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Mom's Talk Question: Sleepovers: Love Them or Hate Them? Why?

We ask. You answer. Participate in this online discussion.

As your kids come to you asking permission to have some friends over for a sleepover, do you embrace this opportunity for your child to socialize with their friends, or is it your worst nightmare?

What kind of parameters do you set? And what about the parents of the kids staying over. Are they asking for specific things for you to allow their kids to do?

How has technology influenced your decisions?

Thanks for your participation. And don't let this be the end but the beginning of this conversation. Take it into real-time face-to-face discussions at home and with fellow parents.

 

QUESTION: Sleepovers. Love them or hate them? Why?

ANSWER: You tell us. Login in the upper right hand corner. It's free and only takes about 20 seconds. Then comment on this article. Share your views and get some advice. Suggest future questions for discussion.

Lake Forest-Lake Bluff Patch invites you and your circle of friends to help build a community of support for mothers and their families right here in Lake Forest and Lake Bluff.

Every Wednesday in Moms Talk, our Moms Council of experts and smart moms take your questions, give advice and share solutions.

Moms, dads, grandparents and the diverse families who make up our communities will have a new resource for the thousands of issues that arise while raising children.

So grab a cup of coffee and settle in as we start the conversation today with a question from the Lake Forest-Lake Bluff Patch's Mom's Council.

The Lake Forest-Lake Bluff Moms Council will share their insights along with you.

shelley March 16, 2011 at 05:53 PM
HATE THEM!!! They are worthless. Nothing good ever happens after 10:00pm anyway. No sleep for kids, no sleep for parents equals disaster. Technology or no technology, the kids will find a way to stay up and rob themselves of a valuable night's sleep.
Robin March 16, 2011 at 06:12 PM
Hate them as well. I've learned my lesson as my kids have grown up, my poor youngest son! When he is allowed on a sleepover, they are usually Friday nights so he has the whole weekend to recover. We pick him up pretty early in the morning, so the after effects of a sleepover do not disrupt the whole weekend. Sleepovers for my high school age kids, never!!
Robin Bermel March 16, 2011 at 06:21 PM
Haven't been there yet, but I LOVED them as a teen! I still keep in touch with my school friends, and sleep0vers were part of the bonding. My six-year-old declared that she knew who she wanted on her first sleepover... it was a boy. So there's a big eye roll on what to do. I trust the experiences of those who have gone before me with "kids today", however, and will hold off as best I can. Thanks Shelley and Robin for the heads up!
Kay March 16, 2011 at 07:05 PM
I feel it depends on the group and the numbers invited. We've had rowdy kids and quiet kids. Rules are always established early in the evening. For our teens - lights must be out by midnight at the latest. Our kids never have a problem. I can't say that the same is true when our kids go elsewhere. I'd say it doesn't depend so much on the kids as it does the parents and the rules. What I really don't understand is the new found boy/girl sleepovers for large groups.
Kay March 16, 2011 at 07:09 PM
I do have to add that what I don't like about sleepovers with the advent of technology and Facebook is that photos from every waking moment in some kids' lives seem to make it to the pages of Facebook. This new technology which appears on some kids' phones, as well as computers, lends itself to a lot of hurt feelings, particularly when kids see friends getting together and for whatever reason they aren't invited. Pictures are out there for all to see. Teens have enough going on in their lives.
Nina Vallone March 16, 2011 at 07:24 PM
They are the most unnecessary right of passage! I definitely am on "Team Hate Them." The younger kids lose so much sleep and are wrecked the next day, and the older ones have too much potential for disaster when it comes to technology. Having said that, the kids love them so much!! As a compromise, we do allow sleepovers when we know the child and family well. We try to limit it to one or two kids at a time. Why do we allow it? Because the kids have so much fun, and they are getting older and more responsible with going to sleep when we ask. A great new rule I learned from a mom with teenagers: Collect all cell phones when everyone comes in. Tell them 'everyone you need to be with is here in this room' and be sure to let the kids parents know they can call your cell or house phone if they need to get in touch with their child. This helps the late night texting and inevitable picture uploading later. At the end of the day, with all my annoyance and complaining about sleepovers, it was one of my favorite things to do when I was a tween. Remember playing "Mary Worth" and seances? I think I just dated myself.....
Megan Morris March 17, 2011 at 02:25 AM
I can't say hate (I don't have high schoolers yet) but they are NOT my favorite activity. In fact, when the kids ask, I usually tense up thinking about how it will affect the next day. Our rule was that you couldn't have a sleepover until age 8. (that didn't apply to close family friends and cousins) But our youngest turned 8 at the end of December and I've been dragging my feet on letting him have sleepovers. Love the idea of collecting phones and discouraging their use. It seems very odd to be responsible for kids under my roof and yet have no idea who they're communicating with and when. I don't mind the sleepovers as much when they are planned ahead. It's the last minute add-on that throws us for a loop. We'll be at a family function, the kids will run into their friends, and the next minute they're negotiating for sleepovers. It always seems to work best when we can farm one out if we take one in! They are a childhood highlight!
marcy kowalski March 17, 2011 at 02:52 AM
Not there yet, but I agree at this point with all of the good and bad from previous comments. In heading that way, I would opt for rules up front, NO TECHNOLOGY, only boys or only girls and a reasonable size group depending on the age. There is plenty of fun to be had without technology. And yes, the tiredness for all involved is BRUTAL!
Samina March 21, 2011 at 06:16 PM
I haven't had the subject come up yet since my children are so young, but I think I am in the 'hate them' camp. That being said, I grew up in a tight-knit first-generation immigrant population in Chicago, of families which came from the same part of India and who knew each other for (many, many) generations 'back home', so sleepovers were generally with families who had known each other very well. I would not feel comfortable sending my child to the home of a complete stranger, knowing nothing about the host or hosting family. The nice thing about our community is that parents of children who are friends, do tend to get to know each other with time. I am not sure what I will end up doing as my kids get older, but I most definitely agree with the NO TECHNOLOGY, same sex only, rules.
Leigh Ann April 26, 2011 at 05:50 PM
I hear all the negatives.... there are some not-great aspects to this. One thing I really do like is this: The kids love the extended playtime. Their lives are so busy and they just don't have the freedom to run the neighborhood as we did when I was that age... so a sleepover is a perfect opportunity to get together for several hours, share a meal, and not have to wrap up after a couple hours. My 8 year old has only done it a couple times and I do think it helps to still have a bedtime-- 10 or so if on a Friday seems to be ok.

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