Q: What’s your opinion about overnight group activities for primary school children? We want our children to have fun with their friends, but we’re concerned about exposing them to inappropriate influences.
A: It’s a sad fact that we live in a world that is increasingly dangerous and unhealthy for our children. As parents, we must be mindful of what our children are exposed to when they’re in someone else’s care.
We can’t keep our children in a safe cocoon forever. Eventually, they’ll face external threats and temptations, and as parents, we’re responsible to equip them for that challenge as early as possible. It’s important to look for appropriate opportunities that will allow your children to step out from under your immediate oversight a little bit at a time.
We’d simply encourage you to exercise due diligence with every invitation. You might consider meeting with the adults responsible for supervising the overnighter. Find out where it will be held and what activities are planned. If you’re well-acquainted with the person in charge, there’s probably little to worry about. If, however, this sleepover is being held in someone’s private home and you’re unfamiliar with the parents, we’d suggest that you meet with them beforehand to make sure that their values and perspectives are in line with your own. If this is a school-sponsored event, you may discover that the teacher would love to have you volunteer as a chaperone.
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