Thursday, August 4, 2011


Lately I have been thinking alot about things that I was allowed to do while growing up.  Silly things that really aren't that big of a deal, but that I couldn't see me letting my kids do.  I do realize that the majority of my kids are still pretty young, and can't do many things unsupervised.  I also think that parents in general have become much more protective of their kids because of predators out in the world.  I wonder if it was much different when I was growing up (as far as dangers go) or if we have much more access to information so the world seems to be a scarier place to let our kids out into.

Today I was a good mom, and set up a 'playdate' for the kids.  Caden and Sydney each called one of their friends to come over and play for a few hours this afternoon.  They had been begging all summer to have an 'official' playdate (they had many 'unofficial' ones), and since school starts next Wednesday...I figured I should actually do it.

They both had alot of fun with their friends, but with all things, it had to come to an end.  While driving Caden's friend home, they were talking about how much fun they had.  Then Caden said, "We really had a good time...we should have a sleepover sometime!  Mom, can we have a sleepover??" {crickets chirping} I told him that some people can't do that, and we would have to talk about it another time.

Up until this point, it really has never been something I have had to even address.  The kids have only spent the night with family with a few exceptions when we have been out of town or having a baby.  We haven't really thought about whether or not it would be something we would do.

I am on the fence about the issue.  I have heard many different stories about horrible things that have happened to children while away from home.  Yet at the same time, I grew up having 'slumber parties' for many of my birthdays. We would stay up until wee hours in the night/morning or sometimes not sleep at all. I always had alot of fun, and created some great memories.

The problem I have is that I am comfortable having kids here, but of course once they have a sleepover then the child wants to reciprocate, and have them over to their house....and I am sure there will be friends that I won't feel comfortable let my kids go there.  I hate to feel like I am picking and choosing, and don't know how to explain to my child why they would be able to spend the night at one friends house, but not the other.  Obviously the easiest thing would be to say no sleepovers except with family/cousins. 

We are just curious as to how you may handle it.

Right now I think my kids are a little too young to allow it, but I know the question is going to be coming up much more often as they get older.  So we want to come up with a decision and stick with it.

So dish it out!  No one is right or wrong.  {So please no fighting if one feels more strongly one way or another. }

Do you let your kids sleepover?

If you do, what age is appropriate to be able to?

If not...Why?

What are the pro's & con's? 

What are some things that you did as a kid that you can't imagine letting your kids do? 
A Few for me...

Letting my kids play outside in the front yard without me (again...some of my kids are too young to even think about it, but I know when I was 7-8 (Caden's age) that I did go out on my own.)

Buying something from the 'Ice Cream Man'.

Walking almost 2 miles to school, and in order to get there, having to j-walk across a MAJOR street (Stapley)...given, I was in Junior high...but still!

Going door to door selling stuff ALONE (some organizations have rules against that now...thank goodness! Although I sold over 300 boxes of Girl Scout cookies that way)

Can't wait to hear your thoughts!

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Anonymous said...

Short answer, no. With all the creepers I deal with, and people who claim the come from "good" families, there will be none of that.

The reason? I don't trust people that much. I don't trust them to show the same lack of trust that I have. :)

Justin Y.

Tonya said...

Well this was and is a tough one for us too. And my hubby is a police officer so he sees the worst in people all the time. This is the first year we have done sleepovers. My oldest was in 4th grade. I think that is a pretty good age to start them but I know tons of families that start in 2nd grade...I think that is too young. Most of the sleepovers happen at our house. I like it better that way. My daughter's best friend has an older brother and she knows that she will probably never get to spend the night at her house unless said brother is gone. When she has gone to other peoples houses which is a total of 3 times. We told her that if she is uncomfortable or wants to come home for any reason to call. I actually let her take her dad's cell. She is to ask us a code question. Which is our indication that she wants to come home. I would then call the mom and tell them I need to come get her. So far she hasn't had to call. She is also to tell me what exactly happened while she is away. At one of the sleepovers something happened that I wasn't very happy about nothing terrible. But I was able to talk to her and use it as a teaching lesson. Again I would prefer the kids sleep here. But with 4 kids of our own it can get a bit crazy! I hope that helps.

KaraLyn said...

We only allow sleepovers with cousins/famliy and my kids (aes 12, 9 and 6) don't seem to mind the rule. They understand that it is a family rule. If they are invited to s birthday party sleepover, I let them go for the evening until about 10 and I go get them. Luckily most of our kids' friends aren't allowed sleepovers either! So it makes it even easier! Good luck making a decision for your family. Trust your gut! You're the momma! ;)

stacy said...

i made this rule before my kids were even old enough ask about sleepovers. NO SLEEPOVERS for the benintendi family. jeff didn't get and was bugged by it and would throw me under the bus with people and say "i don't mind but stacy says no so you'll have to take that up with her, she has a problem with it" until he had to prepare a lesson for priesthood by elder lawrence of the seventy called couragous parenting from last oct. conference. he says among other things that often children have there first sexual experiences at sleepovers...he slept through that talk so needless to say i was overjoyed when that was his assignment. he gets it, he gets me and my concerns.

other reasons...we don't pick and choose friends to sleep over with because it's important to keep friendships happy. if one family found out that i let my kids sleep at someones house but not at theirs they would assume that we don't trust THEM. hurt feelings are never fun! we don't have kids here because i don't need to go to jail if a kid mistakes things that my husband say or do for something inapropriate that could land either of us in prison. i don't want to give anyone that i know and love the opportunitly to make a bad choice with my kids and then i would have to send them to prison.

my moms stake president counceled/begged the stake to NOT have sleepovers because of all of the horrible things that he was excomunicating members for. you kids should be home, they need to be home. if they're just sleeping then why can't they be in their own bed? that's my thought. my kids don't love it but they get that i'm protecting them.

we do late nights with friends that i trust...home by ten and in their own beds and have done sleepovers in the case of emergency or need. and what about the thought that one of my kids might do something super lame and get themselves in trouble...that would be embarrasing. hahaha!

hope this gives you something to think about but of course this is a very personal choice. if you want the link for that talk i can get it for you.

Amanda said...

We made the policy a long time ago, that the answer would be no to sleep-overs. When the time came for our kids to be old enough, it was tough to say no.

Recently I've heard 2 different bishops say that most of the problems that people come to see them about (porn, abuse, alcohol, etc.) started at a sleep-over. That really confirmed it for me.

It's hard though. I remember some fun sleep-overs I had when I was young, and I think sometimes when my boys are invited to a sleepover, "I completely trust that family. Nothing would happen." But we stick to guns as a matter of policy to make things easier.

We let the boys invite friends over for "late nights." They can have friends over, wear pj's if they want, watch movies, play games, eat pizza and treats... all the normal sleep-over stuff, but everyone leaves by 10. My boys love these and they seem to fill their need for a sleep-over.

There's a talk called "Courageous Parenting" from last October's conference. The following was quoted in our ward, this past Sunday: "As a bishop I discovered that too many youth violated the Word of Wisdom or the law of chastity for the first time as part of a sleepover. Too often their first exposure to pornography and even their first encounter with the police occurred when they were spending the night away from home."

Good luck!

Strong Family - said...

My thoughts are the same as "Amanda." For birthdays when older now we do a "movie night," but then take the kids home or have them picked up when done. For so many reasons I can't even list them all. I loved sleepovers as a kid, but honestly would have probably preferred my mom picked me up when the "fun" part was done. Especially now that where we live we don't know most of their friends' parents because they don't go to church with us.

Anonymous said...

Thank you! I know a long time has passed since you posted this, but it really helped me come to peace and not feel bad for saying no to sleepovers.

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