“I know all mothers worry about this.”
It was a conversation with a school mum that sparked my interest. Her eight-year old daughter wanted to have a sleepover with a friend and the friend happened to be a 10-year old boy.
She was uneasy about it, in a manner she didn’t want to be completely candid about. Because after all this is a 10-year old boy, an innocent child, and her daughter just eight-years, still in the world of fluro pink scooters and loom bands.
She knew in her mind that they would stay up late talking about Minecraft and planning a promised lemonade stall, that they would surf YouTube for gaming videos made by kids their age and they would eat too much candied popcorn and forget to brush their teeth.
But in her heart she held a tiny kernel of fear. A what-if? A when-does-it-cross-the-line? What age should I be concerned?
It’s a question that pops up time and time again in parenting forums.
Should I let my daughter attend a sleepover party where boys will be?
My nine-year old son wants to sleepover at his best friend’s house and she is a girl should I let him go?
I was shocked to see my son was invited at an eight-year old’s sleepover party and girls will be there. Does anyone else think this is a bit much?
The answers seem to vary – from many being shocked at the thought of boy /girl sleepovers to others thinking it is not a big deal.
I have three children – a boy turning eight this year, a boy turning six and my daughter just about to turn four. For me the idea of an opposite sex sleep over isn’t an issue. My kids are a long way off it being inappropriate (and the fact is my boys they aren’t actually interested in hanging out with girls.)
What worries me more is the older boys and my younger sons.
That reads like such a loaded statement doesn’t it? But for me it is about influence. My five-year old son wants the older children to like him, to approve of him, he acts the clown for their attention. Like any younger child he then laps it up.