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Saturday, May 10, 2014

Kindergarten Kids - The Made-Up Parties

Problem: 

Earlier in the week, my girls were talking with one of their friends. They started imagining what a sleepover would be like. They'd climb trees, bake things, play games, jump on beds, and go to sleep. They are in love with this image. They have really built it up in their minds. And over the days, the narrative changed from them describing what a sleepover would be like for them, to them telling me they were invited to a sleepover, and could they go?

This sleepover is apparently today. They insist their friend invited them. I've told them no less than a dozen times and possibly closer to 100 times now, that kids can't invite other kids over for sleepovers when they're five. The parents have to invite them. Having not heard from the parents (they have my number), I can only assume they know nothing about this.

So, my kids are super upset that I'm not letting them go to a sleepover that they made up. They've asked me to call the parents and tell them my girls are coming to sleep over. Because that would go over really well.

"Hi, my rambunctious twins want to sleep at your house. Cool? See you at 5."

I've explained to them that I can't invite them to someone else's house. I told them that in a few weeks, we could invite M to our house to play. You know, following the proper rules of society.

No good. We always have people over our house, and they never go to anyone else's house.

Anyway, lest I thought the battle was over, this morning, my daughter woke up at 7 a.m., came into our room and demanded I drive her to M's. We hugged her and explained again how society works.

No good.

She got upset, and decided to take matters into her own hands:


Not only are they going to a madeup sleepover, they're apparently driving there with no keys and no ability to actually open the garage door. They kill me. Hahahaha.


Solution:

Repetition, repetition, repetition. Eventually they do get it. This is a message she didn't want to receive, but there is nothing to be done. No reason for anyone to get angry, even though the premise is utterly ridiculous. It's not to her.

And the girls bring up a valid point. No one does invite them over. I assume because there are two of them. And to be honest, if there were a sleepover, I wouldn't let them go anyway. 1) because they're five. 2) because I can't trust that they'll behave at someone else's house. Particularly if they are together. Too easy to fight over the affections of the inviting friend. They have to grow up before I make other parents take care of them.

Anyway, the biggest point I want to make here is, be honest, be straightforward, and be calm. Do not allow them to feel like they were able to manipulate the situation to their whims with elaborate schemes and shenanigans with other kids. I absolutely am not calling M's mom. If the girls collectively want to do a sleepover, they can do it the right way, through the right channels. I am not going to reward sneakiness on any level.

Yes, it's very innocent right now, but I know all about this. I did this a lot as a kid. You think your parents won't let you do what you want, so you try to spruce up the story to make it more appealing to them, or like it's already in motion and would take more effort to stop than to just go along.

Nope. Go through me, go through other parents, then make your plans. Us first, then you.



 

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