Sleep Overs...Anyone?

United States
February 26, 2007 9:06pm CST
Ok when I was a kid I loved to go spend the night with a friend or go to a slumber party for someones birthday party. But now that I'm adult and raised my two kids I feel very different, even while I they were young. I heard of an incident Friday evening when a mother of one of my friends' sons friends showed up with her son and he came to the door and asked if he could spend the night. Just out of the blue and her son swore they didn't plan it ahead of time at school. She felt totally on the spot and was actually mad inside because his mom sat out in her truck while he asked. She had to take her son into another room and tell him no because they had relatives coming into town that night. He was upset of course but she felt like the mother was trying to look for a free babysitter for the night and asked her son to see if he could try and find a friend that he spend the night with. It could be wrong but that's what it felt like. She had only met the mother once at her son's birhtday party when she called to see if she could drop her son off early because she had a hair appointment. She doesn't even know my friend. Which got me thinking; do you let your kids go spend the night at somebodys house that you never met before or hardly know? Here's my other question. How do you feel when your child has a friend over and they don't behave? Do you feel comfortable disciplining someone else's child? I feel very uncomfortable with this unless I really know the child and their parents. So I'm almost to the point that I'm totally against sleepovers and slumber parties. I had a boss that didn't let his kids spend the night at their friends houses and he didn't let his kids friends spend the night at their house. I asked him why and he said you don't know what goes on behind closed doors at the other peoples houses and he didn't allow sleepovers at his house because he didn't want to be liable for someone else's child. I thought he was a little nuts at the time, but it was before I had children. Now, I think he was totally right! So what's your opinion or experience?
8 people like this
15 responses
@clownfish (3276)
• United States
27 Feb 07
Hi! This is a tough issue. I went to sleepovers when I was a kid, but they were all kids who were my best friends, our parents knew each other, etc. Because my daughter is autistic, I don't think I'll be letting her go to many sleepovers, if any. At the very least, I will have to be comfortable that the kids she will be with will be kind to her and that the parents hosting the sleepover are good people and my daughter won't be in any danger.
• United States
27 Feb 07
I do think it is a lot rougher now, than we were growing up. I was cautious with my kids and their friends, I had to know the parents. With society the way it is today, you just never know for certain anymore. Bless you. Thanks for replying.
3 people like this
@onesiobhan (1330)
• Canada
27 Feb 07
I think there is a fine line between protecting your children and preventing them from having a full range of life experiences. I know everybody has to draw that line according to their comfort zone. But I would feel just as uncomfortable preventing my kids from being able to spend time with other children and even other adults.
@kate1356 (697)
• United States
27 Feb 07
I agree with your comments. It is a different world out there today than when I was young.. but you can't shelter your child from everything.
1 person likes this
• United States
27 Feb 07
I can agree on that... I have 3 daughters and my oldest 2 always want to spend the night at friends house and vice versa but,,if I don't know the parent then my girls are not aloud to stay...and it's not often they stay at friends houses....I let them have friends once in awhile not often cause I feel like ur boss did..I dont want to be liable for other kids...I feel really uncomfertable discipling others children... I have called the parents up before either to come pick them up or I was taking them home....It's so hard raising children and they should of came with a manual.LOL
2 people like this
@yorb24 (2180)
• United States
28 Feb 07
I had many sleepovers as a child and the majority have been good experiences. I am not a mother but would still like to voice my opinion. I don't have a problem with slumber parties. As long as all the parents involved are okay with it, it's fine with me. I would never though try to force my child on someone to take care of if I hardly knew them. That's highly inappropriate. I don't think I would have that much of a problem disciplining though I would probably discipline my child more so the others got the point.
• United States
27 Feb 07
Hi Dreamweaver! This is an excellent question! Times have changed. We are not living in "Leave It To Beaver" days. This is not the 50's. And even now we are learning that more happened in the 50's than we knew back then. Kids are more exploratory and as a parent having a sleepover it takes more responsibility on your part to have something like this. Kids do not just stay in their rooms and play with Barbie dolls or trucks anymore. I do not have children, but if I did, there would be no sleepovers. I have never really understood them anyway. Why does a child need to sleep at someone else's home? As for the parent who just came over to drop off her kid, it sounds like she was looking for a babysitter and it sounds like he does not get much attention at home. She has a lot of nerve, as does the child. Then they go look for other places for him to sleep. Very odd.
1 person likes this
• United States
27 Feb 07
I'm one of those parents who don't let my kids sleep over at other peoples homes. When my oldest daughter (18) was in the 3rd grade she begged and pleaded me to have a sleep over party. I sent out the invitations, not really expecting to many responses because I really hadn't met any the parents yet. We were only at our new home for a couple of months. The day of her sleepover, I had to make 2 trips to my daughters school! I had 15 girls! Luckily, a friend of mine had offered to help out with the sleepover. Out of the 15 girls, I had only met 2 of the parents. Out of the other girls only 2 parents called to check on them. I had all the girls call their parents at 9 pm. I was completely SHOCKED! The next morning 2 parents showed up to pick up their girls before lunchtime. Another 7 parents showed up before dinnertime. Which still left me with a half of dozen kids. Those parents never called me and didn't pick up their children until late Sunday evening! It broke my heart. How can parents do this? These were little girls. They didn't know me. The girls did call their parents at MY request and I did give MY permission to let them stay another night but what if I was some kind of FREAK?
• United States
27 Feb 07
sleepovers at your house/their house are too dangerous in this day and age. i think today, children should have out of house activities to socialize with friends such as at the y.m.c.a.. they often host slumber parties in my area and they are well supervised.
@joshua_77 (612)
• India
27 Feb 07
hi well, I want to sleep very less hours because I don't like over sleep.. Even in my school days I sleepp very less,Daily I sleep 4 to 6 hours only..I think if we are a hard work person means we can't sleep more than 5 hours per day..but I heared and see amny sleep over 8 hours per day..It's not good for maintain a good health.
• United States
27 Feb 07
I'm now facing this difficult choice as well. My daughter started middle schoold in a different school district than last year. In elementary school it is so much easier to meet the parents. Middle school, even though we insist on meeting the parents, we are coming across as being the over-protective parents (which I don't care about). It is a truely scary world, when you can't trust other parents to protect your child as if they were their own when in their custody. We have a philosophy that we treat out daughters friends as we would treat our own, that includes teasing, feeding and disiplining. If they are in our house it is our rules that they must abide by. At some point, we will have to trust our childrens judgement on firends and what they think is a safe enviroment, that time is not now. I feel safer having kids sleep over here, because I know how my husband and I will handle certain situations. We know that the girls are supervised and not left run wild. Before I married my husband, he would only allow his daughter to have one friend over and that was because he had known the parents for over 7 years and that girls parents trusted him to have their daughter, this same family would not allow the same girl to spend time with his ex-wife and daughter ~ ~ Different parenting skills and supervision. The best advise I can give you is to go with your gut instinct. At some point in time, we are all going to allow our kids to spend time with other peers their same age without meeting the parents. As parents, we have to help out kids to make smart choices as pre-teens and hope & pray that the life lessons stick and slowly trust their judgement to make good choices and to call if they are ever in a situation that they find uncomfortable. For sleep overs, we send out child with a cell phone so that if there is ever a situation that she needs to get out of, all she has to do is call. We have discussed this already, that yes, if she calls at 2 am and was drinking, ect...yes we will be upset, but thankful in the morning that she make a good choice! We've discussed teen drinking and driving even though she isn't old enough to drive. We discuss and re-discuss so that the message is crystal clear in her brain of what is expected to help keep her on a safe path.
@lpetges (3036)
• United States
27 Feb 07
most of the time my daughter was the one who had sleepovers. the boys only when in first grade or so did they ever have sleepovers. I don't know why,, they just really never did. The girls were all friends of my daughters and the moms always made a point of meeting eachother.. and we were friends also.. i guess i've never had a situation like you are discussing. But sleepovers where there is supervision was a must for me., and knowing where she was-those were important factors.
1 person likes this
• United States
27 Feb 07
I'm in agreement with you on this. I loved sleepovers when I was young, but in today's world I am against it. With kids and unsupervised access to the Interent, cable, text messaging etc. it makes me leery. I would only let my kids spend the night at the home of soemone who I really trust--either a family member or a close friend who has a similar parenting style as I do.
1 person likes this
• United States
27 Feb 07
So true Creative, times have changed since we were children. Even since my kids were children. With my grandkids, the decision isn't up to me but I stronly encourage my kids to be sure they know where their kids are going and to have met the parents. Fortunately, we have such a large family that sleep overs are usually at the home of one cousin or another. With friends from school and the neighborhood, I'd be much more comfortable having the kids at my house, and it wouldn't bother me at all to discipline someone else's child. If they are in my home they follow my rules and if they don't want to, I would call their parents to come get them.
1 person likes this
@meme0907 (3481)
• United States
2 Mar 07
Hey CDW :D I would let my son stay over @ friends house a few of the parents I had only briefly met but I sized 'em up right quick-besides I wouldn't want any parent to confuse our childrens friendship w/ a friendship between us. I also let his friends stay over when he was little no problem. +'s 4 U :)
@Lakota12 (42681)
• United States
1 Mar 07
we always had the other kid stay at our house for then we could watch what went on also they were told the rules of the house before they got to stay.Never had any trouble out of them at all and I had no problem correcting them if they got out of line its my house! I did have one woman when I lived in Ill. whos little girl would come home with my daighter form school one day her and her brothers showed up at my house and said I was to watch them I told them I was not found out later the mom had dropped them in front of my landladys house and they walked down to my house ( mom went to bar) we did nt know the parents at all just the little girl and any way I went to my land lady and asked did she know this person and she said allittle bit ( the woman had been to my house once to use the phone) my landlady ended up tell thiose kids to go home and when I saw that lady again I told her off big time ha ha never happened again while we lived there I felt so put apon
• United States
28 Feb 07
I have to say that i totaly understand your concern. I think it depends on whether or not you know the parents, the childrens age, and how well you talk to your children. I wouldn't let them spend the night if they were too young, unless you're close friends or they are family. Though, no matter what their age you have got to talk to your children, because no matter how well you think you know someone, you still don't know what happens behind closed doors. Just let them know what rights they have, that they keep nothing "secret" from you, let them know they can talk to you about anything. It's all about communication. I think it's good to let your children experience sleepovers, I had alot of fun when i went and I don't want to keep my children from enjoying themselves. But if you're unsure about it, follow you're heart, after all mother knows best. Sometimes you get the feeling you shouldn't do something for a good reason.