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Am I obligated to have him spend the night?

My 8 yr old son has spent the night at a friend of his (and I have reservations about this "friendship" cuz this other kid has been in trouble, but my son has limited friends around here due to bullying, etc). This kid is nice enough when he's here, but he has an annoying habit of pounding on the door persistently to ask if my son can come out to play... I have stated more than once if my son can come out to play or wants to, he'll be outside already. Once a day I can see with this but 4 times a day is annoying. So this kid asked to spend the night tonight and I said "no" he can spend the night another night. Kid uses our phone to call his house-they live in the same apartment complex-and asks his mom if my son can spend the night instead. Kids mom says my son has spent nights there and she'd like a chance for her son to come over. I feel like if she didn't want my kid to spend the night she could have said "no" and she shouldn't be throwing this in my face-it's HER responsibility to watch her kid, not mine. I don't know how much I should encourage this frienship anyway, as according to the Vice Principal of my son's school he got transferred to another school b/c of his behavior. Any suggestions for how to limit their time together without looking like the bad guy so much? Husband is like "let him spend the night...and the bad influence thing reminds me that our son doesn't have a lot of other kids around here. Oy.

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Asked by purplerobin at 7:29 PM on Mar. 5, 2011 in School-Age Kids (5-8)

Level 19 (6,413 Credits)
Answers (24)
  • Sounds like you have already started something here...the kids are now friends and maybe you should try it once since you have allowed your son to spend the night over there....won't know until you try it...then maybe they won't even ask anymore

    Answer by Ktbugsmom22 at 7:31 PM on Mar. 5, 2011

  • I would rather them spend the night at my house where I can monitor his behavior, then at his own house where I have no idea what is going on.

    Answer by SleepingBeautee at 7:36 PM on Mar. 5, 2011

  • I think it is good he has a friend..

    Answer by kylansmommy09 at 7:42 PM on Mar. 5, 2011

  • For starters I would have told that mom that he can stay all night ANOTHER night and that you had already told both boys that no one sleep overs were happening this night.  You aren't his babysitter, and she shouldn't have suggested that her son stay at your house.  That's just rude in my opinion.  If my son had called and asked me this I would have asked to immediately speak to the other parent, BEFORE giving an answer like that.  Not saying I'm right, just saying that's how I would do things. 


    Answer by MrsHouston47302 at 7:47 PM on Mar. 5, 2011

  • Maybe this kids does not understand about inviting yourself someplace.
    I would explain to him AND his mom, that you are not comfortable with the responsibility of a sleep over just yet. That you would be in charge of her son and if anything happened to him, you would be held accountable, and that you don't feel like YOU are ready for that.
    I would also say, when you DO feel ready, you will let your son personally invite his friend over.

    I would also tell his mother that you would be happy to baby-sit, but if she does need you to do that she needs to call ahead and ask, and that you will charge $ an hour, since baby-sitting is a JOB.

    I mean, it's great that they are friends, but your son should understand that friends do not impose themselves on others. Teach him that "We don't invite ourselves over." or hurt people's feelings by assuming they are not busy and can drop everything to cater to our desires.

    Answer by Kristin_Allen at 8:02 PM on Mar. 5, 2011

  • I tried that, MrsHouston, and hubby talked over me and said loudly "let him spend the night!" And it was the other kid using OUR phone...I had ALREADY said that he can spend the night another night...when it was first mentioned hubby goes "Well you better have a good excuse cuz he (our son) has already spent the night at his house..." I personally didn't feel the need for an explanation. I'm NOT the neighborhood babysitter. And you're right, I think the other mom was definitely being rude. Ktbugsmom, I know something is already going on...I'm trying to DISCOURAGE IT!!!

    Comment by purplerobin (original poster) at 8:05 PM on Mar. 5, 2011

  • Having him over does allow you to monitor both of their behaviours together and also allows you to notice AHEAD of time if your child Is role modeling after his new friend.
    I wouldn't stop the friendship altogether because your son needs to learn how to not be pressured or bullied by other to be a leader, not a follower.
    If moms always "rush to the rescue" that's why some kids don't learn the coping mechanisms that are even more valuable as they get to their tween years. IMHO

    Answer by Missikat75 at 9:29 PM on Mar. 5, 2011

  • I'm not sure where you got the idea that kids spending the night at each others houses equates into babysitting... Personally if your kid had spent a couple nights over at my house I would most likely expect that at some point they'd spend the night at yours. Remember THEY aren't YOUR baby sitter either, and if thats the mentality about it you should either be paying them or 'returning the favor'. AND, if you are trying to discourage it, stop allowing your kid to sleep there. Discuss with the other parents your reasons for this and ask for their support.

    Answer by ethans_momma06 at 7:54 AM on Mar. 6, 2011

  • I actually prefer for my daughter's friends to spend the night here. That way I can monitor the behavior and be aware of what my daughter is doing. I tend to worry more when she spends the night away and its a lot harder for me to say yes to that than to her friends spending the night.

    Also, if you think this kid's behavior is rude, its his parents' fault not his and being around your son might actually be helping him. You are so worried about how this could be harming your son you are missing that your son could be the bright spot in his life and a chance for him to become a better person.

    Answer by questioningcleo at 8:19 AM on Mar. 6, 2011

  • I don't think it's right to let your child sleep over a friend's house & not have that same friend welcome in your home. If this other child's behaviour hasn't had any negative effect so far, I don't see a reason to end or limit the friendship. YOur family may be a possitive influence in this boys life.

    I just don't see him being a nuisance to you as being a good enough reason to interfere with the friendship.

    Answer by BubbaLuva at 12:00 PM on Mar. 6, 2011

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