Sleepovers were fond memories when my kids were in elementary school. Typically a best buddy would show up, they’d play some games, watch a movie, and camp out on the family room floor. Harmless for the most part.
By junior high and high school, that phase of life seemed to be a thing of the past for our family. I’m guessing I was lucky on that front. At some point along the way my kids seemed to recognize that they needed sleep and the best buddy would be available the next day.
It wasn’t until my kids were in college that there seemed to be a radical twist to the whole sleepover thing. Maybe it was when my college freshman started sharing co-ed dorm stories that I saw what was really happening in the young adult world.
I remember my son telling me about getting out of the shower in the men’s restroom that was down the hall from his dorm room. Stepping out on the wet tile floor as he began to dry himself off, he spotted them–two girls who were primping in front of the mirror. Yes! In the men’s restroom on the men’s floor. Embarrassed and shocked beyond belief, he quickly wrapped himself in a towel and headed down the hallway.
“Mom, it’s just what I deal with on a regular basis. You learn to live with it. It’s just part of life. Guys and girls don’t share dorm rooms 24/7 but, Mom, they are sharing dorm rooms.”
And that’s how our kids become numb to all the morals we’ve tried to teach them while in our home. They start seeing the immorality in the world as “normal”.
It wasn’t long until I started hearing moms of college students, church moms even, saying things like, “Yeah, my daughter just stayed at her boyfriend’s last night. It was late and she didn’t want to come home because she was concerned the roads were slick.”
“His parents don’t mind?” I asked one woman.
“Oh, he has his own place. I know it was alright. I’m sure nothing went on. I trust them.”
Another mom told me how her daughter was going to visit her boyfriend who had just gotten a job out of state. Yes, a long weekend alone in his apartment, together.
“I trust her. After all, she’s an adult. It’s not like I can stop her,” mom responded.
Truth be told, she’s right.
And typically what happens with the college crowd, starts happening with the high school kids eventually.
Eventually has arrived.
High School co-ed sleepovers are now the new rage. Parents are starting to get the full-court press from their kids to sleep over at the boyfriend or girlfriend’s house. After all, what’s the big deal?
“You trust me, don’t you, Mom? What’s going to happen? His parents will be home.”
And parents are caving to the requests.
While these requests might seem preposterous to us as parents, know that our kids are making choices on how they will view the world. Our response is not only important in setting the morality standard for when they leave for college as adults, but is also important in how they will lead the next generation.
If you haven’t gotten the request yet, this is your opportunity. Start the conversation!
Here are some pre-parenting ideas:
- Bring up the subject. In today’s media culture your kids will hear about this if they haven’t already. Ask them what they think about it. Find out if they know kids that are having co-ed sleepovers.
- Listen. Let them talk without passing judgment. Words like “Hmm…and wow…and really…” should keep them talking.
- Ask them to look at it through the lense of scripture with you.
- Let them know why as a parent you would have to say ‘no’ to such a request without emotion.
- Talk about sexual temptation.
As parents, we can’t be afraid to say “no” when morality issues are at stake. Just because their friends are doing it, just because we trust our kids, and just because we want our kids to like us is not an excuse.
Kids need limits and boundaries to establish healthy patterns in life. They need parents who build relationship in such a way that we can influence the next generation to stop and consider good from evil.
Therefore I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is you spiritual service of worship. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.
Dare you to boldly start the dialogue before you get hit with the request. Help your kids stay focused on scripture’s view of good versus the world’s view by talking about it now so you can influence your kids early.
“Let go…and let God”,
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