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Sleepovers - Good or Bad?

Tonight Jade went on her first sleep over.

I was filled with incredibly mixed feelings about it.

It was her friend’s 8th birthday party.  Not all of the girls were spending the night but about 4 of them were.  I hadn’t planned on letting Jade stay.  And she knew that some were staying but she wasn’t.

About an hour before I panned on picking her up, she called and asked if she could stay.

I caved and let her.

When I was little, I went on many sleepovers.  But I was invited on more than I actually went on.  I loved sleeping in my own house.  And as I got older, my friends would tease me because I would cuddle into who ever was asleep next to me.  (I slept with and cuddled with a stuffed animal unless I was on a sleepover).

My mom and I had a rule that I wasn’t allowed to ask in front of my friend for a sleepover, because she knew I didn’t always want to and if I didn’t ask in front of them, she could gauge how I was feeling that day about not sleeping at home.

I guess I expected Jade to be as hesitant as I was.  But I need to be reminded that she has a lot of Scott in her too, and not just me.  Scott doesn’t have the same insecurities as I have.

So I’m still nervous about her being gone.  I’m nervous about her having nightmares.  Or sleepwalking.  What if she gets anxious or scared in the middle of the night?

How old is old enough to go on sleepovers?  What hesitations do you have with sleepovers, if any?

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11 comments to Sleepovers – Good or Bad?

  • Not being a parent, I had no idea until recently, and reading several blogs about this, how controversial the sleepover thing was. I know many parents who won’t allow their kids to do it. Ever.

    We were allowed to do sleepovers all the time, and we never got into trouble, or had anything bad. I would definitely check in with the other parents and get a firm timeline, but I am OK with them.
    Kristina P.´s last blog post ..Our House Is Still a Very- Very- Very Fine House


  • Cristy

    This used to be a very touchy subject for my husband and I. Due to and incident that happened when my oldest daughter was in Kindergarten we made a no sleepover rule. It was pretty easy to stick by because all her friends parents had the same rule. And then we moved when she was 12, out of our little community, where we were all of the same faith, had the same values, and so on. Then we were constantly being bombarded with sleepover requests. And a lot of these were for Saturday nights. We just don’t do it. Sundays is our family and church day, no friends.. period. Living in a community where everyone shared different beliefs we felt pressured to cave. She was invited to a sleepover, (on a Friday) we sat her down, talked to her about her values and how much we trusted her and sent her off, with a big knot in our stomachs. Everyone does it so we were just being overprotective. Well a few days after the sleepover we found out that the 18 year old sisters brought alcohol to the home and gave it the 12 year olds. That was enough for me and my husband to hold strong to what we believed in, and the next time that a sleepover is brought up we will not hesitate. The good that came out of it: We know now that listening to the spirit and having Him guide us is more important then what other parents are doing. And our daughter got to have a very good lesson on discovering who she is and what type of person she wanted to be. She realized that she needs to stand up for what she believes in and set an example to those around her. So to wrap up this long story.. No we do not have sleepovers.. what good really comes after bedtime hours anyways?


    Sheila Reply:

    Wow–Cristy, that is scary and sad! Nothing good comes after bedtime.

    I recently had a good learning experience, too. I willingly sent my 14yo son somewhere, and immediately felt “wrong” about it. I prayed about it and got a wonderful confirmation that he would be just fine. Shortly after that he called to be picked up, because he felt the “wrongness” of it, too. Lots of learning experiences on the way I suppose!


    Twitter: familytrifecta

    It is so hard but I agree we so need to listen to the spirit. Sometimes we really have to listen even if it doesn’t make any logical sense.

    Thank you so much for sharing your story. It really makes me think harder about the next time she is invited.


  • Sheila

    We do not allow our kids to have or go to sleepovers. Two exceptions only; cousins, and if the parents are going out of town or we need to help out in some way.

    I went to a lot of sleepovers as a kid. No, nothing bad ever happened to me, but I remember feeling weird about sleeping in someone else’s house. I was never comfortable and never really liked it.

    I know my kids well. They are homebodies, like I was. They are 14, 12, and 9 and I haven’t gotten any flack for it yet. They know our rules, and their friends know our rules. End of story.

    Having this rule in place saved my daughter recently (from discomfort, not harm). A friend from church who she doesn’t play with often invited her over for a sleepover. It was actually the mom who asked me if she could. I know the family and I trust them. However, I know my daughter definitely would not have been comfortable there over night. Saying we don’t do sleepovers is an easy out. She understood because a lot of families don’t.

    I am also concerned about the sexual abuse factor, as well as someone falsely accusing me or my husband. Could happen. Has happened to others.

    The kids know the rules and they aren’t going to change.


    Twitter: familytrifecta

    I really struggled with letting her go. I didn’t fall asleep until after midnight and woke up around four in the morning just thinking about her. I was constantly praying that she would be okay. When I finally spoke to her in the morning, you can only imagine my relief that she was happy and had a lot of fun (and was safe).

    I’m also a lot more of a homebody than Jade is.


    Sheila Reply:

    I should mention that I don’t judge anyone harshly for allowing their kids to attend sleepovers. I have friends who do let their kids go, and it works out well for them.

    I am glad she had a good time! Hopefully it will be easier for YOU the next time!:)


  • I am with you. I go back and forth. Before my kids were old enough, I said NEVER. But now that my son is old enough, I have let him…but only with this specific close family friend. However, I have sworn that I will not let my daughter…I am over protective I guess. But then that isn’t really fair. It’s either a rule or not.
    Then there was mention of it in General Conference a little while back and so I am worse torn (is that bad english…eh). Hubs and I are going to go with No more sleepovers.
    Ugh! Being a parent is so hard sometimes.
    stef´s last blog post ..So I Married a Deaf Man- Not a thing!


    Twitter: familytrifecta

    luckily all went well – but the fact that I didn’t sleep the whole night tells me I should probably stick to my plan of no sleepovers. 🙂 Do you remember who gave the talk in GC about it? I think I need to re-read the talk.


    cindy Reply:

    The talk was given by Elder Larry Lawrence entitled, ‘Courageous Parenting’, it is printed in the November 2010 Ensign page 98.
    I remembering listening to this talk, I think I said ‘Amen’ and then shouted for joy. I was so happy to hear a talk on something I personally felt so strong about.
    cindy´s last blog post ..Puff Pancakes


  • Having raised 6 children I am so happy we had a ‘no sleep over rule’. Our oldest was in kindergarten and invited to a sleepover, I did not feel good about it but let her go anyway. The children were shown an R rated movie. This happened in Utah County 30 years ago!
    So we made our rule–many families also adopted this rule. We had ‘stay overs’, kids came at 7 played games, did creative activities, art projects, cooked treats, etc. The fun ended at 10, children were picked up and went home to sleep in their own beds where they belonged.
    We did have friends that we occasionally allowed our children to spend the night with. We also helped out our friends when they needed a night away.
    My daughter had a sweet friend that spent a lot of time at our home. I would not let my daughter spend time at her house because it just was not safe. She had a mentally challenged older brother that was known to be inappropriate and unsupervised.
    As our children got older and went to EFY, girls camp and Scout camp our rules relaxed a bit but I still feel like the best place for kids to sleep is at home.
    We as parents are responsible for the safety of out little ones. I know that no one loves my child like I do. So bring on the ‘stay-overs’.
    I met you on the plane from Chicago to Utah. Thanks for giving me a tour of your I-Pad! You have a fun very thoughtful blog. And your girls are darling! cindy


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