The Great Sleepover Debate

               

So much debate these days about kid sleepovers.

I’m a to-each-her-own type of mama, so I say more power to you if you don’t want to let your kid sleepover at their friends’ houses. 

But, at our house, sleepovers are a-ok.

With rules and regulations of course.

For starters, you have to be 10 before you can even think about spending the night at a friend’s house.  Well, I guess you can think whatever you want, but you should know that unless said friend is related by blood or by marriage, chances are good, you won’t be going until your 10th birthday has officially been celebrated.

Also, we have a pretty short list of approved friends that our kids are allowed to spend the night with.  There is a detailed process for children who would like to be on this short list. 

First, prior to any night time get togethers, families must be approved by me via multiple non-sleepover playdates wherein no one smoked anything, lit anything on fire, or grossly misused the English language (what? I was an English teacher, it’s my pet peeve).  Step 2, parents of potential sleepover friends need to not be actively engaging in any of those things either.  They also can’t be shifty eyed, rude, closer talkers, bad drivers, nudists, religious zealots, or out-loud-judgers (I can’t help what you think, I just don’t want to have to hear it).  Finally, no one gets approved unless they have first completed a successful sleep over at our house. Successful means that child candidate came over, ate my food without whining (and, by my food, I basically mean the pizza I order), went to sleep without crying, and at no point exhibited behavior that was annoying, obnoxious, creepy, rude, or mean.  Smelling like cheese and peeing the bed are also immediate fails.  I get all of this awesome from my own children, I refuse to accept it from borrowed ones.

Once we’re all screened and good to go, it’s on like Donkey Kong!

I just think sleepovers are a good experience for kids to have.  They’re not necessary to their development and they probably won’t make them better people, but they are a have a whole mess of fun, and that is kind of important when you’re busy being a kid.

Growing up, I got to have sleep overs at my neighbor’s house nearly every weekend, except for the other weekends when she slept over at mine.  Then, in middle and high school I had weekend sleepovers with my BFF as often as life (and by life I mean my parents) would allow.  We are still BFF’s today and I cherish the late night talks we had huddled on the family room floor together.  Also, prank calling boys was fun too.

And, as much as I seriously can’t stand hosting playdates, I kinda actually enjoy hosting sleepovers.  Probably it’s the popcorn and treats I serve and the fact that I make the kids watch 80s movies with me until they pass out from boredom exhaustion that makes me a fan.  Or maybe it’s that I just feel like such a mom, like my mom, when I peek in on little boys as they’re pretending not to be scared while they’re huddled in my living room telling scary stories in the dark.

I feel less like my mom when I don my wolfman mask, sneak around the side of my house, and bang on the window while screaming in at them.  But, you know what?  That part is fun for me too!

It’s all about the memories, baby.  And, I’m pretty sure my Dudes will have some powerful ones.

 Where do you stand on the debate? Will/do you allow sleepovers? What are your rules?

What do you think?

The Great Sleepover Debate

Amanda has been wowing the Internet since 2008 when she launched her pretty-much-useless guide for parents, parenting BY dummies. As it turns out, her parenting advice is not generally useful for more than a good laugh, but sometimes that’s exactly what you need! Amanda spends her offline time (which is embarrassingly limited) running a photography business, working as a social media director for a local magazine, writing freelance articles about stuff she loves, wrangling her 3 little Dudes ... More

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3 comments

  1. when i was a kid EVERYONE in the whole class had sleep overs for their bday starting at like 7 (that wasn’t that long ago). i’m shocked people don’t let their kids have sleepovers. it seems like a lot of people put their own issues off on their kids..

  2. Profile photo of Mark Mark says:

    Last year, a few parents took a Darkness 2 Light child sexual abuse class. After the class, we discussed our apprehension with sleepovers because we felt all parents at our school were not on the same page. We built a sleepover assessment to help parents prepare for sleepovers. After parents complete the assessment, you are issued a certificate that you can share with other parents. Check it out at http://www.safechildtraining.com.

  3. Profile photo of Grace Grace says:

    i like your thoughts on sleepovers, i haven’t much thought about it because no one has ever invited my daughter to do this and she has asked me if she can have a sleepover time and time again- this would be my 5 year old— i like the idea of her being older 10…

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