I had a hard time finding a title to this thread.
Tonight my dd (13) has some friends sleeping over. They wanted to play a spooky game outside (we are on about 3 acres) and our house was best suited for it. This in itself doesn't bother me. So, anyways, around 10 I was going to bed. I told my dd that I wanted them in by 11, to lock up, and check in with me. I fell asleep quickly because dh was still up. When he came to bed, I woke and asked him if the girls were in yet. He said that they were just finishing up. Now, I can't fall back asleep because I am waiting for the "check in" but it never comes. I hear the girls come in and (I thought) go back out. Finally, at 1 AM I get up to go to the bathroom and figure out if I am missing something. DH gets up too because he realizes that I am upset. Apparently, he told the girls that they could continue to play. I don't think he expected them to never come in; the girls were quiet, I think that might have been his only condition. He didn't realize that I asked them to be in by 11. To be quite honest, I was crazy mad. I did, however, keep it in check. Now, I can't get back to sleep.
One, is this a big deal? Probably not (assuming they were just playing their game). I mostly feel disrespected. The family knows that my sleep quality is closely tied to knowing that my kids are safe. I am happy to report that I can sleep with them awake, but that took work.
Two, what if they did other stuff (toilet papered a house or something similar)? Is it a big deal then? This is where I start playing mind games with myself. I DID do those things when I was a teen. My friends and I would sneak out, TP a house and come back. I know that if I would have got caught that I would have been in trouble. I also somehow knew to do this at friends' houses vs my own. My mother was also a light sleeper and she never went to bed early. Part of me wants to say that everyone does this stuff at some point in life. Not necessarily TPing a house, but something. Part of me wants to let it go and the other part wants to ban sleepovers.
What is an appropriate response? I often feel that my oldest (in regards to sleepovers) knows how to walk the line of making me upset and keeping my husband happy. Usually dh and I balance each other out, different things bug us so we help keep the other person from over reacting. However, it feels that dd understands that too well and is working that angle.
Does anyone else have advice about this type of thing? How about with dealing with behavior that you did too as a teen?
I am hoping that by venting I will eventually get back to sleep. It is now near 3 AM and I can't relax or rest. I know this is an over reaction, but dang, I can't make my body sleep when I am irritated.
If you are still feeling tense and unable to sleep, try writing what upset you and your plan for dealing with it. Maybe that will help you be able to put it out of your mind and think about peaceful things so you can sleep.
Good luck, and good rest of the night.
Banning sleepovers would be a complete overreaction, IMO.
I would likely talk to hubby first, so he knows how kiddo played him (*), and the two of you can come up with a consequence together. Then the both of you sit down with her.
(*) Assuming that's actually what it was. I could see a 13yo asking the awake parent if they could stay out later simply because they were having a good time. The parent in charge (which was your husband when you went to bed) really should have the autonomy/authority to say yea or nay/change things around. Especially if they were doing nothing wrong.
As for what they "could" be doing... Kids do stuff. Stupid stuff. That's how they learn. The more you come down on them to make sure they don't do something stupid, the more you risk them doing something more serious. IMO, anyway. I'm a pretty low-key parent. The rules I had were pretty basic - as long as I knew where they were and with whom, it was pretty much okay, No drinking/driving - they were to stay over or call me. If they were here? I needed to them to stay on the property (a few acres) as there is a curfew in town - and they knew I would not be amused by having a cop turn up at the door 'cause they were wandering around after curfew.
TPing? The only house I've seen TPd in my 21 years of parenting is my own. When we had a Halloween party, and I told the kids to bring TP, shaving cream, etc. and go to town on the house. Kids don't really do that anymore. Not around here, anyway. (But we did have a neighbor stop and yell at the kids that he would call the cops on them... Until my daughter yelled back that it was HER house, and her MOM was right there - pointing at me. I waved. He started laughing. Pretty much everyone on my block came by over the next few days to tell me how awesome it was that I let the kids do that. Oh - and while it wan't a sleepover, I had almost every kid at the party show up the next day to help clean up.)
Don't make any unrealistic consequences. Banning all sleepovers is too big a reaction. They didn't steal the liquor from the liquor cabinet... they ran around your property late at night. Sure, I'd not be happy that she didn't follow through with the plan but there are other options to get your point across.
My kids have been camped out all night with friends on our property. They just love it. Set-up the tent and let them laugh until the sun comes up. Kids don't really TP anymore. I only did it once as a child and it was the house I was staying at.... and we cleaned it all up the next day.
Thanks everyone. Simply typing this out last night gave my brain the opportunity to purge it all and I was finally able to sleep.
After some sleep, I am more reasonable and I agree that banning sleepovers would be an overkill for sure. There is a lot to it, but for some reason sleepovers with 'this' dd have often resulted in me being frustrated, even when she was 8. This wasn't the first time for me to wonder if it wouldn't be better for me to be at a hotel or something during such events.
Dh and I talked this morning. We will communicate better in the future. I think she did play him a little, but it could be innocent too. I think that if I wasn't expecting her to check in I would have been fine. It's funny because I am usually the more lenient parent. I am ok with campouts--that never bothers me, probably because I am not waiting for them to come in. Last night wasn't very good weather for that sort of sleepover though. I also don't care if they ever actually sleep. So, it comes down to that my mind couldn't rest until everything was in order.
At this point, I will just talk with dd after her friends leave so that she understands why I was so frustrated. We have a really close bond and I don't want to screw that up.