Sleepover Birthday Party for 4Th Grader?

Updated on December 06, 2011
L.L. asks from Altamonte Springs, FL
11 answers

Hello- my daughter is in the 4th grade and has been invited to a classmates sleepover birthday party. I'm not so keen on sleepovers with people that I don't know personally. My daughter has slept at friends houses before but only when I am friends with the parents. She really, really wants to go to this sleepover. In the invitation, the mom wrote a note that said "If you would like to meet Aubris parents and come to the house please just give us a call and we'd love to meet you!"

That makes me think maybe they are the same as me with letting their daughter attend sleepovers. I am calling the mom today and going to setup a time to meet her and go to their house.

What questions should I ask? I already looked up their address to see if any registered sex offenders are near their house (there are none). I am going to ask her if they have any guns in the house and I am going to ask her how much supervision the girls will have. I'm at a loss -what else should I ask?

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answers from Chicago on

Are there older siblings,are the siblings having friends over that night ,who else will be in the house. Where will they sleep? Ask her to call you if daughter doesn't want to stay . Also, is everyone staying or are some girls leaving at 10 or so.You can always say you have an early day the next day and she won't be able to stay all night. Have that ready in case you aren't comfortable and feel funny saying something while you are at her house. Good luck=)

2 moms found this helpful

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answers from Houston on

I don't remember my parents being so concerned about sleepovers.

Maybe instead of asking the parents things, you should ask your daughter about Aubri. What kind of girl is she? I think you could learn a lot about the parents by the way Aubri behaves.

I mean, what would you ask the parents? I doubt it'll be a co-ed sleepover, but you could ask. I would assume the parents would be in the house the whole time, but it's probably worth double-checking. Maybe about any activities that are planned?

When I was in 4 grade and up, the preferred party was a sleepover (if you couldn't have a pool party). Some we just hung out around the house, pigged out, giggled together, ran around the house and generally drove the parents nuts. Sometimes we had actual activities - I remember going to a haunted house for one. I think we did ice-skating one time, etc.

I guess I've always wondered when I see questions like these: what do you think will happen? This girl has survived as long as yours has, why would that suddenly change because of a sleepover? One night of being allowed to do something your daughter normally isn't won't affect her long-term.

I guess I just don't get it. My daughter is only 18months, so maybe I'll understand when it's her turn to do sleepovers, but I just don't remember them being that big of a deal when I was younger.

Maybe you're at a loss for questions because there really isn't anything else you can ask that will be that big of a deal...

5 moms found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

I think a regular meet/greet or quick coffee chat would be fine. I don't think you need to grill them with questions, unless you're concerned about a health or safety issue. It sounds like they're trying to put everyone at easy by offering themselves for a meet. Just make sure they have your number, in case your daughter wants to come home or whatever.

I personally think the research on sex offenders and guns are going overboard. At some point, you're questioning their ability to be good parents.

They're 4th grade girls who are going to play games and watch movies. Ask about the movies and the games. Ask about their plan for being with or around the girls. Beyond that, I think you can back off a bit and let your daughter have fun.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Visalia on

You dont want to interrogate the Mom, you can tell alot by her mannerism and how her child behaves and what the inside of the house looks like. do ask for the landline or cell number.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

We recently hosted a sleepover for my son's sixth birthday party. We were friends with everyone we invited except one child. We were unsure how many people would allow their kids over...since they are pretty young. I was a little surprised that everyone came, even the kid who's parents didn't know us. I did get calls and questions before hand. Most wanted to know how we intended on supervising the six kids invited. And one friend let us know they were concerned about their child getting to our pool at night. No one interrogated us, even the parents who didn't know us. We did collect two phone numbers for every kid, just in case. Most parents called us at some point during the evening and we had the kids each call their parents before bed to say goodnight. Many moms were worried their kid would want to come home early, so I also called and let them know their kid was asleep, so they weren't anticipating a "come get me" call. We weren't interrogated about weapons or sex offenders. The mom who didn't know us, stopped by and introduced herself and talked to me a bit on the phone. I think she was just trying to feel me out a bit. Go meet with them and check out the house. If you get any bad vibes, simply decline the invitation. Mother's intuition can tell you a lot. I imagine that it will be fine. It sounds like they are doing their best to be open and make everyone comfortable. I bet your daughter will have a fantastic time.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from San Francisco on

Meeting the parents and spending a few minutes at their home when you drop off your daughter should be sufficient. You will get a feel for things and your mommy instinct will kick in. I'm sure your daughter will have a great time!

I've hosted many sleepovers over the years, not only three kids' worth of birthday parties, but scout overnights as well. The parents who didn't know me usually stayed and chatted and asked a few general questions (what will they be doing, where will they sleep,etc.) but nothing beyond that.

Don't over think it. Oh I know people will say "oh you never can be too careful" but honestly are you going to do a sex offender search, a background check, a home safety inspection every time your child leaves your home? It's borderline paranoid, you need to let your daughter leave the nest, baby steps at a time. Don't be ruled by fear, it is extremely unlikely anything bad will ever happen to your daughter at the hands of a stranger, it is MUCH more likely for her to be hurt by a family member or a TRUSTED family friend, that's the sad reality.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from New York on

Please don't grill them. This mother is offering an opportunity for you to essentially come over for a cup of coffee and chat. If you pull out a list of questions then you are setting a really strange tone.

Just get a feel for how their household is run. When you come over with your daughter, do the girls play well together and do they need supervision? At that age, they don't need a parent hovering around. My guess is that if this mother is offering this up to other parents, they are responsible adults who are aware that others may be the same.

Just meet them and chat for a half hour or so. Don't grill her about the party. It could and likely will be construed as an interview and offensive. You aren't interviewing a caregiver or babysitter. You are meeting your child's friend's family. If you get a bad vibe, then allow your daughter to attend the party and pick her up around 9 or so.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Minneapolis on

Such a good sign that they welcomed parents to come and meet them. I'd already be impressed. They're probably the type of parents who would also like to meet and get to know a new family before sending their own daughter to spend the night at someone's house.

I'd be casual in conversation, so as not to fire off one question after the other. What's the plan for the party? If movies, which ones? Games? Who will supervise? Who will be home? Any older siblings? Will there be any other guests in the house that evening? (family, sibliing friends, etc) Will the girls be at home the entire time, or are they planning to take them out any place?

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

I agree with Lisa- one of my main questions would be about siblings and other guests (male guests of older boy siblings would be a concern for me).
Just my two cents.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

I started going to sleepovers probably around that age, maybe younger
So, if our kids were the same age, and you asked the questions:
Are there guns in the house:
Yes, in a fireproof, combination locked safe.

Are their sex offenders? No - but that's due to a technicality since one of our neighbors was caught in a Dateline To Catch A Predator sting, and our stupid DA dropped the case. Not all sex offenders are caught and or prosecuted.

We have a dog - an 80ish pound lab. He would rather lick you to death than bite anyone.

Will the girls be supervised - well, I'm not going to hover around a group of party girls, but it doesn't mean that the front door will be wide open. They're more than welcome to come and go from the back yard as they please.

Wanna stay a little while and chat?? Sure! But also know that you basically have a free babysitter for the night - enjoy some ME or WE time.

So, with that said - would you let your daughter come over to my house?
You sound very involved and concerned, which is great because we hear too many times when parent's AREN'T involved. But, I think you need to let go just a 'smidge' in this cirumstance.



answers from Chicago on

Well, what concerns do you have? For me, I would ask about what activities they have planned, what kind of food they are planning on providing (or if they would like us to "pitch in" and send something over with our kid), how they are planning on handling any behavior issues (some are bound to crop up with a bunch of 4th graders!).

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