Hi! I'm new to this site and I'm looking for some advice. I have a stepson who is fanatic about his privacy. He won't sleep at his friends' homes, etc...not because he is scared, but rather because he wants to make sure he has his own space. I feel like he's missing out on a lot of fun with his buddies and missing chances to increase the strength of his bonds with his friends. When he has a friend sleepover here, he asks me to make him a tent over his bed...a tent his frirend is not allowed to enter. I don't get it. He seemed excited the other day when I told him I'd try to find him something he could take to his friend's place that would give him some space. I looked at indoor tents, but they are too cumbersome. Does anyone have any idea what I can do? I've been through Target and Walmart, but found nothing. I saw a bed tent at www.privacypop.com, that seems promising, but am unsure. I really, really, really am at my wits end. I am out of ideas. If you have any, please share. I am desperate.
I don't think anyone is trauamtized by skipping sleep-overs. Some kids do not like them. I would ignore it, and focus on helping your son (how old is he?) maintain friendships during the daytime.
i'm pretty sure they do have bed tents at Target. i was just there the other day and my 2 year old wanted me to buy it (because it had Cars on it); he didn't know what it was (and i didn't buy it LOL). but i'm pretty sure it wasn't very expensive, and kind of low down, not huge...
Not everyone likes sleepovers. Is there a reason your DS can't go hang out and then go home at 10pm or midnight? (when ever you pick him up).
You don't say hold old the kiddo is but there are lots of other ways to make friends and have good friends other than overnights.
It sounds like there is a divorce situation already and he is shuffling between houses, adding another 'place' into the mix might just be too much right now. He has your place, the other parents place adding in a friends house, even for a few overnight hours could just be too much. Bringing a friend over for the night again could just be too much as well.
Maybe if he wants something to define his space, get a sleeping bag?
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The fun/friend bonding part of a sleepover is the playing/movie part of the evening. Are you willing to do a late night drive? My dd has a friend who doesn't do sleepovers, but loves to come for the games movies and popcorn and then get driven home at midnight. We are very accomodating. She also loves having friends sleep over so dd does more sleeping at the friends house than friend does at ours.
We don't allow our kids to do sleep-overs (with a few exceptions). I don't think anyone is missing out on going. Some people really just like to sleep in their own beds and feel comfortable alone (in the bed tent). It makes sense. Greenmama is right. The fun is in the spending lots of time together, not it the having a hard time sleeping and getting up too early part.
Thank you all so much! My stepson is only 8 and I think all of you have helped me open my eyes and actually view this situation clearly. His parents divorced when he was only one and I've been with his father for six years. I never considered the fact that he already does do sleepovers...half the week here and half at his mom's. I'm embarrassed. I just figured he was so used to these arrangements because they are all he remembers...I never thought about what he has to compare his situation to or how the movement may be influencing if not defining his opinion of sleepovers.
We do pick him past his normal bedtime when he's been invited to a birthday party that involves a sleepover or just a sleepover in general, but sometimes he just seems so sad to be leaving, like he feels he's missing out on something. But, I'm just going to have to accept what he says and not impose my feelings on him. I didn't realize I was doing that! Again, I'm mortified.
I'm going to look at Target online and see if I can see the indoor tent that was referenced - the one with the cars on it! He loves Hot Wheels and maybe I can set it up in his room as a surprise! I'm glad it didn't look too big!!!!!
I really, really cannot thank all of you enough! Thank you, thank you, thank you!!!!
We do pick him past his normal bedtime when he's been invited to a birthday party that involves a sleepover or just a sleepover in general, but sometimes he just seems so sad to be leaving, like he feels he's missing out on something. But, I'm just going to have to accept what he says and not impose my feelings on him.
Do you guys set up the pick up time ahead of time, or does he call you?
What time do you pick him up?
I'm wondering if there is a way to tweak this without pushing him.
May be he could take his bedtime stuff with him, and get dressed in his jammies and brush his teeth there, and then hang out in his sleeping bag for an hour, and then come home.
I think there are a LOT of options!
but everything has pros and cons
Thank you for your insight. I never thought of letting him start a sleepover, so to speak, like you suggested. I think letting him see that brushing his teeth, etc, is the same at someone else's house as it is here is a great idea. I haven't packed his stuff in anticipation of him actually making it through a sleepover in over a year. It's brilliant. By readying his stuff and leaving it with him, it's his choice. Each and every time it will be his choice to stay or go. No pressure, either way.
We normally set a time to pick him up before we drop him off. I think you are right, too, that he can simply call when he's ready to come home. I guess we've been designating the end of the sleepovers by telling him when we'll pick him up before he even knows what he'll be doing at that time. He's never been one to call us just to chat, you know? He's got great discretion in that regard and many others. I think he'll respect and appreciate the option of calling us to come and get him instead of us dictating a departure time. Again, brilliant! There's a difference there that I never realized until now.
I can't thank you enough. I am and will remain grateful for your insights, your willingness to share, and your hope regarding this issue. All of you. I'm humbled and am so happy I found this site. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.