Passionate About the West Valley
and the Moms Who Live Here

Why My Kids Can’t Spend The Night At Your House

It finally happened. One of our kids got invited to spend the night at a friend’s house.

Neither of us have even stepped foot in this little friend’s home. Our decision was an easy decline. Here’s why the answer is no.

It sounds horrible, I know – not letting our children spend the night at a friend’s house. We spent the night at friends’ houses all the time growing up without any issues. Many previous generations believe the parents of today have become so overprotective, terms like helicopter moms and a cosseting parent now describe those individuals that pay extremely close attention to their children – which some argue can be a detriment to experiences and problems that children should be allowed to work through themselves.

But in this case, our children have a parent that was sexually abused as a child so in our home we are very careful. Our rules aren’t trying to avoid something we think is possible, they are to protect our children from a horrible act that did happened repeatedly to one of us. We have to be careful, because we know the long term effects of this type of encounter. The confusion, shame, anger that can cause problems with self esteem in the future. Just because we decline that invitation doesn’t mean we don’t trust our friends. We appreciate the invites but the answer will always be no. We have rules in place, because we know how bad it can be. We have had THAT talk with our kids already because it’s important for them to have an understanding that our bodies are our own. To know the correct terms for their private parts. To know that they are private and not meant to be touched by others. To know that no means no!

I know most of us parents cringe at the thought of having this conversation.

Even as I sit here typing; I’m cringing and I’ve already had it. So believe me when I say it’s not easy. But when covering this topic the easy route can be the dangerous route. Easy, is not communicating with them about this horrible topic and not to ask those questions about what happened to them while we were apart. As parents we have so many things thrown at us daily. Just getting them through their day is enough to drain any person. So when they seem off or don’t want to talk about something it would be easy to shrug it off and move on to the next pressing task at hand. But don’t. Take a moment and sit them down without distractions. Look them in their eyes. Give them a hug and ask what is really going on.

It can sometimes feel awkward, unnecessary and maybe even a little inappropriate. Having to talk to young children about the dangers of sexual abuse feels like we are robbing them of their sweet innocence. Because of course these are topics for adults to hear, not for the ears of young babes. Well I’m here to tell you that communicating today’s reality won’t rob them of their innocence.

In fact it gives me more peace of mind knowing that we’ve have had this talk and I can continue to have these talks with them. They will know that they can come to us about this should they ever have questions. Because if the parent that was being abused had that open communication about this topic, it might not have gone on the way it did. This secret might not have been eating them up into adulthood. That is our reality and we don’t want it to be their reality. To suffer in silence, to endure that abuse and worse of all feeling like there was nobody to talk to about it.

The only clue and cry for help was, “I don’t want to go to the babysitter’s house.”

Tackling the topic of sexual abuse::

  • Discuss your approach with your spouse 
  • Consider ordering books to read together – this might help you if you don’t have the words to tackle this topic 
  • Set up safe words
  • Establish a safety network of trusted adults your child can reach out to
  • Read on some resources from our sister sites (see below)!

Once you have the talk (we had ours at bath time since our kids are still very young) be sure to follow up. We plan on covering a couple books with them HERE and HERE. Remember you learn more by asking your child questions. So there you have it, the reason our kids can’t spend the night at a friend’s houses.

Have you had the discussion with your children? If not will you consider it?

Sister Sites Sexual Abuse Blog Posts::

This is an anonymous post. To protect all parties involved no persons or locations have been named.


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