22 answers

9-Year Old and Sleepover Parties

It is starting to be the fashion for my daughter's friends to have sleepover birthday parties. My daughter has attended 3 sleepover birthday parties and they've all had some kind of disaster. The first one she called me at 3:00 am because the girls were fighting over a sleeping bag and they didn't want to get the host mom because the little girl having the party was afraid her mom would ground her. Don't know why they called ME!! Second one there was some kind of another fight and my daughter and another girl ended up sleeping on the kitchen floor and I never got out of them why--if they were told to go there or if they chose to go there. Either way, they were fighting. Another one they got no sleep and my daughter was so overtired that she had a TWO HOUR hysterical fit the next day over something small.

I'm thinking that her and her friends are just not mature enough to have a sleepover party, and also my daughter can't seem to handle not having enough sleep. After all three parties she was completely difficult to the next day, and of course she would not nap or go to bed early. She just flew off the handle and cried over every little thing.

My daughter's best friend is having a sleepover party. She is begging to be allowed to sleep over, but I don't think we can handle another disaster! (That was the one where she called me at 3am the last time). The two hour hysterical fit not too long ago from a different sleepover party sealed the deal for my husband.

Are we being totally mean by not allowing her to sleep over at her BEST friend's house? The mom puts the kids in the basement and goes up 3 levels to her room and shuts the door so I think lack of supervision is part of the problem. Also, we have a family party the next day and I don't think we can have her throwing fits and being sensitive--she's really hard to deal with when she has no sleep.

Currently she's truly, truly upset and I feel like a Mean Mommy. I offered to have her do a special day with her best friend to celebrate, and we are currently planning on picking her up at 10pm at the sleepver so she can still go to the party. She will not be the only one not sleeping over, 2 other girls are also being picked up at 10.

I just feel rotten because I know how much she wants to go.

What can I do next?

So What Happened?™

Glad to know I'm not the only "mean mommy!" LOL!

I don't remember doing sleepover parties until I was in Middle School. I think they are just really young to be up that late and to not have good supervision.

She's begging for a sleepover birthday party and I think we will have a "pj party" so the girls can wear pjs and eat popcorn and watch movies and all be picked up at 10pm. I may allow her to pick ONE friend to sleep over (she seems fine with just one friend sleeping over) and we won't tell any of her other friends so they won't feel left out.

I guess this is just the beginning of what's in store! LOL!

Featured Answers

if this is a one on one it should work out perfectly, it's when you get the groups of girls that you get the stuff you have run into. So, for the party night have her picked up at 10, but then arrange a one on one sleep over for a later date.

2 moms found this helpful

This is why we don't do sleepovers. I am picking her up at 10(last year it was 9). The kids are left totally unsupervised for at least part of the night.

1 mom found this helpful

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What kind of mother leaves 9 year old girls unsupervised 3 floors away?

That would be my issue.

3 moms found this helpful

Sometimes doing the right thing isn't always the easy thing. Trust your instincts on this, it sounds like you've already made the right choice. Show her you mean what you say, maybe over the summer break you can try another sleep over and if she is able to manage her behavior better and is open in talking to you about what goes on at the party (why she slept on kitchen floor) that's how you'll know she matured enough to handle this extra privilege more often.

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Aaaargh!!!! Sleepovers suck! I made the mistake of letting my daughter have one for her 8th birthday. You're right, it was awful. At 1am, after HOURS of trying to sort out who gets which pillow, "trust me, there's no ghost in our house, I'd know if there was", just on and on and on and on, I finally closed my door and started ignoring them. I think they finally fell asleep around 3am. They all got up at 7am. Parents weren't coming until 10am to pick them up, so I had another 3 hours of just he!! and yes, she was a BEAR the next day, as I'm sure all her friends were. I will NEVER go through that again. EVER. So I'm with you. Go pick her up at 10pm. Especially since you have plans the next day and need her on her best behavior. You'll be mean mommy for a day, but she'll get over it. She can do sleepovers when she's much older. And she will understand when her own children do sleepovers.

2 moms found this helpful

if this is a one on one it should work out perfectly, it's when you get the groups of girls that you get the stuff you have run into. So, for the party night have her picked up at 10, but then arrange a one on one sleep over for a later date.

2 moms found this helpful

I know you will be the mean mommy for a day or two but you have to trust your instincts, you are the adult and you know what's best for your daughter. Maybe the next weekend have her BFF over for a one on one sleepover at YOUR house. Lack of supervision never has a good outcome no matter how. I am sure she won't be the only one picked up early.

2 moms found this helpful

My boys have been having sleepovers since they were 5 years old. Maybe younger.

I have rules at ANY sleep over.
1. no fighting.
2. lights out and asleep by midnight.
3. no food where they are sleeping - yep - mean mommy here - that includes popcorn for movies. (this rule came about because of a food fight and I didn't find all the popcorn and had an invasion of ants...)

Talk to the other mother - find out what she has planned. I don't leave my kids 3 floors down from me. We only have a two story home - but I'm in the den while their playing - so they aren't really "alone"....

If other girls are being picked up at 10AM - you are NOT being a mean mommy. This happens so don't crumble. YOU are the MOMMY!! YOU are in charge!!

1 mom found this helpful

Good Job!!!
My daughter doesn't attend sleepover parties and she's in high school. If she does decide to go, she usually asks me to pick her up by 11 or 11:30 depending on where the party is. (we live way out of town)
She does not like sleep over parties because they don't sleep. My daughter needs her sleep. She would much rather be at home in her own bed. I also did not allow sleep over parties until she was in middle school and even then, I only allowed her to go if I knew the parents very very well. After the first one, she decided that she was done with them.
You've got to do what is best for your child. Assure her that nothing good happens after 10pm. You might consider offering to bring her back for breakfast if she wants. Chances are, when you pick her up, she'll tell you that she'd rather just stay home in her jammies.


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I would certainly not worry about her behavior the next day...you are supposed to be groggy the day after a sleepover. It is one day in a life. I would talk to her about her attitude on the day after-she can be groggy and still by nice to everyone. Tell her this will be her one chance and if she acts badly at the family party then no more so's b/c she is too immature for them still.

The real problem is the maturity of this group of girls. I bet they have problems outside of sleepovers as well. I would have a long talk with my daughter about what is going on there. They are only 9-can you imagine in 2 more years what it will be like? So glad I have boys! They are always having sleepovers and never ever once has there been a single problem.

1 mom found this helpful

Why not compromise, and tell her she can stay until 11 pm and you will pick her up. That is the deal and it is that or stay home. I did the sleep over thing many times when my daughter was younger and thank goodness no issues, but since you have until they get older I would tell her so far it hasn't been a good experience and you will try again when she gets older. Sometimes you have to be the bad guy when you are doing what is best for your child. Trust me as a mother of grown children the tough stuff is just beginning. You have a long road ahead, so stay strong with your decisions and just reassure yourself you are doing your job. It is sooooooo much easier to give, but then you aren't doing what is best for your daughter. She isn't going to understand, but she WILL get over it. This is the part of parenting that sucks. Good luck!!

1 mom found this helpful

i think it's a group issue.
allow sleepovers, but with one friend at a time. they're getting worked up and overwhelmed.

1 mom found this helpful

This is why we don't do sleepovers. I am picking her up at 10(last year it was 9). The kids are left totally unsupervised for at least part of the night.

1 mom found this helpful

Let her go to the party but schedule something really early the next morning. Tell her she can go and you will pick her up at like 11pm. that way she gets the fun but not the drama. Remind her your leaving really early etc.... and she has to go with. it will allow her to have fun with the girls she can even put on her pj's but she will then sleep in her own bed.

1 mom found this helpful

You know if she doesnt sleep over and everyone else does that can also be a problem. Girls are all about drama at 9. They switch friends and are caty already. Or learning to be really good at it. I would have her go to the party and tell her she must call you at 10p and let you know how its going. If its not going so well you can go pick her up then if not let her and then inthe morning tell her she must go take a nap. (make sure she is aware of this before she goes to the party)

I don't think you're being mean at all! You're being a parent.

Too many times, we try to appease our children because sure, it would be fun. But that doesn't mean that whatever it is is in the best interest of our children. I'm sure your daughter thinks that eating McDonald's every day sure would be a tasty way to eat, but that doesn't mean it's a good and healthy decision! And I'm pretty sure that you wouldn't let that happen either. That doesn't make you "mean" at all! It just means that you're making the best decisions you can for the health and well-being of your daughter. And that is a-ok in my book! We need more parents willing to take a stand for their families!

I think my first sleepover was in 5th grade and it was such a disaster that I didn't go on another one until almost 7th grade, except maybe at the next-door neighbor's house with the one girl and our respective older siblings (plus, it was an ultra-conservative house, so there was no shenanigans!)

Sounds like you made a good compromise to me. If she doesn't like what you're offering, she can just stay home. In addition to poor supervision, there are probably just too many girls to have an enjoyable time for that age.

No good can come of sleepovers. My daughter just turned 9, and I'm really surprised that she hasn't been invited to one yet. But I'm glad she hasn't because the answer would be no. There is usually little or no sleeping, and like you said, the kids are a train-wreck the next day. You are not being mean at all. This won't be last time you have to make a decision that your child may not think is nice, or fair, but you are the parent and you have to use your good judgement.

Well, since this next one is her one BFF, than yeah, that totally sucks that she can't go.

The drama you described is pretty normal for girls that age. Not OK exactly, but typical anyway. Kids shake off drama way better than we do, unless of course WE make a big deal out of said drama.

My daughter didn't WANT to sleep over (or HAVE) sleep overs at that age, though she was constantly invited to them, and that's what we did, I picked her up around 10, would usually call and giver her a chance to change her mind, that she WOULD stay over, but she always wanted to come home.
I probably would not have allowed her to stay at girl's houses overnight if I did not know their parents at all.

Like the other posters, bleck, I hate the whole sleepover thing too. But in the situation you describe, I'd probably let her go since it's her BFF. I'd probably discuss with her.....you know, it makes you REALLY cranky the next day when you don't get enough sleep.....she'd probably say, I PROMISE I won't be cranky.....and something like if you go to THIS one we'll probably have to skip the NEXT one, I mean there is such a thing as TOO much sleepovers!

Just my $.02!

(Frankly I LOVE a houseful of giggling girls, maybe have YOUR OWN sleepover soon?!)


I would let her go to the party & pick her up before her bedtime. There is no need to sleep at her friends house when she can sleep in her own bed. If she's in her own bed you know what time she went to sleep LOL!

I agree part of the problem is lack of supervision. This really shouldn't be happening with nine year-olds. I think you need to wean her off these for a bit and when they get a little older things will work themselves out. I'm sure that your sleep-over would be different, but I wouldn't encourage doing one of them considering the recent past.

Here's my suggestion for the best friend's party. Have a talk with your daughter and remind her that you have something important scheduled the following day and the sleep-overs tend to keep her up all night (which is supposed to be part of the fun, you know - make sure she knows that you're with her on that to a degree). You really need her to be awake and in good spirits for the party the next day, but you don't want to keep her from her best friend's birthday celebration. Allow her to go to the party, but she needs to come home at a certain time (9, 10 oclock) so she gets a good night's sleep.

My girls' friends and my girls have done similar things and it makes most everyone happy. Some girls need to leave at 8 am for Mass, too and that puts more responsibility on the girl to make sure she's up and ready (and get to sleep at a -somewhat- decent hour).

If your instincts are telling you that she shouldn't go, then she shouldn't go. Since you already told her that she can't go, then she can't go. If she isn't satisfied with the choice of being able to stay until 10, then there should be anymore options. She is upset with you now, but she'll get over it.

Sleepovers are a bad idea. I tell my kids they can play all day but I want them home in their own beds unless it is necessary, Like parents out of town or having a baby etc.

feeling rotton goes with the territory. You are doing the right thing..especially if she won't be the only girls doing the "sleep under" and leaving at 10. I really like your idea of planning something special that is an extra perk for your daughter and her best friend..I think you are totally on top of this one. No worries:) Hang in there, this will seem like a piece of cake when she's 14 and the issues are a lot bigger! Also, you seem to have a good read on the type of parents that are having these parties and offering zero supervision--also a recipe for disaster as they get older...think about it!

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