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  • Living simply is not so much about the particulars of our lives as much as it is about the principles that govern them. Knowing what God has called you to do, and then doing it--that's living simply.

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adele

Wow...I can't imagine life without sleepovers!

But I agree that it's always VERY important to know the family. I had a horrible incident when I was young and went to a family's home for a sleepover. It was the one time my mom didn't know the family well. Yikes. So, I'm careful about that.

But Hannah has had sleepovers with cousins since she was a toddler (yeah, she loved them THAT much) and really good friends since she was about 7 (preferably at our house). This past year in Colorado, I would allow Hannah to have a big sleepover a few times a year with four or five of her good friends. When those happen, I tend to be "mean mom" after a certain hour and demand they go to bed. Thankfully, we've only had a few times where we really "paid for it" the next day.

I find that sleepovers allow the girls to build an extra level of bonding, and I have the ability to minister to the girls who are over (like pray with all of them as they are snuggled into bed).

In fact, Hannah is hoping to have a local friend over this Friday for her first Phoenix sleepover. :)

Yvette

Sleepovers are overated frankly. I guess being a person that values her quiet, personal time at night I would just assume that my kids would want the same. Sleep is precious and it becomes very obvious when they (or I) don't get enough of it. We are fans of the PJ playdate, pizza, movie, nail painting and go home. My girls don't share a room anymore and they will on occassion have a sleepover in one of their rooms or in the loft where they bring all of their animals and "camp out". Maddie has had one sleep over and it just seemed impossible to settle them down when it's really well past time for them to go to bed....I end up looking like a tyrant. So, as a general rule we don't host or have the girls go to sleepovers. They have stopped asking.

brenda

We don't have them anymore here either. After a few sleepovers at daughter's bff's house (her mom kept my kids for me when I worked full-time for 3 years so it's not like i couldn't trust her) and coming home early with a migraine b/c the family hadn't eaten near the time we usually eat or someone got sick and yes the crabbies the next day and UG! I hate the after-effects of sleepovers. There was the time she went to a slumber party and best I can tell fell asleep watching goodness knows what on TV at 3:30 in the morning. "No one put me to bed Mommy." AACK!

I love the idea of pajama playdates! How smart is that?

Melissa @ Breath of Life

We've done sleepovers since CJ (11) was in 3rd or 4th grade...I can't remember exactly. They're not very frequent, and I make certain I know the entire family very well. I have that luxury in a small town, and I know the parents who are on the same page as hubby & I. We've never had a problem with the girls staying up too late when they've been at my house (I'm also a "mean mom"), or when she's been gone.

We did have one incident when CJ was at another's house for a sleepover that led to huge discussions for us as a family, and we've distanced CJ from that particular friend. But it would've happened even if she hadn't spent the night.

Having said all that...we're extremely picky about who stays & where CJ goes to stay. There are some girls I automatically say NO to, and although she may fuss a little, she is mature enough to understand why (and I think she even agrees with us in most cases)

Laura

my oldest is 6, but it's already an issue. I have a friend with whom - our kids play together. Very similar in ages. Even tho I like their bedtime rituals, think they'd be perfectly safe, know she'd do whatever they needed at whatever hour-- we have a no- sleepover agreement. We have out of town family with whom we do, but we don't stack nights (2 in a row ) if we can help it because it becomes a disaster. Kids become crazy, they need their parents & the structure. We have watched kids for folks when they didn't have family and needed an extended 'night out'/date, and it would just be easier. But that was occasional, not the norm (about 2 times a year)
my 2 cents...

KristinF

I grew up with the same girlfriends from preschool all the way through high school and we had sleep overs all the time. We stayed up too late and ate ridiculous foods and giggled and talked all night long. We often had slumber parties with 5-6 girls. I would not take back any of those nights, they are some of my fondest memories growing up. Several of our friends just did not have sleepovers, even in High School. I never questioned why, it was just something they did not do.
As a mom of boys, I think it comes up a little less frequently than it would with girls. My boys started sleep overs young, even though it was always with family. As they got older we had a few with friends, but they have always been with people I know and know well enough to trust the care of my child with them. However there have been a few times where I said to myself "no way" and had to find a nice reason why not, because I knew the family and that our rules or standards were too different. When there are kids here for a sleep over I tell them when it is time to go to sleep and they always have, with no arguing and I have never felt mean. My husband coaches a lot of these kids that stay over and maybe there is a different kind of relationship with these boys that makes it easier?
I have seen some kids that do need a certain amount of sleep and if they miss it then their life is turned upside down for a bit. I knew people in college who could pull all nighters finishing papers or studying, others there was no way they could function like that so they went to bed early to get up at 3am and study. I think God just makes us different that way.
I agree with you Joanne 100% that it is a very personal family decision and one best made by parents who know their kids and what they can handle.

Jeanie

I think this is different for boys and girls. My 13 year old BOY has friends sometimes for sleepovers and it doesn't seem to have a negative impact. They do just fine.

However, it's all different for my 18 year old GIRL. I'd say that starting at age 15 or 16 they seem to transition well into possibly having sleepovers although I can't say that it has ever worked well for more than just one other friend or a couple at most. Birthdays where we have had huge group sleepovers almost always end in tears or trouble.

When my daughter was 9 or 10 alot of girls had sleepovers and she usually made it through the night at their homes but the next day was just brutal. She was so crabby that I said no more until she was older and didn't need as much sleep.

I think between ages 9 and 15 it was especially hard to have her sleep at someone else's house or for her to have a friend here. It just seemed like we suffered the consequences of too little sleep for the rest of our weekend and we just weren't willing to make that sacrifice on a regular basis.

Like I said before, about 15 it seems like they figure out sleepovers and maybe it's just that they can operate on less sleep but now at 18..she regularly has people spend the night and it is delightful.

If I had it to do over, I'd definitely set more of a precedent on things like sleepovers but I think that I fell to "other parent peer pressure".

Kim

I know that sleepovers for boys aren't as common, however, in Jr. High my son and some of his friends were staying overnight with another friend. A family I thought I knew well. He came home the next day with both of his ears pierced!!!! Need I say more . . . I certainly didn't give permission for it. The other mother did and never said a word to me. My son knew I would say 'no' because he had already asked after several other boys in his grade were doing this.

My children are both adults, but if I had to do it over again we would have a no-sleep-over-rule at our house.

Farm Fresh Jessica

I didn't know you were a home birth mama! cool.

My plan is no sleepovers. My kids are young, but we even had to stop sleepovers at Grandma's--the after effects were too negative to make the time to myself worth it.

I like the pajama playdate idea!

Tammy

I have loved reading your thoughts about sleepovers and all the comments too. My little one is 6 and sleepovers haven't been an issue yet.

I have to say in my heart, I have always thought sleepovers were something I would not like her to do...for many of the same reasons you and others listed, but if I hadn't read your post and the other comments I probably would have caved into the "parent peer pressure." Now I feel much more confident in my feelings and don't feel so alone in my thinking.

I'm going to remember the pajama playdate. That's a great idea!

Kathleen  Jaeger

Hey, I am a homebirth momma, too! (2 of 4)

Interesting that you would post the question about sleepovers just after the first time we have had a friend sleepover at our house (for my 11 yr old son). Although my kids have been to sleepovers, this was our first time hosting. It went real smooth. I was pleased. We did have them turn out the lights but we fell asleep to their talking. (So we're not sure how late they stayed up! oops!)
I like hearing the comments & thoughts to consider about sleepovers. I, too, loved sleeping over at my friend's house when I was a kid but my favorite times were when it was just two of us rather than a big group.
Also, a friend of mine doesn't let her girls sleep over at a friend's house that also has brothers; no matter how well she knows the families. She only has girls & usually hosts the sleepovers. Just wanted to throw that thought out there for others to consider. When we host a party for our girls, I'm going to send the boys to grandma's house.

I ,too, like the pajama party idea!


Kristy

Like one of the other comments said, it does seem to affect boys and girls differently. My son has had more kids sleep over here than I can count. I prefer if someone comes here, than he going somewhere else. At his age, 14, I just worry that another parent may not be as concerned about what they are up to. He also doesn't have melt downs like my daughter is prone to. My son also attends a school with many children who come from poor or broken homes. I never mind him bringing them home - as I know they are getting fed good, and taken care of. They get to see what a family could be like.

For my daughter, she only sleeps over at my mom's house, or at one of her 2 best friends houses. And that is rarely. I learned early on that she melts down and acts terrible when she sleeps out. But mostly she doesn't because she would rather be home. She likes to go visit a friend, but then come home.

I had many sleepovers when I was a kid. Like many of my sons friends, I grew up in an unstable and abusive home. Sadly, I would do anything to be somewhere else.

Beth Whitney

ok, here's what we do:

sleepovers are fun, and have to be with someone we know well, like you said. When we have girls here, we put them to bed fairly early, usually by midnight. (ok, early for a sleepover!) I know my kids are going to be grumpy the next day, so I make sure they take a nap. I hate it when my kids get in trouble because they are tired. Also, it is a special treat to have a friend spend the night, so the girls are not required to include their sisters. (unless it is a cousin!)

That's just what works for us!

chapmanchick

this is one of those questions that hadn't even crossed my mind. my son is almost 3 (he was born AT HOME in our bathtub, btw!!) and i don't even know if it will be an issue. my leaning is to allow sleepovers at my house, and elsewhere (if he wants to) if i know the family really well.

now, if i could stop the current sleepovers in my bed...... jk i actually love sleeping beside him, and he really does sleep so much better. so, win-win.

Julie in Australia

This is an interesting post and relevant in regards to my nine year old daughter. We have not encouraged sleepovers except at grandparents.

However, my daughters school will take her grade on a trip next year where the children will sleep away for FOUR nights. To say I am concerned is an understatement. She is not experienced at sleeping away from home for more than one night and even then she knows she can run in for a cuddle with her grandparents if she wakes during the night with a nightmare. Maybe I am being overprotective and some might suggest she should grow up a bit but she is my first born. Makes for a tricky situation.

Sara

I'm liking the "no sleepover rule". We haven't dealt with too much of yet...just a few times. Of the times my children stayed at someones house it was because I was having a baby and I knew them VERY well.

I know this sounds cliche, but times are different.

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