At the Gresh home, it seemed like last summer was sleepover season. And with Pinterest providing a plethora of picture-perfect inspiration, it’s unlikely that this summer will be any different. When school was not in session I often found myself with one less big and important excuse to say “no,” even though I usually wanted to, knowing that I would be the one paying for a sleepless night in the days to come.
I wasn’t very intentional about how I would handle sleepovers, but the conversation has changed dramatically. In recent years, slumber parties have come under the scrutiny of discerning moms. And for good reason: Many times these parties are not well-supervised, leaving the kids (usually girls, let’s face it) vulnerable to unfiltered internet access and Netflix selections that you hope your child will never watch!
After a lot of prayer and advisements from moms, I decided that there are three reasonable responses to sleepover drama.
One is to have a “no sleepover” policy. I’ve had friends adopt this, and their children survived quite well despite what everyone around them says.
The second is to let your child go to sleepovers only at homes where you know the family well and have confidence that what the girls will be doing is safe and morally appropriate. This policy is something I suggest you ease into when your kids are 10, 11, or 12 but not much earlier. Before this, a child isn’t really emotionally ready for it and there’s even a lot of evidence that the stress can trigger things like bed-wetting.
But I think the best option is to be the host home. And that’s what I primarily opted for when I was raising my kids. (There were a few sleepovers at other homes, but they were always well-trusted friends.)
Keep in mind that if you’re a “no sleepover” mom, you can host a “pajama party.” Your younger kids will love the thrill of having friends over in their jammies even if the party ends before the sunset.
What’s your position on sleepovers? Do you allow them or avoid them or something in between?