You don’t want to be that parent.
You know… “Helicopter Henrietta”? That parent that seems to think their child is the only special child who needs to be hovered over and protected?
And yet, you NEED to to ask tough questions before dropping your child off for a sleepover.
It’s time to normalize these tough questions.
Top Five Necessary Yet Awkward Questions to Ask Another Parent
- Are there any guns in the house? If so, are they locked up?
- What’s your internet safety policy? Do you have an internet filter to block inappropriate websites? (If not, how about we have a no-internet/no-device sleepover?)
- Are prescription medicines (like painkillers) locked in a place teens can’t access?
- What about alcohol? Is it inaccessible?
- What are the sleeping arrangements and where are older siblings/relatives?
I can almost feel you cringing.
It’s not easy being a responsible parent. But the more we ask, the easier it gets. And the more we ask, the more normal these questions get.
Someday, maybe all parents will ask.
You can be a leader in creating a new, safer norm for your child.
Here’s the Script for Approaching Another Parent: the HOW to Lead
It’s important to ask about these sensitive topics with curiosity and without a judgey tone.
This works for me: “I’ve been learning a lot about online safety for kids lately and I wanted to ask if you have any safeguards in place for your family? We’ve just purchased Circle to filter the bad stuff off of the internet and it’s pretty cool. Do you have anything like that for your network?”
You can use a similar script to find out about guns and other dangers. I’ve also substituted “accidents kids get into at their friends’ house”, as in “I’ve been learning a lot about accidents kids get into at their friends’ house and I wanted to ask a few safety questions…”
Have you done this yet? How did it go?
What are your deal-breakers–are there answers that would change your mind about a sleepover?
Please comment below. I would love to hear your stories.