My son is 5 now and before I know it he’ll be asking to spend the night with his friends. My husband and I have thought a lot about how we’ll handle that, and how we can make good decisions so that our kids are safe when they’re not in our care.
Let me be very clear. The reasons my kid won’t be allowed to spend the night with some kids isn’t about me saying I’m better than anyone else. Truth is I’m sure my husband and I do things that may be on someone else’s no-fly list for sleepovers. In the end we all have to do what we feel is best for our children and protect them the best way we can – even if it’s unpopular with other adults.
- You are a gun owner. If you want to own a gun or multiple guns, that’s currently your constitutional right in this country and I wouldn’t presume to try and convince you otherwise. But, no matter how many gun safes you have or how responsible a gun owner you tell me you are, I’m not willing to bet my child’s life on your word. In 2015 there were more than 260 accidental shootings by kids in the United States. I won’t risk having my son be part of a statistic like that in 2016.
- You swear like you’re getting paid per word. When we’re at our kids’ sporting activities I routinely hear you using language around your child that I wouldn’t use in front of another adult. Don’t get me wrong. There have been too many times something AWFUL has flown out of my mouth in front of my kids, and I always feel terrible about it afterward. But, I don’t make it a habit and I do my best to watch my words. I’m not prepared to have my child hear the F-bomb at your house more than he’ll hear his own name.
- You scream at your kid. We’ve all done it. Being a parent is exhausting, and often frustrating. If someone tells you they’ve never yelled at their kids, they’re either lying or some kind of alien from the planet Perfect. But, you take it to new heights. You scream at your kid more than anyone I’ve ever heard and I absolutely hate to hear it. I’m not sending my son to your house with ear plugs, and I’m not going to have him feel afraid because of the incessant shrieking. Besides, it would seem you’ve got your hands full with one kid. Adding mine might make you blow a vessel.
- You drink a lot and often. By a lot, I mean a LOT. And by often, I mean all the time. Believe me when I tell you that sometimes this Momma needs a glass of wine to wind down from the day. But I don’t get sloppy drunk in front of my kiddos and I don’t subject them to that kind of example from others. Your behavior around town leads me to believe you don’t feel the same way. Cheers to you, but I think I’ll keep my son at home.
- You are a racist. I know, I know. You don’t think you’re a racist. You probably want to tell me all about how many “black friends” you have at work, or how everyone knows you’re just kidding when you use “certain words.” In our home we are accepting of all races, religions, and sexual orientation. We do our best to protect our children from the thinly veiled hate speech you use, so sorry – but your ignorance isn’t okay with us.
Like I said in the beginning, this isn’t about me trying to pretend I’m some kind of perfect parent. That would be a ridiculous lie. This is about my husband and I trying to care for own children in a way we feel is healthy and right for our family.
What do you think? Do you have a “no-fly” list for sleepovers? I’d love to hear about them.