My daughter has a friend who has a single dad. They want to have a sleepover at her house. My daughter is eleven years old. I would like to know if it would be appropriate to let her go to the sleepover. I am more than willing to let them have a sleepover at my house anytime.
/images/SolidAnswers/General FamilyExcept on occasions when you are sure that your child will be safe, I would not suggest that you allow your daughter—or your son—to spend the night in a home where there is not a mother you trust. The father in that situation may be a fine man, but he is not the only reason for caution. Remember that kids sometimes molest younger kids, as do older brothers and their friends. This is why I believe that the day for sleepovers has passed. There is just too much at stake to put children at risk in this way.
Sadly, the world has changed in the last few decades, and it is no longer a safe place for children. Pedophiles and child molesters are more pervasive than ever. That is why parents must be diligent to protect their kids every hour of the day and night. Some little tykes have actually been abducted from their bedrooms while their parents were in the house.
Until you have dealt with little victims as I have and seen the pain in their eyes, you might not fully appreciate the devastation inflicted by molestation. It casts a long shadow on everything that follows, including future marital relationships. Therefore, parents have to think the unthinkable in every situation. The threat can come from anywhere—including neighbors, uncles, stepfathers, grandfathers, Sunday school teachers, coaches, music instructors, Scout leaders, and babysitters. Even public bathrooms can be dangerous today.
The state of Colorado, in a misguided effort to end what the legislators called discrimination, made it legal for cross-dressing men and homosexuals to use women’s restrooms.7 Is that ridiculous or what? A little girl or a single woman can be using the facilities when, without warning, a man comes in unannounced. Can you imagine the terror and embarrassment a child could experience in that situation? Sadly, few people in Colorado have objected to the ridiculous law.
Now, here is the ultimate challenge. You as a parent have to figure out how to shield your kids from danger without overprotecting them or making them fearful. That is called being between a rock and a hard place. You can begin by teaching your kids the difference between a “good touch” and a “bad touch,” urging them to never talk to strangers, and telling them to scream when approached, etc. At the same time, however, you must be careful not to make them feel that you are fearful or that their loved ones and teachers are trying to hurt them. Shepherding them between these two harmful alternatives requires great skill and wisdom.
You should know that pedophiles are usually adept at drawing children into their clutches. They tend to gravitate toward malls, pizza restaurants, amusement parks, and even chat rooms where unsupervised boys and girls hang out. They can spot a kid who is lonely in a matter of minutes, and they offer them the “love” and attention they crave.
Don’t let your boy or girl be one of them! Protect them, and meet the needs that make them vulnerable!