Most sexual abuse cases happen at sleepovers, so don’t be in a hurry to sign off or approve a sleepover.
Sleepovers used to be a common thing in the past when children and young adults spent the night at friends’ houses. This was considered fun, as adults and children alike cherish this feeling of companionship.
Although an adult may be safe in a different environment, a child may not be safe.
What to Do Before Approving Sleepovers
If the need arises, you need to put some measures into place before considering a sleepover for your children. Ensure the following measures are in place before you let your child pass the night in a friend’s house.
1. Meet the parents or adults who will be hosting your child for the night
Parents must be familiar with their child’s friends and parents. This is to ensure the safety and security of your child. Never allow your child to spend the night in the house of someone you barely know.
2. Ask relevant questions
Find out if the adults in the house are prepared to stay with the children throughout your child’s visit. Find out if other adults will be coming around later and find out who those other adults are.
3. Ensure that the home can adequately provide safety for your child
Find out if there are older children in the home as well and get to meet them. Older children can be abusive as well as adults, but meeting them personally can help you decide whether to let your child pass the night or not.
4. Talk to your child about sex and their sensitive areas
Talk to him or her about being firm with their decision and not allowing anybody to take advantage of them. Discuss some unsafe scenarios and how they can get out of them.
5. Visit the sleepover home and assess the condition of the home
How safe your child will be depends on the home and the people living in it. Discuss your opinion about alcohol, drinking and smoking with the adults in the home your child will be visiting.
Also, discuss this with your child and be firm on your disapproval of it. This will limit the chances of your child getting drugged or intoxicated.
6. Call your child regularly during the sleepover
Instruct your child to call you as many times as he or she can. In the event of insecurity, discuss a code word with your child and let him or her use it in a text message or phone call to discreetly inform you of unsafe situations.
7. Do not compel your child to sleep over at a place he or she is not comfortable in
No matter how close you are to them, your child is your number one priority. The world is full of dangers and uncertainties; hence, parents and guardians must protect the gifts they have been given.