Author Topic: Damage done during a sleepover.  (Read 34938 times)

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Outdoor Girl

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You don't think it was your kids so go ahead with a sleepover with the others and just not let these three come.  Or if you do, plan on nanny cams and/or staying up all night in a hidden spot so you can watch for any shenanigans from nephew.
I have CDO.  It is like OCD but with the letters in alphabetical order, as they should be.
Ontario

LeveeWoman

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If it were my house, the party would happen.  The sleep over would not.  All children would be made aware of exactly why not. 

I suspect that somehow, somewhere, the answers will eventually magically appear when the kids realize that there really are consequences.

I've invited all DS's cousins which include 5 nieces and 1 nephew who were not there that night and are 110% innocent in all of this. Do I still cancel the sleepover? Do I tell my kids they are not allowed any more sleepovers at all with anyone? Somehow that doesn't seem right either...

I'd go with just a party this time but I wouldn't forbid the kids who weren't there from sleeping over in the future.

MrTango

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I agree with a couple PP's who suggested Nanny Cams.  If you go with this option, no one except you and your DH should know about the cameras' existence, not even your own kids.

Piratelvr1121

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Get a Ouija board? Have a seance? ;)  Could be fun anyroads, can't tell you how many slumber parties I went to in high school where they attempted to contact Kurt Cobain.

Seriously, don't walk on eggshells around this woman, it just gives her more power.
Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself. You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars.  You have a right to be here. Be cheerful, strive to be happy. -Desiderata

snowdragon

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If it were my house, the party would happen.  The sleep over would not.  All children would be made aware of exactly why not. 

I suspect that somehow, somewhere, the answers will eventually magically appear when the kids realize that there really are consequences.

I've invited all DS's cousins which include 5 nieces and 1 nephew who were not there that night and are 110% innocent in all of this. Do I still cancel the sleepover? Do I tell my kids they are not allowed any more sleepovers at all with anyone? Somehow that doesn't seem right either...

  You cancel this one, have just the party, tell the parents what happened and why you are not having a sleep over.  And have sleep overs with the children you trust. The cousins involved in this should never be allowed in your home again.  Yes canceling this one might be unfair to the cousins who were not there, but you know that  might just be how you find out who did this. When the cousins get mad and pressure the culprit into confessing to you.  But there is no way I would ever allow these children in my home again, especially as a package deal. Also with that many kids - it's going to be harder to make sure nothing else is damaged.

Lynn2000

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I get that you're reluctant to punish kids who are definitely innocent (the cousins who weren't there) or probably innocent (your kids and the two girl cousins) in order to punish the one who probably isn't. But at the same time, I think you have to show that bad behavior has consequences.

It's not your fault that exSIL makes her three kids come as a package deal. If the two girls suffer because of something their brother has done, maybe they will put pressure on him to behave better in the future, or pressure on their mom to break her unfair arrangement.

And actually, the punishment of canceling the next few sleepovers will show all the kids that you mean business. They've all been well-behaved before; that's great. But this will show them not just that they get privileges for being well-behaved, but that they will get punishments for being poorly-behaved.

Personally, I would change the birthday party to a non-sleepover. I think you have a good reason to change the conditions of the party, given that something bad happened at the exact same kind of gathering so recently, and more importantly no one has owned up to it. Obviously you would need to contact all the parents right away and let them know, in case their own plans have to change (coming to get their kids that day rather than the next, for example). And you would understand if some of them had to cancel because of this.

Again, it's not you punishing your son--it's you showing all the kids that there are consequences for mischief and lying. And the lying, specifically, means that the consequences are broad across everyone, rather than being focused on the one person who actually caused the mischief. So next time, kids, don't cause mischief; or if you do, at least don't lie about it, because then everyone suffers for longer.
~Lynn2000

oopsie

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I'm thinking of sending cousins' mom the following reply in hopes that it will settle this matter:


Hi cousins' mom,

I'm not going to debate the existance of ghosts, however, I'm pretty sure that if they do exist, they did not scribble on my counter in permanent marker or insert dog food in the cheesecake.

Given that DS's sleepover party is this Saturday, I would really prefer that this not happen again. Please have a chat with your children and I will do the same.

Thanks,
oopsie



Should I send this? Or not? Thoughts? Suggestions?

AngelicGamer

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oopsie, I'm late to the party (pun intended  ;D ) but that letter sounds a bit aggressive to me.  I wouldn't send it but I would change the party plans.  I agree that there should be no sleepover for a while, especially since nobody will fess up to what was done.  Yes, it does punish the innocents, but better something that might make whoever did it fess up rather than something worse happening. 

Also, you have a family member in your house that cannot communicate in human language.  You do have a obligation to make sure your dog is kept safe from whatever happened to make him yelp.




"Life's tough, huh?  And then you die." ~ Buck, the Magnificent Seven.

Amara

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I don't really care for that letter, OP, though I understand why you are writing it. It seems to me that through the use of this letter you are hoping your ex-SIL will stand up and do the "right" thing, that is, assume that her child was the culprit and get him to confess and promise never to do it again.

I believe you know that is unlikely to happen. So my question is: What do you want to happen? What can you realistically expect to happen. Given your updates, I would say you will never get a confession. If your nephew is sneaky enough to cause your dog pain, ruin your counters, and put dog food in cheesecake he is not likely to accept responsibility for the hurt it causes you. So what should you do?

The previous posters have given you ideas, good ones, but I sense you prefer something else. I think you would like your ex-SIL and her son to take responsibility. Alas, I fear you are doomed to disappointment. If that is the case, then what do you want to do?

If it were me, I would refuse to allow the nephew to return. I'd probably talk to him one-on-one and tell him why in a straightforward, non-blaming manner. But I'd make it clear that I felt strongly it was him and I'd tell him exactly why. I'd finish by asking him again if he did it. If he denied it I'd accept that but add that I could not allow him to come over any more because I felt I could not trust time. If at some time in the future he was able to win my trust back the sleepovers could resume, but not until then.

JenJay

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I'm thinking of sending cousins' mom the following reply in hopes that it will settle this matter:


Hi cousins' mom,

I'm not going to debate the existance of ghosts, however, I'm pretty sure that if they do exist, they did not scribble on my counter in permanent marker or insert dog food in the cheesecake.

Given that DS's sleepover party is this Saturday, I would really prefer that this not happen again. Please have a chat with your children and I will do the same.

Thanks,
oopsie



Should I send this? Or not? Thoughts? Suggestions?

Send it! To the end of "... not happen again" I'd add "and if it does there will be no further sleepovers."

bloo

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I agree with a couple PP's who suggested Nanny Cams.  If you go with this option, no one except you and your DH should know about the cameras' existence, not even your own kids.

I'm uncomfortable with videotaping persons w/o their knowledge. It seems undignified and embarrassing if they find out later ("Aunt Oopsie saw me picking my nose when I thought no one was looking"). And the parents better tell me if there's a hidden camera where my kids will be spending the night.

Aside from that, the purpose of a hidden camera would be to actually catch the hooligan responsible if it happens again. Whereas I'd have the goal of using it to avoid trouble in the first place.

I think if I was going to go the camera route, I'd tell everyone '...and we decided to put up cameras to see if we can tape the 'ghost' that's been up to no good whenever there's a sleepover...ha ha...'.

Just typing that out doesn't sound right. So I'd probably do away with the sleep-over aspect of the party and explain to the kids the reason for it or I'd have them all sleep in one room (say, the living room) and plop my own sleeping bag* down in between all of them and drink lots of coffee or go-go juice.

As far as the email, I didn't see anything wrong with it but since more than one PP thinks it's a bit much, maybe you shouldn't send it. And if she's brittle and takes offense easily - what would be the point?

Oops...just saw JenJay's response and she makes an excellent addition to it though!


*I actually did this when my teens and I went to an amusement park last year and each brought 2-3 friends; everyone was too tired to leave from my house when we got back so a bunch of teens crashed in my living room - we scrounged up a bunch of pillows and blankets and I brought my sleeping bag down and got in the middle of them and resolved to stay awake til they were all asleep - and I did as I was keyed up on the caffiene I'd ingested to stay awake to drive home.

Lynn2000

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I'm thinking of sending cousins' mom the following reply in hopes that it will settle this matter:


Hi cousins' mom,

I'm not going to debate the existance of ghosts; however, I really think it was one or more of the children who did these things. Luckily there was no permanent damage this time, but I'm really bothered by the fact that it happened at all, and that no one will own up to it.

DS's sleepover party is this Saturday. If anything like this happens again, I will be suspending all future sleepovers, because obviously the kids can't behave when they're together. I will be making all the kids aware of this when they gather for the party Saturday, so I wanted to mention it to the parents as well.

Thanks,
oopsie



Should I send this? Or not? Thoughts? Suggestions?

In red are my suggestions. I think this email is more clear and direct, without singling the cousins out (even though you're pretty sure it was Nephew). It says you're telling everyone, even people who couldn't possibly have been involved (the new cousins), the consequences, and you're telling all the parents too, so they will know. Of course it depends on your personality and your relationship with exSIL, but in this case I felt it was better to be a bit serious, since I read her response as kind of flippant and dismissive of your concerns.
~Lynn2000

RingTailedLemur

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I like Lynn2000's revisions.  "I would really prefer that this not happen again" sounded far too wishy-washy.  Say what you mean - that this will not happen again.

gramma dishes

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If you feel you MUST have the sleepover because other children (and your son especially) are looking forward to it, then I agree with Jen Jay's additional words.

But personally I still would not have this sleepover.  I would explain to the mothers of the other cousins (those who weren't there this time) that some things happened that were not acceptable at the last sleep over at your home and that you have decided to change this particular specific party to one that doesn't include sleeping over for anyone.  Assure them that their children most definitely WILL be invited for sleepovers in the future, as you enjoy their company and know that obviously they had nothing to do with what happened at this recent sleepover.

I would still have the party itself.  The part where everyone in the house is awake and alert.  But there may be children who will not be able to attend with the change in plans and you would have to be prepared to accept that.

I would not confront the nephew -- at least not right now.  Although you are 99% sure he's the culprit, there really are other possibilities and it would be horrifyingly sad to blame the nephew if it turns out that in fact he is actually innocent.

weeblewobble

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OP, has the vacation issue from the other thread been broached with exSIL?  Is it possible that your nephew is reacting negatively to the plans being altered?  If not, this incident would definitely change my willingness to take the nephew on a long, expensive trip.