Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Why We Don't Do Sleepovers

Why don't you do sleepovers?

We get asked that question a lot and honestly you ask me that question often.  I wanted to write this down so that if you ever wonder why I can refer you to this post.  Ta Da . . . another reason for this blog. Yay.

1.  General Conference is where we are talked to by leaders of our church, including our Prophet, Thomas S. Monson. You know that I take what they say very seriously.  In October 2010, Elder Larry R. Lawrence spoke on courageous parenting.  He said: 
May I express my personal warning about a practice that is common in many cultures. I am referring to sleepovers, or spending the night at the home of a friend. As a bishop I discovered that too many youth violated the Word of Wisdom or the law of chastity for the first time as part of a sleepover.  Too often their first exposure to pornography and even their first encounter with the police occurred when they were spending the night away from home.  
Peer pressure becomes more powerful when our children are away from our influence and when their defenses are weakened late at night. If you have ever felt uneasy about an overnight activity, don't be afraid to respond to that warning voice inside.  Always be prayerful when it comes to protecting your precious children.
2.  I had some experiences where I was at sleepovers, happened to be one of the people that fell asleep early (one I chose not to participate and ended up wishing that I had just gone home) and all the other sleep-over people went and toilet papered some houses.  On one of these occasions, one of the adults whose house had been toilet papered came to me directly and gave me a royal talking-to and basically let me know that it was unacceptable that I had been part of the cruel joke.  

My mother, gratefully, trusted me and believed that I had not been a part of it and defended me.  It was difficult for both of us, but it meant so much to me that my mother knew I could be trusted.  It's like David O. McKay said, "It is better to be trusted than to be loved."

I helped the offended TP-ed woman clean up her yard.  She was deeply offended and hurt by those actions and I wanted to repair the damage of what had undoubtedly seemed like a harmless joke to the others at the sleepover. 

3. We live in a litigious society. It is best to be protected from all angles whether at a home where you are sleeping over or if we had one at our home.

4.  Calling home and asking to be picked-up is more difficult that any day-time drama or hopeful comedy to can portray. It requires a boatload of courage and if you have that courage, it's pretty amazing--seriously.  You can do it! You have that courage!  If you ever find yourself anywhere that you don't want to be, or feel danger or threatened do not hesitate, repeat DO NOT HESITATE to call home.  I will be there as quickly as I can.  Every time I went to a sleepover my mother and father made it very clear that I could call if I ever felt uncomfortable.  Thanks Mom and Dad.

From The Friend magazine, July 2014. Found here.

If needed, you can use our safe phrase that means you need help ASAP.  I will trust your judgement.

You mean so much to me. I want to do all that I can to keep you safe.  If you want to have a fun day with your friends, I will support you, as long as I feel good about it. I believe that as parents we can be guided to know and understand what you need. I pray for you daily.  I love you so dearly. I strive to help and direct you to do what will be best for you, from my perspective.  I have faith the Lord will guide us!  

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