September 20, 2008,
A.M. asks from Los Alamos, CA on September 15, 2008
At What Age Do You Let Your Kids Sleep Over...
At what age do you let your kids sleep over at their friends house. Mine are asking about it, as they just started school and have met a best buddy. I dont know what to tell them other than "you're not old enough". They are soon to be 5 and I am NO where close to letting them sleep over somewhere other than grammy and gramps' house. Nor do I think they are actually ready to either. I am just curious what other families rules are about this. Obviously we will have to know the parents VERY well before allowing this, not to mention approve of the friend!
D.G. answers from San Diego on September 16, 2008
If it is a personal friend of yours too and the kids are also friends then this works best because you are family friends. If this is not the case the rule in my house always was I have to get to know the parents which takes 1 to 2 years before they can spend the night over there. Of course the other children are always welcome to stay at our house which usually worked out for other parents since I worked at the school, they felt comfortable with me. How you get to know the other parents better is always take time to talk with the parents when the kids get together to do things, go on field trips with the class. I often met and hung out with other parents doing this getting to know them.Don't feel bad if this is always the rule then the kids get used to it. You can even tell the parents that is your rule and they don't take it personal. My daughter had a best friend in 2nd grade I didn't let her spend the night there until they were in beginning 5th. Then it was constant after that. I felt very comfortable with them and they with me.My son has had lots of kids spend their first night over ever at our house and this was in the 4th grade.With my son's best friend in 4th grade they spent so much time together almost every day that I let him stay over night by the end of the year. I had so much time to get to know the parents and they lived right by us.Stick to it and you will feel comfortable. I say no to K-2 overnights. If you wait your kids will feel more ready also. Good Luck D. G
J.L. answers from San Diego on September 17, 2008
Hi A., I don't think there is a magic age, but 5 in my opinion that is to young. I remember the first time I let my daughter spend the night at a friends house, it was only 2 house down from ours, and I was missereble, and didn't sleep at all, everytime I looked in her room at her empty bed I felt sick, anf then i found out that the mom my friend was leaving the kids after they would fall asleep and go me the water man. I didn't allow her to do sleep overs again until Junior High school. J. L.
N.D. answers from Reno on September 16, 2008
My odest starting this asking thing at about 5, she had her first sleep over (outside of my mothers) about a month before she turned 9! It was a slumber party for a friend that she has had since daycare. I got to know the mom over a course of about 6 years, started off slow since we barely saw eachother at daycare, but then in preschool and into the 3rd grade I got to like her on all the girls fields trips. Needless to say my daughter did very well there and we have since survived another sleep over at the friends house and three at our own house. This is a touchy subject, its hard on us moms to watch our kids grow and become independent of us. I think that the age of the first sleep over is based on many things, mostly your childs ability to go to sleep/bed on their own, the comfort zone you have with the family of where the sleep over will be, the maturity of your child and mostly the ability for you as a mom to survive the night =] I suggest that the first few times you child sleeps away from you that it is with family who will be more caring of your childs fears, like a practice run! The other thing that I have heard of that has worked for small children who want a sleep over is a "sleepless over" where you do all the fun of an actual sleep over, like wearing jammies with your friend and watching a movie with you blanket/pillow and those things that make a sleep over special but then going to your own home and bed at like 8/9 PM. Good luck and be blessed with all your boys - "A mom works from SON up until SON down" I was told this when I had my second son and I love it =] So so so true!
J.B. answers from Los Angeles on September 16, 2008
maybe talk to the other childs mom about it she may even feel the same way. what i suggest is that maybe you and his mom can get together over at their house to see what its like and let the lil ones play while you have some coffee or something. every parent is ifernt o wha ageis appropriateto have a non family sleep over. i would say to try it out you may find that your son will be calling you at bed time to come get him then you know that hes not ready and you can try again in a couple months or have his little friend stay at your house. good luck in your decision.
L.G. answers from Los Angeles on September 15, 2008
I agree with you 5 years is to young, also please check out the parents and go with your gut.
My daughter just turned 10 and had a sleep over only 2 girls stayed the night, and that mother basically slowed the car and kicked the girls out. I opened my house to all the parents ready to answer any questions, but the two that were to spend the night.. didn't even bother. Scared me!
I still haven't let my kids spend the night anywhere without knowing the parents very well (my twins are 8.5).
The only exception has been church camps and last summer YMCA camp. I was still nervous, but we had a big talk about what to do if you are uncomfortable.
C.A. answers from San Diego on September 16, 2008
My daughter was about that age when she wanted to spend the night next door, at her best friends house. After much soul searching, I let her do it because her friend's parents and I were good friends and I had complete trust that she would be safe. My daughter thought she was such a big girl going over there. Well needless to say, 8pm rolled around, bedtime, and I got a knock on my door that she was scared to do it. It takes time for them to even make that leap, but if you know the parents well enough, and are aware not to be upset when they call and want to come home, why not try it?
C.S. answers from Las Vegas on September 20, 2008
My 3 year old neighbor has already spent the night at my house. It was more of a sitting thing so mom and dad could go out, but the girls actually did very well together. On the other hand, the neighbor often asks if they can take mine with them and I am nervous and uncomfortable about that whole thing.
I can only tell you, I think 5 is young, but they did just fine at 3 years old.
I know...not much help.