Why I Forbid Our Daughters from Sleepovers at Other People’s Houses

sleep over, slumber party, raising girlsSleepover, we don’t need no stinkin’ sleepovers!

Yesterday, I came across a kerfuffle on social media about sleepovers and slumber parties, of all things. Apparently, if you won’t allow your children to attend sleepovers you are deemed an overprotective crazy person, which I find funny especially in the day and time of the helicopter mom. It was even brought up, what, pray tell, will these insane women do when those children go off to college some day? Worse still, how will these poor deprived and helpless children survive on their own when left to their own devices at university?

Well, I am one of those moms. The crazy, overprotective ones who doesn’t allow her children to attend sleepovers at stranger’s homes. I was never allowed to sleepover at anyone’s house when I was a child. I didn’t turn into a heroine addict whore when I went away to college. Nor did I turn into a psychopathic serial killing ,single white female type either. I was raised with good morals and respect for myself, a little bit of freedom,a lot of discipline and good manners. I had six brothers and sisters so every night was pretty much a sleepover. It’s true I didn’t sleep at other people’s homes but I had friends, went to their homes to hang out and had hundreds of sleepovers at my house with my friends throughout my childhood and teens.

The Big Guy and I have chosen not to let our daughters sleepover at other people’s houses for a few reasons, least of all being that we have only lived in our new neighborhood and city a little over a year and we don’t know anyone well enough to trust them to care for our children overnight, unless they are related to us. I don’t think it’s outrageous to expect to know the people whose house your child will be spending an extended amount of time. I do think letting my child sleep at a stranger’s house to prove that I am cool, or out of some social obligation to the parents is crazy. If you’re one of those parents who does, I’m not saying I care any more about my kids than you do about yours but I certainly don’t care any less.

Growing up, my dad never let us spend the night anywhere. Believe me, I asked. I begged. I had slumber party invitations almost weekly from grades 4- 8. I did feel left out because I wanted to be with my friends. I once questioned my father as to why he wouldn’t let me sleep at my friend’s house. I thought he didn’t trust me or he was just being mean. This was his theory; if we were sleeping over at someone’s house and the house caught on fire, they’d instinctively grab their children to save first and he didn’t want something bad to happen to us if we were out of his care. He said he couldn’t bear it. I saw his face. He meant every word of it. As a parent, I now understand his fear. His theory made sense.

I know that if my house were to catch on fire, the first thing that I am grabbing is my children. I think that is a natural mama bear instinct to protect your children. Isn’t it?  It’s sort of my job to do that. Sure, we’d all like to think that we’d get everyone out immediately but you can bet your ass that if it were between my kid and anyone else’s, I’m grabbing my kids.

My oldest daughter is about to turn 8 in a couple weeks and to celebrate we are having her first sleepover. She is thrilled and I am excited for her. I loved having sleepovers. We know this will open the door for her to be invited to sleepover at her friend’s houses. She knows that her father and I will not allow it. I don’t want her to feel left out. So, we’ve decided that if her friends are having a sleepover, she can go over in her pajamas and take part in the party but at 11 or midnight, we will be picking her up to sleep in her own bed at our home. I don’t really care if people think I am crazy or call me over protective. I care that my child is safe, whether other people approve or not is of no concern to me.

I’m not as leery of a sudden outbreak of arson fires as my father was but there are other things that could happen. All parents don’t parent the way I parent and I don’t want my children to be exposed to things, people or behaviors that I don’t allow at my house. I don’t want my child to get hurt because some other parent isn’t as watchful as I am or allows more freedom to roam the neighborhood or whatever than I do. I don’t want my little girls learning bad habits or being exposed to things they are not ready to know at someone else’s house. And I even read people cracking jokes that parents won’t allow their children to spend the night at people’s homes due to some irrational fear of sexual predators. I don’t necessarily have that fear but why is that irrational? No one will watch or protect your child like you will.All people are not good people and I am not willing to take that chance.

Don’t get your feelings hurt when I say my kid can’t stay the night at your house. It’s not you, it’s me. Well, maybe it’s you but I don’t know yet and that is the point.

Do you allow or will you allow your child to attend sleepovers at their friend’s house and why or why not?

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User Rating: 2.2 (6 votes)

8 Comments

  1. Kristen Daukas  /  2013/02/20, 12:57 pm Reply

    All of our girls spend the night at other people’s houses – but only if we know them. Now that mine are getting older, I PREFER they sleep at my house… I can keep a closer eye on what my teen’s doing.

    We’ve had kids that have come to our slumber parties, whose parents are like you and they’ve been picked up around 10. It’s all a matter of family preference. I don’t think you should be judged for it but I think you should prepare yourself and the girls for when they inevitably get the push back and teasing from other kids. You know how they are – if it’s not “normal” they’re going to poke at it. Also, I think letting kids be exposed to other cultures and ways of life is a good thing – not a bad thing.

    You’ve raised your kids well, they know right from wrong. I think if you have honest communications with them and let them know what kind of things should alarm or concern them, you’re giving them the power to listen to their instinct.
    Kristen Daukas recently posted..Dealing with the Freshman Blues

    • Deborah Cruz  /  2013/02/20, 1:08 pm Reply

      We do have family friends who we know and trust with our children, unfortunately they don’t live anywhere near us anymore.

      The girls have a core group of friends who are good kids and they live in our neighborhood, its just a matter of getting to a place where I know their parents well enough and they know me well enough to know what I expect when my kids are in their care and vice versa.

      AS for letting the girls be exposed to other cultures, I am all for that. I’m not saying they can;t play with their friends or go to their homes, I just prefer they sleep at mine.

      I think when they’re a bit older and we’ve been here longer, it may be an option that we could revisit but for now, it’s not an option:)

  2. Tracie  /  2013/02/20, 2:08 pm Reply

    We have not allowed our daughter (she is nine) to sleepover at anyone’s house. Partly because, like you, we don’t know anyone in our area well enough that I would trust them to care for her overnight. But even if we did – I think the answer would still be no. Maybe when she is 13 I will feel differently, but for now there is no question.

    I went to sleepovers a lot when I was a kid, and I do remember a friend who was only allowed to stay until about midnight. She always had fun at the party and probably had much better sleep in her own bed. I think that is a great compromise.
    Tracie recently posted..Be Kind To Yourself

  3. Shell  /  2013/02/21, 4:32 pm Reply

    I think it’s a smart idea to let her participate but pick her up late- anything happening after midnight is probably going to be drama anyway. ;)

    This really hasn’t been an issue with us yet- I don’t think boys are as quick to do slumber parties. Oldest was invited to one once, in kindergarten, but I thought he was way too young.
    Shell recently posted..Pour Your Heart Out: In a Quiet House

  4. Tiffany  /  2013/02/24, 1:17 am Reply

    I only allow my children to spend the night at sleepover parties if I know the other parents very well. Otherwise, we (like you) pick up our child well before midnight. As parents, it is up to me & my spouse to protect our children. My children are still in elementary school and they have plenty of time to prepare for the real world.
    Tiffany recently posted..Colorado Aromatics Parsley Eye Serum Review

  5. Corey Feldman  /  2013/02/27, 12:21 pm Reply

    Nope I agree with you entirely. I am the same way. My kids are still only 4-6 but I am not down with the sleepovers.
    Corey Feldman recently posted..Reviews that made me warm and fuzzy

    • kymberly stewart  /  2013/04/29, 8:53 pm Reply

      I am replying o this late but I am in this situation right now. I say no to sleepovers. I am not comfortable with my child sleeping away from home. It’s a personal choice for every parent. Friends are welcome to visit and I reciprocate with parents that I know well and trust, but when it is time to go to bed every sleeps at their own house.

  6. Pauline Napole  /  2013/05/27, 7:14 am Reply

    My daughters are still very little (almost five and almost two) and personally after staying over at my own friends houses, not often, but a few times from around the age of 7 or 8 I can say that I probably won’t be letting my girls stay at anyones houses other than family or very close friends. (off the top of my head, i would only allow them to stay with two friends houses of which I have known for 15 plus years so you could probably say they are now closer to family). My girls have been raised very close to us so even if I could manage to trust others, I think I would spend the whole night worrying if they were missing home but were too shy or polite to ask to come home. That would kill me wondering. For my daughters up coming 5th birthday, our local little girls pampering store offers sleep over party evenings where they offer cute little facials and they do their hair all pretty and eat cupcakes, play games etc. My daughter loves going to the store for a visit as a treat and I know she wants one of the slumber parties for her birthday. Since she is only five what I have come up with is I have asked two close friends (one is my daughters aunty who has two daughters that are 5 and 7 and the other is my best friend of 15 years who has a daughter who will be five at the time of the party also) if their daughters could attend a ‘mummy and me’ sleep over. The apartment accomodates 8 people easily and I have checked it is fine that have three adults and five little ones in there. It works out much cheaper than attending one of the pamper parties at the store but we are able to duplicate the same treatments/games at the hotel with ourselves. There is an indoor heated pool at the hotel which we can take the girls for a dip. we are able to cook and prepare our own meals while we stay and its like a wee get away for the mums aswell while we don’t have to clean up the glitter and cupcake sparkles off the floor the next day as housekeeping will take care of that. A party package at the pamper store was going to set me back 250 atleast and would only last 2 hours. On booking.com i secured an apartment for much less, 150, sourced pamper items from home for free and can buy 100 dollars worth of goodies and food to cover dinner, breakfast and snacks. It lasts a full 24 hours almost and the girls get time with mummy without the boys for a change. Just an idea

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