Do you allow your kids to participate in sleepovers? I’m personally not a fan of blanket directives because each family is unique. You have to make a decision about what is best for your family based on the pros and cons of having sleepovers.
I was recently on Fox 35 Orlando to talk about the pros and cons of sleepovers. It’s hard to have an in-depth discussion on a topic like this in four minutes, so I’d like to dig in a little deeper here on the podcast with you.
Did you go to sleepovers when you were a kid? If you did, what happened at those sleepovers? There was likely a lot of talking about other people, eating sugar, and staying up all night. Maybe you did things you probably shouldn’t do along the way. Maybe your experiences make you say never to sleepovers. Maybe you had great experiences with sleepovers that you want your kids to have as well.
Pros of Sleepovers
Here are some pros of participating in sleepovers:
- Social development in an unstructured, relaxed environment
- Cultivation of independence in your child
- Creation of defining, lasting memories and friendships
- Space to learn to make good decisions and problem solve
- Building trust with parents and friends
Cons of Sleepovers
What about the cons of sleepovers? There are downsides such as:
- Possibility for bullying
- Shattering of trust
- Inappropriate behavior
- Exposure to drugs and alcohol
- Sleep deprivation and its results or consequences
- Disruption of routines
- Exclusion of some children
Is There a Middle Ground on Sleepovers for Your Family?
Before you choose to take an always-or-never stance on sleepovers, I challenge you to think outside the box and see if there’s another path that might work for your family. It’s important to know your children. It’s critical to have good communication. If you choose to allow or host sleepovers, know and communicate what you expect of your kids and those participating.
In the Albers’ family, we were generally not pro going to other homes for sleepovers. Some of this had to do with our family size and dynamics. I couldn’t have five kids running to five different places. Because my kids’ extracurricular activities, we were also often busy on the weekends making a Friday night sleepover difficult to participate in those activities the rest of the weekend. We built a life that was busy or full to meet the goals and needs of our family. Sleepovers didn’t naturally fit into that plan for us most of the time.
Here are some additional things to consider to help you decide if sleepovers are good for your family:
- Why are you opposed to or hesitant to let your child attend sleepovers?
- Is there a legitimate concern for your child?
- Is this is a declaration that your friends have made?
- Did you have a bad experience with sleepovers?
- Do you know everybody who will be there?
- Will the parents be home?
- How many kids are expected to attend?
- Is this a party or a time to hang out with close friends?
- Ask your child why they want to go.
- Ask questions to gauge whether your kid can stand up to peer pressure and awkward situations.
Open, honest communication is the key to all of this. Be sure to take the time to explain the responsibility and the dangers that come with sleepovers, wherever your family decides to land on the subject.
Join me in the next episode where we will dive a little deeper into the topic of hosting sleepovers!
References and Links
The following may contain affiliate links.
- Learn more about Parenting Beyond the Rules
- 7 Tips to Improve Listening to Your Teen – ETB #16
- You Can Overcome the Character Crisis – ETB #65
- How to Handle Bullying with Candice Duggar (Part I) -ETB #42
- How to Fight for Your Family: 3 Tips for Picking Your Battles – ETB #83
- Teach the Principle Behind the Rules – ETB #88
- Resolve Conflict to Restore Relationships – ETB #106
- Raising Resilient Kids with Dr. Kathy Koch – ETB #133
- How to Deal with Mom Guilt – ETB #152
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