Hi, I'm Dr. Laura Schlessinger and I do welcome you to our YouTube channel, where I get to answer your questions like this one, from Vanessa:
"My husband and I have two boys ages 7 and 9. Our 9-year-old son wants to go to a sleepover at his friend's house. [Yeah] I think he is too young and I do not see the need for it. [You obviously have never been a kid.]
I do lots of play dates with his friends and I'm willing to have them over anytime. We really screen what our boys watch and the computer is in the main living area. I feel there is such a need to be careful of what their eyes will see and their ears may hear in another home that I am not 100 percent comfortable with this.
I told him that his friends are welcome to stay here, or I can pick him up there at 9 p.m. My husband is OK with this, but I do not see the need for it.
I know I cannot put them in a box, [Well you sure as heck are trying to!] but I can do my best to protect them from what is out there. Both my husband and I did not do sleepovers growing up, except at relatives' homes, and I am fine with him going to a relative's home. [Really?! You think they don't have computers or TV?]
Am I being too overprotective?"
Let me think for a moment...YES!! Yes! You tell your children what you expect of them. You tell the mom and dad, "We don't permit him to play 'such and such' if it's rated 'R', and we would prefer no 'R'-rated movies." (Actually the 'R' movies are OK, it's the PG-13 ones that are bad.) [Laughs] But yeah, you're being overprotective.
Here's the deal: you need to teach your children what you believe is appropriate and teach them how to handle being in situations where they are intimidated because "it's OK to do what their mom and dad said 'no' to." Also, you have to understand that your kids are not going to turn into monsters because they experience a few things. OK?
I'm Dr. Laura Schlessinger. You missed out on a lot not having any sleepovers. I remember one particular sleepover where my girlfriend, her name was Penny (that wasn't her given name, it was a name that she liked), and I liked this boy named Harvey and he didn't see me [shakes hand back and forth in front of face] from a hole in the wall. So to try to get a boy's attention...in those days, they delivered things like bread and milk and stuff like that. So we called this company and had them deliver 20 loaves of bread to his house. We got into a little bit of trouble, must admit. But if that's the worst kind of thing your kid does at a sleepover [throws hands in air], it makes for a great story when you're 66 years old.
I'm Dr. Laura Schlessinger. Until next time, here on our YouTube channel.