If you’re anything like me, this is a really sore topic. First some background, so I have 3 kids, I am a germophobe and extremely anti-social… My kids are none of these things or at least they weren’t.
Furthermore, they are all at different stages in their lives and so am I, this seems to be a problem for us. In the past it was sleepover weekend just about every week, the other thing is I don’t like my kids to sleep out mostly because I have experienced so many kids, and I can’t imagine someone thinking poorly of them or us. I know, I know it’s silly but some kids have misbehaved at my place like on another level. So I know that they are pretty good kids but what might be acceptable to me, may not be acceptable to someone else, and so for that reason, I would rather have kids stay over at my place.
The first born
My eldest son is very much an introvert much like myself, so he only had 2-4 good friends at any given time. In his lifetime he has had a total of 7 really close friends, and I got to know all of them. And to date, they are all still pretty close. He is not one for sleepovers and he’s had very few, either way, he doesn’t want to sleep out and doesn’t invite his friends over much. Now in his teen years, it’s a bit worse.Although when the school closed up last year and the boys were on their way to high school, I had 5 chaps at my place for a week. I wanted to die.
How did I get through it?
Well, first I had to remember what it was like being split up from my friends. I understood that it was kinda their last time together, at least for seeing each other every day.
On day 1 I set the tone, I gave them a list of “rules” to abide by which they did pretty well. I told them there would be no screaming and noise because I just can’t deal with that. Then when they were swimming to come and hang their towels outside for the next use, I wasn’t about to be doing laundry all the time. When they wake in the morning the room is to be tidied up and windows and curtains opened, also in the bathroom, you mess, you clean. And finally, since there were so many of them I expected them to help with the dishes. As boys, I thought it would go in the one ear and out the other! Surprisingly these are the kids I WANT to invite to stay over.
There were about 2 days of their stay where I still had to go to work, I told them it wasn’t a vacation home and I didn’t want the entire complex in my home. Let me tell you, it was as if my son’s friends were so appreciative that I was open and straightforward with them, that I would hear them tell him to come and clean.
It was totally shocking to me, but then I realized, I also gave them their space. My 2 boys share a room and I asked the middle one to relax and let them be, so when I was around, the 2 younger ones, their friends, hubby and myself would hang out in my bedroom or the lounge. I honestly think that giving teens their space is important, but obviously within reason.
- Put yourself in their situation and try to be more understanding
- Lay down the law – from day one make sure that everyone understands the rules
- Give them their space
- Allow them the opportunity to prove you wrong (if you happen to have preconceived notions)
- Create a welcoming environment.
Guys this one is really long, its basically a sermon but I will post one of these for each child…
I hope that you have enjoyed!
See you next time….and be sure to subscribe so you don’t miss the upcoming posts (I know this isn’t youtube 🙂 but it’s a gentle reminder lol)