What An Expert on Sexual Abuse Says About Sleepovers

It was quite a long time ago that I wrote an article about sleepovers, explaining why my family chose to just say “no” to allowing our children to stay over with friends. Though this sometimes upset or angered our children, and just as often upset or angered their friends’ parents, we stuck to it as a matter of personal conviction, though certainly not a matter of judgment toward those who have decided otherwise. That article has elicited more response and discussion than anything else I’ve ever written, with reactions ranging from relieved agreement to disbelieving scorn. Aileen and I did not base our decision on the counsel of anyone with expertise on the issue (though as a child I did know a police chief who told my family his line of work had led him to make the same decision). Rather, we based it on our own experiences as children and on an assessment of the potential dangers our children might face over against the benefits they might gain. But I often have wondered what experts might say on the matter. I recently read Protecting Your Children From Predators which is written by Beth Robinson, a licensed professional counselor who specializes in counseling children who have suffered sexual abuse. It was only after I began reading the book that I realized she had included a chapter on sleepovers, so I was eager to hear her experienced perspective. She begins by describing a case drawn from her counseling practice in which a little girl was referred … Continue reading What An Expert on Sexual Abuse Says About Sleepovers