(Not my story, as told to me by a friend)
Your young child is invited to a sleepover. You know the family from school. The parents are divorced, but have remained within the community. Mother still covers her hair, father still wears a yarmulke – both still heavily involved with their children and their community.
When you drop off the child for the sleepover (at the mom’s house) you see a religious looking guy there that you have never met, he’s sprawled on the sofa watching TV in his sweats and black kippah. You figure he is her brother or something. You think nothing of it until you pick up your child the next day, the guy is still there, in the same clothes, and your child tells you on the way home that he is Ms Sleepover’s special friend and he got to cuddle with her all night in her room. Your older child (who is in the car with you at the pick up time) happens to mention that she knows Ms Sleepover has been dating a guy for a while, as this child is friends with the other sibling.
What would you do at this point? Your child has absolutely no reason to lie to you. Your child doesn’t even think there is anything wrong because s/he is too young to understand that religious people don’t behave that way. Do you take this opportunity to teach some values to your child who may be too young to understand? Do you tell your child she cannot play over there any more – after all if she has a male stay over guest, perhaps her kashrut or parenting or character is also suspect? Do you call the mother and tell her that what she does on her own time is her business, but you would appreciate it if she didn’t expose your child to her sinful behaviour?
Personally, I don’t think I would force the issue, I just wouldn’t let my child sleep over again. If I were to be challenged by the parent on why I let him/her sleep over last time but not this, then I might tactfully bring the subject up.
What would YOU do?