I have a female friend, whom I've been friends with for over 20 years. Her 12 year old boy (I'm his godfather) is very fascinated by my virtual reality gaming setup at home, and very often and very insistently asks me if he can come play and spend the night so he can play more the following day.
I'm a single man, 37 years old, and I live alone in my own house. I am not comfortable having kids spend time in my house without other adults present, preferably a parent .
So far I've been able to shut down the requests by stating that I don't have the time for it. But I want to shut this idea down for good.
To clarify: He's more than welcome to come and play, I enjoy sharing my interests with anyone like minded. But not kids alone, even if I have known them their entire life and is a close friend of the family.
How can I explain this to the boy, preferably in a way that won't make him sad or feel that I'm rejecting his friendship in general.
Update (about a month after posting the question): The situation has now been resolved.
He visited me with his mother and sisters a few weeks ago, to watch a movie and play som Virtual Reality games.
As expected, he again asked if he could stay after the others left, and spend the night. With his mother present in the conversation, I told him that he could of course stay as long as he wants, as long as one of his parents are there as well. He looked to his mother and asked if he couldn't just stay alone, ensuring it would of course be fine. Fortunately she agreed with me, and stated that a parent should always be present, and since I'm not a parent, it just wouldn't work out without her staying as well. He accepted that with a bit of a frown, but the frown quickly vanished.
They visited again this weekend, and we all had a great time - and an important detail: No request to spend the night this time!
: Being in charge of the kid is probably the largest part of what I don't like about that situation. I just don't know how to behave around kids alone. I feel on edge, constantly overthinking everything I do. Also to some people it might seem weird that an adult living alone has other people's children spending time unsupervised - I don't want anyone to have the opportunity to think something wrong might be going on in that situation. I know it's a bit paranoid, and frankly it's not the main reason. But it's a part of the uncomfortable feeling. I'm a bit introverted, and sometimes I have a hard time expressing my emotions. And I find kids difficult to 'read' sometimes.