When our children were still itty bitty babies, Mr. Pepper and I decided sleep overs, whether at our house or a friends house, would be out of the question for our children. In addition, playdates and afternoons spent at a friends house, including birthday parties, would only be allowed if one of us would be there as well.
As the children grow older we find we have to turn down requests for sleep overs quite often. Most of the time the parents may seem a little taken aback, but are supportive. Others seem to have no problem telling me that we're depriving our children of experiences ever child should have.
I don't usually go into detail why we think this is so important to us, but yesterday after church a certain grandmother came up to me to once again plead for my daughters to come spend the night at their house when her granddaughter is staying with them this weekend. Her husband has asked a few times as well. They are more persistent than any other family has ever been on this matter. I again tried to kindly say that, no, our family does not do sleep overs.
"I don't know why you have to be weird like that," was her miffed reply.
Weird like that ......... hmmm....... if this is considered to be weird I'm okay with being called weird. You see, Mr. Pepper's sister was molested as a child by people they had totally trusted, someone they didn't think for one instant would ever do something to hurt their children. We have seen first hand the horrible things that follow something like this, the lifetime of hurt, the trust issues, among so much more, and it is not a risk we are willing to take.
As parents we want to protect our children to the best of our ability, for us that includes never having sleep overs. It's something that is simply not up for debate. If that makes us weird, so be it. I'll accept that title with no apologies.