Friday, May 27, 2016

Sleep overs

We just wrapped up another year of school. So for our family, that means navigating later bed times and later wake ups. We also like to entertain, and for our kids, there is no better way to entertain than having a sleepover. Since we have summer birthdays, it can be tricky to get the friends over here.  The school they all attend is populated by those that live in the country and two subdivisions. So we have learned to get phone numbers during the school year. And the older the kids get, the more relaxed parents seem to be with letting them come over. Which leads to a raucous night of video games and nerf wars. Since I try to be about relationships, I try to make one or two of these events happen during the summer and then one during winter break. 

There can be some questions surrounding sleepovers. Some parents aren't ok with them. And I have had my own reservations about letting my kids go to houses unknown. There can be dangerous things that happen at sleep overs. Peer influence is a powerful incentive to do stupid things. And who knows what kind of standard another house has for television, movies and video games. So how do we balance the desire to build friendships with our fear of what might happen? 

For me, it's about faiths. 
Faith in a God who takes care of my kids. Believing that even if the worst happens, I'll be carried thru by grace. 
The second is faith in my parenting. Yes, I worry daily about how I've done as a parent.  Have I taught them manners?  Have I taught them how to stand up for themselves? have I taught them how to be gracious and kind? To problem solve? Knowing they do well in school and have open conversations with me gives me some peace of mind that they are going to be ok. Watching the kids play with others lets me see how they're going to be in a setting I'm not around in. 

Faith in others. I've had to learn that not all people are out to get me. There's a lot of evil in the world. There's also a lot of good in the world. A lot of parents are just doing the best they can and at the end of the day that's usually good enough. It does my kids good to be around other families. Most of the time that opens conversations for the differences and similarities they see. 

It takes a village to raise our kids. But to have a village we have to be open to relationships. And to build relationships, we need to invest in others. Both kids and adults. 

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