for someone else's child. Beyond that, again, it depends on the person's response to alcohol and such. If you're really concerned about the kids seeing you drink, you can wait until after they "go to bed" and have a glass of wine or something.

 

With the sex thing- there really shouldn't be a way to find out. Doing it in a place that the visiting child/ren could walk in on it, being so loud that it's obvious, etc is inappropriate. I think it's better to wait until the kids are "asleep" (whether or not they are ;) ) just because they're less likely to go to the parents for anything. Also, it might be a good idea to unlock the door after you're done even if you're planning on falling asleep. Again, if there's an emergency, you want to make sure your child can tell you as quickly as possible.

 

However-  If you know the parents feel strongly about you having sex with their kids there or drinking with their kids there, you either shouldn't do it or shouldn't have those kids sleep over. I'm sure it seems silly to you, but it's important to them and I'm sure you'd want them to respect your wishes about what they do when your kid sleeps over even if they think your requests are just as silly. It is disrespectful to do something you know a parent is explicitly not okay with. I wouldn't say to ask about it, though.

 

I don't think we would. At least not at first. When I was 7, I severely burned my hand on a wood stove while sleeping over at a friend's house, we were playing in the middle of the night when we were supposed to be asleep. I know that emergencies can happen and it's definitely best to have the adults as readily accessible and in the best state to handle it as possible. One night without sex or alcohol isn't that big a deal.


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#4 of 10 Old 01-25-2014, 05:25 PM
 
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I don't have sex when dd has a friend over but only because my room is in the living room since we have a one bedroom apartment. If it was a two bedroom or I knew the sleep patterns of the kid sleeping over really well I wouldn't worry about it. I don't mind parents drinking a little as long as no driving occurs.
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#5 of 10 Old 01-26-2014, 02:05 PM
 
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I wouldnt walk around naked in the house, i would close the bathroom door when having a shower or using the toilet....i would refrain from shouting at my kids (thats something i try to do anyway)    However, what goes on  in my bedroom is my business-sorry other mom! Im not asking your permission. :-) 

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#6 of 10 Old 01-26-2014, 06:36 PM
 
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Originally Posted by contactmaya View Post
 

I wouldnt walk around naked in the house, i would close the bathroom door when having a shower or using the toilet....i would refrain from shouting at my kids (thats something i try to do anyway)    However, what goes on  in my bedroom is my business-sorry other mom! Im not asking your permission. :-) 


I agree with not asking permission, as I said, I wouldn't ask and don't think it's appropriate or necessary to. The OP found this out from a general discussion, not by asking permission. However, once you know another parent feels strongly about this, I think it's inappropriate to have their child over and then have sex while they're sleeping over. I'm really hesitant to go against something a parent feels that strongly about if it doesn't hurt me to go along with it. If I felt that strongly about something, I'd want anyone who's taking care of my kid to respect that and follow it, and I extend the same courtesy to others. Parents on this forum are very familiar with their parenting style being seen as ridiculous, and I'm sure we'd all like our friends' parents to respect our wishes with regards to our kids. 

 

You never know if there's another reason for having such strong feelings beyond prudeish-ness. She may have had a bad experience, or her child may have suffered something that would make seeing or hearing it traumatic. Even if you're careful, there's no guarantee. I could unlock my mom's door from a rather young age (it had the standard lock I've seen on most US indoor doorknobs), friends who had different locking mechanisms could unlock them as well, and you may accidentally be loud.


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#7 of 10 Old 01-26-2014, 07:20 PM
 
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Originally Posted by sillysapling View Post

However, once you know another parent feels strongly about this, I think it's inappropriate to have their child over and then have sex while they're sleeping over. I'm really hesitant to go against something a parent feels that strongly about if it doesn't hurt me to go along with it. If I felt that strongly about something, I'd want anyone who's taking care of my kid to respect that and follow it, and I extend the same courtesy to others. Parents on this forum are very familiar with their parenting style being seen as ridiculous, and I'm sure we'd all like our friends' parents to respect our wishes with regards to our kids.

But this isn't a wish regarding the kids, it's a wish regarding what the parents do in private. It's a completely outlandish, unreasonable request, IMO. I guess if I somehow became aware that another parent had a rigid rule about whether my DH and I were intimate, in complete privacy, while their child was under our roof, then I'd be upfront and say I couldn't guarantee that, and let the chips fall where they may.

I guess it wouldn't be too much skin off my nose to comply, but I just can't get on board with bending to someone's irrational whims like that. It'd be like if someone told me they'd really need me to not take a shower while their kid was in my house, because there was a microscopic chance that their kid might break into my bathroom and see me. Uh, no, sorry!

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#8 of 10 Old 01-26-2014, 08:02 PM
 
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But this isn't a wish regarding the kids, it's a wish regarding what the parents do in private. It's a completely outlandish, unreasonable request, IMO. I guess if I somehow became aware that another parent had a rigid rule about whether my DH and I were intimate, in complete privacy, while their child was under our roof, then I'd be upfront and say I couldn't guarantee that, and let the chips fall where they may.

I guess it wouldn't be too much skin off my nose to comply, but I just can't get on board with bending to someone's irrational whims like that. It'd be like if someone told me they'd really need me to not take a shower while their kid was in my house, because there was a microscopic chance that their kid might break into my bathroom and see me. Uh, no, sorry!

 

I think your suggestion of saying you can't guarantee it is a perfect idea!  The other parent may reveal any deeper reasons for it, or can make the decision about having their child over knowing that it may happen. The discussion may help both parents come to a deeper understanding for the other point of view as well, rather than leaving it at this point of judgement based on a partial picture. I have a problem with not discussing this and having the child over and going against the parent's wishes, which it sounds like some of the posters would do.

 

Although I'm really concerned by the way you've completely brushed over the part of my post where I pointed out why they may feel this way and are reducing it to an "irrational whim". I find it disturbing that you apparently see absolutely nothing wrong with potentially triggering incredibly traumatic memories in a child who's survived rape.


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#9 of 10 Old 01-27-2014, 11:51 AM
 
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First of all, i would never allow a situation to happen where a child or stranger could hear  what is coming from my bedroom and could open the door without knocking. I would take precautions to ensure my own privacy, and would have done so to ensure that my own child doesnt barge in (thats would be the norm i presume), its not like parents are bonking out in the living room for all to see.

 

If a parent has an expectation  that no sex occur  while their child is on a sleepover, then i think they should keep it to themselves. If they feel very strongly about it, then i would nod, but not promise a thing. Because....the door is locked, and noone can hear us, so its noone's business. Their expectation is not really anyone's business either-except for their therapist. I dont mean that in a snarky way, i mean that seriously.

 

Having said all that, its all hypothetical to me because im not married, and no sex is occurring at my house anytime soon, regardless of playdates and parental requests.

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#10 of 10 Old 01-27-2014, 11:55 AM
 
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ps. i see you mentioned a child who has survived rape-even so, sex in the privacy of one's bedroom should not be a trigger for them.   In such a situation (and im not sure that was the original question) then i would understand that the parents  make specific requests of parents at a sleepover. Even so, it would be hard to do that without being  somewhat offensive-ie making the assumption that the parents hosting the sleepover are not sensitive to their own children let alone their friends, when it comes to sexual exposure.

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