Would you ban your kids from going to a sleepover?

My kids are strictly not allowed to attend sleepovers- they are welcome to invite friends over to ours for one though. It stems from a bad experience I had once as a kid at a sleepover. Never again.

"Yeah, your kids will grow up fearful + odd"

Wow. Giving this kind of parenting advice - given your online persona - is deeply offensive.

woman in the article sounds like a fvcking moron

my wife seems to think sleepovers (in which my five and a half year old is already keenly interested, conceptually) are a big rap. I’m like givvafukk. ARE SLEEPOVERS BAD FOR KIDS????? Well first off, just how many sleepovers are your kids planning to have? Seems unlikely that one now and then is going to kill them

I guess who needs friends anyway when they can play call of duty instead

In your attic room

When they're 32

small man syndrome

you seem to have typed “deeply offensive” when you meant “clearly and exhaustively correct”

The question is a lot more nuanced than you think.  Unless you have kids yourself it is tricky to imagine the kind of scenarios you might come across where, actually, there is a question to be raised about whether allowing your child to sleep over at an acquaintances house is a responsible thing to do.

I've done it (allowed it) and almost immediately / at the same time as permitting it, realised it was actually a very risky decision on my part.  Thankfully nothing bad happened to my child but I think about it more now-a-days and she only really sleeps over at a home where I know exactly who is going to be there and I know the adults in question pretty well.

Yes you're right I've never been a kid myself and have no children in my family and have no idea of how normal human behaviour works.

Christ I would be mortified to have a sleepover banner parent what fcking weirdos.

And they aren't sleeping at an "acquaintance's house", they're sleeping at a friend's house. What a cold and distant life you must lead to think this way.

"... she only really sleeps over at a home where I know exactly who is going to be there and I know the adults in question pretty well"

Surely this is just common sense.

But some of the parents in the article seemed far more dramatic and mental.

The whole question in the article "are sleepovers bad for kids" is totally the wrong question, as is "Seems unlikely that one now and then is going to kill them". 

Its like saying "is 12 bottles of WKD bad for my 15 year old (but 6 would be just fine)?".... errr

This is about parents doing sufficent due diligence on where their child will sleep the night (bearing in mind their child will most likely not be able to defend themselves (or even know they should defend themselves) against anything detrimental which happens to them or infront of them during the course of that night, whatever guise that comes in)

 

This list of shit to worry about if you’re a millennial bed wetting c.unt and your child asks to do a sleepover is hilarious:

How well do we know the other parents? Are there guns in the house? What about alcohol or drugs? What is the risk of covid exposure? Are there older siblings around? Will the kids be watching YouTube or TikTok all night? Is it a girls-only or boys-only gathering? (And what about kids who don’t adhere to binary concepts of gender and sexuality?) What might happen if they stay the night, and what might they miss if they don’t?

“Are there guns in the house” FFS, Try not being American.

“Its like saying "is 12 bottles of WKD bad for my 15 year old (but 6 would be just fine)?".... errr”

I’m not surprised you are err-ing yourself because it is clearly not, in any sense, like saying that.

I think your view would be entirely different Rhamnousia if “something bad” had happened to you as a child during a sleepover.

It’s a choice parents make depending on their own set of considerations- there is no right or wrong answer.

Turning down an invitation is basically calling your kid's friend's parents paedophiles so that is not going to have a neutral effect on their day friendship either.

Maybe it would but guess what something bad doesn't generally happen and it's a bit shit to undermine your kid's development/happiness because of your experience. 

I let my son go on sleepovers but when I mentioned it to a friend she was in the other camp but I understand that, especially with experiences like Honeybun above.  Also like the article said (which I hadn't realised), different cultures do things differently.  If I lived in America I would also perhaps have a different view as not only are you considering how much alcohol the parents might imbibe (and hopefully no drugs) but also the gun issue, that would be a major factor and in those circs unless my child was staying with a very close friend I'd probably be saying no to sleepovers.  In actual fact my son has had v few sleepovers but I cannot count how many he's had a home or friends that have come away with us on holidays (which is an even bigger factor of risk).

Will the kids be watching YouTube or TikTok all night?”

answer to this is a guaranteed yes

heh @ everyone saying “well you need to consider how well you know the host parents” as if this is some incredibly clever point that no parent of any generation before the millennials ever considered

parents have been considering how well they know the host parents before letting their children do sleepovers for literal ever

 

"The repeated refs to "are they vaccinated and boosted" is 👌"

And boosted! LOL

Tell me, how often does your family sterilise its mail?

Was discussing with a friend recently how many of our peers who spent their teens and twenties off their tits and are now bank managers or whatever will go apeshit if someone gives their kid a non organic carrot stick or excess "screen time". Hope those kids grow up to wreak a bloody revenge.

Also Clergs tbftbf I recall you were slagging off parents who leave their kids with resort kids’ clubs a few months ago. What explains your volte-face?

It's like every mother is now that weird mother who wouldn't let her child eat sweets.

"Oh why are kids so depressed now!"

I think the resort club is weird but the sleepover is a noble right of passage. The former has no element of choice for the child while the second is selected by them.

" they're sleeping at a friend's house"

I've not read the article.  I did notice it is based in the States so I kind of discounted it because the viewpoints are going to be extreme, most especially as it starts off with a woman who does not want their child to go on a sleepover but approaches her decision by using google to try to find some kind of (medical??) justification like she thinks she will spring upon something which makes her feel superior and smug compared with other parents who have allowed their children do attend.  So I did not read it beyond that bit.

But your adult "friends" are not your friends because you approve of all aspects of their life including their parenting style and approach to their own children/other children.  They are your friends because you get along with them adult to adult.  It is a dense and lazy approach to decide that because you have had a few great times in the past with Shelly in the next town and you go back years and years, your child will be just fine and dandy sleeping over at her house.

That is not to say it can also be damaging to a childs growth to ban them from things which all of their peers are doing/attending - of course it can.

Cicely Thrasher grew up staying at her friends' houses every weekend but she thinks modern parenting is different. Wtf. They are all helicopter parents raising useless snowflake children? It's child abuse.

Depriving your kids of these experiences just because you had a bad experience as a kid is statistically illiterate and incredibly self-absorbed and selfish.

It's even worse if you didn't though - classic pulling the ladder up behind you of the current parenting generation.

children love resort clubs

I also had to heh @

MODERN PARENTING IS DIFFERENT!!!!!!

yes of course it is sweetie, you are unique and special and your generation invented everything

"I think your view would be entirely different Rhamnousia if “something bad” had happened to you as a child during a sleepover.

It’s a choice parents make depending on their own set of considerations- there is no right or wrong answer."

No.

The actual level of risk to your child is unrelated to your own previous experience. Allowing it to cloud your decision about what they are allowed to do is understandable but irrational. 

I would be pretty hacked off if my parents had not allowed me to go on sleepovers, or more generally to be away from home overnight on school trips, staying with friends, even going on holiday with friends' families.

 

I allowed my 8 year old daughter to go to a sleepover of her 8 year old classmate at the house in the village of a family I knew at the time as an acquaintance only.  

It was a father in recent bereavement from his wife of many decades having died of cancer.  Well to do family financially, recently moved into area from somewhere very local (for school catchment reasons).  He has 3 sons  who at the time of the sleepover were 14, 13 and 11, none of whom I had met.

Father was pushy in his approach and sent me awkward emails which had a really obvious mimic of female school gate gossip (very obviously not something he would say) "x would just love for [my daughters name] to come to a sleepover tonight" etc i.e gushing.

i was extremly conflicted because on the one hand my daughter genuinely got on well with the girl, the outward signs of the family were all good and the boys (accordingly to hearsay) were doing well at school (relevant?? I think not) but the reality of the matter was the father wanted to achieve a friend to come over for a sleepover and nothing else (like most men heading up a family of kids unexpectedly and alone).

After I agreed that my daughter should go, I reflected on the fact that I had had less than half a dozen conversations with this guy, seen him out and about in the village but never set foot further than the hallway of his home.  

So ROF, should you ban your kids from attending a sleepover at a persons house because of their life circumstances (they are a widow/widdower)?  Should you give someone the spanish inquisition before you allow you child beyond their front door? 

She was fine as it happens but in all honesty I knew more or less nothing about this family of substance apart from that they lived in a big house and the kids were doing very well at the school the attended (on paper).

People with drugs in the house only ever take drugs when they have kids sleeping over.

There is no risk of them taking drugs if they know the kid is going home at 8.00pm after dinner.

If they know the kid is staying over they get irresistible cravings to start cooking up and offering the kids a fix too.

living in a big house and your kids doing well at school are probably 90% of the proof you need that a sleepover is safe, TBF

nobody I know takes drugs fgs I live in the weald of Kent and have a four bedroomed house 

"So ROF, should you ban your kids from attending a sleepover at a persons house because of their life circumstances (they are a widow/widdower)?  "

WTF ?

OK Laz, but what about paedos? They only paed on sleepovers and don't have any urges during daytime play dates?

more to the point

declining to let your kids do a particular sleepover because you don’t know or trust the host parents is not “banning your children from sleepovers”, it’s using your normal judgement as a human being

By the way Laz, the people I know with the most out of control cocaine hobbies are actually some housewives from Kent. They get bored at home and so drink gallons of Oyster Bay whilst tooting Charlie all afternoon.

"Better make sure my wife doesn't die of cancer. Don't want to turn into a paedo."

This is exactly the wiff of paranoia and defensiveness this particular male acquaintance gave off in his emails to me.

As a general rule I’m ok with sleepovers unless there’s a specific (and serious) concern, in which case just decline it and cite whatever reason - sod the awkwardness.

There was one instance where I’d heard a rumour about the dad being “inappropriate” with his own kids.  I’d seen no evidence of it myself, quite the opposite actually, and I liked him, but I didn’t know him that well and decided not to take the risk.  

But I’d never refuse just because I thought they’d be eating junk food or not going outside enough.

Like all these things, it is fact sensitive. 

Does the family in question have a large dog, are the parents alcoholics, what are the siblings of the host family like etc etc. 

Certainly until they were in about year 6, ours didn't have sleepovers at anyone else but members of our family and our best family friends who we knew and trusted 100%.

I don't really see why a sleepover is conceptually different to an (unaccompanied) daytime play date. I am not sure child abusers are like werewolves or something and turn bad when the moon comes out.

The time my (then 9 year old) son came back with a cut on his backside because his friend's big sister and her mates had all got p1ssed and broken a wine glass in the hot tub (and he then sat on a piece of glass) did give me slight pause. But the parents had stuck some anti septic on it and put a plaster on and he seemed to think it was great larks so ya know.

Oh and for the record 6 bottles of WKD (now and again) IS absolutely fine for a 15 year old ffs.  

"Oh and for the record 6 bottles of WKD (now and again) IS absolutely fine for a 15 year old ffs. "

i've never actually drunk a bottle of WKD but thanks for the heads up. 

A lot of 15 year olds (or similar age teens) are going to "try to" kill themselves in one way or another at some point.  If you stop that it will come out in different ways anyway.

am I reading it wrong'y? is the jist of the post "haha he's just so DESPERATE to give his daughter a normal life without her mum"

That whole post has a very odd tone, but no I think the jist of it is she felt sorry for the guy so agreed to something she might not have done otherwise.  

Rham

Yes you are reading it wrongly.  The "haha" bit is exactly the bit not in my post because i was not laughing, and clearly nor was he.  (He did seem quite angry and indignant towards a lot of the local school families tho not that he tried to integrate beyond what he needed to do eg playdates).

That does not take away from the fact that you have to know where your child (aged 8) is going to sleep overnight, does it?

Apart from Rhamnousia, it would be interesting to know whether posters on this thread are mums or dads…seems like dads mainly but I could be wrong.

OK, I concede WKD is an exceptionally poor choice of booze and I would make fun of them, but you know, kids eh. 

I am flabbergasted that you were in a quandary about letting your kid go for a sleepover with a recently bereaved widower. Utterly gobsmacking. 

Sleepovers are fine unless the parents are clearly oddballs and more importantly as long as my kids actually want to go. Kids who aren’t allowed them turn out weird. 

he's probably fcking raging that he has all these kids and a dead wife and has to do balance all the mad rules of the modern mummyverse while doing his damn job why can't they just GO TO EACH OTHER'S HOUSES LIKE IN THE PAST why is this a THING TO ORGANISE???????

I couldn’t get a grip on what anon123’s problem with the male parent was tbh, his/hee post seemed to be written in some lane psychobabble pidgin. I assumed it was just misandry tbh. OH HIS EMAILS SEEMED TO BE TRYING TO SOUND LIKE A SCHOOL GATE MUM BUT HE’S A MAN!!!! A MAN I TELL YOU!!!

genuinely about 30% of the reason I didn't have kids is the godawful fckery of other parents

I know you CAN ignore and avoid them but then everyone says you're a sleepover weirdo if your partner dies

" "haha he's just so DESPERATE to give his daughter a normal life without her mum"

His emails to me sounded gushing and like he was copying how the local mums would arrange a playdate.  I have literally never heard a man talk like that before or since.  In a verbal conversation he did not talk like that.  He was defensive tho, like other families he had asked similar things of had said no, and he had decided it was because he was a single (male) parent.

Thats not the point tho, the point is how are you supposed to do due diligence on whether your child will be safe in a situation like that? hence my first post that the question is nuanced.

I think everyone is being unfair to anon here...

I think the point is she didn't know the guy and he made no effort to get to know her before asking to have her kid over to stay for the night but she took a view because he was going through a lot and it was understandable he was acting slightly weirdly. 

he is prbably profoundly depressed and was trying to conjure an upbeat and bubbly tone while inside wishing he could join the love of his life in the grave

"it's just so WEIRD"

why would he get to know her??????? my parents didn't hang out with my friends' parents, that would be fcking odd!

I went on lots of amazing trips & adventure camps with scouts/church etc as a kid, and sadly was sexually abused at one when I was 10.  I'm still glad I got to go to lots of amazing trips & adventure camps as a kid. 

It's like someone lamped you at a pub once, and now you're sorry you ever went to a pub ever and would never let your children go to a pub.

My kids go on overnight trip and camps too Warren. Just not at other people's houses, not least because I am an anti-social mum and barely know any other other parents at the school gates.

They can be whatever they want to be Rham. Sadly they are very social which means I often find my house full of teenage boys. 

It is fact sensitive but it’s about how low you set your boundary.

If it’s just “oh they won’t go outside enough” then you’re being a bit of a fanoise.

Donny Darko's Soundrack18 Jan 23 09:30's got it.

Clearly not this guy's fault but if his wife (or even a significant female figure) had been around, I would have found it 110% easier to get to ok with the decision (even without particularly feeling like I liked the woman or she might become a friend).   And if he had had a woman / female relative in the picture setting this up I am pretty sure he would have delegated that to her - not all men are like that but a fair number i know are and I would never criticise them for it.

Fine if you don't like that.

You might say don’t let your kids ride bikes as they might get knocked over by a car. Or don’t let them play down the park with their mates as they might get kidnapped. But that would be mental. 
 

As long as you aren’t sending them to a sleepover with a catholic priest or a Frenchman odds are they will be fine. 

As long as you aren’t sending them to a sleepover with a catholic priest or a Frenchman odds are they will be fine. 

 

three years of French exchanges and a Catholic boarding school never did me any harm. 

honeybun18 Jan 23 09:35 I can relate.

I do think the mummy network is a real thing (for better or worse, in my view often for worse hence I quite often avoid but I know how it works).

Rhamnousia18 Jan 23 09:42 that is totally provocative and an utterly stupid anaolgy.

My example was to demonstrate that it is really difficult to make the call about whether you child will be safe, and not, as you insinuate, that i am deciding in advance whether another family is naice enough.   

Who knows whether any couple (or single parent, being a single parent myself I can say it is difficult to be all things to all men) is going to be friendly and open enough for you to get a sense that your child will be safe overnight in their house. I don't give a shite what their relationship is provided my child is safe and well cared for and not in danger in their home.

Eight years of my childhood was basically one giant sleepover including the early days of secondary school which meant a three month sleepover with a bunch of people you'd never met before overseen by a bloke you'd met when he interviewed a couple of years early who didn't provide much supervision after lights out. Some bad things happened and some good things happened but overall it was a positive experience.  In the holidays I was also regularly parked at the houses of friends because our parents were all going to the same party and it was easier to pool kids together and get one babysitter.  Also generally all good fun.

Im massively pro sleepovers. Either hosting or sending. And the list of things the Karens in that article were worried about was a bit ridic. “Vaccine status” “hard liquor” - oh FFS.

Tbf I think the main problem is Americans. I would be genuinely concerned about guns. I mean who the fook wouldnt be?

Equally tbh I would be worried about MAGA lunatics and Dems who might forcibly vaccinate the kids and sell them into slavery as some sort of dumb-ass reparations.

Laz is right about big detached houses being enough DD. Sleepovers in leafy Tonbridge are obvs gonna be fine. Over here in East Kent 9/10 are equally gonna be fine. Tho Worfette #2 (12) has a lovely friend who lived in a council house so appalling it made even me wince. Single mum and 15yr older brother. I came up with some gentle reason for her not to sleepover if she didnt want to and she grabbed it with both hands. Feel really sorry for her friend. Keep offering sleepover at ours out of guilt.

Tbh the mums are on the mums whats app group.

Any dad on the whats app group would automatically be a bit sus imho.

* that i am deciding in advance whether another family is naice enough.   

that meant to also say "or alternatively that I am a bigot or a homophobe"

Sleepovers in leafy Tonbridge are obvs gonna be fine. Over here in East Kent 9/10 are equally gonna be fine. Tho Worfette #2 (12) has a lovely friend who lived in a council house so appalling it made even me wince. Single mum and 15yr older brother. I came up with some gentle reason for her not to sleepover if she didnt want to and she grabbed it with both hands. Feel really sorry for her friend. Keep offering sleepover at ours out of guilt.

 

The state of this.

"getting to know the family" is fruitless

a high profile case up here about ten years ago involved the best friend of a family (and head of a young person's charity) being the leader of a paedophile ring that was raping children, including the toddler godson of said ringleader and "sharing" him with an HIV positive "friend". The parents of that child trusted him utterly, knew him (they thought) completely, had no doubts whatsoever about leaving the kid in his care.

You can't know if someone is "the right sort". You need to trust your kids to make their own decisions.

By all means be available on the phone if they want to come home. But teaching them they can't do anything unless everything is "fulled checked" is just pointless and harmful.

I had one school friend whose parents kept goats and were massively into goats milk being good for everything.  Actually he was acquaintance than friend as he was rather odd and I used to go to great lengths to avoid sleepovers at his place.

"You can't know if someone is "the right sort". You need to trust your kids to make their own decisions."

You mean by allowing an 8 year old to make their own assessments and follow their instincts?

Ironically, this sort of thinking is a big part of a lot of peoples reasoning for not letting their kid have black/gay/different friends.  "but how can I be sure when those other people are not exactly like me".

We generally call that sort of thing bigotry. 

yes, 8 year olds can make their own decisions about who they enjoy spending time with. I don't understand when this shift to view everyone under 15 as incapable blobs happened.

Whats wrong with it HB?

Am I supposed to march in with an open mind but politely ask the mum if she doesnt mind filling out a DD questionnaire so I can do a formal risk assessment?

I still don't understand anon's point either

it SEEMS like she doesn't trust a household with no female caregiver, right?

X

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