Sleepovers: The Good, The Bad, The Ugly

 Sleepovers, the good, the bad, and the ugly

Sleepovers have elicited some strong emotions among parents lately.  Many parents are choosing to skip the sleepovers and opt for other friend-bonding experiences.

It seems like kids come programmed to want sleepovers.  There’s something exciting about having guests overnight.  I have lots of fun memories about sleepovers and all the crazy activities that happened on those late nights.  I used to have birthday party sleepovers when I was in elementary school.  Then, as I got older, and my friends didn’t have curfews, I would sleepover at their houses to avoid my own curfew (sorry mom and dad).

Of course there are so many fun times involved with sleepovers.  Truth or Dare.  MASH.  Pranks.  Ghost Stories.  Friendships really can be made and solidified with those late night, soul-bearing, sharing conversations.  You learn more about your friend’s family when you see them first thing in the morning.

Children can gain independence when they sleep away from family.  They can adapt better in circumstances like scout camps, sports camps, and other activities that require nights away from home if they’ve had the opportunity to participate in sleepovers.

Those are the good parts of sleepovers.

But there are bad parts of sleepovers.

The pranks can become humiliating or destructive.  Making someone share their deepest secrets can provide fuel for taunting and cyber bullying later when those friendships dwindle.

You don’t have control over what your children will be exposed to when they are at someone else’s home.  The friend’s family may be okay showing rated R movies to children under 17.  The family may be okay walking around in very little clothing. (Charlie Sheen’s family walked around naked, yikes! No wonder he’s so messed up!)

The kids really don’t get any sleep.

Neither do the parents.

As a parent, it would make me nervous to be responsible for so many extra children.  We are already very protective about our home with just our precious children.  I can’t imagine how nervous I would be having several precious children in my home.

There are also ugly parts of sleepovers.

Parts no one likes to talk about.  Abuse can happen at sleepovers.  This is the main reason my sister doesn’t allow sleepovers.

How well do you really know your children’s friend’s parents?  How well do you know their siblings?  What would you do if a child who had stayed at your home accused you of abuse?


Where do you stand on the spectrum of sleepovers?  Do you allow your children to sleep at other’s homes?  Do you allow friends to sleep at your home?

Currently my stance is only family.  I trust my family.  I trust my siblings and their spouses.  I trust my nieces and nephews.  When my husband and I travel, there will be sleepovers, usually at grandma’s, but I’m not going to stop cousins from staying over as well.   Maybe I will revise my opinions as my children get older, but I don’t see the need for sleepovers with friends.  I think late nights will work just as fine, and have better results than the actual sleepover.

We’d love to hear your thoughts!

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About Anne Banks

Hi, I'm Anne! I am an active learner on this crazy road called life. I love learning about anything, but currently spend most of my study time researching parenting tips and improving health. I get excited about crafting, reading, running, baking, and spending time with my three crazy boys (in no particular order, and sometimes at the same time)! I love sharing what helps me get through the day, and I hope my tips help you!

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5 Responses to Sleepovers: The Good, The Bad, The Ugly

  1. Life Breath Present September 5, 2014 at 12:51 pm #

    There are definitely things to think about, ebb though I’m sure we’re Manu Yeats off from the thought of sleepovers. Right now though, I think family is great, late nights are wonderful. Yet, I’m not drawing a hard and fast rule on them just yet. :)

    • Anne Banks September 8, 2014 at 8:53 am #

      Thanks for stopping by. We agree its hard to set hard, fast rules because you don’t know what the future will hold. Ultimately it is what is best for your kids.

  2. Sharon M September 9, 2014 at 9:24 pm #

    The majority of sleepovers happen at my house, my daughter just turned eleven. I let my daughter have one friend sleepover occasionally but larger groups only stay for birthdays. I am expecting a surprise baby lol in November, but being an only child for so long (and not having any kids in the family) I always welcomed other children over. I dont like odd numbers at sleepover b/c someone usually feels left out & my daughter has had the same, small group of best friends for years so I’m lucky to know the kids well, as well as their parents. My daughter & I have a very close relationship, her & her girlfriends are always confiding in me/telling me the ‘hot gossip’ and sometimes they’ll even let me play board games with them. I am really lucky & truly trust my daughter’s judgement, she always asks if she’s unsure if something is appropriate (when it comes to tv shows or movies) if we didn’t have this type of relationship I’m sure I’d feel different about things! But she’s a good kid, gets straight A’s, and works hard so I tend to be more laid back about these things. But I do prefer to have kids at my home rather then her staying at others unless I know the parents/kids.

    • Anne Banks September 11, 2014 at 4:18 pm #

      Sharon, it sounds like you have a good handle on how sleepovers are run, it’s very typical to how I was raised. Like I said in the post, I may change my mind as my son gets older and I know his friends and their families very well…
      Thanks for stopping by!

    • alain atam November 30, 2014 at 7:38 am #

      hello!!Sharon,i wish you and your belove familly the best.I like the way you talk of Sleepover with emphassy laid on parental vigilance,i am tempted to say you are more than a carring mom.congratulations and keep on keeping on.God bless you and your entire household.