14 answers

Boy/Girl Sleepovers? - Midlothian,VA

Hi Moms,

I'd just like to have some opinions on how old is too old to have a boy/girl sleepover. My son is in the 3rd grade, and his best friend is a girl. They've been bugging me for a sleepover for awhile now and I've been putting them off because I'm not sure that it's appropriate at their ages but at the same time, I don't want to tell them why I feel that way. What do you all think?

1 mom found this helpful

What can I do next?

So What Happened?™

Thank you so much for your replies and advice! I appreciated all of the varying opinions. I want to clarify that I never thought that there would be any "funny business" going on - I know both of these children well and they're definitely still just that, children. However, I've discussed this with the girl's Mom and we both agree that we'll skip the sleepovers and do as some of you suggested - let them have daytime playdates and evening playdates where they go home at bedtime. I told my son merely that we were going to go that route instead of doing a sleepover, because all they'd be doing differently was sleeping at home, and he was satisfied with that. Thanks again, all of you great Moms out there!

Featured Answers

i have always allowed boy/girl sleepovers, and at that young age i had no problem with setting them up with sleeping bags in the living room and letting them be in the same room. when i perceived a change in the *interest* level we still had sleepovers, but the girl(s) would be in a bedroom with the door closed by a set time, boy(s) in the living room.
and when they were old enough for me to be uncomfortable with 'em in the same room, i had zero problem explaining why, and emphasizing that it was my discomfort not lack of trust in them.

1 mom found this helpful

More Answers

I'm not even going to get into whether it's appropriate or not; that depends in part on the individual kids involved. What matters here is that if YOU are not fully comfortable with it, then go with your gut and don't do it, no matter what anyone else thinks is the right or wrong age for anything. When your son says, "Please, mom?" just say, "How about this..." And offer them something fun, special and out of the ordinary play date routine -- maybe a nighttime excursion into the back yard with good binoculars to see if they can spot some stars (bring a simple kids' constellation chart, bet you can find them online!). Or a Saturday trip to the DC museum of their choice -- Smithsonian museums are free! Or a drive to someplace like Mount Vernon, which now has a great museum that's very kid-friendly.

They probably both would mostly like to do something that's outside their usual box, and in this case, I think you don't really owe your son a full explanation of any reservations you have about a sleepover; you can say, "I don't think that'll work for us, but how about..." And they'll both have a great time. Take advantage of the fun this area offers and they'll get off the subject. I usually favor talking as honestly with kids as possible but without introducing adult issues they shouldn't have to think about yet. So in this case, I think over-explaining adults' reservations to him at his age could only introduce the idea of "Should I feel weird about having such a good buddy who's a girl?" and you don't want to get that started. It's not weird, it's great. But if you as the parent aren't comfortable with a sleepover, don't do it. Too much else to offer anyway.

2 moms found this helpful

If this is his best friend, I am going to guess that the little girl is like your own child too. Put them in sleeping bags in the living room/TV room and let them have the sleepover. It would be no different than a brother and sister having a living room camp out. Don't sexualize the children before it's necessary. When it's time for bed, he can change in his room and she can change in the bathroom.

I think it is still ok at this age. Let them have the overnight.

2 moms found this helpful

i have always allowed boy/girl sleepovers, and at that young age i had no problem with setting them up with sleeping bags in the living room and letting them be in the same room. when i perceived a change in the *interest* level we still had sleepovers, but the girl(s) would be in a bedroom with the door closed by a set time, boy(s) in the living room.
and when they were old enough for me to be uncomfortable with 'em in the same room, i had zero problem explaining why, and emphasizing that it was my discomfort not lack of trust in them.

1 mom found this helpful

there is nothing NAUGHTY about boy/girl friendships..
if they were sixteen and wanted a sleepover, then i would be concerned. but they are not sixteen, they are CHILDREN
the fact that they are what, eight, shows that they are a
little more mature then their peers. kids who have friendships with the opposite gender, tend to have a more
a more realistic outlook toward the opposite gender and
themselves. the opposite gender isnt very mysterious, and
eventually alluring, when they see them almost every day
under the best and worst circumstances. so, have the sleepover, they wont be children much longer, one day very soon they will be preteens and your life will become
a breathing hel# of hormones and angyst
K. h.

1 mom found this helpful

Where my son goes to tae kwon do, twice a year they have what they call a Parents Night Out/Sleep Over/Lock Down. Usually it's just before major holidays. The kids (boys and girls) spend the night, bring sleeping bags, play games, have pizza, watch movies and run around playing dodge ball. The Master and his wife run/supervise it and when it's time to settle down, girls are in one room, boys are in another room. Parents can call any time, and kids can call home anytime, so if anyone wants to go home they can. Parents pick them up next morning and the kids are usually pretty tired out and had lots of fun. My son started going when he was 10 yrs old. A few start going at 8 yrs, but they usually want to go home when they miss their bedtime routines.
If your son and this girl spend that kind of time together, they might get picked on for being girlfriend/boyfriend. It's hard enough dealing with it in middle/high school let alone in elementary school. How does the girls parents feel about it? It might be best to say no just to protect their reputations. When they grow up, if it's meant to be, they will still be there for each other.

I don't think it's setting a good precident. If you do it, they may start asking for other kids of the opposite sex whom you don't know as well, etc. Then, one day you'll magically stop it and then you'll have to explain why. It might be more difficult/awkward once you've allowed it to happen. I personally think it's not a good idea this day and age. Kids grow up so much faster than we did! Why not allow this kid to come over for a movie and popcorn but be picked up at bedtime? Why do they actually have to sleep together? And, would they sleep alone in the same room/bed?

In 3rd grade they still seem a little young for worries over any funny business at a sleepover. What I guess I would do is talk to her mom and work out if it's possible. Maybe promise that they'll be supervised the whole time and they'll sleep in different rooms. A sleepover at this age is more about staying up late, telling ghost stories and playing video games. I don't think they're going to care if they sleep in different rooms. They just want the fun of all that staying up late and scarfing down pizza and ice cream. I'm sure it could be done with some planning.

Talk with the girls parents to get their perspective. Where are they with their maturity. Some girls/boys couldn't do a sleepover some could. You know your son and his friend if you don't feel comfortable then go with that. Maybe do a late night with no sleep over. I'm sure her parents would like a late night out. Good luck.

My boys are only 3 and 6, but I just wanted to throw this out there...I was starting to have little crushes on boys in 3rd grade. AND, I learned about the birds and the bees later that year, too. I also knew a kid when I was in elementary school who told me he lost his virginity at age 5 to a 9 year old girl! He was a really sweet guy, and it completely surprised me that he had done that already. Some kids may be completely innocent at that age, but some are completely NOT. And, like the other mom said, once you start it, its going to be harder for them to understand no later. I like the movie idea, or stargazing if you have the resources. Even a later evening movie in the theater might be fun, too! Whatever decision you make, don't do it for any other reason than you want to and feel ok about it. Don't let the kids (or us!) pressure you to do something you aren't sure about!

I don't have kids this age yet, but I would think 10-11. By then, I am sure peer pressure and self-counciousness will prevent them from wanting to have a sleepover. It of ocurse depends on the kids, but right now, I don't see a problem.

I think that elementary school is too old for a boy/girl sleep over. I would tell your son and his friend that boys and girls cant have boy/girls sleepovers until they are grown ups and married. Only little kids can ever have boy/girl sleepovers but it is because they are little. Tell them that now that they are big kids its not what big kids do.

I agree with Leigh's answers. "It won't work right now, but how about.......". I too think it's a bad precedent to set; "why is it ok when I'm 9 but not when I'm 10 (11, 12, etc)?" Additionally, you have no idea what other kids have been exposed to in their own homes, and at night, in the dark, away from their own home would be a great time for them to "experiment"!!! Unless you fully intend on sitting up, in the same room, the entire night, I would NOT go for this. (And even then, I personally would never go for this!!) Just my two cents'.

The boy/girl sleepovers that we used to have were very defined. The boys slept in one room, and the girls in another. If your son is going to be the only one staying over, then I wouldn't consider it a sleepover, just spending the night, if that makes sense. I mean really its no different then having your son stay the night at a guy friends house who has a sister, right?

Now we have been to parties for girls where the girls stayed for a sleepover and the boys came to the party, but had to leave at bed time.

Good luck.

I have a 3rd grade son & I would not allow a sleepover w/a girl. This is the age where they begin to get curious & situations like this are how trouble starts. Unless you would be sleeping in between them ALL night long...I think it's inappropriate. Some girls begin developing as early as 9 (like me;). Good Luck!

Required Fields

Our records show that we already have a Mamapedia or Mamasource account created for you under the email address you entered.

Please enter your Mamapedia or Mamasource password to continue signing in.

Required Fields

, you’re almost done...

Since this is the first time you are logging in to Mamapedia with Facebook Connect, please provide the following information so you can participate in the Mamapedia community.

As a member, you’ll receive optional email newsletters and community updates sent to you from Mamapedia, and your email address will never be shared with third parties.

By clicking "Continue to Mamapedia", I agree to the Mamapedia Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy.