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Serendipitydodah for Moms – Home of the Mama Bears is a private Facebook group for moms of lgbtq kids. This series will address common questions that often get asked by members of the group. For more information about the group email lizdyer55@gmail.com

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Parents of LGBTQ kids are often faced with decisions they never considered before their kid came out. One common question is “what should I do about sleep overs?”

One concern that parents typically have when asking for advice about sleep overs for their LGBTQ kids include the safety and well being of their kids. Making sure that their LGBTQ kids feel safe and are free from any shaming is of the utmost importance to the parents I hear from.

Another concern parents of LGBTQ kids share with me is about their children exploring their sexuality before they are ready and about their safety if they do. For some, having their teens spend long stretches of unsupervised time in pajamas in a bedroom with someone they may find sexually attractive can be unsettling.

My advice to parents of LGBTQ kids is try your best to find a way to make sleepovers work.

LGBTQ kids already often feel like they are different and existing in the margins of life Eliminating sleepovers because kids are LGBTQ only enhances the feeling of not fitting in.

In addition to helping LGBTQ youth feel like they belong, sleepovers are also a great way to get young people to unplug and spend more time interacting with their peers in person, and is often a trusting and bonding experience.

Although there is no one way to structure sleepovers, parents who have concerns can try to plan ahead.

Some things to consider:

Talk openly with your child about your concerns and agree on guidelines and rules.

Consistently strive to create an open, trusting, shame-free relationship with your  children so they can freely share concerns and ask questions as they grow and mature.

Don’t assume that your child is attracted to someone just because they are the same sex. Talk about how a sleepover is not the place to ever act on a crush.

Talk about some unique situations that might come up and cause discomfort during a sleep over. Discuss what can be done to avoid any such uncomfortable situations. These might include such things as sharing their trans identity, changing clothes and not wearing a binder while sleeping.

Let your kids know that sleep overs are privileges, you want them to be able to enjoy them but will restrict them from having sleepovers if they don’t adhere to rules.

Have sleepovers at your house and in open areas.

Keep rules simple and direct so they are easy to remember. For example:
No Sex, No Drugs, No Alcohol, No Closed Doors

Rules should be consistent for everyone attending a sleepover. When the sleepover is at your home talk to all the guests about your rules and repeat them each time you have a sleepover.

Having rules doesn’t mean they won’t be broken, but, they do lower the chances of unwanted behavior, especially if parents pop in often to check up on how things are going. Offering a snack or cold drink when you pop in can help ease your kid’s annoyance about this.

Sleep overs are a big part of many young people’s social life – our LGBTQ kids want to enjoy that same social interaction. 

 


Serendipitydodah for Moms – Home of the Mama Bears is a private Facebook group for moms of lgbtq kids. Our official motto is “We Are Better Together” and our nickname is “Mama Bears”

The group is private so only members can see who is in the group and what is posted in the group. It was started in June 2014 and as of January 2019 has more than 5,500 members. For more info about the private facebook group email lizdyer55@gmail.com

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