Social Question

SuperMouse's avatar

How do you feel about kids' sleepovers?

Asked by SuperMouse (30798points) June 5th, 2012

Last night my middle son had a friend come over to spend the night, at midnight his friend couldn’t hack it anymore and I drove him home. That got me to thinking about this topic and wondering if sleepovers are the norm.

In general my kids love spending the night at their friends’ houses and love having friends spend the night with us. I did this some when I was a kid, but not very often. If my kids had their way they would have sleepovers every weekend (weeknights too during summer vacation)! Did you have sleepovers much as a kid? Parents how do you feel about your kids having sleepovers?

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25 Answers

flutherother's avatar

I thought they were good fun and so did my kids. Even better was camping out in the back garden in summer, reading comics by torchlight and eating chips made by my mother. To arrange to sleepover and then decide you want to go home is poor form.

ucme's avatar

We’ve never had an issue with sleepovers, my daughter has a load of friends who happen to be boys, (long winded way of avoiding the boyfriend word) so that’s not happening anytime soon.
I would camp out with mates when I was a kid, no sleepovers as such.

woodcutter's avatar

Our son would have “land parties” I think they were called. The only bad thing is all the leftover farts they all left in the room that took a few days to clear out. Six teenage boys and multiple pizzas will make a lot of farts.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

Again, my kids are 5 and 3 so no sleepovers just yet but I am not at all opposed to them.

wundayatta's avatar

My children have them. Not often, but maybe once or twice a year on average. As they get older, it seems to happen less. Peak years for my daughter were 10–13. My son never did it as much, but had done it a couple of times, I think. I don’t know if cousin sleepovers count. But surely they do?

I think it’s unusual when a kid can’t hack it, but not that unusual. My kids also go to camp in the summer, so that’s like a sleepover every night for four weeks. My daughter is a counselor in training this summer.

JLeslie's avatar

I didn’t have them often as a kid, but I loved them! I loved going to my friends house and when they spent the night at mine. I thought my friends had the coolest parents.

If I had children I would let my kids sleep over, but I would have to have met the parents and feel very comfortable it was a good situation. It can be break right? Kids aren’t in the house for a night, and they love it.

SuperMouse's avatar

@wundayatta I think you are right, it is unusual but not super unusual. We have had tons of sleepovers over the past four years or so and kids couldn’t hack and had to go home twice. Once my middle son came home early but that was only because he got sick.

@JLeslie we always make sure to meet the parents whether their kid is staying with us or mine is staying with them. My husband is adamant about meeting the parents of any child who comes to the house or wants to have our boys over the their house. This past school year though my boys brought no fewer than five friends home from school every single day! We know all of the parents now but there are some we didn’t meet until after their kid had been dropping by for awhile. I find it interesting that there are parents who will drop their kid off without any kind of introduction or even a sound. I just can’t wrap my mind around that.

JLeslie's avatar

@SuperMouse If they were just coming over to play or hang out I would not be so worried about meeting the parents.

I had a sleepover party once and I am pretty sure my mom did not necessarily know all the girls or their parents.

If my child went to play at someone else’s house and I knew the kid, I might just drop them off for a few hours without worry. Not sure, I don’t have children. Kids certainly walk down the block or within the community and play with kids and go in their houses, etc.

geeky_mama's avatar

Our kids are at prime sleepover ages.. so we have a ton of sleepovers at our house these days. We typically limit it to one good friend per kid, per weekend. (Usually just one of our three kids has a sleepover guest at a time.)

Our middle child is sort of shy and a bit of a homebody (quite introverted) and several of her friends are the same way – and none of those kids like sleepovers very much. (Esp. not our daughter. She likes to host them—but even at age 11 and going into middle school isn’t much for having sleep overs at other friend’s houses.)

Our other two kids (oldest & youngest) are more extroverted and both love to both host and attend sleepovers.

I think I was more like my middle daughter (very introverted) and so I remember childhood sleepovers by and in large as sort of something I just survived. Didn’t really like them..but tolerated them as the cultural norm.
I didn’t mind sleepover camp quite as much..but I can remember the mortification of slumber parties (once my training bra got frozen because I fell asleep first..I’ll never forget Jody’s dad coming out of the kitchen the next morning with my frozen solid bra in hand asking who it belonged to…oh the horror) and sleepovers that I didn’t entirely enjoy.

Neizvestnaya's avatar

As a kid I loved sleepovers though my parents didn’t allow them. They weren’t alone, most of my friends’ parents didn’t allow sleepovers because a group of 5 girls was just insane to them and our little group never did anything without all of us together.

We don’t have sleepovers with my husband’s kids because we rarely even get to have them overnights due to how much we both work. If could have have been a “normal” family with weekends off work and been able to enjoy the full amount of joint custody due then I know we’d have allowed it. Both my husband and I think that stuff is fun, even the chaos part but who knows how often we’d have been able to hack it.

Ponderer983's avatar

Speaking from the child’s POV (as I have no kids), I used to have A LOT of sleepovers when I was younger. Friends at my house and me at theirs. At least once a month during school and more often in the summer. I loved it! My parents I don’t thinkminded all that much because we had this room in our house where we would go and play and there was a sliding glass door that we could close so that my parents couldn’t hear ALL the noise, but could still keep an eye on us from the other room.

Keep_on_running's avatar

My dad never allowed my sister and I to sleep over because he viewed it as rude or impolite… or something, never quite understood it. He’s a German with hard-core values, what can I say?

mangeons's avatar

I had them more often when I was in elementary and middle school, and I loved them. Now, at sixteen and nearing my senior year in high school, my best friend and I still have sleepovers a couple times a year and we always have a blast. We’re actually trying to plan one for this Sunday, so I’m really excited. We don’t go to the same school, so we don’t really get to see each other except for when we have sleepovers or hang out!

If/when I have kids, I don’t think I’ll have a problem with letting them have sleepovers, as long as I’ve met the other kids’ parents or talked to them (at least when they’re younger). They’re super fun, and I don’t see any harm in them.

JLeslie's avatar

Hell, I get excited to have sleepovers with my girlfriends now and I am 44!

Neizvestnaya's avatar

I 2nd @JLeslie in that adult sleepovers are a ton of fun, especially since we all drive, can stay up as long as we want and eat whatever we want.

Ron_C's avatar

My girls had sleep overs but they had to be on the weekend because they would be up half the night giggling. I find it heartwarming and love to hear little kids laugh.

jca's avatar

I had a few as a child. When my sister, who is in her mid-20’s, was growing up, they were very common. My mom used to complain that the girls would stay up all night, laughing and acting silly and doing things around the house, and they’d fall asleep about 5 a.m., and the next day they’d all be exhausted.

It doesn’t sound like fun to be a parent, hosting kids that are up all night when you want to sleep. My child is young so we’re not there yet.

PurpleClouds's avatar

I spent half of my nights at my best friend’s house and the other half she was at my house. That went on from around fourth grade through high school. My kids started in day school spending the night with friends and having them over to spend the night. My kids also started going to summer camp at age five. So, you can see, kids not being able to hack it is something I don’t really understand.

augustlan's avatar

As I mentioned in your other question, my best friend and I practically lived at each others’ houses, and that included spending most weekends and summer nights together at one or the other’s house. I wasn’t such a huge fan of slumber parties, though. Our kids have had slumber parties for their birthdays, and have attended them, too. The one-on-one sleepover doesn’t seem to happen as often, but they do that on occasion. All part of growing up, I think.

ucme's avatar

I’ve always felt it’s a bit mean spirited when no lurve is given to a person answering a question involving their kids, just a passing thought.

OpryLeigh's avatar

My friends and I used to have sleepovers all the time and I used to get fairly excited about them. Looking back, I am glad adults don’t have sleepovers in the same sense of the word (obviously we do have “sleepovers” but they have a whole different purpose!!!) because I always felt like shit the next day from lack of sleep and I was always nervous about what the protocol was at other people’s houses!!!

Pied_Pfeffer's avatar

I have no children, but I was one and now have eight nieces and nephews.

As a child, we had sleepovers all the time. It was an introduction on other cultures, be it religion or family rituals. My best friend since the age of two was from an Irish Catholic family. Spending Saturday nights at their house and going to church with them the next morning was fascinating, although it was years before I learned why I wasn’t allowed to participate in their communion. It was also my first time sleeping in a bunk bed.

The slumber parties were fun. We didn’t prank the first one to fall asleep, and when the parent turned the lights out and said, “Go to sleep”, we just chatted in the dark and told ghost stories until we eventually followed the order.

As for our younger family members, the three nieces who were brought up in a farmhouse loved to spend the night at friend’s houses. They weren’t used to central heating and AC, and television, since their parents refused to own one. The other sister’s boys had sleepovers until they moved out. Sis would make them breakfast once they got up. She considered it a safe haven for some of the friends who were having difficulties in their own home life.

@woodcutter What is it with boys and their smell? I finally talked my parents into getting me a sleeping bag because the ones at my best friend’s house always smelled like her older brothers…stinky.

JLeslie's avatar

The parents I know who don’t allow their children to sleepover are afraid of the chance their child could be molested or raped. I am sure there are many other reasons parents might be against it, but of the two women I know who are against it, that is their reason.

I remember hearing the book about Chinese mothers supposedly stated they do not allow their children to sleep over? I never read the book, so I could be wrong. If it is correct, I wonder what their reason is?

SuperMouse's avatar

@JLeslie I admit that I would probably be much more cautious about sleepovers if I had girls. I would want to know about all the brothers in the household and would insist on meeting dad or step-dad. That might sound paranoid and slightly prejudice, but anyone who has read Protecting the Gift understands that it is better safe then sorry and it is not possible to be too careful.

Bellatrix's avatar

All my children loved going on sleepovers and having them at our house. Holiday times were the most likely times for these events as they all had weekend activities and sporting things on. I agree with @woodcutter, it is lovely to see your children giggling and having fun and sleepovers are a great opportunity to closely observe your children’s interaction with people outside the family.

I think this question prompts a follow-up discussion (that I don’t have time to pose) about how parents manage those ‘are the other parents safe’ concerns. I would love to hear other parent’s experiences and planning around this topic.

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