7 Reasons to Say YES to Sleepovers!

Readers — The “No Sleepover” article I just posted about inspired these lovely comments from you. Enjoy. – L

Good reasons to say Yes to Sleepovers (by “Albert”)

1. Your kids will get a chance to practice the manners you teach – it’s no good if they don’t, right?
2. Your kids will get to do and try different things – food, games, travel, etc. they may not otherwise, which is all part of making it a treat, yes? If it’s good for you, why isn’t it good for them??
3. Your kids will make new friends, and so will you, if you behave yourself.
4. Your kids will get to learn social boundaries and custom – how to behave in someone else’s house, car, etc. is different than behaving at home – and they only way to learn that is “on the road”.
5. You and your kids will have a chance to unwind and relax, away from the constant attention of each other.
6. You and your kids will be on the path of mutual trust, which has to start early.
7. Your kids will HAVE FUN.  That’s what’s its about. THEM HAVING FUN.

***    And a summary of the “No Sleepover” points, by CR Moewes    ***

AAAAAA.. I can’t keep reading that article my head will explode. But to save other people I will summarize the 9 slides

1. Things are different now (so if you did sleep overs and are normal your experience doesn’t invalidate our assumptions)

2. The kids will be too tired the next day from staying up all night. And your house will be dirty…. except that since there was no sleep over (or maybe it’s ok to host one, but then who would come over since you woulnd’t let your kids play with someone whose parents would let them sleep over) how is your house gonna get dirty.

3. Some kids aren’t ready for sleep overs so no one should have sleep overs.

4. You don’t like/trust some parents so you should just not let any sleep overs happen rather than explain to your kids that some things are ok and some things aren’t.

5. This seems like a repeat of #2 but instead of just a sleepy kid you will wind up with a stupid kid because one night of sleeping over will leave them so exhausted they will fall behind in their school work.

6. They might watch or hear something that you don’t approve of. Movies, TV,  etc. If they are at someone else’s house they may experience something outside the controlled environment you have at home.

7. They might do somehitng else you don’t approve…. i.e. DRUGS!!!! bumbumbuuummmm. Because since you can’t select whose house they sleep over at (see #4, all-or-nothing) you will have to let them sleep over at the neighborhood crack-mamas house and you know what that means.

8. Rape and Molestation… ‘nuf said here.

9. But it’s your call…. if you love your kids, you will not allow any sleep overs, but that’s only if you really love them… like we do our kids, so you decide for yourself.

And what if kids are allergic to pillows? Or each other? Or air? Did you think about THAT??? (Illus by waterwriter144, at Deviant Art)

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167 Responses to 7 Reasons to Say YES to Sleepovers!

  1. LisaS August 7, 2013 at 3:24 pm #

    My daughter had a sleepover just last night. The girls (age 11) played Minecraft for a while, then pretend games with 1000 stuffed animals in my living room. They obediently turned out the lights at 10:15, and giggled loudly for 90 more minutes. There was no junk food (well, cinnamon rolls for breakfast), soda, bad TV/violent video games (they aren’t allowed to do PPV and they know it), laciviousness, alcohol, or drugs.

    I’m thankful she has friends whose parents will allow this sort of thing – being able to spend more than 2 hours with your close friends teaches you a lot ….
    .

  2. QuicoT August 7, 2013 at 3:41 pm #

    You conscienceless monster! Don’t you know that every child who goes on a sleepover* is strangulated to death by a python!

    *that’s been covered by the media in the last 10 years

  3. Warren August 7, 2013 at 3:42 pm #

    It is perfectly acceptable for adults to occassionally get together with friends, eat too much, drink too much, get loud, and act stupid. With the resulting hangover the next day. A self inflicted wound to which sympathy is not required, nor should be expected.

    I am not going to deprive kids of their right to do the same thing. And to an 8 yr old, a junk food and pop hangover can be just as bad.

  4. pentamom August 7, 2013 at 3:50 pm #

    #9 perfectly sums up the attitude of way too many of these people who write articles for magazines and websites about parenting. Sure, you might think it’s okay to let your kid do XYZ (not that there’s anything wrong with that) but me, I just LOVE my kid TOO MUCH to even RISK anything happening to them, so I’m going to play it safe.

  5. Jane August 7, 2013 at 3:52 pm #

    The rape / molestation thing does worry me sometimes- since we know that most abuse is committed by relatives or friends of the family.

  6. Paul R. Welke August 7, 2013 at 4:04 pm #

    We’ve had my five year old son’s best friend over for sleepovers for the past year or two. Hell, we even took him out to the lake for a weekend with another boy the same age.

    It’s pretty easy to “watch” three of ’em when they mostly just want to play together, away from the adults.

  7. mystic_eye_cda August 7, 2013 at 4:23 pm #

    lol because you might have to say no sometimes you should say no all the time? Um ok, so you can’t have another yogurt right now, ergo I should never let you have one, because it’s awkward when I have to say no?

    Erm yeah.

    (Ha seriously, can you imagine this person’s reaction to sleep-away camps)

  8. Clark Cox August 7, 2013 at 4:26 pm #

    And they might become characters in a piece of Avatar fan art :)

  9. Stephanie August 7, 2013 at 5:01 pm #

    LisaS, I’m laughing, because hours of playing Minecraft is exactly what happened at the sleepover for my daughter’s 11th birthday party. All the kids brought their iPods or iPads, and they played Minecraft much of the night. They stopped for a little while to do each others’ hair and to put on a play – some things don’t change. It being a birthday party, I didn’t give them a time to go to sleep, just a time that they had to be quiet enough to not wake my other kids.

  10. Havva August 7, 2013 at 5:04 pm #

    @Jane,
    I’ll have to admit that angle gets to me as well. Especially as someone who was molested.

    But I could drive myself (and my daughter) insane if I tried to ensure that no one ever had the opportunity to inappropriately touch my daughter. Because honestly, my parents did nothing wrong. I made only a small mistake. My uncle was simply devious and twisted, and put a lot of effort into setting me up.

    More to the point after nearly two decades of worrying about what was wrong with *me* because of what *he* did. I’ve realized that the damage I experienced to a vast degree came from the message that molestation is such a special sort of bad thing, such a unique form of harm, that once hand enters pants the world turns bleak and the child is forever changed.

    That attitude is why I didn’t report, and it’s why I can easily tell about the gross guy who did the same maneuver in college, but not about my uncle. I hope to find the courage some day to tell me daughter and survive her telling her friends. Kids need to know that it is a positive good to stand up for themselves and stand tall. They need to know that the 3r’s and know they aren’t simply an obligation of societies most pitied class. But a way out, a way to be at peace.

  11. Ellie August 7, 2013 at 5:07 pm #

    Loved the comments you highlighted: the first was sensible; the second very funny.

    My favorite part of the “Sleepovers Are Bad” story was the aside about the possible danger of letting your child sleep at a house where a teenager (GASP!) might actually live. You know, as the older brother or sister of the child’s friend and part of someone’s family.

    I can’t stand this demonizing of teens in our culture: as if they are all lepers who should be shunned, or at the very least, kept far away from their contaminating effect on other people’s precious little ones.

    Rather than expose your child to these nasty beasts (some of whom, I seem to recall, babysit), just don’t let them enter a house where one might lurk.

  12. Puzzled August 7, 2013 at 5:16 pm #

    Jane – so doesn’t that mean we should make sure our kids are at sleepovers all the time, so that they’re never home, where most molestation occurs? Or that they should only sleep over with friends, never with relatives? That a sleepover is safer than staying with the grandparents?

    I’m not sure on how the fact that most molestation is done by family/familiars even enter in here – anyone who is family/familiar to someone is suspect?

  13. Gpo August 7, 2013 at 6:01 pm #

    Here is a good one. I am taking my two girls camping this weekend. Ages 12 & 8. One night. Guess what I found another family who will let their 12 year old daughter come with. BTW, I am a man. OMG I will 1.5 hours away at a campground with someone else’s daughter. Well, I guess this family trusts me. My wife won’t be going, OMG.

    And BTW, the kids will have a ton of fun. We always do. Who doesn’t like to be away from Mom for a night. Sure we will snack a little, but we will burn off tons.

  14. Holly August 7, 2013 at 6:37 pm #

    Kids can do #1-7 without having a sleepover.

  15. Matt August 7, 2013 at 7:18 pm #

    I assumed the anti -sleepover list was satire until I got to the molestation line. We have the same philosophy as our parents. We trade off kids for sleepovers as soon as the visiting kid can effectively wipe his/herself. Mostly because I have no desire to mess with someone else’s kid’s poop myself.

  16. Obi-Wandreas August 7, 2013 at 7:46 pm #

    Is that Katara, Suki, & Toph from Avatar:The Last Airbender having a pillow fight?

  17. Kay August 7, 2013 at 8:12 pm #

    They must have deleted their ridiculous article because I can’t even find it on search on their website.

  18. SKL August 7, 2013 at 8:17 pm #

    Completely off the topic of sleepovers, but on the topic of excessive reactions to misplaced fear.

    My local news has a story on women’s reaction to the new no-purse policy at NFL games. They’ll let you bring a clear plastic bag of a limited size. How nice of them! Hey everyone, want to see what brand of tampon I use?? Or whether it’s a light or heavy day? You needed to know that, right? And what if I was taking medication for AIDS?

    They say this policy is in reaction to the Boston Marathon bombing. I didn’t know the bombers were carrying purses. :/

    It’s already outrageously expensive to buy a ticket to see professional sports. Now this. I would never buy another ticket. They can play to an empty stadium for all I care.

    In the entire history of the USA, has there ever been a terrorist bombing involving a woman’s purse?

  19. Stacie August 7, 2013 at 8:17 pm #

    I love the “7 Reasons to Say Yes” because that sort of response is exactly how we need to react to fear mongering. Sleep overs are fun, and fun is an essential part of a healthy childhood.

  20. Natalie August 7, 2013 at 8:30 pm #

    Wow Obi. I totally missed that. Good eye!

    My 6 yr old loves Avatar. Some of it is over her head, but that’s ok. She might want to watch it again when she’s older. And I’ll probably want to watch it a second time too!

  21. Gina August 7, 2013 at 8:37 pm #

    All of these things are good things, and all of them can be accomplished without sleeping with fifteen peers in someone’s basement.

  22. Gina August 7, 2013 at 9:01 pm #

    @Gina..wait! There are two of us on here? Should one of us change our name??? I am the one who drives a minivan in Scottsdale and I have no issue with sleepovers.

  23. Donna August 7, 2013 at 9:16 pm #

    @ Holly and Gina (the anti-sleepover version and not the evil gas guzzling version) –

    Yes but they’re a whole lot more fun to do at sleepovers.

  24. Warren August 7, 2013 at 9:33 pm #

    Holly and Gina

    You are letting your irrational fears get the better of you. You really are doing you children a disservice by allowing your paranoia dictate what they can and cannot do.

    Stop thinking of yourself, and think of your kids.

  25. Linda August 7, 2013 at 10:18 pm #

    It would appear that the original “sleepovers are bad” article has been taken down…unless I’m mistaken?

    Yay us?

  26. Natalie August 7, 2013 at 10:18 pm #

    @SKL
    Pretty soon they’ll be asking you guys to take your shoes off before you go in.

  27. Dee August 7, 2013 at 10:27 pm #

    Yes, it appears that article has been removed. Sounds like FRK impact!

  28. Jenna K. August 7, 2013 at 10:28 pm #

    We actually draw the line with sleepovers. We are very free range, but we find that there is nothing that a kid can do or accomplish at a sleepover that they can’t do before 10 pm or after 6 am. All seven reasons listed above can all be done without sleeping over.

    Growing up, I attended sleepovers. Some of the things we did that my parents don’t know about…watching rated R movies after the parents went to bed, mooning cars that drove by on the main road at about 1 am, toilet papering and egging houses, calling boys in the middle of the night, and more. None of those are good things to do and I am ashamed of them all. Something that did happen that my parents knew about…when I was in third grade, the girls at a slumber party I went to decided to watch the porn channel that the host girl’s dad subscribed to. I had never been exposed to something like that and at about 2 am, I’d had enough, was thoroughly disgusted and felt very uncomfortable, so I called my parents to come get me. The girl got in huge trouble and I was shunned for the rest of the school year by all the girls in my grade.

    After my experiences and realizing that not one sleepover turned out any different–they all involved activities like the mooning, the porn channel, calling boys, etc–we have decided as a couple that our kids will not have them nor attend them unless we are visiting friends/relatives in another city and a sleepover is merely a place to stay.

    I don’t believe this makes me irrational or any less free range. It’s just something we believe is not constructive in any way and doesn’t accomplish anything that can’t be done outside of the hours of 10 pm to 6 am.

  29. marie August 7, 2013 at 10:33 pm #

    Kids can do #1-7 without having a sleepover.

    They can also get into all the trouble you are trying to prevent…without going to a sleepover.

  30. Uly August 7, 2013 at 10:49 pm #

    Sure, Holly, they can. But “they don’t need to have a sleepover” is not really a very compelling argument, is it?

  31. Warren August 7, 2013 at 10:57 pm #

    @Jenna K

    So you were a stuck up prude that ratted out her friends, and then is upset because they wanted nothing to do with you after. I wonder why…………..

    Calling boys at night? OMG you tramps!

    Mooning cars? OMG call homeland security!

    Checking out the playboy channel, oh lessoned learned.

    Ratting out your friends was probably the most inexcusable thing you did that night.

    I am glad to see you think so little of your child and their friends, that a sleepover is going to turn into some orgy of the undead.

  32. SKL August 7, 2013 at 11:03 pm #

    Uly, it doesn’t matter whether it’s a compelling argument to you. Some parents here have weighed the pros and cons and decided that friend sleepovers are not for their family. I don’t see the problem. The idea that kids without sleepovers are going to be deprived is just as silly as saying sleepovers are going to ruin kids. It’s such a small matter in the great scheme of things.

    The last thing we should be doing is trouncing parents for making their own reasoned decision for their own kids.

  33. SKL August 7, 2013 at 11:05 pm #

    Warren, must you always talk in such extreme terms? It’s tiresome.

  34. Ceba August 7, 2013 at 11:07 pm #

    Jenna,
    it sounds like you had a confronting set of sleepover experiences as a child, and while I can see that this has obviously caused you to resolve ‘no sleepovers’, surely you can see that not every sleepover experience has to be like that? My 3rd grade son and first grade daughter both have sleepovers and there is certainly not any of that sort of behaviour at sleepovers at our house, and I am 100% certain not at the houses they sleepover at with friends, either.
    Sounds like a lesson I can take from your experience is that a little bit of caution about selecting sleepover companions and locations, and some parental supervision, can go a long way. I believe sleeping over IS constructive, it builds resilience in kids (my son has Aspergers and takes a long time to get used to changes, so his first sleepover was a huge step for him), builds friendships between families, and can be an adventure – but still within parameters.
    Both my kids LOVE having sleepovers, but it isn’t something we do on a casual basis – we have to really know the other family and children pretty well, and we expect other families to have pretty high standards of behaviour.

  35. Uly August 7, 2013 at 11:26 pm #

    Maybe, SKL, but replying to the last two posts with “well, but they still don’t have to” seems… I don’t know, pointless.

    Obviously no two of us share the exact same opinions (and god, how creepy would that be?), but I read those comments as “all the things you said don’t matter, nobody should do sleepovers because they’re not necessary”. It is possible they meant “sleepovers don’t work for our family, and I don’t think my kid is deprived”, but that’s not how it looked to me.

  36. Thomas August 7, 2013 at 11:39 pm #

    Wow. I must have it made. My 13-y-o daughter and her friends watch kid movies, giggle about One Direction, gag about Justin Bieber, play hide and seek, sometimes cook or bake, and crash on blow up mattresses in the basement. Sure they say up past midnight watching TV, but the most objectionable program they watch is “Say Yes to the Dress.”

    Regarding SKL’s comments, I worked Security at Ford Field in Detroit for Lions games the last two seasons. One of my jobs was to check purses at the gate. I used to have fun with it, asking the ladies, “Is this the new Vera Bradley color this year?, or commenting “Nice Coach!, etc. It was kind of a “make the best of a bad situation” thing.
    However, when I saw the new NFL bag rule for this year, I concluded that fun time was over. Patrons are going to be peeved, and I decided that I didn’t want any part of that anymore. Those rules don’t make anybody any safer, and just ticks off the people who have to wait in long lines to enter the stadium. Who needs it?

  37. socalledauthor August 7, 2013 at 11:39 pm #

    @Jenna–
    Not one of the sleepovers I had was anything like that. Maybe my friends and I were just boring, but I think the worst thing that we ever did was one afternoon, when left alone a few hours, we… jumped on the bed and slid down the stairs in our sleeping bags. The rest of our time was just spent playing. Seemingly endless hours of time to play– often accompanied by junk food (specially selected for the occasion), perhaps a movie rental, and chatter about life and stuff. It was just extended time playing, really. And trying, in vain, to stay up until midnight (or as late as we could without getting in trouble for being too noisy or giggly.)

    Clearly, I have fond memories of sleep-overs. And it’s not just the same otherwise. I had plenty of play time with my friends, but sleepovers (both planned and last-minute calls home with “Can I stay the night”) are something I look back on fondly.

    I could never pre-emptive deny my kid(s) of a chance for their own positive experiences. Why not let the kid decide if they want to go, or not?

  38. Warren August 7, 2013 at 11:54 pm #

    @SKL
    Almost as tiresome as putting up with the hypocrites in here? Doubt it.

  39. Really Bad Mum August 8, 2013 at 1:07 am #

    I think that the reason people are upset about this is that by saying no sleepovers is saying ” I don’t trust you, you are a bad parent, you will hurt/kill/molest my precious helpless darling” it is judgemental. It is condemning/accusing someone without any proof, crime or evidence. But it is their child so they can choose, what gets me mad is telling me how to raise my child.

  40. David August 8, 2013 at 3:20 am #

    @socalledauthor
    “Why not let the kid decide if they want to go, or not?”

    How can you suggest such blasphemy? Don’t you realise civilisation will come to an end if we ever allow children to make their own decisions?

  41. Andy August 8, 2013 at 4:02 am #

    @Jenna K That story says more about your friends and you when you were kids then about sleepovers themselves.

    Where I live, there is nothing like a sleepover. It is simply not done.

    However, 15-16 years old go for vacancies together without adults with them and we never watch porn, egged houses or called other kids in the middle of the nigh. I’m not saying we have been saints, but the misbehavior definitely does not have to rise to the level you describe.

    Also, being shunned for the rest of the school year by all the girls is real bullying. That it happened says more about atmosphere in that school then about sleepovers. Teachers should have intervene at that moment.

  42. Natalie August 8, 2013 at 6:32 am #

    @really bad mum
    I agree. And there’s no shortage of it here.

  43. hineata August 8, 2013 at 6:33 am #

    @Jenna K – wow, your sleepovers do sound at the extreme end of things. I’m with others here, never had anything near that kind of experience, at any age…..even as a fifteen year old walking uptown at 1am, all we did was sit on the dairy fence and chat (‘uptown’ ain’t that cool, in a town with maybe ten shops!). If I had had your experiences on a regular basis, maybe I would think differently about sleepovers, but in my experience they’re genuine basic fun….and my kids seem to have had the same fun, fortunately.

    @Warren – really, how old is a third grader? Eight or nine? In what part of the Western world would an eight or nine year old be a prude if they were uncomfortable viewing porn?

  44. Julia August 8, 2013 at 7:02 am #

    Off topic but:

    Don’t forget to credit the artist who’s work you used in this post! Many artists don’t mind if you use their work but one should always give credit for art just like for writing.

    Here’s a link: http://waterwriter144.deviantart.com/art/Sleepover-avatar-pillow-fight-154421123

  45. Hazel August 8, 2013 at 7:05 am #

    Jenna K, I’m sorry you were exposed to that. That wasn’t right and I see nothing of the “stuck-up prude” about an 8 or 9 year old girl being uncomfortable with pornography and even if there was? YOU HAVE AN ASSERTIVE RIGHT TO FEEL THE WAY YOU FEEL.

    No person, child, teen or adult should be subjected to anything sexual against their wishes. There’s no shame in what you did or how you felt.

  46. Brooke August 8, 2013 at 7:22 am #

    @Havva – this is OT but you DID NOT make a small mistake. No child is ever responsible even a little for their abuse. All responsibility is on the abuser.

    Thanks for your story. You sound really strong and wonderful.

  47. Natalie August 8, 2013 at 8:36 am #

    @hineata
    Careful. You’ll get the sheep in trouble again.

  48. Warren August 8, 2013 at 8:51 am #

    @Andy

    She ratted out a group of her peers. They got in trouble, and afterward wanted nothing to do with her. That is not bullying in any way, shape or form. So stop wth painting every little thing with the bullying paint brush. It would have been nice if her peers would have forgiven Jenna, but they didn’t. That is not bullying.

    @Hazel

    Subjected to porn? Really. A group of kids snuck a look at an adult channel. Unless they tied her down, and forced her to watch, she was not subjected to it. And do not play the peer pressure card because Jenna was not pressured enough to not call home and rat out her friends.

    @hineata
    Read the post. She ratted out her friends, and then wants sympathy for them shunning her afterwards. And now won’t let her kids go on sleepovers because of it. Lots of issues with this.

    The bunch of you need to get a grip on reality. A bunch of preteens sneaking a look at porn, is just an act of rebellion and trying to get away with something. You all make it sound like they raped Jenna. Give me a break.

  49. SKL August 8, 2013 at 8:58 am #

    Warren talks big but in real life, I doubt he would have yelled at his own third-grade daughter for calling home in the porn channel situation. And as a parent, if Warren thinks it’s terrible to inform another parent that a group of primary-school girls are watching porn while visiting, well, he might just be on his own island there.

    Don’t know the law in Canada, but in the USA it’s illegal to expose children to porn. I’d want to know if kids had hacked into a porn channel in my house.

  50. Natalie August 8, 2013 at 9:03 am #

    Does “pre-teen” now include 8 yr olds?

    I’m not up to date on all the terms these days.

    “Hypocrite”, “weak-willed”, “entitled” also seemed to have drastically changed meanings.

  51. Captain America August 8, 2013 at 9:22 am #

    I’m anti-sleepover. It’s pretty easy to see it’s a situation that tires out kids.

    But I”m a boy. Sleepovers are girl things. I’ve never been to one and none of my friends growing up had any.

    Based on my sister’s experience hosting one or two, the girls stay up talking and talking, then a little scheming, lay around with makeup and gossip. The next day’s shot for everyone. This includes parents who inevitably stay up later than they believed they would.

  52. Matthew August 8, 2013 at 9:31 am #

    Girl sleepovers and guy sleepovers must be different. My friends and I had to spend the night to do what we wanted to do.

    Risk and Monopoly can take a really long time (and Battletech even longer). And at 11 we were awful. We used the emergency escape chain ladder to sneak out and restock on junk food at the 24 hour grocery store. I also had friends with several acres of woods and we camped out. Alone. With FIRE!

    I do agree each parent has to make their own decision though.

  53. Andy August 8, 2013 at 9:37 am #

    @Warren It is not wrong for 8-9 years old to tell the truth to her parents. It is ok for 9 years old to call parents to get her out of situation she is so much uncomfortable in.

    Damm, it is ok for 17 years old to call parents when 17 years old feels the party is going out of control. That is something most of us is raising kids to do.

    Plus, what she wrote does not sound like accidentally seeing the channel for 5 minutes and then turning it off.

    If it was as innocent as you say, then it is the adults that made big deal of it to be blamed. Maybe dad who left channel available for kids and then compensated by giving them trouble after they watched it?

    Shunning 8-9 years old from all peers in school for a year is bullying. That sort of thing can happen only if someone makes a campaign against her and I have guess who that might be. That sort of thing never happens by itself.

    Uninvolved kids normally forget much sooner (as in days/weeks). They do not care about somebody elses grudges for that long, unless someone is working on that.

    If they would get angry on her, that would be normal. If only those girls would not talk to her, that would be normal. When it is whole school for a year, then it is bullying.

  54. Natalie August 8, 2013 at 9:42 am #

    It seems people here are deciding to allow/forbid sleepovers based on… Wait for it… Their experiences with sleepovers and knowledge of their kids’ friends and their families.

    I fail to see the problem.

    Holly, Gina (not Helimomster-Gina) Captain America and Jenna are giving their children a free-range childhood without sleepovers.

    So what?

    We can debate the pros and cons of sleepovers, that’s fine, but none of them deserve scorn or derision for choosing to forbid them.

  55. Natalie August 8, 2013 at 9:45 am #

    @matthew
    We also played Risk. If you like that kind of game, but dislike how it (never) ends, with 2 colors battling over the world, try History of the World. Everyone gets 7 turns. So it has a defined ending.

  56. JJ August 8, 2013 at 10:12 am #

    @Warren, wow.Why in the world would you feel compelled to tell someone she was a “stuck up prude” for calling her parents to come get her because she felt uncomfortable with porn-watching? Do you hear yourself? Forget the porn for a minute. Forget that she was nine. You must realize what kid if picture you paint of yourself when you call people names and that particular name (stuck-up prude) paints in particular.

    And yes I fully expect you to reply with your typical catch-phrase “sucks to be you” but I think you know, deep down, that you response and wording was out of line.

  57. David August 8, 2013 at 10:20 am #

    I have to agree with Warren.

    Jenna K was NOT bullied. She was ostracised by her peers after telling on them for some rather dubious behaviour, not picked on because of her personality, appearance or any of the other of the usual motivations for bullying. They were angry with her over a specific incident and there was nothing the teachers could have done about it anyway.

    Nor was she abused. She found herself in a situation she was uncomfortable with but had enough self confidence to walk away from it. The way some of you are blowing this out of proportion I’m surprised no one has suggested her classmates should have been put on the SOR.

    ‘Free range’ or not, many of the people posting on this site are just as irrational and hysterical as society in general

  58. Donna August 8, 2013 at 10:26 am #

    I guess my issue with banning sleepovers based on the parent’s experiences is that your children are not you and your children’s friends are not yours. If I banned my child from doing activities that I hated as a child, my child would be miserable. My kid and I are as different as night and day.

    Let kids be their own people and let kids friends be judged independently of your childhood friends. React to what is actually occurring in your child’s life and not what happened many moons ago when you were a child. And stop blaming the notion of a activity as the sole cause of these things occurring. I’ve done every single thing given as an “evil sleepover activity” outside of sleepovers and had a thousand sleepovers where none of that occurred. Since alcohol, drugs, cigarettes, porn and butts all actually exist prior to 10pm, if kids really want to do them, they will do them regardless of sleepover attendance or not.

    I also find the tired argument completely and utterly ridiculous. What is the big deal here? If you have something special planned, it is probably not a good idea to schedule a sleepover the night before. But this notion that your children/family will not survive if your child stays up passed her bedtime and is cranky the next day once in a while is ridiculous to me.

    And an 8 year old who doesn’t want to watch porn is not a prude. There is actually something very off with a group of 8 year old girls who WANT to watch porn (my guess is that there was one girl who wanted to watch porn and the rest were too afraid to say anything).

    That said, I kinda agree with Warren on one point – Jenna ratted out a kid, who then got in a lot of trouble and then she didn’t want to be Jenna’s friend anymore. That seems like a pretty normal reaction to getting into a lot of trouble to me. I don’t consider that bullying. Now if she was making all the other children also ignore Jenna, that would rise to bullying. But if their reaction to Jenna was because they got in trouble too, I don’t see bullying.

  59. Natalie August 8, 2013 at 10:35 am #

    Quick definition:

    Bullying: Use of superior strength or influence to intimidate someone, typically to force him or her to do what one wants.

    I think that using ostracizing as a form of punishment falls under that definition.

  60. Sharon August 8, 2013 at 11:00 am #

    Donna I agree with you about the banning. My daughter is excited to a run a mile every Friday in middle school. I hated it the few times I did it in high school. I am excited for her but I usually say something great for you (and thinking thank goodness it is not me).

    Sleepovers are pure kid fun. It is imagination, creativity, and learning to respect others personal space. My daughter who is almost 12 says her favorite birthday party was her 10 year old sleepover party. It wasn’t fancy, it wasn’t about the gifts just about being 9 and 10 years old.

  61. Emily August 8, 2013 at 11:03 am #

    I’m not Jenna, so I’m not entirely sure how the “Playboy channel” incident at the sleepover went down, but I was an eight-year-old girl once too, so I have a feeling that it went something like this:

    HOST CHILD: “My daddy has the Playboy Channel, but he says it’s just for grown-ups. Oh, my parents are asleep now, so let’s watch it.”

    Host Child turns to the Playboy Channel, and the other kids go along with it, because it’s her sleepover, and her house, and they don’t feel they have a choice. Some are shocked, some are intrigued, but none of them speak up.

    JENNA: “Aww, I don’t want to watch that. Let’s watch E.T. instead.”

    HOST CHILD: “No! It’s my sleepover, and my house, and we’re watching Playboy.”

    Jenna attempts to leave the room.

    HOST CHILD: “You’re just being a chicken!!! Bawk, bawk, bawk, CHICKEN!!!!”

    At this point, the other kids join in. Jenna calls her parents, tells them she wants to come home because she feels uncomfortable, and, upon returning home, they ask her why. Jenna, being eight, assumes that this is to be a private conversation, but then the next day, Jenna’s mother calls Host Child’s mother, who calls the parents of all the sleepover guests. Mass punishment ensues. Jenna feels guilty for “causing” this, and dreads returning to school on Monday.

    By lunchtime that day, the rumour has spread like wildfire (probably revised quite a bit, to paint Jenna as a “stuck-up prude,” as Warren would say), and Jenna is miserable. Her parents tell her she did the right thing, and to just ride it out, but all the girls continue to shun her for the rest of the school year, which feels like an eternity to an eight-year-old. Meanwhile, the whole thing feels like a lose-lose, in which the only option that would have prevented the shunning would have been to be quiet and watch the Playboy Channel with the others; some of whom might have felt uncomfortable as well, but weren’t brave enough to speak up.

    Now, I know that the Playboy Channel isn’t akin to rape or anything, and I don’t think the other girls at the sleepover should be put on the sexual offender registry, but early experiences like that give kids the message that their feelings don’t matter, and that speaking up if they feel uncomfortable will cost them all their friends. Obviously, that’s not a good thing for kids to learn.

    Anyway, Jenna, like I said, I’m not you, but is that a reasonably accurate representation of what happened? I hope you’re not offended, but I was just trying to get people to understand how things can be from the viewpoint of the “rat” (air quotes, because I don’t believe you really were a rat).

  62. Natalie August 8, 2013 at 11:03 am #

    @Donna

    I know what you mean, the experiences are not necessarily going to be the same. Many of us parent in emulation of, or in reaction to, the way we were parented. But, Just because they are forbidding sleepovers does not mean that they are forcing their kids to do/not do everything that they have done in childhood. This is one issue that they’ve got a problem with. One.

    As for being tired – I think they’ve just decided it’s not something they want to deal with. Legitimate reason for others, not for you.

    My point is, I don’t think there is a right or wrong answer here.

    I don’t think sleepovers or lack thereof makes or breaks a happy, free-range childhood. If the parents are restrictive of numerous other activities, then yes, it’s a symptom of a larger problem.

    For the record, I’m playing devil’s advocate. My daughter has both been and hosted.

  63. Natalie August 8, 2013 at 11:08 am #

    But I agree with your point about activities being the culprit vs. the friends/environment.

  64. Warren August 8, 2013 at 11:32 am #

    @SKL
    Hate to inform all you puritans, but it probably wasn’t even an actual porn channel, but just late nite programming. How old is Jenna, back then blocking channels may not have been technically possible?

    Now give your head a shake. If you ratted out some coworkers today, do you honestly think that they will want to have lunch with you ever again?
    Yes in Canada, exposing a child to porn is illegal, so do you want the 8yr old girl who turned the TV on tried as a minor or an adult, and let’s not forget to put her on the registry for life.

    @Natalie
    It is not bullying just because someone did you wrong and you no longer want to be around them. That is life.

    As for the kids sneaking a look at the porn channel……listen to yourselves. These kids were too young to really put this down as them wanting to watch people having sex. This was nothing more than kids doing something they have been told not to do, and nothing more. There was nothing sexual about it. You are transfering your adult values onto their actions. Again, a normal event in childhood, trying to get away with doing something they have been forbidden to do.

    @JJ
    I am also basing it on the fact that she thinks she is the victim here, and won’t allow her child to do sleepovers, based on her experience. Her words, and actions speak volumes. Just as yours do.

    @Emily
    Nice piece of fiction.

  65. JJ August 8, 2013 at 11:38 am #

    Natalie I agree that “being tired” can come into play at parents’ discretion. If my son has showne the past two weekends that he is cranky and badly-behaved and homework wasn’t getting done and he was generally being a pain in the neck way more than usual after sleep overs then yes he can’t have one this time. Honestly, why aren’t we allowed to make our own convenience part of our parenting decisions?

  66. Natalie August 8, 2013 at 11:40 am #

    No, but enlisting the entirety of the grade in ostracizing someone is.

  67. Natalie August 8, 2013 at 12:24 pm #

    Hmmm… fiction.
    Emily is filling in blanks.
    Warren, instead of apologizing for calling Jenna’s 8-9 yr old self a stuck-up prude, is changing details he doesn’t like.

  68. Emily August 8, 2013 at 12:34 pm #

    @Warren–My point is, it’s entirely possible that Jenna asked to go home because she felt uncomfortable, didn’t plan to tell her parents WHY she felt uncomfortable, but they convinced her to tell them, and she didn’t think the conversation would go further than that. That’s not “ratting” or “snitching” or “tattling,” or “doing someone wrong,” that’s an eight-year-old confiding in her parents. I’m not saying that this definitely happened, which is why I’m asking Jenna to fill us in, but that version of events seems more likely than Jenna maliciously “ratting” on her friends for watching porn.

  69. SKL August 8, 2013 at 12:42 pm #

    I do think that some people “decide” that their kids will never do abc based on what they know at a point in time (their own experience, etc.), but then when it comes up for real, they will decide based on what makes sense in the immediate circumstance.

    There is a wide range of “sleepover” definition and experience. There’s two best girlfriends hanging out and asking their moms if the visiting friend can stay until morning. And there’s pre-planned “pajama parties” involving various kids who have various degrees of closeness with the host girl/family. And everything in-between. I don’t know what any individual above is picturing when she says “no sleepovers for us” or whatever.

    I have no problem saying “no” to my kids on a case-by-case basis. Maybe I know and trust Jenny and her parents, but I have reason to distrust (or simply don’t know) Junie or her parents (or the rest of the sleepover group). I don’t personally feel that I need a blanket rule one way or the other. Maybe my kids will convince me otherwise at some point.

  70. Warren August 8, 2013 at 12:46 pm #

    Natalie

    The other kids were not bullying, they were not sexist or any other label you want to put on them.

    Everyone has to get off the bullying band wagon. Not everything you don’t like is bullying.

    Had they been stoning her on the way to and from school, then I would agree on the bullying. But not wanting to hang with someone after they wronged you, or your friends is not bullying.
    As a matter of fact the friends of the girl that got ratted out, are just standing by their friend. It is called loyalty, you should try it some time.

    Loyalty is lost these days and Natalie seems to be living proof of that.

    And Emily should submit her story for an after school special.

  71. SKL August 8, 2013 at 12:51 pm #

    Warren, unless you were there in the room with those girls, you do not know what they were watching or why or how it made each girl feel.

    I am 46 and I still can’t stand to watch physical “romantic” contact on TV / movies. And I’m not even talking about porn. I don’t know what I would have done in Jenna’s place in 3rd grade, but had I stayed, it would only have been because I was afraid. Afraid of being found out and blamed, and afraid of being ostracised and bullied (I had a neighbor “friend” who would regularly punch me if I disagreed with her). Leaving was the right thing to do. If it led to the other kids being found out, well, wasn’t risk-taking the whole point? They got their thrill, and then they got the natural consequence. I fail to see how Jenna is the problem here. I don’t know if what ensued was bullying or not; I think we overuse that term, but I wasn’t there. I spent much of my school career being marginalized and bullied, so that probably would not have fazed me.

  72. SKL August 8, 2013 at 1:03 pm #

    Warren, loyalty? Really? Attitudes like that can be thanked for much of the child victimization that occurs. What kind of person tattles on Grandpa for uncomfortable touching? A disloyal one, of course. Let’s shame the kids who protect themselves.

  73. Captain America August 8, 2013 at 1:09 pm #

    . . . I’m not all that invested in the whole “warren” business here.

    But I’ll point out that I’m saddened and surprised and appalled that our country keeps letting low-end, quasi-ponr on the public channels.

    And the Current Administration wants soft-core on prime time!

    Go figure! ($$$$)

    Where’s the common good and just general public decency toward each other?

  74. JJ August 8, 2013 at 1:12 pm #

    Warren, got to hand it to you. Advocating against being upstander is definitely the road less taken as a parent.

  75. Emily August 8, 2013 at 1:21 pm #

    @Warren–Unless every girl in grade three was at the sleepover where the Playboy channel incident happened, then yeah, I think there was some bullying happening. If it was just the sleepover guests who’d shunned Jenna, that would have been bad enough, but they obviously told others, and coerced THEM into shunning Jenna as well. Not all bullying is physical, and often, girls hurl vicious insults and rumours, rather than fists or stones.

    As for the “sticks and stones” argument, whoever came up with that never got shunned by everyone in grade three for not wanting to watch porn, or by everyone in grade six for being a “lesbian” (actually happened to me; I just happened to spend most of my recess times with my best friend; another outcast, who was pretty much the only person who wasn’t completely horrible to me). That person has probably also never had to deal with “friends” alternately insulting, excluding, extorting, and straight-up STEALING from them, and acting friendly, in order to manipulate them into doing what they want (also actually happened, and it took my parents, the teacher, and the principal at least a month to rectify things).

    , I know you’ll probably say something about how I’m the only one to experience this (or, alternatively, that I’m NOT the only one, and I should “get over it”), or that I must have done something to bring it on, or whatever. Well, I am over it, because I’m an adult, but that doesn’t mean I’ve forgotten about it. Even if this was somehow my fault, that’s not the point–the point is, that it’s entirely possible to hurt or bully someone, without laying a finger on them.

  76. Natalie August 8, 2013 at 1:32 pm #

    If we’re going to be devil’s advocate and call it loyalty, it surely can be both. Bullying person A because you are loyal to person B.
    One does not exclude the other.

    Bullying doesn’t have to involve physical contact. I don’t think you understand that, as per your stoning example.

  77. Emily August 8, 2013 at 1:35 pm #

    P.S., I forgot to mention, about the Playboy channel incident itself, one shortcoming of eight-year-olds is the fact that they’re still in what Jean Piaget refers to as the “concrete-operational” stage, where they think in very literal, black-and-white terms. So, their interpretation of Jenna leaving the sleepover, and then the host child (and possibly the other guests) getting in trouble would have likely been, “Jenna ratted us out.” However, as I’ve tried to explain, the truth could have been more complicated. For all we know, Jenna could have been gently (or not-so-gently) prodded into telling by her parents. Maybe Jenna actually requested that her parents not contact the host parents about this, but they did anyway. In fact, maybe the host parents even up to see what was happening, and caught the kids in the act, not because of Jenna expressing a wish not to watch porn, but because they were awakened by the teasing that ensued (if it ensued). However, most young kids don’t register all that. Instead, they think, “Jenna didn’t want to watch Playboy, Jenna called her parents and asked to be picked up from the sleepover, and I got in trouble. Therefore, Jenna ratted me out, and she’s not my friend.” So, I’m not saying that everyone in the “Jenna deserved what she got” camp is definitely wrong, because for all anyone knows, Jenna might come back and say that yes, she did tell on her friends and try to get them in trouble, but what I am saying is, I think the reason why so many people are so quick to judge her is because they’re thinking only in absolutes; as in, if Jenna felt uncomfortable watching pornography, then she MUST have maliciously told on the ones who were watching it, and therefore, she deserved to be hung without a trial (or, the eight-year-old girl equivalent thereof; i.e. mass shunning).

  78. Natalie August 8, 2013 at 1:43 pm #

    So what you’re saying is that Warren processes things like a 8 yr old?

    ….(I know that’s not what you meant. You wouldn’t insult anyone even if paid to do so)

  79. Jen (P.) August 8, 2013 at 1:50 pm #

    I take issue to some degree with the “sleepovers aren’t necessary” mentality. Of course, they’re not necessary in the literal sense like food and water, but they are an important rite of passage and opportunity to build independence and gain experience while not under the watchful eyes of one’s parents. . . . Plus they’re lots of fun. If kids don’t have sleepovers, when do they get to experience being away from home alone? Camp? I would think that might be unnecessarily difficult for a kid who’s never had a sleepover. . . . College?

    I was the kid who was afraid to spend the night at my friends’ houses until I was probably 10 or 11 years old and it embarrassed the heck out of me. Overcoming that fear was a big deal, and I hate to think of the fun I’d have missed out on if I hadn’t.

    My younger daughter (now 10) struggled a bit in the same way (although not as much as I did), as did one of her best buds, who bailed out a couple of times at our house. We’ve had a revolving door this summer with extra kids at our house and ours at their friends’ places. Feels right to me.

  80. Donna August 8, 2013 at 1:50 pm #

    “Just because they are forbidding sleepovers does not mean that they are forcing their kids to do/not do everything that they have done in childhood.”

    I didn’t say they were in even the most broad reading of what I wrote. In my opinion, banning even a single reasonable childhood activity that your child wants to do based on your own bad choices as a child is wrong. Your children are not you. They should be judged on their own merits and not on what you did as a child.

    With the exception of the molestation victims (which I do understand), these were all the now parents’ choices that they want to avoid. Not things inherent in sleepovers, but CHOICES that they made during those sleepovers. Seems completely and totally wrong to me to limit another, completely separate person’s activities based on your own bad choices many years prior. It sends such a horrible message to children of “I screwed up and you can’t possibly be expected to not screw up too so you don’t even get the chance to prove that you can make better choices than I did.”

    I’m not saying that children must do sleepovers to have a good childhood (although I can’t personally imagine a childhood without sleepovers). I simply think the reasoning of you can’t do it because I couldn’t handle it is wrong.

  81. Donna August 8, 2013 at 2:03 pm #

    “If my son has showne the past two weekends that he is cranky and badly-behaved and homework wasn’t getting done and he was generally being a pain in the neck way more than usual after sleep overs then yes he can’t have one this time.”

    But that is absolutely no what we are talking about. These children have never been on a sleepover so there is no “shown to be tired” about any of it.

    And, while I am generally in favor of considering convenience in parenting decisions, it seems wrong to ban a desired activity from ever happening for no reason other than my own convenience. If my kid was difficult after sleepovers, we wouldn’t have done them nearly as often as we did. However, she still would have been allowed to go occasionally because it isn’t all about me either. For example, we wouldn’t have done sleepovers every weekend, but I wouldn’t have said no to her BFFs birthday parties for no reason other than it would have inconvenienced me the next day.

  82. Natalie August 8, 2013 at 2:04 pm #

    Sorry for misunderstanding you. I think that if I’d argue further I’d be guessing. I didn’t read the reasons for banning as “kid can’t handle it because parent couldn’t.”
    I agree in that’s not a good reason in and of itself.

  83. SKL August 8, 2013 at 2:19 pm #

    I disagree that parents should feel obligated to give their kids every experience possible no matter how inconvenient.

    I say that as a mom who is very into giving my kids experiences. There aren’t many things my kids haven’t done or will not eventually do.

    But. Let’s take friend birthday parties for example. I don’t do them. Never have, never want to. (Possibly they will talk me into it someday, but it isn’t in my plans.) I could give you a long list of reasons why I don’t want to. All of them relating to my personal comfort, convenience, and interests. But, “I don’t want to” is good enough. It’s my choice.

  84. Emily August 8, 2013 at 2:24 pm #

    No, Natalie, I wasn’t saying that Warren processes things like an eight-year-old; I was saying that, until we get the whole story from Jenna, there’s no sense judging her, because any number of things could have happened in between Jenna requesting not to watch Playboy, leaving the sleepover when this request was denied, and the other sleepover participants getting in trouble and shunning her. Heck, I wouldn’t even judge her if she did maliciously rat out her friends, because she was eight years old. Childhood is a time to grow, and learn, and make mistakes, and if everyone permanently shunned everyone else based on things they did as children, then we’d all be living miserable, insular little lives, because nobody is perfect.

  85. Librarymomma August 8, 2013 at 2:50 pm #

    Interesting conversation. I didn’t have any “wild” sleepovers until I was a teen, but somehow I survived.

    As far as my one and only child, he’s 9 and refuses to sleep in a house unless I am with him, so that pretty much puts an end to all sleepovers. However, parent-child sleepovers are fairly common in my community and child-only sleepovers don’t happen much, although as the kids get older, that might change.

    My son had a sleepover for his 8th birthday. All the kids (there were five of them) were between the ages of 6 and 9. And, “gasp,” it was co-ed. I slept downstairs with the kids (because of my son’s inability to sleep in a room without a parent present) and the only problem I had was with two girls who decided to write in their journals in the middle of the night and were being noisy.

  86. Warren August 8, 2013 at 2:56 pm #

    @Natalie, SKL, Emily

    Loyalty equals bullying? Are you kidding me. You three are part of the problem. Making everyone that possibly feels like their feelings were even slightly hurt, was bullied.

    You three will water down the definition of the term bullying until it is meaningless. It is almost there now.

    Shunning someone, picking them last for a team, harmless (not chronic) teasing and alot of other things are not bullying.

    On the other hand had you three been there as teachers you would have bullied the other girls into being nice to Jenna.

    I am sick and tired of you bleedinghearts labelling every little damn thing as bullying. You are insulting the ones that truly are being bullied. Jenna was not bullied, she just wasn’t liked by her classmates. That is not bullying, that is personal choice.

    How do the three of you survive? By your reasonings you must be bullied eveyday of your lives. And here is where you will really hate me. The truth is, you can only be bullied if you allow it. Doesn’t make it right, but it is within your control to stop it.

  87. Puzzled August 8, 2013 at 2:59 pm #

    Captain America raises a great point. Soft-core porn during primetime is an outrage. We should only allow hardcore during primetime; anything else is sissy half-way thinking.

    Anyway, a friend whose father was away for the weekend on business prevailed upon his mother to order Playboy for the night and have a bunch of us over. One friend came to the door, said “I feel like this is wrong,” and left. We didn’t have any problem with him. Meanwhile, the rest of us watched Playboy with my friend’s mom all night, which meant that we couldn’t make vulgar comments, etc. It was great.

  88. Natalie August 8, 2013 at 3:08 pm #

    “Loyalty equals bullying”

    Well, okay. Nobody said that. Bad way to start a post.

    I know. You’re sick of the word bullying. I get that. You’ve got issues with the use of the word. But you have about 6 different people who explained why they think an organized ostracizing by the entire grade is bullying.

    Aaaaand… You respond that you don’t like the word bullying. Okay. Got it. You’re allowed to disagree. But if you want to really convince someone, a better way to do that (other than insults and repeating that you dont like the word) would be to define what bullying is and then show how this doesn’t fall under your definition.

  89. Jen (P.) August 8, 2013 at 3:08 pm #

    “But. Let’s take friend birthday parties for example. I don’t do them. Never have, never want to. (Possibly they will talk me into it someday, but it isn’t in my plans.) I could give you a long list of reasons why I don’t want to. All of them relating to my personal comfort, convenience, and interests. But, “I don’t want to” is good enough. It’s my choice.”

    If one accepts the notion (and I don’t know whether SKL, whose comment I’ve lifted, does) that sleepovers are beneficial–kids gain independence, learn to interact with other families, build relationships with their friends, etc.–how does this differ from a parent who won’t let her kid cross the street because it’s her choice and she has her reasons “relating to [her] personal comfort, convenience, and interests”?

    Parental convenience seems to me a perfectly valid consideration on an event by event basis but I’m having trouble coming up with a scenario where it’s sufficient to justify depriving a kid entirely of an important formative experience.

  90. Natalie August 8, 2013 at 3:14 pm #

    @jen
    Well, that’s part of the issue. Are sleepovers an important formative experience? Not everyone agrees on that.

  91. Jen (P.) August 8, 2013 at 3:35 pm #

    @Natalie
    I realize that. I interpreted SKL’s comment as acknowledging at least some benefit to the experience, although my post didn’t express that very well . . . I shouldn’t try to do 6 things at once.

  92. Natalie August 8, 2013 at 3:40 pm #

    What? You can’t multitask and do each task well?
    Once I tried making lasagna and bread for shabbat while watching Buffy the Vampire Slayer. I burnt the bread and I forgot to add spices to the lasanga. My husband and I kept adding salt while eating it, it was pretty bland. (And this was before I had kids)

  93. marie August 8, 2013 at 3:52 pm #

    Puzzled…how old were you and your friends when his mom ordered Playboy for the night?

    You have no idea how furious I would be if I learned that a parent rented porn for my son and his friends. Now, if someone would explain to me what Playboy porn entails, that could be helpful. I don’t know if it shows the real nitty-gritty or if it is a bunch of airbrushed girls talking about how they like popsicles and world peace. Jenna only referred to “the porn channel that the host girl’s dad subscribed to.” That could be soft porn or it could be hard core.

    Either way, other adults have no business introducing my kids to porn. Period. Even if the kids will be “okay.” Even if the kids enjoyed it. Even if the kids asked for it. Even if the other parents said it was okay. Some things are simply wrong. That’s a big one.

    If my kid encountered porn at another house (found a magazine, looked it up online), that is one thing. A adult showing it to kids?? Uh…NO.

    Porn is so easily available–anytime of day or night–and can be viewed so privately, nobody needs to encourage that. Porn can be harmless and it can be dangerous. Just like some kids can handle an hour of videogames a day and some can’t stop until they need to go to school tomorrow…porn can have that effect. Who in their right mind would deliberately mess with kids like that?

    Free Range does not mean nothing matters.

  94. Donna August 8, 2013 at 3:56 pm #

    “I didn’t read the reasons for banning as “kid can’t handle it because parent couldn’t.”

    Really? Because that is all “I don’t want my child to ever go to a sleepover because when I was a child I choose to smoke, drink, moon people, etc. and I don’t want my child to go those things” sounds like to me. Parent couldn’t handle the responsibility of “good” choices while at sleepovers or in friends as a child so now their children aren’t allowed to go on sleepovers.

    I say “good” because personally I don’t think all the things mentioned are particularly horrible if done once or twice to to experiment. I fully expect that my child will try drinking, smoking, mooning, egging and TPing houses at least once as a teen. I also wouldn’t be surprise if porn is viewed, although I hope she is over 8. Sure, I have to be the mom and discourage these things but I am truly not heart-broken over the idea that she will do them once or twice (much beyond that and there are issues). I do hope she chooses better friends than those who use drugs.

  95. SKL August 8, 2013 at 4:13 pm #

    I’m sure there are good things about birthday parties, too, but that doesn’t mean I have to host one.

    I can easily think of a long list of things that are good for kids, but lots of parents (doubtless many of you) choose not to do them, even though you know they are good for kids.

    – Taking them weekly to a house of worship that reflects your beliefs
    – Taking them to a house of worship that doesn’t reflect your beliefs
    – Taking them on an international trip (as often as possible)
    – Having them learn foreign languages from a native speaker
    – Music lessons
    – Girl/Boy Scouts (I don’t do this either)
    – Giving them one or more siblings
    – Letting them take care of animals and younger children
    – Bla bla bla! Obviously this could go on all day.

    Each parent has to pick and choose, because even if we wanted to do it all, we couldn’t. And our kids would (will) still be OK.

  96. Emily August 8, 2013 at 4:34 pm #

    @Warren–

    1. I know you said you don’t like the word “bullying,” and, from what it sounds like, you don’t consider non-physical meanness to count as bullying, but that doesn’t change the fact that the broader definition of “bullying” does include these things.

    2. “Loyalty” doesn’t equal bullying, but if another one of the kids at the sleepover had sided with Jenna, and said, “Jenna’s right; I don’t want to watch Playboy either,” then that would have also been loyalty. Also, “loyalty” doesn’t necessarily mean shunning, ostracizing, excluding, or otherwise being mean to other people, unless there’s a ringleader (or multiple ringleaders) who demand that it does.

    3. I’m not “bullied every day” as an adult, but that’s because the people I interact with on a regular basis have evolved beyond elementary-school maturity levels. However, if I was at a party or social gathering as an adult, and someone tried to get me to do something I was uncomfortable with, I would leave, whether that “something” was watching pornography, or eating a hamburger (I’m vegan). If the others pushed after a polite refusal, then that gathering would be over for me. I’ve also left situations before where it was just getting too noisy and crowded, because I’ve suffered from panic attacks since I was fourteen. I don’t (and I wouldn’t) flounce out in a huff, or anything like that, but I’d make it clear that I didn’t want to stay, by saying something like, “I’ve had enough; I’ll see you all another time.” Since Jenna was only eight when that sleepover happened, calling her parents was the “kid equivalent” of an adult leaving a gathering where they felt uncomfortable. The only difference is, as an adult, you can keep your reasons for leaving private, but Jenna might not have had that option at eight years old.

    Again, we don’t know that Jenna “ratted out her friends,” and we don’t know that her intention was to get the other kids in trouble, and we won’t know until she clarifies. I’d hate to think that MY friends would dump ME, and pressure others to do the same, if I (quietly, amicably) left a gathering where I felt uncomfortable. As adults, that would reflect badly on the person attempting to perpetuate a mass ostracism, not on the person who left the gathering. Unfortunately, children don’t operate the same way as adults, so a lot of them will side with the ringleader, especially if he or she is more popular than the child being ostracized.

    As for “bullying the other kids into being nice to Jenna,” that’s also hypothetical, but if I was working with kids (which I’ve done plenty of), and I saw that dynamic going on over a period of time, yes, I would try to fix it. I wouldn’t just issue an edict of “you must be nice to Jenna,” but I’d ask the kids what was really going on, and try to fix the real issue. If it was a one-off situation (for example, babysitting on a random Saturday), or a short-term situation (let’s say a weeklong day camp), then I’d give the excluded kid some bubbles or sidewalk chalk or something that can be enjoyed alone or in groups, or I’d offer to push them on the swings or something (I give pretty good underdogs). Then, if other kids migrated over because they wanted to swing, draw, or blow bubbles, cool. If not, then the excluded kid would still get to do something fun.

    My pianist friend and I actually had something like that happen at the music camp last summer. On Wednesdays, we set up a sprinkler for the kids to play in, and one of those days, the kids were changing into their bathing suits for this purpose, in the church bathrooms. One little boy changed in the “open” part of the men’s bathroom instead of in the stall, and the other boys teased him, calling him “naked boy” and whatnot. My friend and I didn’t come down hard on the teasers, but we did make it clear that we didn’t condone that kind of behaviour, and we kept everyone busy with a lot of activities (which would have happened anyway, because we had to rehearse with the kids for the Friday recital for the parents). By the end of the day, the “naked boy” incident had been largely forgotten, because it just didn’t jive with the “positive culture” of the camp.

  97. Emily August 8, 2013 at 4:42 pm #

    P.S., Warren, you say you don’t like worst-first thinking, but when you automatically jump to the conclusion of “Jenna deliberately and maliciously ratted out her friends so they’d get in trouble for watching Playboy,” then that falls under the definition of “worst-first” as well.

  98. Donna August 8, 2013 at 4:58 pm #

    SKL –

    But people have a right to think that your choice is wrong. I’m not sure where we got the idea that we can spend all this time criticizing helicopter parenting but our own decisions should be viewed as choices about which nobody should have an opinion.

    You don’t think for a second that I am going to change your mind, but I’m going to continue to think that a decision to ban sleepovers and birthday parties in total because they are inconvenient for you is kinda selfish. Both are rites of passage of childhood and there is a hole in the lives of kids who do not get to participate. It is not going to create dysfunctional, miserable people by any stretch of the imagination (in fact, little we do as parents has that power), but it does leave them with a hole in their experience that just about every other person they will ever meet has filled. And we do often rely on that bank of shared consciousness to relate to other people.

  99. Warren August 8, 2013 at 5:11 pm #

    @SKL
    Are you really that stupid? I thought you were somewhat educated. Equating reporting of molestation to ratting on friends for watching TV they are not supposed to? What planet are you from? Moron does not even come close.

    @Natalie
    I am not sick of the word bullying. It is a fine word. Your definition of it is beyond sickening. Because of what you consider to be bullying, only insults those who have been actually bullied. What you are doing is akin to saying those with a common cold are the same as those with cancer.

    @Emily
    “Jenna deliberately and maliciously ratted out her friends so they’d get in trouble for watching Playboy” Check my posts little lady, I never once said that. Others may have, but I did not. I never once spoke to Jenna’s motives for ratting out the others, just that she did. As a result the others decided to shun, not be friends with or whatever you want to call it. That in response to being informed on, it is a reasonable reaction.
    If you informed on coworkers, that resulted in suspension or whatever, I promise you that you would not be the most popular person at work. AND THAT IS NOT BULLYING.

    You show me someone that has never relied on another to keep something quiet, and I will show you a liar.

  100. Donna August 8, 2013 at 5:14 pm #

    SKL –

    But most of those things that you mention, with the exception of siblings and maybe church in certain areas of the world/country, are not remotely universal for every child. Birthday parties and sleepovers are fairly universal for every child (excepting members of some religious groups). Yes, your child will live without them

    And, as a person who was any only child for most of her life, there is a sense of loss in not having something that most other people you will ever meet have experienced. It is not the desire for a sibling (I have that as I now have a brother who I am very close to despite our age difference). It is the feeling of being left out and not being able to relate when friends start talking about childhood sibling rivalry and antics because I never did any of that with my brother who was not yet in KG when I moved out to go to college.

    And it is not at all the same for things like Girl Scouts, international trips and visits to religions not your own – things I also never experienced as a child but neither did a large number of people that I know.

    This came up recently when I realized that having a child who has never been to church means that she has no idea about many, many cultural references in this way overly-religious “secular” country. I’ve started to think about taking her to church since she asked me “what’s a bible” a couple months ago. Not because I want her to have religion but because she needs to know certain things to be able to fully relate to others.

  101. SKL August 8, 2013 at 5:16 pm #

    I don’t agree that “just about every person they will ever meet” has had sleepovers (depending on the definition) and friend birthday parties. (When I say friend birthday parties, I mean a scheduled party where you invite the kid’s friends.)

    I do not agree that there’s a hole left by not having a friend birthday party. Nobody in my family ever had one, and I don’t feel any holes, never have, and I’ve never heard that any of my siblings did. My mom’s family didn’t celebrate birthdays at all (Jehovah’s Witnesses) and neither do a lot of people.

    What I do is get my kids excited about what I am willing to do – take them somewhere fun as a family, buy presents, have a cake, let them choose a restaurant for dinner, etc.

    They know that they have lots of experiences that other kids don’t. It evens out. Learning that is also important as kids grow up.

    It’s like I tell them (and you probably do similar), that all families are built differently. Some kids have a dad, they don’t; they have a sister, many of their friends don’t; and so on.

    I really hate to hear the word “selfish” used in connection with these sorts of parenting decisions. We’re not talking about things that kids “need,” we’re talking about ways our kids can be indulged. I indulge my kids all sorts of ways, but they are not entitled to every indulgence they see around them.

    I would never say you were selfish for not providing your daughter with a sibling, even though having a sibling would be good for her in all kinds of ways. Selfish is reserved for things like not making sure a kid has enough calories or goes to school because the parent is too busy getting drunk, high, or laid.

  102. SKL August 8, 2013 at 5:39 pm #

    Then again, I was once accused of being the meanest mom around because I didn’t pack my kids’ swim goggles when they went to spring camp. Whatever.

  103. Puzzled August 8, 2013 at 5:57 pm #

    Marie – hard to remember, but I’m going to say 16. Also, in those days, porn wasn’t so available. This was before the internet. Playboy is pretty soft-core. I remember interviews with actresses, a movie (with a plot) in which sex featured prominently – but interestingly enough, the actors and actresses just happened to have their arms blocking the ‘sensitive’ area all the time, game shows where a guy has to answer questions while getting a lap dance, etc. In retrospect (and when I briefly subscribed to the channel last year) it’s all pretty innocent, but it seems different as a teenager.

    Not saying I’d do the same, and certainly not today, but you can look at who attended and you’d be pretty hard-pressed to say that some sort of damage was done to us. Compared to our other sleepovers, we probably saved our eyesight since we weren’t squinting and trying to see scrambled pictures.

  104. EricS August 8, 2013 at 5:57 pm #

    @Jenna K: It’s not so much what you DO at sleep overs. It’s the mental state that is involved. If you GO TO a sleepover, you feel more empowered with trust, and the ability to be away from your parents. I went to a lot of sleep overs at my cousins, with other friends. In fact, ever summer from the age of 8-13, me and my brother would stay it our cousins’ house from July – Aug. They were a 15-20 min drive from where lived. And even when we came back home, we’d still take the subway there and stay over once or twice a week till till school started.

    And if you HAVE sleepovers at your place (you being the kid), you learn hospitality. What it means to be responsible for your guests. At least that’s what were taught as children. You get a sense of some adult like mentality. And every kid, from all ages of time, has always wanted to be “grown up”. It’s a genetic thing. To prepare and strive for as we get older in life. I find it sad and selfish of parents who often say, “I want to hold on to my children at this age for as long as I can”. So to make themselves feel better, they are willing to sacrifice and jeopardize their children’s natural mental and emotional growth? Sad.

  105. Emily August 8, 2013 at 9:44 pm #

    @Warren:

    1. Please don’t call me “little lady.” It’s disrespectful.

    2. Just because you didn’t use the same words I did (“Jenna maliciously told on her friends, because she wanted to get them in trouble”), doesn’t mean that you don’t agree with the “Jenna deserved what she got” sentiment. You said as much, just not in the same words, so don’t split hairs.

    3. We don’t even know that Jenna meant to “inform” on her friends. All we know is that she called her parents to ask for a ride home from the sleepover, because she wanted to leave. That might have been all she told them of her own volition. How the rest of the truth came out, and how her parents reacted, is something that only Jenna knows. The “nuclear reaction” might not have even been from Jenna’s parents; but rather, from the host parents, possibly out of embarrassment from another family finding out that they even HAD the Playboy channel in the first place. So, if that was the case, I don’t think it’s fair to pin all the blame on an eight-year-old girl for wanting to leave a situation where she felt uncomfortable because the other kids were watching porn. It seems pretty unfair to me–Jenna was the only one who was behaving appropriately at the sleepover, and yet, she got “punished” by losing all of her friends for an entire school year.

    4. Warren, what if it was one of your kids, who asked to be picked up from a sleepover because the other kids were watching porn, or raiding the liquor cabinet, or being mean to another party guest, and speaking up against this behaviour didn’t work? You’d probably ask why they wanted to be picked up, right? Well, if they told you, would you brand them as a “tattletale,” or be proud of them for not participating in behaviour that was wrong, or felt wrong to them? Or, what if the sleepover was at your house, and some of the guests started, say, playing soccer in the house, your kids told them to stop, and then told you when they wouldn’t? Again–would you condone the other kids shunning yours, or would you be proud of them for speaking up?

    5. Just so we’re clear, I’m very pro-sleepover; however, I think parents should make a deal with their kids that they’ll pick them up if they feel uncomfortable. Usually, when kids take their parents up on that, it’s for homesickness, etc., and they usually need it less and less as they get older, and attend more sleepovers. Sometimes, even knowing that they can come home at any time, gives kids the security they need to go to a sleepover in the first place. It also sets a good precedent for when the teenage parties start.

  106. hineata August 8, 2013 at 11:08 pm #

    @ Emily – I think your point no. 5 is a particularly good one. Short of an emergency situation – i.e. the kid is sleeping over at someone else’s because parents are sick, called out of town etc – I think kids should be able to ring home and go home any time they feel uncomfortable. Otherwise we run the risk of them being too scared to leave during the few times there might be actual trouble.

    BTW, off topic but to do with the bullying stuff, have you read Jodee Blanco’s books? I just read ‘Please Stop Laughing At Us’ and couldn’t put it down – so handy for teachers etc, and quite harrowing.

  107. Warren August 9, 2013 at 12:41 am #

    Emily,
    I called you little lady, because of your little bubble you wish live in.

    I never once spoke to Jenna’s motives for ratting on her friends. I stated that she told on the other girls, they got in trouble, and because of that shunned the rat. It is not bullying, it is a perfectly normal reaction.

    And again watching sex on a dang TV, is not a health risk like 8 yr olds drinking booze, or smoking, or someone getting injured. You are comparing apples to turnips. You are comparing a relatively minor rule break with actual risky behaviour. It is not the same, not even close.

    All of you need to set aside your own prudish sexual hangups, and stop transfering them onto 8yr olds. 8 yr olds were not tryin to watch porn, so they could get their sexual urges satisfied. Turning that channel on, was no different than doing anything else they were told not to do.

    As for my kids Emily, they have a helluvalot more integrity than Jenna or most of you. They would have left the room, done their own thing, and not ratted out the group, for a minor rule infraction like that. Of course if there were risks involved they would seek adult help, but they were not raised to be squeelers.
    Emily there is a huge difference between not participating in activities you find uncomfortable, or questionable and ratting out the group.

    Everybody at some point relies on someone to remain loyal, and keep confidence. From you having someone tell someone else you are not there, to having a coworker cover for you to whatever.

    I have reread Jenna’s original post over again. And she strikes me as someone that wasn’t in the inner circle of the group to begin with. And her crying victim of being shunned, and all tells me she was a tattletale type of kid from the start.

  108. Uly August 9, 2013 at 1:10 am #

    Emily, it’s useless to try to have a civil conversation with Warren.

  109. Really Bad Mum August 9, 2013 at 1:32 am #

    If people don’t want to allow sleepovers who care, their kids their choice, for whatever reason I don’t care, BUT don’t tell me that I am wrong and try and voice ur choices on me, and be prepared that if you act judgemental and accuse me and my family of offences that you think might happen even though you have no proof or reason, to deal with the fact that I will tell you to go and,well, f yourself….

  110. Really Bad Mum August 9, 2013 at 1:33 am #

    Force not voice sorry

  111. Emily August 9, 2013 at 1:37 am #

    @Warren–For the last time, we don’t know that Jenna intended to “rat out” the other kids. We know that she called her parents because she wanted to leave the sleepover, because she felt uncomfortable. Since it was late at night, they probably asked why, which is reasonable. I’m sure you’d do the same thing in that situation, right? You’d probably pick up your kid from the sleepover, and ask what precipitated that call–not to raise a ruckus to the other parent, but to figure out what’s wrong in order to comfort your own kid. For all we know, Jenna never knew that the conversation would go further than that, but it did. As for my “prudish sexual hangups,” I was just re-iterating what Jenna said–that the other sleepover guests wanted to watch the Playboy channel, which is pornography; just like I’d use the terms “ESPN” and “sports” interchangeably, because the ESPN channel features sports. As for “leaving the room,” maybe the “sleepover area” was just that one room, with the TV in it, and leaving wasn’t an option; at least not without waking someone up, or breaking another rule. Maybe the other girls tried to stop Jenna from leaving, either with words, or by actually barricading her in the room. We don’t know for sure, but it could happen–in fact, only Jenna knows why she didn’t/couldn’t leave the room, so I’m going to wait until she fills us in. I’ve been in similar situations before, at school and at summer camp, and walked away from the group to do my own thing, only to be followed by the other kids, or reprimanded by adults for not being with the group. Even in more “understanding” situations like summer camp, often, something would happen (everything from casual teasing, up to and including property damage and sexual harassment), one of my counsellors would ask what was wrong, I’d say I didn’t want to talk about it, but then they’d gently get me to tell them, because otherwise, they “couldn’t make it better.” Sometimes they could, but other times, they’d talk to the group, and I’d get labelled a “rat” or a “suck-up” for being justifiably upset about being mocked, or mooned, or screamed at, or having the mustard bottle whipped at my head in the dining hall, or being forced to watch my cabin mates stick my clarinet inside very rude parts of their bodies, and then photograph the evidence using MY disposable camera.

    I guess what I’m saying is, often, these situations are lose-lose. If the target doesn’t speak up, then everything stays the same, but if he or she DOES speak up, then the well-meaning adults talk to the perpetrators, who say all the right things to the adult, but then act even worse towards the target when the adult is out of range.

  112. Really Bad Mum August 9, 2013 at 1:58 am #

    @jenna you dobbed, for whatever reason, what the girls did after was completely normal for a 8/9 year old. It may not be right but they where kids, not adults so they reacted like kids. Secondly, how old where u when the rest happened? Coz if u where 8/9 I would say what sort of parent did u have to allow u got go to someone’s house where u where permitted to leave the house in the middle of the night, if u where a teen then I would say it was normal teen behaviour and stop over reacting… A sleepover with a group is completely different from a sleepover with just one friend. Which no one seems to have mentioned, of course more mischief is going to happen the bigger the group,

  113. Warren August 9, 2013 at 2:24 am #

    Emily,

    For the last time, and I will go slow to allow you to follow along.
    I do not care about Jenna’s motives for ratting out the girls, or her sensitivities or if cheese gives her the runs. I do not care if she freely ratted them out, or only did it under torture, it does not matter. The other girls got in trouble as a result of Jenna’s squeeling on them. The girls have the right to be pissed off and have the right to shun her.
    Emily, have you been able to follow along so far?

    Being mad at someone for informing on you is valid. Not wanting to be their friend, and avoiding them is valid. NOT BULLYING.

    You still with me so far?

    As for your clarinet, mustard bottle and all the other oh so horrible things that happened to you……….grow up, get over it and stop whining.

    @Uly
    Got something civil for you, but that needs to be done in person.

  114. Really Bad Mum August 9, 2013 at 2:54 am #

    @ warren, I agree completely….
    @ Emily, was this a once off camp or did u go every year? If once off then it was a bad experience and most probably a good lesson in ways of not to treat people.. If u went back every year then why keep going? Jenna acted the victim then dobbed, she could have stood up for herself, she could of rolled over and gone to sleep or slept in another room, but she stayed… Then dobbed, then bitched ( from what her post says).. Bad things happen to everyone, people need to build a bridge, stop being judgemental and get over it…

  115. Havva August 9, 2013 at 4:19 am #

    Sorry about the long off topic

    Brooke,
    Your words were very supportive, so I’ve been trying to figure out why it bothers me that you objected to my saying that “I made only a small mistake.” I know this standard objection is well intentioned.

    The answer hit me as my husband was reading Little Red Riding Hood to our daughter. Red was warned about the wolf. Yet she was in the bad situation of being lost, and her only offer of help was the wolf. She took a chance on him. Other versions have other variations of making a little mistake she was warned about. But none of the current versions seem to imply fault in that mistake. Red did some little thing, her danger sensor didn’t trigger and she was deceived by a cunning predator. Frustratingly even when she begins to see something is wrong, she doesn’t figure out how bad it is fast enough. But seemingly to make it clear that Red isn’t to blame, grandma doesn’t fare any better, and often much worse. They were both simply lucky the woodsman came. And I think that is a pretty standard interpretation.

    My story isn’t so different. I was under firm instructions not to tell ANY caller that I was home alone, for my safety. So I didn’t tell my uncle on the numerous occasions when he called. That is until one day I heard a suspicious and frightening noise, and told him, begging him to call 911 if I didn’t come right back or if he heard anything. It was just one small mistake, a chance many others might have taken. Hearing what he wanted to know, he used his key and walked right in. I was actually relieved to see him. The shock and relief cycle, overwhelmed the tickling sense that something was seriously wrong. Just as it took Red until “all the better to eat you with” to know she was in trouble, it wasn’t until his intentions were open that I recognized my uncle as a predator. That thought came with a drive to resist. Resistance was nothing school even brushed on in the “bad touch” lecture. That instinct was pure little red riding hood. And why not? That allegory of victimization and what may come of it/ what to do, seem to have always been the point of Little Red Riding Hood. Some old versions involve her tricked into bed, and even out of her clothing!

    I grew up largely in a cut from the wolf’s belly world, and that is a fitting allegory for my mental plunge into darkness and frightening but worth-wild extrication.

    Interestingly the story seems to vary with attitudes toward victims. Wikipedia discusses a 17th century version which paints Red as outright blame worthy, ends with her death, and is followed by a 17th century lecture on stranger danger!

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Little_Red_Riding_Hood

    I love that some versions had Red cunningly escaping with no help, a worthy tale of Resistance. I’d love to bring that back and to give the last R, report, a well deserved flourish with a slightly injured Red seeking out the wood cutter and bringing him back to cut granny free.

  116. Natalie August 9, 2013 at 8:39 am #

    @donna

    I don’t see an 8-9 yr old refusing to watch porn and calling to go home as not being able to “handle it.” Or Holly’s issue with alcohol. I wouldn’t describe that as not being able to “handle it” either. So no, I wouldn’t use your terms about parents and kids “handling” things at all.

    And this is why I said that I’m in the realm of guessing. I don’t think these parents are worried about their children smoking/watching porn/drinking once or twice, giggling about it, and moving on, now with funny stories to tell their future grandchildren

  117. Emily August 9, 2013 at 8:50 am #

    @Warren–I am over what happened at camp, and I wasn’t whining, I was just recounting an incident where either telling OR not telling would have resulted in more bullying, but telling would at least alert someone to the problem, who could MAYBE help me. I went to that camp for seven years, but the bullying that happened that year was (pretty much) a one-off thing. That was my second-last year there (L.I.T., age fifteen, and I thought long and hard before returning the following year for C.I.T., when things were mostly much better). I’m just saying that blaming the victim isn’t always the way to go–I didn’t want to get anyone in trouble; I just wanted the bullying to stop, and I tried repeatedly to resolve it myself, without success. I’m also over the bullying that happened in school, and I’m Facebook friends with several of my former tormentors.

    As for Jenna, again, we don’t even know her. We don’t know what happened that night, and even if she was a “tattletale” kind of kid at the age of eight, she might not be now. It’s her choice not to allow her kids to have sleepovers, and we don’t have to agree with it, and honestly, we’ve had some much worse people on here. Remember the woman who wouldn’t let her kids swim without lifejackets, or even bathe alone? Compared to that, not allowing sleepovers is pretty minor.

  118. Natalie August 9, 2013 at 8:58 am #

    Sigh…
    Warren.
    Define it then. Make a reasoned argument. Use that intelligence of yours that you keep insisting that only you have.

    In your posts, we’ve all seen you blow a gasket everytime the word is mentioned. you’ve got serious issues with the word because (shocker) you’ve been called a bully before, and continue to try to bully people on this site when they disagree with you.

    Except it doesn’t work on this site because your attempts at bullying result in everyone shaking their heads at how ridiculously idiotic you can get, or bursting with laughter from your lack of self-awareness at how much of a fool you are.

  119. Natalie August 9, 2013 at 9:01 am #

    Emily,
    Honestly, I don’t understand what you think you’re going to accomplish here.

  120. Natalie August 9, 2013 at 9:16 am #

    @donna
    If you’re interested, It’s possible to learn about/study the bible from the angle of a piece of literature, or stories like fables, that your daughter can learn morality from, rather than a religious work.

    I saw lots of secular Jews in Israel doing this. They didn’t want to keep kosher, or the sabbath, or go to synagogue, but they didn’t want to alienate themselves from their culture/heritage either.

    I don’t know if there is anything geared towards your daughter’s age group like that without an overt religious message. But if you’re reading these stories together, it could certainly invite some interesting conversations between you two.

    If you want to provide balance, try and get the equivalent for Judaism and Islam, Buddhism, Hinduism, or whatever other religions can be found in your area.

  121. Warren August 9, 2013 at 9:20 am #

    @Natalie
    LMAO at your overuse of the bullying card. The sign of a weak person, who thinks because someone is strong willed, and outspoken that they are bullies.

    Calling a spade a spade, or in this case an idiot an idiot, is not bullying.

    Take a deep breath, get off your high horse and try to understand simple english and logic.

    Not liking someone and shunning them because they have wronged you is not bullying. Friends choosing to be loyal to one over another is not bullying. If they had no cause to shun Jenna then yes you could make a case for bullying. But they did have cause to shun her……..she ratted them out. Whether she did it on purpose or not does not matter to kids that age. You are label natural behaviour as bullying.
    You may enjoy playing victim because your feelings were hurt or whatever, but that is a horrible lesson to teach.

    As for your last paragraph, again why do you bother, your personal opinion of me is meaningless, sort of like that white stuff that collects at the corner of your mouth when you are hot and thirsty. Yes your opinion of me means nothing to me. I only value the opinions of people I respect, and you are nowhere near being on that list.

  122. Natalie August 9, 2013 at 9:31 am #

    “But people have a right to think your choice is wrong.”

    Skl, Donna

    I think there are two approaches to arguing about parenting choices. One is the approach that as long as it doesn’t hurt the child, it’s really nobody’s business. We shouldn’t judge. In this regard, I don’t have a problem with helicopter tendencies either. Why? Because I have never seen the extremes that are portrayed on this site. It’s usually a mix. Kids can’t walk alone until they’re 10, but they have chores, are very responsible at home, cook, clean, and help take care of the younger ones. Or some other variation. I really don’t see a problem if the family is happy and the kids turn out fine. Which they often do. So what’s the problem if it doesn’t affect me and my kids?

    Then again, it could be the area I live in. I’ve heard the stories, obviously these extreme families exist.

    Then there’s the other way of arguing where you imagine yourself making that choice for your child. And then it becomes personal. More akin to arguing with a spouse on whether or not to permit/forbid something.

    Both kinds of arguments are interesting ways of looking at parenting styles.

  123. SKL August 9, 2013 at 9:50 am #

    Natalie, I’m sure I’ve done both. But it seems the conversation is more productive if we say “I do __ because __ (positive reason)” vs. “you are selfish (or other judgmental term) if you ___.”

  124. Natalie August 9, 2013 at 10:11 am #

    Yes, I can see the benefits of going at it both ways. How else will one really question their parenting choices if not put in a position to defend them? I think that’s a good thing.

    But it’s also important to remember that raising kids is hard. We’re all doing the best we can.

  125. SKL August 9, 2013 at 10:30 am #

    Natalie, I don’t think parents need to be put on the defensive in order to reconsider parenting choices. New information goes a long way for someone who actually cares about her kids.

  126. Uly August 9, 2013 at 10:33 am #

    You see what I mean?

  127. Emily August 9, 2013 at 10:35 am #

    >>Not liking someone and shunning them because they have wronged you is not bullying. Friends choosing to be loyal to one over another is not bullying. If they had no cause to shun Jenna then yes you could make a case for bullying.<<

    The sleepover guests shunned Jenna over the Playboy channel incident. That's sort of understandable, although for an entire school year seems excessive. However, the line where it crosses into bullying, is when they recruited ALL THE GIRLS IN GRADE THREE to join in the shunning, so that Jenna had no friends at all, for an entire school year. I think that's pretty disgusting. There really should have been at least one or two "renegade" decent kids in the bunch, who might have said something like, "So what? Jenna didn't do anything to ME, and I wasn't even there, so this should be between you and her. Hey, Jenna, let's go play four-square." I know life isn't an after-school special, but that's probably how I would have reacted at that age.

  128. SKL August 9, 2013 at 10:43 am #

    Well anyway, I don’t think the bullying (or not bullying) is really relevant to the sleepover issue. The thing that happened at the sleepover is disturbing enough to a parent of a primary-school child.

    I think we are trying too hard to define something we didn’t actually see / live through. Many judgments being passed about something that was described in a sentence or two. The fact is that inappropriate stuff happens at some sleepovers. Naturally having gone through that is going to influence a parent’s choices, just as great experiences will influence other parnets’ choices.

  129. Natalie August 9, 2013 at 10:52 am #

    Skl
    Yeah, defend implies attack. Parents shouldn’t be attacked. Let’s try this. When I have to explain why I do what I do, I better understand myself, my motivations, and the effect of the parenting choice in question. It could cause me to reconsider things, all of which I think is good.
    Take walking home from the bus stop. I really want my daughter to be ready to do that (she’ll be in first grade). She’s eager to be a latch key kid, and I’m eager for her to be the same. i wont have to abandon things mid-experiment to rush to the bus stop. She’ll be home alone for 10-15 min tops.
    We’ve been practicing street crossing for a while. My husband isn’t thrilled about this, and wants to wait. Not about being home alone, but walking home alone. She’s got her head in the clouds. She still impulsively darts out into the street, and taking into consideration the time of day and route she walks, we might have to delay it. We’ve been discussing it on and off and I realized that he was right. And it’s not the end of the world to try it 6 weeks or 6 months later.

  130. SKL August 9, 2013 at 11:28 am #

    Natalie, that’s exactly how it works with me. I have life experiences and the internet etc. to tell me what’s possible for *some* kids, and I know *my* kids, and I’m learning more from both every day. I would love for my kids to be able to wash and care for their own hair. My sister (who had a lot less hair) was bathing and washing her own hair at 4yo. But the fact is that my girls are just not ready. (One of them is close; the other, whose hair is down to her butt, will probably take years.)

    My kids are 6 and I still worry about them around cars, not because I’m a lunatic, but because I’ve seen how impulsive one of them can be. I do let them cross on their own, but not that often and not without strict reminders about how to do it. It shouldn’t be that way, but it is. The Warrens of the world can cuss me out all day, but my kid is going to be ready when she’s ready.

  131. Natalie August 9, 2013 at 11:38 am #

    Hah.
    We’re having hair issues. My daughter can’t get all the tangles out yet. But she does some, and she can do a ponytail. We’re getting there!

    The Warrens of the world are too busy beating their chests on a hilltop to dispense parental advice. Throw him a banana.

  132. Warren August 9, 2013 at 12:35 pm #

    Emily,
    Did it ever cross your mind that it was easy for the other kids to shun Jenna, because she wasn’t likeable. Chances are if she told on the one group, it wasn’t the first time, or the last.

  133. Emily August 9, 2013 at 1:26 pm #

    @Warren–That’s a pretty big assumption. I wouldn’t automatically make the leap from “left a sleepover where pornography was being watched,” to “not likeable.”

  134. Warren August 9, 2013 at 3:30 pm #

    Not really Emily.

    By the tone of her post, the fact she felt she was wronged for being shunned and so on, tells me alot.

    Also, think about it. Just how powerful can one kid be to organize an entire class to shun one kid for an entire year.
    Either Jenna is way over exxagerating the whole event, or one 8 yr old has the powers of persuassion the likes of Martin Luther King, or Jim Jones.

    I know alot of people in here love to play the sympathy card, or love to jump on the bullying bandwagon. Well Emily, something about Jenna`s account stinks to high heaven.

  135. Emily August 9, 2013 at 3:55 pm #

    >>Either Jenna is way over exxagerating the whole event, or one 8 yr old has the powers of persuassion the likes of Martin Luther King, or Jim Jones.<<

    Not one single eight-year-old girl, but a "core group" of popular, mean girls? Yeah, I'd believe it.

  136. Warren August 9, 2013 at 5:00 pm #

    Emily
    It is amazing. You are more willing to accept that an entire group of 8 yr olds will organize themselves against one individual. Not the majority but the entire class. But you are not willing to accept the idea that Jenna may have been a tattletale that noone really liked in the first place.

    You justify this based on your emotions, that are fed by your own camp horrors.

    That is one thing that is very lacking in many comments throughout this site, is objectivity.

  137. SKL August 9, 2013 at 5:05 pm #

    But the important question is: What motivates adults to argue for days over what might have happened decades ago among a group of third-graders whom they don’t even know?

  138. Natalie August 9, 2013 at 6:41 pm #

    These questions and others will be answered in the next episode of…

    FREE RANGE KIDS!

  139. Emily August 9, 2013 at 11:43 pm #

    @Warren–I’m not basing my thoughts on one thing that happened at summer camp; but rather, from many years in the public school system, either as a target of bullying, or as a witness. Maybe Jenna was a snitch–maybe she had a pattern of hostile behaviour that brought on the shunning. However, we don’t know for sure. I don’t know for sure that the sleepover guests organized the entire grade three class in shunning Jenna, but it can still happen. I remember that the girls in my class were already quite well-versed in gossip, rumour spreading, and other forms of relational aggression by grade five, so grade three really doesn’t seem like much of a stretch–I’m sure it had started by then; I just wasn’t privy to it.

  140. SKL August 10, 2013 at 12:04 am #

    I was a pretty unpopular kid and I’m sure it went back to 3rd grade at least. I would not have called it bullying as long as it was just a feeling of not being liked, the occasional taunt, the “witty” nickname chosen by others. It was bullying when it started to include intimidation, threats, mean pranks, and physical aggression. That was mainly 8th grade.

  141. SKL August 10, 2013 at 12:13 am #

    And the reason I was unpopular had nothing to do with ratting people out etc. I stood out in the Lutheran school because I was the youngest, “four-eyes,” introverted, the acer, working-class, and the only one with a working mom and a houseful of siblings. My classmates and I basically had nothing in common. I didn’t care much because I didn’t have a big need for school friends. But yeah, it stung sometimes. So did a lot of things that I got over.

  142. Victoria Simmons August 10, 2013 at 12:19 am #

    There is a world of difference between ordinary sleepovers and sleepover parties. The former needn’t include more than one or two guests. They should be fairly routine and informal, and are an important part of growing up, because they form a bridge between being a child living under the parental umbrella and being out on one’s own as an adult. I’m sure there are plenty of children of anti-sleepover parents whose first experience sleeping away from home and parents is when they go away to college, and I feel sorry for those kids. I also agree with the people who said sleepovers are an important form of socializing in being a guest and being a host. Just visiting until picked up late at night is not the same thing.

    As far as sleepover parties go, they require skilled supervision, including a planned range of activities, food, and drink, and judicious oversight, but with the effect on the kids of spontaneity, casualness, and freedom. Paradoxically, younger kids need less supervision than older kids–less “adult” behavior they are likely to emulate–and I myself would limit the guest list to smaller numbers for middle-schoolers and high-schoolers.

    One of the people who equates sleepovers with nameless orgies mentioned 20 teenagers in a basement. Twenty teens unsupervised overnight strikes me as a bad idea, but it depends on the teens.

    But that’s where judgment comes in, isn’t it? That original bad list’s contention that a blanket ban on sleepovers makes life easier is true. But then good parenting is always a compromise between what’s easy for the parent and what’s right for the kid. Too much second guessing drives everyone crazy; blanket refusals are as much a sign of neglect as blanket permission to do anything; being able to size up situations in a sensible and efficient way is a skill that I hope most parents learn before their kids are old enough for sleepovers.

    I don’t think not having participated in sleepover parties leaves a hole in any kid’s childhood. I do think that sleepovers of some kind–with grandparents or cousins or a best friend–are a necessary part of growing up. Are the people objecting to sleepovers because of their visions of riotous bacchanals opposed even to sleeping over with a best friend?

  143. Winter Maiden August 10, 2013 at 12:25 am #

    I know a couple who have a passel of boys. Once a year they have the boys invite some friends over, and deliberately overdose them on junk food, games, and PG/PG13 movies, with the challenge to stay up all night. (When they inevitably don’t make it through the night they crash in heaps of blankets on the living room floor.) That’s once a year. The boys are great kids with well-balanced lives, and their parents are awesome parents.

  144. Really Bad Mum August 10, 2013 at 1:22 am #

    @Natalie and whoever else, if u re-read Jenna’s post it says the girl of her grade. For the rest of the year. Not the who grade, not her entire time at school, but the rest of the year. And I am pretty sure it wouldn’t have been as bad as she remembers because first she was 8/9 years old and unless she has a photographic memory pretty sure she cannot remember every detail, only the bad ones will stick and seem worse then they where, second the whole thing is being blown out of proportion it wasn’t that bad. So they watched the playboy channel, who never snuck a look at the magazines hidden in their parents room? And who never got upset with someone who dobbed on them? When I was 13 a girl on my netball team dobbed me in to my mum for smoking, I made her life hell… But not for long.. If she was that upset by it why wait so long then dog on them when she had other options?
    Because she was a child, And since she hasn’t replied she is either too busy or knows everyone is making it bigger then it was…

  145. Natalie August 10, 2013 at 7:43 am #

    @really bad mum
    I don’t think she’s responding because she’s got something better to do. (And what does that say about the rest of us?)
    Here’s the deal. If she was ostracized by all the girls in the grade as a result of getting a few girls (intentionally or not) in trouble, yes. That’s bullying. If you look up the definition of bullying (I copy/pasted the first one that came up when googling in an earlier post, you’re welcome to find another that suits you), you’ll find that it includes intimidation of the non-physical kind. Bullying isnt just some cliche of, “give me your lunch money or I’ll punch you,” which Warren is either incapable of, or just doesn’t want to understand.
    Now, if your argument is that all that happened is she told on her friends and they stopped speaking to her, therefore, not bullying, then I agree. That’s not bullying.
    In which case, we’re not arguing on the definition of bullying but on what happened to Jenna 25 yrs ago, based on whether or not we want to take what she’s written at face value.
    I’m taking what she wrote at face value. You’re not. But that doesn’t mean we disagree on what bullying is, it means we disagree on what happened to her.

  146. Warren August 10, 2013 at 8:42 am #

    As for the tv channel they watched……it doesn’t matter if it was the Playboy Channel, late nite cabel tv softcore, or the nastiest hardcore porn you can imagine.

    People have to stop viewing this incident through jaded adult values and eyes. 8 yr olds are not sexual beings like adults are. They were not watching this to get turned on, or whatever. All they did was watch a channel that was forbidden. Still wrong, but not the sexually based wrong everyone wants to make it out to be.

    8 yr olds do not view the world the same as adults and that includes porn.

    @Natalie
    You have no idea of what bullying is. A definition in a book, or on a website does not correctly define bullying. Bullying is a part of human behaviour, and as such cannot be exactly defined. Although you would have it cover every little slight that a person feels.
    There comes a time in your life, which you obviously have not reached yet, when you are mature enough to brush things off. When you have developed a thicker skin, and understand that just because you do not like what someone is doing to you, with you or around you, does not make it bullying.
    Natalie, you have displayed in the past to take issue with people over things, and labeling them bullying, racist, and sexist. And someone that constantly has to pull those label out, usually does not have a true understanding of those issues. Just because some guy somewhere once called you a chick or broad, does not make you an expert on sexism. Just as you obviously are not well versed on bullying.

  147. SKL August 10, 2013 at 10:29 am #

    Did Jenna say she was bullied? That would seem pertinent.

    To me, bullying implies that you’re trying to get someone to do something they don’t want to do. Ignoring, avoiding, or talking behind a person’s back would not be bullying in my opinion. Now if they intimidated other kids into avoiding her, those other kids might have been bullied. But again, I wasn’t there. I don’t know.

    The fact is that sometimes doing the right thing is uncomfortable and has long-term consequences. That doesn’t mean it wasn’t the right thing to do.

    Hopefully Jenna’s mom sat her down for a talk about what a “real friend” is, which most of her classmates obviously weren’t before or after the porn incident. My mom always used to say that you can count your true friends on the fingers of one hand. Useful to know in cases like Jenna’s.

    As for Warren, you have no standing when it comes to other people over-using labels and name-calling. Ahem.

  148. Natalie August 10, 2013 at 11:11 am #

    Warren, maybe you should stick with your schtick of insults and “I’ve got 20 years experience, 57 in dog years, blah blah blah” in lieu of reasoned arguments. You’ve got absolutely no idea what you’re talking about.

    I’m sure someone could make a good point as to why an organized ostracizing as punishment is not bullying. I’d be willing to hear it. But that person is not you. You simply don’t know how to put a reasoned argument together.

  149. Really Bad Mum August 10, 2013 at 2:46 pm #

    @Natalie I agree with what you are saying, and after going back and reading the post about 3 times seeing if I missed something I still am confused. As to saying she might be too busy to reply I was trying to convey that there are many reasons she hasn’t replied or posted again, but thought typing 2 would get the point across. It doesn’t say anything about the rest of us I can got weeks without coming in this site or even the computer, but then get drawn into a conversation and well let’s just say weet-bix and vegemite toast end up being considered suitable dinner choices…
    As to the bulling I was pointing out that there was some confusion over things it was only the girls in her grade according to the post, not the whole grade if boys and girls, and I was trying to say that things seem so miuch more terrible then they are to an 8/9 year old, and that all the reactions in her story seem to be normal to the actions. They where kids so they acted like kids, to ban sleep overs of one friend is ridiculous I can understand her banning group sleepovers but she needs to teach her kids that if these things happen there are many ways to deal with it instead of waiting till 2am then dobbing…
    P.s where shall I send 9 year old( he driving me nuts lol)

  150. Emily August 10, 2013 at 5:44 pm #

    @Really Bad Mum–In grade three, boys and girls don’t normally mix anyway, so even if only the girls in grade three shunned Jenna, it would have probably had a similar effect.

  151. Warren August 10, 2013 at 9:33 pm #

    @Natalie
    Thank you for proving that you do not have anything of value to add, and are just trying to provoke responses. Your most recent post is proof of this.

    You know as fun as it can be at times, it can be really disappointing playing with your wee little mind. I always seem to over estimate you intellect.

  152. Really Bad Mum August 10, 2013 at 11:08 pm #

    @ Emily… Ok again…. I said that to clarify that someone had said entire grade yet Jenna’s post actually said girls in her grade… We aren’t talking about generally” here but a specific post. It is irrelevant whether or not most girls and boys play together.

  153. hineata August 10, 2013 at 11:16 pm #

    ‘Over estimate you intellect.’

    Really shouldn’t, but please, Warren, if you’re going to throw around ridiculous insults, at least try to get the spelling and grammar right. That would be,

    ‘Overestimate your intellect’.

    Thank you, once again, for the comedic relief.

  154. Really Bad Mum August 10, 2013 at 11:56 pm #

    @ hineata what your typing is 100% all the time? And predictive text never changed something and u never noticed? ( u coz I want to).the discussion between Warren and Natalie. Why come in with that? If u have an opinion on the subject or can clarify something then fine but that comment to me just fuelled any animosity between them and had nothing to do with anything… You can be passionate about your opinion but you need to respect others have theirs and have a right to it, warren I also didn’t agree with your post to Natalie but its up to her to respond..

  155. SKL August 11, 2013 at 12:10 am #

    “wee little . . .” – anyone get the feeling Warren is overcompensating for some . . . shortcoming? I dunno.

  156. Really Bad Mum August 11, 2013 at 12:28 am #

    Really? People 2 wrongs don’t make a right even though I agree with alot of warren says I don’t agree with the way he says some of it… I agree with some of what Natalie says as well but it seems that instead of looking at what we agree on and accepting different opinion without person, cheap shot attacks regardless of who started it, shows that this site is nothing then a group of immature, idiots and makes it harder to accept free range parenting. I would love to write a few personal things back or to certain people but have tried and am trying to not do it… Grow up and concentrate on what we agree on.

  157. SKL August 11, 2013 at 12:53 am #

    RBM, it gets difficult to take the high road after a certain number of crude insults. We all know that no matter how politely we say something, if it doesn’t agree with Warren’s views, he’s going to go on one of his foul and personal rants. We have to think twice before we state our opinion because we might not always have an appetite to be verbally attacked. And if we respond to his attacks, at times he even pushes it to the point of threats. Personally I’m sick of it. I want to be able to say what I think about a topic without being verbally abused by some guy on a site he doesn’t even own.

  158. Really Bad Mum August 11, 2013 at 1:27 am #

    You don’t have to respond… Just ignore what u don’t like, he does actually make some really good points. Just as everyone else has, sometimes I think he has been joking around which in person people would get but on the computer we miss the tone and think he is serious – shows how important lol is. Responding to a personal attach or disagreement would be ok if no one else joined in and it wasn’t carried over to the next post. If someone had a go at me I most probably would retaliate, but if the next subject they said something I agreed with I would move on and say that I agree. Not hold the slanging match against them and showing that even though I can give far worse then I get, I can get over it and see that sometimes we agree other times we can’t .

  159. SKL August 11, 2013 at 1:38 am #

    Well OK, fair enough, he called me stupid, moron, hypocrite, and a few other things in this very thread. I proceeded to politely side with his substantive points about bullying. But I can certainly understand why people are responding as they are. He does this every day. He’s trying to intimidate people to keep quiet when they disagree with him. Nobody else is doing that. Everyone here would happily welcome any post by him that was polite.

  160. SKL August 11, 2013 at 1:59 am #

    RBM, the problem is that Warren never changes. Veteran people try to ignore him. But new people come, he insults, and they engage him. It never ends. You notice the people who are responding to Warren’s rudeness, but you are not noticing the many posts that completely ignore it, even after a given poster has been blatantly insulted. It’s not that people don’t notice, they are just trying not to feed the fire. But it doesn’t work with him. So yeah, I got a little frustrated tonight and gave him a teeny tiny taste of his own medicine. It won’t make a difference, I already knew that.

  161. Really Bad Mum August 11, 2013 at 1:59 am #

    I understand what you are saying.. But we are adults and we are trying to get people to take us seriously which they won’t if all we do on the site is abuse each other maybe if when he does it people say ok that’s ur opinion on that but I agree with this and I it continues ignore him completely, as he should if someone does it to him which I have seen here many times, he won’t keep doing it. Although sometimes I’m glad he does, because it was what I was thinking but didn’t post. Lol

  162. SKL August 11, 2013 at 2:02 am #

    Bah, my response got lost. If only you were right, RBM. If only ignoring him would stop. Problem is (a) he apparently doesn’t know how to be civil and (b) even as veteran posters try to ignore him, new people keep coming, getting insulted, and engaging him. I don’t see it ever stopping until Warren finds something better to do than insult people.

  163. SKL August 11, 2013 at 2:04 am #

    Hmm, looks like my previous response didn’t actually get lost, it just cut in line…. weird. Looks like I enjoy repeating myself over and over again LOLOLOL,

  164. Really Bad Mum August 11, 2013 at 2:17 am #

    Lol there are teens in my house ATM I know the feeling, teenagers are proof satan exsist lol

  165. Warren August 11, 2013 at 12:12 pm #

    I really didn’t mean to call Natalie anything. Her previous post seem to indicate she missed being called out, and I just didn’t want to disappoint her. Just trying to be nice.

    @SKL
    One person’s insult is another’s observations.

  166. Really Bad Mum August 11, 2013 at 1:12 pm #

    @Warren, hope u also get what I’m trying to say, it is a disservice to Lenore when we argue an insult each other when she is trying to make it right for us. We can all agree that others have a right to their opinions, and how we discuss these has a effect( affect) can never remember which one lol, on her and on her site.

  167. Meg August 14, 2013 at 8:47 pm #

    I’m only somewhat free range, but I intentionally sought out one of the older posts on sleepovers a couple weeks ago because my oldest had been invited to go camping with his best friend for a week. Not quite a sleepover, but I figured it would be close enough. What a mistake! I think the comments on that post were more alarming than anything I’d imagined!

    But, then I reminded myself that this was my child in the company of One other friend, who he has known for Years and several trusted adults we have also known for years. I worried and obsessed for almost 24 hours, but I managed to let him go, and he had a Wonderful time!

    I had a rotten time at several sleepovers (horror movies that frightened me; pranks that made me uncomfortable; gossip that got out of hand), and a great time at many others.

    I think the key is to ask questions, know what kind of supervision will be going on, and make sure that your child has an, “Easy out,” if he/she wants to come home-eg call and ask how kitty is doing and we’ll know that means you need an excuse to come home,and we’ll come right up with one.

    Maybe it was the lack of the internet, but I know my parents never would have dreamed up half the shenanigans that went on at some of the sleepovers I went. to.
    On the other hand, I also know that such things would be extremely unlikely in my own circle where the parenting tilts toward the hyper involved (not always a bad thing)! My pals typically fb half the sleep over-EG “Five girls settled in to watch Princess Bride. Just got done with makeovers!”

    Seriously-am I the only one who gets fb sleepover play by play? You definitely know what they’re up to!