The latest victim of parentalÂ terror? Sleepovers. According to this AP sfkaekhhft
story by Kelli Kennedy, parents are afraid of everything from junk food to “inappropriate” movies, to Internet surfing, to the possibility ofÂ their children being drugged and raped.Â
The modern parental thinking method applies: SinceÂ a drugging/fondling incident DID happen once, and since it was ON THE NEWS, it must beÂ happening ALL THE TIME, and itÂ could POSSIBLY, even PROBABLY,Â happen toÂ MY kid, so in order to avoid thisÂ fate, I must PROTECT my child byÂ glue-gunningÂ her to my side. (Ouch!)Â
Now, as I hope you know, Free-Range Kids does not say that horrible things never happen. It does say (I does say?) that basing our parenting decisions on worst-case scenariosÂ does not make us better parents.Â It makes usÂ the parents of kids who don’t get to do much. Who think the world is crawling with creeps.Â Who say things like theÂ 9-year-old I just heard of: “I can’t go outside! Someone will kidnap me.”
How can you keep your kids safe on an overnight? The AP article quotes Michele Borba, author of “12 Simple Secrets Moms Know,” whoÂ gave pretty simple advice: Get to know the family. If they seemÂ normal, let your kid go. Remind her (or him)Â that sheÂ can stand up for herself if something gross happens. And that she can always talk to you about anything weird or upsetting that she did and you won’t be mad.
There. Now I, too, am talking as if going on a sleepover at a friend’s house is like spending the night in Attica. From what I remember, there’s a lot less throwing chairs and a lot more throwing pillows. — Lenore