“Mom, can I go to the sleep-over at Janie Wilson’s house this Friday night?” That was Tess’s question Tuesday evening.
“No sleep-overs,” was her mother’s reply.
“Why not? Three other girls from my class are going.”
“Why not? The Wilsons have a big house, plenty of room. We’ll be safe.”
“Tess, your father and I have a policy for all of our children: no sleep-overs at other people’s homes and almost never here.”
“First, kids rarely get enough sleep at these things. They stay up late talking and fooling around. Second, some parents allow things that we do not, and we can’t prevent them from happening during the sleep-over. If we make a big fuss beforehand, that seems to insult the parents, and we don’t want that, either. Third, we are very careful to keep all of you safe here in our home; other parents may not be quite so careful, and things may happen that would be harmful. Fourth, we don’t want this discussion over and over as each child gets a bit older. No sleep-overs!”
“Oh, Mom!” Tess was not happy.
Just then, fourth-grader Tim came in. “Mom, some of my friends are having a sleep-over at Russell’s house on Saturday night. Can I go?”
“Ask your sister.”
One of our series of 50 informative short stories for young readers.