Church Lock-in for Elementary Age Kids???

Updated on August 24, 2012
J.B. asks from Marrero, LA
22 answers

Hey mamas!
Well I haven't been on much for a bit bc of life going nuts after having my third, so I hope everyone is doing well out there! So here is my question. Am I weird or is it weird to have a lock-in for elementary age kids? Our church is having one tomorrow and my 5 yr old is all hyped up to go. He doesn't actually realize it is tomorrow, only that there is going to be a lock-in bc they have been telling the kids about it at church. Anyway, my thing is that he is only 5, like a young 5, starting Kindergarten on Monday, so I am just a bit weirded out at the thought of him staying up really late until he just passes out from exhaustion. I know my child, he will take several days to recover from that. He might sleep a little later in the morning, but not much. Plus just last Friday he was diagnosed with Bronchitis, a first for us, and is just getting over that super nasty cough, now he only coughs in the morning but does great during the day. PLUS it our anniversary and we are going out on Saturday and my MIL is going to watch them and the kids always stay up a bit later when Nana is here and I have no problem with that, I mean that is a fun time for them. I went to church lock-ins growing up but always in the jr high/sr high group. I mean we stayed up all night and slept all day and it didn't affect our parents bc we just slept off the late night. I have put in an email to the Children's Pastor to ask if there will be any kind of bedtime for the young kids and my hubby is going to stay and help if we do let him go. So what do you think, is it strange at their age? Would you let your child go, considering all the above factors? I was thinking about just telling my son that he has been a bit sick and his body is not quite ready for such a late night. Your thoughts on this are much appreciated!! Thanks :)

What can I do next?

  • Add yourAnswer own comment
  • Ask your own question Add Question
  • Join the Mamapedia community Mamapedia
  • as inappropriate
  • this with your friends

Featured Answers


answers from Sioux City on

Mine have only gone in junior high or high school. Even then I'm reluctant because if they aren't very closely supervised the whole thing gets crazy fast. No one ever gets enough sleep and I have grumpy kids. I really wish they would work it more like a day camp. The kids go in the morning and come home in the evening and if another day is required then let them go back in the morning on the second day. I have spoken to my youth leader several times and finally he gave it a try and it seemed to work much better.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Norfolk on

At 5 yrs old?
No - my son wasn't ready to be away from home, his own bed, his routine and me.
He was still in pullups at night until he was 7.5 yrs old.
When he was 9, he started going to a taekwondo lock-in and he had so much fun (even though he was exhausted for a day or two later).
This will vary from kid to kid - some are ready sooner or later than others.
I think you've got a lot going on already without the lock-in for right now.
There will be others some other time.

1 mom found this helpful

More Answers



answers from Dallas on

5 does seem a little young for a lock-in. I don't think I would let my 7 year old go to a lock-in. Kids this age need more sleep than a 15 year old.

I think it would be a good idea to let him go, but to have your husband bring him home around 10, so he still is staying up late, but not too late. If he starts crying about not being able to stay all night, remind him that he has been sick and that he needs to get his rest so that he can stay up late on Saturday night with Nana. You can also let him sleep in the living room in a sleeping bag or something like that Friday night.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Baton Rouge on

I don't think it's strange - my daughter was going to sleepovers at that age.
But considering that he is just getting over bronchitis, I"m not sure that a lockin is a good idea for him this time. The combination of close quarters and exhaustion would make it very easy for him to relapse.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Lynchburg on

Hi J.-

My kiddos did this through a friend's church...but not until middle school as I recollect. In their case, it was VERY well chaperoned, I knew many of the parents...and of course they were older. THEY HAD A BLAST!

If you know the other families, they I would guess it would be OK...But, I would be concerned about the bronchitis more than anything else, as others have mentioned...

Maybe next time for your guy?

Best Luck!

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Fargo on

My church is doing a lock in tomorrow and my 15 will go and come home and sleep all day. But I wouldn't allow my 7 year old to go nor would the church allow her there. She would be a bear Saturday and it would take her days to recover.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

I wouldn't send my child. She's almost 5 and I don't even like her to stay the whole time at Open Gym at gymnastics (7pm-10pm on Fridays). I take her out at about 8:30. Maybe your MIL could let him go for a while and then pick him up early so that he can get some sleep. I never did a lock-in until I was 9 or 10.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Kansas City on

Guess I'm the only one who would be ok with this. (however that said since I am Agnostic) my kids go to church with my A. and her kids (yes she has kids my kids age) maybe that would make a difference. Depends if I didn't know them then no you know these people well?

But both my 7 and four yr old have spent the night at a friends...our couple friends have kids our kids we trade off once a month...

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

I wouldn't let my 5 year old do that. My 7 year old hasn't even had her first sleep over at a friends yet. I do think that is a little weird to be doing that for such young ages. I remember doing them but I was around 14 or 15 years old. I agree with you and just tell your son that he is just getting over being sick and he needs to rest so he doesn't get sick again.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Grand Forks on

I have never heard of a "lock-in" before, but it sounds like a slumber party? My boys started going to and hosting sleep-overs at that age, and when they have sleep-overs we don't have a bed time. They never make it past midnight, I let them sleep in a little the next morning and usually they just go to bed a little bit earlier the following night. Our local museum also does a sleep-over for kids aged five and up.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Detroit on

I would say since he has been sick, and you guys have plans, I would skip the lock in.
Bronchitis is not fun and could turn real serious if hes not rested.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Austin on

just decide, is this something you want to give a try or not.

Our daughter would have probably said she wanted to go, but to please pick her up at 9:00 or 10:00..

She loved to sleep in her bed at this age, but would not have wanted to miss out on the fun parts..

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Miami on

I have to agree with the others and say that I'm really surprised that they are doing a lock in for such young kids. I have a 6 1/2 year old and I don't think I would let her go to one yet. I have never heard of those kinds of things for the elementary age kids. Especially with bronchitis and starting school, I think I would have to have him sit this one out. Maybe, like another post suggested, let him go for a little while and just leave early so that he can get at least some sleep. Good luck!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Victoria on

5 seems too young. elementary seems too young. the only way i would allow either of my kids to do this is if me, hubby, or another very close family member that i trust went with them.

I would also notify the church about how you feel. I know they want to get kids excited about church and have fun in a safe environment but this is not a safe age to allow children unsupervised by a loving family member.



answers from Phoenix on

Too young. Go with your gut. I'd also be concerned with the age range of kids there. I really hope it's not 5-12 or something similar.


answers from Beaumont on

Never would have happened at our house. I was not allowed to do much as far as sleep overs when I was a kid and with all the weird stuff going on and that has gone on I am grateful to my parents for that. I did not like my kids to be tired and out of sorts.
If your husband goes then you will have two miserable people. Just say No.



answers from Austin on

I'm sure others have already written this: To me, this is a 'no brainer'. I would NOT let him go. Their little bodies can't handle fighting an infection without much sleep. It's detrimental to recovery. Or at least a timely one.
I, for one, think it's really odd for a church to be doing a lock-in during this time of year when there's already so much going on for a 5 year old (starting this first year in school as a kindergartener is excitment enough).
I hope you don't let him go and have him wait until he's a bit older and healthier.


answers from Jacksonville on

My opinion: 5 is too young.
I don't think they necessarily need to be teens (15-16), but definitely need to be at least later elementary. My kids just did one at the end of the summer. Daughter is 11 (in middle school this year), son is 14. Daughter was one of the youngest.

ETA: And technically, kindergarten (age 5) is NOT elementary age. So your son probably shouldn't really even be invited if it is for "elementary" aged kids. Not sure if that was your word or theirs, but kinder is different than elementary. At least around here. :)


answers from Tulsa on

5 seems a little young, but I would let my son go if I knew the people really well. But, since your son has bronchitis, I would say no way.



answers from Houston on

We had lock-ins for the younger children. They were grouped separately for some of the activities. It ended at 10:00pm...all the younger ones had to be picked up starting at 9:30 and had to be gone by 10:00.



answers from Houston on

I vote no. His health is more important. He has plenty of time to go to a lock-in later. (Plus he really does not understand what it is.)



answers from San Francisco on

I would have second thoughts, but it is a church event so that would carry a lot of weight with me. If hubby is up for going and staying, them let him go but tell him he has to promise you that he will take a nap on Saturday.

For Updates and Special Promotions
Follow Us

Related Questions