Parents of Kids Sleepover Age

Updated on November 19, 2010
L.B. asks from Berwick, ME
14 answers

I am adding this at the top, it should be at the end of the question, but the computer screen is jumping all over and will not let me.
I just want to add that I offered to help pay to have the daughte's desk refinished and they declined my offer. Also, they lectured the girls for a very long time and I do think that the father may have scared my daughter, because she told me that for now on she only wants to play with her friend at our house.

Do you think that their reaction is a little bit excessive for the crime? I know that it was my daughter that was sleeping ouver their house and participated in the bad behavior, but I think it is weird that their daughter is only grounded from playing with my daughter. They have not gotten into trouble before and usually play very nicely together, this was the first time anything like this has happened. I

My 9 year old 4th grade daughter is "best friends" with another little girl who moved here from another state last year. The mom and I are friendly, I have had pizza with their family at their house a few times and have had them over for dinner. The mom and I have tea and walk together sometimes. They are always very nice, friendly people. The girls like to call each other alot and have sleepovers.

Before I go on, I would like to clarify that my husband and I are not the kind of parent that say "not my kid", we appreciate honesty, and if our kids are misbehaving or being disrespectful at someones house I want to know so that I could nip it in the bud, so to speak.

Last weekend, my daughter slept over her friend's house and when I called in the a.m. the father answered the phone and he sounded very angry, he spoke very firmly to me and told me that the girls were up making noise all night and that they were told to go to sleep and quiet down several times and they didn't. He told me that they were coloring with washable markers and got them all over the sheets and that they spilled nail polish on his daughters desk. He told me this is "not acceptable at our house and thehe told me that the girls had to take a break from each other". When I picked my daughter up she was waiting outside with her bag their daughter was standing with her, but the girls looked very upset.

We went home and my daughter was exhausted and slept most of the day and she was spoken to and lost privaledges due to her behavior. I expect my kids to be respectful at other peoples house. yet I realize they are 9 year old girls who were just being silly, the markers were washable and they went over the edge of the paper when they were coloring on the bed, they did not draw on the sheets and the nail polish remover spilled accidently. There is no excuse for being up and noisy all night except they are only 9 years old.

So, here is the thing, my daughter has been very upset since the incident and today she came home crying hysterically and told me that her friend told her that she could have anyone over for pizza tonight except my daughter. Also my daughter told me that her friend cannot play with her for a month. Do you think this is a little excessive of a punishment for a 9 year old - a month is a long time. It seems like it is my daughter that they are punishing and blaming. IT is kind of hurtful that they are allowing their daughter to play with other kids, just not my dauughter???? I don't know, I just have a weird feeling about it, What do you all think?

Sorry for any grammatical errors or mispelling this computer screen iis jumping all ov er

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So What Happened?

I am glad that I posted this question, I am getting some very wise responses and I feel much more confident in my own feelings about the situation. The Dad has always been friendly in the past. The Mom was just as angry as the Dad and this was not the first sleepover. What really upset me the most was when my daughter came home crying a week later because thier daughter told her that she could invite any friend over except my daughter. My daughter told me that it made her feel like they were punishing her and that they did not like her and it really hurt her feelings. She told me that her friend also feels bad. I was going to have my daughter write a note of apology but I changed my mind because my daughter's feelings are so hurt and I don't want her to feel like it is all hurt fault and only her fault. I think her lesson was learned when they lectured, and then had my daughter wait outside and then punished them from seeing each other. Common, this is so traumatizing for a 9 year old----- Remember at that age when your best friend was everything to you! Thanks so much for your responses and letting me know that I was not being too sensitive!

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answers from Orlando on

I agree w/everyone the dad totally over reacted. My daughter is 8 - they stay up late when she has sleepovers - (although around 2am i DID tell them to stop talking and go to sleep, lol) and once I did get stern with them after they went to bed after midnight, then up at 5am playing!!! LOUD! lol funny after the fact but you know. I don't think I'd let my daughter stay the night over there anymore if she is asked. I wouldn't want my daughter subjected to that mean daddy!

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answers from Minneapolis on

Wait for that one month grounding to be over and then invite that girl over all the time and make those stays the funnest, bestest, most awesome-est playdates and sleep-overs ever. Lavish them with attention, laughter, fun, movies & popcorn, trips to the library, creative activities (ye gads...maybe with wash-able paint), let them play spa and paint their nails until they are blue in the face, have knock-down drag-out no-holds-barred WII tourney's.

Best ammunition is to send this poor girl back home raving about what a great time she has at your house and what a cool friend your daughter is. Maybe it will get her parents to loosen up and stop being the crabby parents.

8 moms found this helpful


answers from Portland on

You know, in my experience as a nanny, sometimes families are a bit out of balance. Sometime, mom is fine and dad is a nut-job, or vice versa. I have witnessed a law professor throw a temper tantrum over his child's toy lipstick rolling under the refrigerator which made even myself as an adult very worried (his 3 year old daughter just laughed at him). The point of this is to agree with everyone and to show that very steady, responsible people can totally lose it with kids and make gorillas out of themselves. Sounds like this guy did a lot of chest-beating. Sheesh!

That said, I'd do what many moms suggested; respect the punishment the other girl's parent dished out, explain (as SH suggested) that it's "him, not her" and be a nice, stable adult for your daughter's friend. I'm not sure that broaching the subject with her mom will be progressive, unless she brings it up with sympathy for your daughter. Either she's embarrased or complicit, and likely voicing all of your feelings on this may create more of a rift at this point. No one likes to have it pointed out to them that their spouse is Not All That. Best of all, this other little girl will get a taste of a more reasonable version of SleepOver, without the trauma and lecture.

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answers from Honolulu on

Okay... that family is just Toxic.
They are being mean.
Just explain to your daughter... it is not her... but the parents are not the kind of parents that are appropriate.... they are harming her... she is crying over it... they are singling her out... they are Bullies.

Kids are kids. Things happen. Your daughter seems like a normal kid.
Console her... tell her.. not all grown-ups... are nice or appropriate... but they are wrongly taking out their irritation at her. It is WRONG. Use this to teach your Daughter... about wrong behavior.... even in Grown-ups.
AND it is GOOD she told you all this.... encourage always, communication with her.

I have had sleep overs for my 8 year old daughter... they make noise, they are GIRLS. They like to stay up, at a sleep over. They do that. They may dirty things or spill things. So what. It was an accident.
They are kids.
I do not act like that to my daughter or her friends. Her friends are nice girls. They are not perfect little robots. This is childhood... things happen.

all the best,

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answers from Houston on

Yes, the dad is being weird... did he honestly expect a 9 yr old girls sleepover for the girls to actually sleep?! Seriously, they spilled nail polish on the desk? It probably has stickers and pen marks all over it already. I'm sorry but the month grounding thing, not to mention him lecturing your daughter like that was out of line. I wouldn't allow her over there anymore at all, but after the grounding, I would allow the other little girl over. And like another mom said, we don't do sleep overs either.

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answers from Kansas City on

Yes, I think the dad's behavior is a little strange. I have watched my friends' kids when they had doctors appointments and such and no kid is perfect. But, when the parents pick up and ask how things were I usually say fine. I had one little boy destroy my son's room and I made him clean it up. When mom picked up, I just sugar-coated it a little and said "Sam" made a mess, but we cleaned it up together. In other words, you have to be willing to tolerate things when other kids are over.

IMHO, I don't do sleep overs! Growing up, my mom never allowed us to sleep over (kids could sleep at our house), and I never understood why until I was a parent. We were able to play or attend a birthday party until 9 or 10pm, but mom would pick us up when it was time to sleep. How well do you really know people...what if dad is a creep?...what if the parents drink heavily?...what if you kid is sleeping on the floor and the house has flees?...what if some creepy "uncle" stops by?...there are just too many possibilities--No sleep overs for my kids!

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answers from New York on

Yes, I think the father is over the top in allowing his daughter to see other friends, but not your daughter. I could understand if he was not allowing his daughter to have any friends over. However, it his right to decide what the punishment is. Just like it's your right to decide the punishment for your daughter. Maybe it would help if your daugthter wrote a letter of appology for the nail polish.

I know a month apart will be difficult for your daughter, but maybe she can use this time to build her friendships/relationship with other friends. Comfort her the best you can, and hopefully in a month things will be better and you can have the sleepovers at your house.

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answers from Pittsburgh on

If it were me I would encourage my daughter to have a sleepover tomorrow night with a couple girls that she is friends with or would like to get to know better. It is a perfect time to do it because she cannot play with her 'best' friend and her presence will not pre-empt closer friendships from forming with the other girls. Then hopefully your daughter will make some new best friends that she can hang out with. Because I would not want her to be friends with this little girl anymore with a dad like that. Way too unstable. And now its a one way street anyway since your child doesn't want to go over there anymore.

And what the heck did they expect little girls to do at a sleepover? Of course they are going to stay up late and be silly.

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answers from Jacksonville on

What were they doing with nailpolish remover completely unsupervised? I don't even let my 9 yr old daughter (who is VERY responsible and careful with things) use it on her own. Let alone with friends. And yeah, they're 9... they aren't going to drop off to sleep like little angels at 7:30 pm. However, if they were up until, well... ALL NIGHT... then the parents= epic fail. Sorry, but it's the parents' job to create an environment where the kids go to sleep at some point. My kids have had sleepovers... they are not up much past midnight. Yeah.. sometimes I've had to go back in there and sound stern and say, "hey. It has been a lot of fun, but now it's time to go to sleep. You'll be grumpy tomorrow and not have fun in the morning. I don't want grump buckets in the morning.." Usually, within 30 minutes of the "stern" factor being introduced, they go to sleep. And the kids still love me and respect me. I'm still fun. But I'm not the kid's friend! I'm the PARENT of their friend. :)
Sounds like the Dad had some other issues going on... did he get consulted about the sleepover in advance? I know that I am less "generous" when my hubby springs things like that on me without giving me any advance warning or discussion in the matter... not as over the top as that guy... but, did he agree to it, or was it foisted on him? Sounds like he was spoiling for an excuse to be mad.

I do agree, though, that even the sweetest kids can have friends that somehow gets their "get in trouble" gene working overtime. Even if they are BOTH sweet kids. I'd have the little girl over for lots of play dates and yes, sleepovers, once she is allowed. Keep them fun. And give them reasonable rules/expectations... and see what happens.
It's not your daughter's fault. Just be sure she knows that, yeah, they might have made some messes, and she should apologize for that, if she hasn't already, but that the dad's reaction was not appropriate. He totally mishandled it, and it should be made clear to your daughter. She doesn't need to go around feeling guilty.

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answers from Chicago on

I totally agree with Ellis. Plus, I wouldn't ever let my daughter spend the night at that house again. Sounds like they're pretty uptight and unreasonable. (I also imagine that their little girl told the father it was all your daughter's fault in order to keep herself out of trouble. She's kind of young to really understand how this affects her friend, but I'd keep a good eye on her as well.) I wouldn't trust them with my daughter again. Do what Ellis advised. Invite the little girl over to your house and let the kids be friends on your terms.

I certainly would ask the mother what she thinks of how the evening went and ask why they are coming down so hard on your daughter. I had this happen to my daughter when she was a teenager and the sad thing was, her friend blamed everything on her, just like in your situation. My daughter eventually would have nothing to do with her because she was trouble and treated all her friends like that.

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answers from Los Angeles on

Most definitely over-the-top. Jeez!! And ridiculous, frankly. I'm with you, L..

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answers from Biloxi on

Let me say - I think banning the girls from playing together is excessive. The friend's father sounds a little over the top also a little in denial that his daughter "misbehaved". It sounds like he is blaming everything on your daughter. It was also extremely rude for the girl to be allowed to invite "anyone" over but not your daughter. No wonder your daughter is upset.

Have you tried talking to the Mom since you both have a relationship? Explain that your daughter is upset about what happened when she stayed the night but even more upset that she is now being left out of activities. Also explain to your daughter that not every parent reacts the same way and that she will have to learn to respect Mr. X's decisions regarding his daughter.

Was this their first sleep over? Maybe Mr. X just didn't realize how loud little girls can get and and how late they can stay up. Whatever his reason he sounds horrible.

For your daughter, maybe there is another girl that she can invite over to spend the night? Might be time to branch out and expand her friendships.

Remember, this too shall pass.

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answers from Detroit on

Dad's sometimes tend to be more "stern" and, because they have that extra "bass" in their voice, it sometimes comes off meaner than it should. That being said.... I get the impression that the dad is really over-reacting here. Has he never hosted a slumber party at his house before now?? I'm actually serious because he doesn't really seem to understand the basics...that sleepovers don't always mean "sleep" at a specific time and that, if children are left unsupervised...even the really good kids...chaos will errupt.

My son is 5 and he's hosted and attended sleepovers for about a year now (of course, with families we know REALLY well). I've had up to 6 five year old boys running through the house at one point. And even at five, and regardless of the fact that I have them lay down and start relaxing at 9ish, they were so busy talking and telling jokes and playing little pranks on one another that it was 11:30 before the last one finally conked out. I spent a lot of the time the kids were here refereeing small spats and supervising them like a hawk to make sure that their boistorous play didn't lead to broken things (or arms or legs LOL). The thing is...when you have any number of kids (even a small group of two) in such an exciting environment, they literally go bannanas with delight and things will happen that likely wouldn't normally happen. If I hadn't been watching all six of those boys and they accidently broke or destroyed something unintentionally....the only person to blame would be ME! And all of us moms involved go into the situation understanding that its likely gonna be a late night and they will be a little on the cranky side the next day.

This is all a part of the sleep over thing and he just doesn't seem to GET that. You've offered to pay for the refinishing and he's far as that goes there is little more you can do. Have you tried talking with the mom?? She may not even be aware of the whole situation and maybe SHE can get him to just chill out and relax...There is also the slightest of possibilities that once he's had a chance to calm down, he'll lift the "ban" on your little girl.

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answers from Norfolk on

Personally, I think nail polish in the hands of 9 yr olds is just asking for trouble.
If he lets his daughter have nail polish, he needs to be mad at himself for not realizing he's basically letting her play with paint thinner and it WILL ruin the finish on furniture.
Sometimes, it seems like 2 kids who are good apart from each other create a sort of negative feedback loop when they are together.
Instead of bringing out the best in each other, they bring out the worst. You can't blame the father for declaring a break for awhile. It should give him a chance to see if his daughter continues behaviors that bother him and he won't be able to blame your child if it does. This could be a learning opportunity for both girls. It's not too soon to learn about choices and consequences. What would you consider to be over the line behavior and how would you punish it? It's good to talk about these things before anything happens.

1 mom found this helpful
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