Q: Is it o.k. for my children’s friends to invite themselves over to our house for sleepovers or to play? What if they do so without their parent’s knowledge? Or they invite my children over with out asking their parents permission. Or if they ask at school and tell my child to tell them yes or no at school tomorrow? Can I just tell my child to tell their friends to have their parent’s call and invite my child when it is convenient for the parents? I have 3 children, 10,8, 7 and it seems as though their friends are constantly inviting themselves over to our house.
I was taught the following by my mother:
1. Never invite yourself over to someone’s house.
2. Never ask your parents in front of the person you want to invite.
3. Never invite someone over without your parent’s permission.
I was to ask my mother, then she would call to make arrangements for my friends to come sleep. Is this the correct way to handle sleepovers?
A: Yes, it is very correct and more comfortable for all the parents involved. The next time a child invites himself or herself, help your children to say, “That would be great, but I have to check with my mom and she needs to talk to your mom.” The same is true with invitations issued without the children’s parents’ knowledge – your child has to become comfortable saying, “That would be fun, but your mom has to call my mom to let her know it’s OK with her.” When this is the consistent practice everyone gets used to it and it shouldn’t be uncomfortable for your children. From a parental point of view, it is extremely important. You need to know that your children are in a safe environment where a parent is indeed home and willing to supervise. One would hope that other parents would feel the same way.