General Question

SuperMouse's avatar

Would you let little brothers join the sleepover?

Asked by SuperMouse (30782points) October 30th, 2008

My oldest son is having a couple of friends and his cousins over to spend the night to celebrate his birthday. My two younger sons really want to sleep downstairs where all the fun will be. My oldest son would rather they slept in their own beds. I am inclined to let them stay downstairs and celebrate. Yet I’m inclined to have them sleep in their own beds to make the celebration extra special for big brother – one event he isn’t forced to share with his younger brothers. What would you do?

I would really like to hear from some of our younger Flutherites who might have faced a similar situation with their own siblings more recently than I have.

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19 Answers

intro24's avatar

Don’t have brothers but if I did I would find it very annoying having them with me when I’m trying to have a party with my friends. Unless they get along well. If their good friends then it should be fine.

AlfredaPrufrock's avatar

I’m not the younger set, but I have to say Younger ones upstairs—definitely. Otherwise your son is going to fill like he’s babysitting them. Perhaps as a compromise for the young ones, there can be ones there can be a trip to the movies, or something that is separate.

The residual effect of this sort of decision is that you appear reasonable to your older son and his friends. You will get mileage out of that. And the younger ones should know that you enforce boundaries.

Les's avatar

As a younger child, I can’t help but notice that you said “his cousins” are also coming over. I can only assume that the younger brothers are also cousins of these cousins. I think if it were only your oldest’s friends coming over, it would be OK to have the younger ones stay upstairs. But with family coming over, I think that makes it more complicated.

How young are we talking?

Dorkgirl's avatar

Let the older boy have his party without interference from his younger siblings for the bulk of the evening. It’s okay to let the little ones hang out for a bit and maybe enjoy the pizza and cake, but then upstairs to their own video or games and to bed in their own rooms.
Re: cousins—my son is the oldest of the cousins. It was always his choice to include the younger cousins or not. When he was under ~12 he included all. But by pre-teen and teen years he celebrated with his friends for his “kid” party, but we always had a family party where cousins, aunts, uncles were included. No one was upset by this development.
Good luck!

KatawaGrey's avatar

I am an only child, but I have a number of friends with younger siblings. One of my friends has a birthday party almost every year and when he does, his little brother got to have a friend over so that he wouldn’t be bugging the older kids but also so that he wouldn’t be missing any fun. This always seemed to work.

Snoopy's avatar

My mom was the oldest of her siblings and was always forced to let her younger sisters tag along for events. She resented it….Because of this my mom never let me tag along or forced me on my older sibling.

The result? My older sib would make special effort to let me tag along for some things. When this happened I knew I was welcome and enjoyed it all the more.

In short, do some combo of what has been suggested above. Let the younger ones participate in some part of the celebration, but then peel them off to their own beds. I liked the suggestion about doing something special w/ just those two so that they won’t feel so disenfranchised…..

Mtl_zack's avatar

absolutely not!!!! younger brothers can be a pain in the ass. if you and your friends are talking about something that only regards you, and he asks whats going on, and you fill him in (which is hard to do when it contains so many details), he might tell his friends and the parents, which can lead to hatred among brothers. also, as alfreda said, it would seem like he was babysitting, because i assume that the parents would not be in the room while the older son is sleeping with friends.

if the brothers usually spend a lot of time together, what difference will 1 night make? take the younger boys out for dinner and a movie, go play laser tag with them, do something to compensate. when the youngers tell the older how much fun they had, he would WANT them to stay home with him. brother 1 gains satisfaction when brother 2 didnt have as much fun as him.

all this is part of the long process of “brotherly love”. that is, the competition for toughness, smarts, “coolness”, sportyness and other factors that “manly men” are made of.

Trance24's avatar

The little ones should be put in their own beds. Let them be a part of the party during the day, but when it comes time for “bed” they should leave. I remember my birthday sleep overs my little sister never stayed in the same room as me. I mean think about it he will want to be with HIS friends and talk about what him and his friends talk about. Who wants their little brothers around to bother him? And lets face it the friends will make fun of him for having his little bros around, thats just how boys are. Haha. It just wouldn’t be that fair for him to have to share his birthday sleep over experience. The little ones might whine, but they will understand one day when they have their own party.

fireside's avatar

I agree with your initial thoughts, just based on the times when my neighbor’s little brothers were forced on us when I was growing up. I think it would be fine for them to be at the party as long as you are there, but if you are going to leave the older boy’s alone, then the younger ones should come with you.

You don’t want him to feel like they got more attention than he did during his sleepover.

cak's avatar

My kids are 9 years apart. When my daughter has a sleepover or even has a friend hanging out, unless they specifically ask my son to join, the answer is don’t bother them, hang with Mom & Dad. We explain to him that it’s just as important for her to time with her friends, without him hanging around, as it is for him to do the same.

Most of the time, her friends will invite him to hang out with them, but then I find a reason (after awhile) to steal him away and we hang out – usually to have a movie/popcorn party – his choice of movie.

Les's avatar

@all: But there are cousins coming as well. Seems to me the little brothers will want to spend time with their cousins. Friends are different, and I’d agree with all of you (let the younger ones stay upstairs). I just think the cousin aspect will make it more difficult to keep the little ones away.

La_chica_gomela's avatar

If my brother was having a party and my cousins were coming I would feel incredibly left out and sad if I didn’t get to go too.

That being said, Supermouse, how old are your children?

SuperMouse's avatar

The boys are 10, 8, and 6. @Les and La Chica, the cousin part is throwing me.

Thanks for all the great opinions!

cak's avatar

How about a little of both…time with the cousins, but then separate them- since it’s also friends. (or am I misunderstanding that part?) How do the older boys feel, do they want time without the little one? (this is tricky…I feel your pain!)

deaddolly's avatar

I remember ruining my sister’s Sweet 16 party. She was 16 (duh), I was 6. I wanted to play spin the bottle too. My mother made them let me join the party. She still remembers my being there and I still remember how rude her friends were to me.

Let the big kids have their fun. Keep the little kids occupied with something special for them.

syz's avatar

Why not plan an alternative evening for the younger ones – sleep over at a friends house, or a favorite relative. Make it a special night for them, just seperate.

Snoopy's avatar

Well how old are the cousins…..? I assumed that they were similar in age to the child having the party. Is that not the case?

If they are more similar in age than the child having the party then I don’t see what the big deal is…..do something separate w/ the little guys.

If the cousins are the same age as the little guys…..then no, the little guys should not be excluded.

SuperMouse's avatar

The cousins are 12 and 11.

eadinad's avatar

I would say the younger kids get to hang out with big brother, friends, and cousins for a certain amount of time, and then when bedtime comes they sleep in their own beds. That way they get to see cousins (and I’m assuming this isn’t a totally rare event) but big brother gets to be alone with his friends too.

I’m a middle child, so I can sympathize with both parties, and I think this compromise would be the best decision. The younger ones will probably be a little disappointed, but it is big brother’s birthday.

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