II Chronicles 7:14

If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

HOW do you say no?

I am so excited to be BLOGGING again (rather than facebooking) and I am very anxious to post this "topic" on here for you, my good friends, to read and help me figure out! Since almost ALL of you have children (and many of them in the same age group as mine), I'm SURE you've all encountered this problem before...or will at some point soon.
So here it is:
HOW do you say "No, my child is not allowed to go to your house"?

Here's the deal: When Brooklyn was about 5 or 6, she started having ( and getting invited to) sleepover's at friends houses. Mostly from church but occasionally from school. Everything was good and fine and we never had any problems.

But NOW...she is 9 and that means that (some) girls that age are starting to become interested in things like:
using the computer
dressing "sexy"
music videos
"older" movies
saying grown-up phrases (like "freakin" and "What the heck")
hip-hop music (think black-eyed-peas, Pink, Ludacris, etc.)
daring each other to do/say things...

Apparently the days of playing Barbies with your friends, watching the Parent Trap and playing MASH on scrap paper are long gone. (**actually Brooklyn still loves her Barbies...but now she cuts their hair and "colors" it funky colors like pink and purple and cuts their clothes to make them "cooler" (which I interpret as "sexy". ugh!..and she wouldn't be CAUGHT DEAD playing Barbies in front of her friends.)

Anyway, there are a couple of our friends that she spends the night with that have daughters (and morals) that I JUST LOVE and Brooklyn being around them is a WONDERFUL influence on her.
However...(and here is the issue)
There are a couple of girls that she has spent the night with/gone over for playdates with...that all of the above list have been done and she comes home with this smart-alec attitude and sassy-mouth and acting like she is "entitled" to whatever she wants. She also suddenly knows the words to songs I would NEVER want her to know when she gets home and is usually covered in make-up and ink. :-(
What's even sadder...is that some of these little girls even go to our church and I know their parents. Eeek!

A while back (after a bad experience where we let her sleep-over at someones house from school that we didn't know) we made the rule up that she can't spend the night with anyone unless we know them. And that worked for a while...but now I'm gonna have to "tighten up the reins" even more. So how do I say "no" to people who she's already spent the night with?
I'm sure honesty might work in SOME cases...but I can just tell you that there is one or two of these families that I am just NOT going to sit down and have a talk with about this.
Is there any good way to back out of a friendship?
Even Brooklyn herself has admitted that she feels "wrong" when she's there and they're doing things that she knows I wouldn't approve of. She recognizes the uncomfortable feeling (THANK YOU HOLY SPIRIT) of being in a place/doing something that is not good or glorifying to God. PRAISE THE LORD that she has a good relationship with Jesus, even at the young age of 9. She has a tough exterior, but inside she is PURE GOLD--soft and sweet and precious as they come. She wants to please the Lord always. (*almost makes me cry happy tears!)
Anyway, if any of you have any suggestions about this, I would LOVE to hear them.....

FURTHERMORE....oh my gosh...what would I feel/think if this were someone else talking and it was MY DAUGHTER who they thought was the bad influence? wow....


Kate said...

hmmmm . . . that's a hard one. And I distinctly remember having a conversation w/ my SIL at my baby shower about this very topic - that we may have to part ways with some friends as we go through parenthood, simply because their home lives are not what we want our children exposed to. Or if they choose to question how we raise our children when it's really no business of theirs. IDK what advice I can give other than putting your children first. If Brooklyn feels uncomfortable around them, then why push the envelope?

Tammy said...

Well this is a toughie. Not sure I would ever say anything to the other parents (just thinking if someone said something to me - I'd probably get defensive). Sounds like Brooklyn has a really good head on her shoulders and will make wise choices. But if you really feel strongly about keeping her away from something, do it. And you don't HAVE to offer any kind of explanation. Man, did this help at all???

Amos said...

We went to a marriage retreat last year and the speakers were talking about sleep overs and stated that they don't allow them period. Now you have to make up your own rules, but honestly nothing good happens after midnight. We had a driver last year that let his daughter stay over at a friend's house where they knew the parents....let's just say their daughter will never have children because of it. Be lead by the spirit, but in our family we have taken the stance that sleep overs are a definite NO every time.

Rene' said...

fortunately in this case Brooklyn doesn't want to go back to those houses, so u can simply say, "no, we have plans, no that won't work, sorry, not avail", everytime it comes up. maybe eventually they'll quit asking. I've got the sticky situation where I won't let T go to a couple houses for issues with those houses parents or older siblings, but how do u explain scary stuff like that to a 9 yr old. She is so sad that she can never go over there, and they only get to come to our house. But I just won't take that risk. I wish I had a good way to explain it to her without scaring her.

Rene' said...

I wish I could be like Amos and completely not do sleepovers, so I could protect her. But its sort of a part of childhood, I loved them, and I know she loves them too, so its hard to take that away from her when I've already taken away Halloween and Santa. Even today, at lunch at the field day I was watching all the other kids pull out their multiple(!) desserts, and she had only healthy food for lunch and I could see the sadness in her body language that she wished she had a dessert in her lunch as well. Its so hard to protect them emotionally, physically, spiritually, and even healthy body-wise without making them feel deprived sometimes when 'everyone else is doing it'. I'll take advice too! :)

and the thing is too, its not just a sleepover that can be a problem. It could be at school or anywhere! Heck, I was not treated properly as a kid, just being next door playing hide and seek! It could happen anywhere anytime, which makes it so scary to me! I want to be next to them at all moments so make sure they are always supervised and protected. Help me God!

Simmons girlz said...

As tough as this is, keep you eye on the bigger picture.After reading this, you will think I have jumped into the deepend!

I recently had a horable dream about Faith being molested by a neighbor who had daughters. And when I woke up, she was lying in my bed. The whole thing just shook me to my bones. And I was like God, are you trying to say something to me. The next day, Shawn's mom tells me about her neighbor that was arrested for molesting his 11 year old daughter. Okay at this point I am just like, God this is too extreme. Why did I have this dream and where is this coming from. I remembered a few weeks back, the girls really wanted to spend the night with their grandmother, and Shawn just keeping saying NO. We fought about it to. It just didnt make sense to me. I cant say that God spoke to me and I could hear him, but in my spirit, this is what I took from the whole ordeal.

There were times, that I allowed my children to go and do without praying. Grandma's house was a safe haven, and I would never even question them going there. God just showed me, that sometimes I get to confident and decide to take the wheel. And if I would just allow him to direct my paths, he would lead me and guide me. The other part of this, was hurting grandma's feelings. How could I tell her the kids can not spend the night with her? And God again showed me, that why I dont intentially want to hurt someone, I am my childrens mother, and protecting them, is my job. While I know this is a little hard core, we have decided to not allow my kids to spend the night with people. I cant say this will be forever, but for now, the answer is no. God also showed me that sometimes its not even the parents of the children, its the neighbors, or it could be someone coming over to their house..etc. Okay and if I havent freaked you out already, do you remember the 5 year old girl who was taken out of her front yard and found later abused walking down the road? They called her the Angel something...recently that man was caught, and yes, that man was Shawn's mothers neighbor!!
I know, it sounds crazy, but this really did happen.
If you want to allow Brooklyn to spend the night, ask questions! Find out who will be there, who will be incharge of watching the kids, what tv shows do they allow their kids to watch? If people get mad or upset, oh well, your just doing your job!! Another thing is make your house, the house all the kids want to be at!!