Just because we think we know a person, does that still mean that we will allow our children to sleep over? Think about it. Do you truly really know them? Knowing them encompasses a plethora of potential situations that if confronted, you would know how they would react, what they accept, and what they will not allow. Trusting someone to watch over my children in my absence is a grand responsibility. To receive such an honor, that means that I trust that when I am not there, and the same decisions will be made regarding their environmental influences and safety as if I were there. If not, I am allowing them to be exposed to anything, good or bad. Now I know you can not protect your child from everything, but just simple decisions we make can determine if our children experience is traumatic or a positive uplifting or learning experience.
Let’s ponder two different scenarios. Some of you may have experienced the below. If so, did you ask yourself these questions?
Scenario A: Your child wants to go to a sleepover at their friend’s house. Their friend’s mother is a single mom with only one child.
1) Have you contacted the mom or visited their home?
2) Is the neighborhood a safe environment for your child to visit?
3) Is the mom a practicing Christian?
4) Does the mom date and will her boyfriend be there or does he live there?
5) What type of television shows does she allow her child to watch or type music that is allowed in her home?
Scenario B: Your child wants to go to a sleepover at their friend’s house. Their friend’s mother is married with two additional children, One male and one female.
In addition to the related questions in Scenario A;
1) Is the marriage relationship healthy or abusive?
2) What are the sleeping arrangements, even of the siblings?
3) Who else will visit the home during the sleepover time?
4) Is there alcohol or drug use from parents or older siblings?
Theses are just some of the questions that can be asked, but there are many more. According to the American Society to the Positive Care of Children, the Child Sexual Abuse Statistics for 2015, “1 in 4 girls and 1 in 6 boys will be sexually abused before they turn 18 years old.”. These statistics are alarming! As parents, we can protect our children from being a statistic, simply by the decisions we allow them to be apart of. A sleepover may seem like a harmless event, but in actuality it can introduce factors that can strip them from their innocence and change their life’s path. Sleepovers are just one of the many child events that can be a positive or a negative influence. As a parent, it’s your responsibility to access the situation either big or small to determine if you would allow your child to be apart of it. Do your research as a parent and use God’s discernment to guide you. Remember that it only takes one opportunity to change a child’s life forever.