Sleepover Situation: Ask the parents first

by epi on February 10, 2012

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.

{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

Ruth Ann Wagner February 10, 2012 at 1:56 pm

My pastor and her husband both have the same last name. He is an attorney and she is, as I said, a pastor. Do address an envelope to the two of them as Mr. Samuel Jones and Rev. Rebecca Jones? What is the proper way to addres an envelope to them?

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Winifred Rosenburg February 11, 2012 at 12:58 am

Rev. Rebecca Jones and Mr. Samuel Jones

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Ruth Peltier February 11, 2012 at 6:48 am

Just do not do what some people did for me and my husband (God rest his soul) In our denomination people call often call the pastor Brother (first name) which often resulted in mail addressed Brother Karl and Mrs Peltier. My position, which I usually did not articulate to anyone but my husband, was that if he was “brother” I should have been “sister”.

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Anna Allen February 12, 2012 at 4:06 pm

My husband and I have been married for 8 years. His granddaughter has asked him to give her away as her father is deceased. I am told that my husband will sit at the end of the first row, the bride’s mother, bride’s grandmother (my husband’s ex), the brides two aunts (my husband’s daughters) and their spouses will complete the row. I am to sit behind my husband in the second row. Am I overreacting by feeling slighted?

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Winifred Rosenburg February 12, 2012 at 4:48 pm

I understand why you would rather sit next to your husband, but sitting right behind him you will still be close enough to hold hands and you will get a coveted aisle seat for the ceremony! It really doesn’t seem worth bothering a bride and groom who have most likely been receiving all sorts of silly complaints that yours will be lumped with.

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Katie K February 12, 2012 at 6:08 pm

Anna, Yes, the current plan seems thoughtless but as Winifred suggests, try to remain gracious and refrain from giving the “other side” of the family anything to complain about. What would your husband think of just joining you in the second row? If he likes the idea, let him be the one to suggest it.

In any case, no one except you will remember where you were seated during the ceremony, but everyone will remember whether you were cheerful and cooperative. Good luck!

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