Don’t you just love it when your kids come running up to you when you’re either at church, school, wherever, with a friend in tow and a psycho sleepover look on their face? You know what’s coming…”Can (insert friend’s name here) come over today?” Hmmm…you weren’t prepared for this question. Yes, No, I don’t know?! Well, I came up with a solution for our family that works. I have a rule. I know, you’re thinking, ‘Another rule?’ Yes, mom, another rule. Rules are necessary for everyone to stay on the same page.
My rule goes like this; If my girls come to me and ask if they can have a friend come over or sleepover with that friend standing right there, the answer is an automatic ‘no’. They need to pull me aside, and ask in private, so we can discuss it and I can render my decision. I even let their friends in on our little rule. This way, if they come to ask me, they all know the rule, and I can be given ample time to assess my day, and see if it’s going to work.
It’s gotten to the point that I can stop them coming from across the room. I see them running towards me, friend right behind, with the obvious goal written all over their face. I just look at my daughter, give the ‘Mom look’, and she stops dead in her tracks and shoos the friend away. Wow, so obedient, right? Not entirely…she just knows it’s a ‘no’ if she doesn’t.
Don’t get me wrong, I love having kids over, and allowing my girls sleepovers, I just don’t like being put on the spot. We have other kids here all the time….I mean ALL THE TIME!!! However, there are those days when it’s just not gonna happen, and I have the right as a mom to say ‘no’ without having to explain myself to them or their friends at that moment, or be the meanie. Keep it simple. This avoids making decisions out of guilt, and then regretting it later!
The same rule applies for eating dinner over. I love feeding people. As an Italian mom, it is impossible to come to my house and not eat something or go home with some sort of goodie bag, however, I still like being given the opportunity to give an answer without little eyes staring me down.
Now when we’re out and one of my girls grabs my hand and says, “Mom, I really need to talk to you,” I know what’s coming. It just makes the whole process a lot smoother, simpler, and less dramatic, and with three girls in the house, keeping the drama to a minimum is a beautiful thing!
Here’s a picture of one of our spontaneous sleepover parties. Balloons and all! This party is the result of pulling me aside, asking if a friend could come over earlier in the week, getting a ‘no’, and having a good attitude about it. Fun reward, eh? My husband actually planned this one with her. Go Daddy!
Here’s a link for sleepover party ideas…