Staying Overnight at a New Friend's House

Updated on September 27, 2011
C.M. asks from Bartlett, IL
15 answers

My 10-year old daughter was invited to a sleepover birthday party for a girl she just met a month ago at cheerleading. My daughter's BFF from cheerleading has known this girl for a long time (and she met her at her BFF's sleepover) but WE have never met this girl's mom or dad and we don't know them. My daughter has never had a one-on-one playdate with this girl, although she seems like a sweetheart.

I don't have any issue with her going to the party but my husband and I feel a bit uneasy about letting her stay overnight. My daughter's BFF is not spending the night because she doesn't like spending the night at other people's houses. My daughter will know one other girl at the party who is spending the night. I don't think anything horrible is going to happen, but I don't know how much supervision this family does. There are a few of my daughter's friends whom I love, but she will never spend the night there again because the supervision was bad (and my daughter took part in things she would NEVER be allowed to do at home.)

Am I being overprotective mom for letting her go but not spend the night? I know she's going to have a FIT about not being allowed to spend the night and I want to have a solid stance before I confront the "Whyyyyyyyyyyy?????????!!!!!!"

What would you do?

What can I do next?

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

So What Happened?

Thanks moms! I am going to try to make an effort to get to know the mom before the party, maybe at cheer practice. Even if she is nice (which she seems to be) I don't fully trust my daughter after what happened the last time at a different friends' house. They went into their parents DVD collection and watched "The Grudge" which is an R rated horror film. My daughter knows she is not supposed to watch R rated movies, and she knew they weren't supposed to do it. Then at 2 in the morning they decided to bake brownies and made a mess in her friends' mom's kitchen, plus they were using a hot oven without adult supervision. Then I heard they were outside running around the house at six in the morning. That is the result of no adult supervision, and of my daughter following along with a bad influence.

Featured Answers



answers from Chicago on

Call her parents , meet them and ask questions about the sleepover. If you are still uneasy...don't let her go otherwise if the parents are ok let her go.

More Answers


answers from Austin on

Funny, When I was a little girl, I went to every sleepover I was invited to and I do not remember my mom or dad always meeting the parents before the sleepover.

With our daughter I had usually at least met the mom.
Just call them and get a feeling for them. Maybe ask at Cheerleading about the parents. Or Ask your daughters friends parents about his family.

If you are really concerned just tell her not this time. Maybe you all could hold a cookout to try t get to know some of the other parents.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Lincoln on

Heck no! That happened to us one time too. My daughter was invited for a sleep over, when i took her to the area where the girl lived, i said you are not spending the nite in this part of town.... my daughter was bummed... but i am the mother and i have to do what i have to do to keep my child safe. If you dont feel comfortable leaving your daughter there, then dont.... or else you will stay up all night with worry.... until you get to know this little girl better, then decide.... these days you have to watch your children like hawks... you cannot trust anyone! Sad to say, but this is what our world is coming too! When i was that age, we hardly ever had to worry about stuff like that... i remember riding my bike everywhere and anywhere! but now... forget it... we live two blocks from my daughters middle school and i still watch her walk to school! Trust your momma instincts!

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

If your gut tells you "no", then follow your instint! Just pick her up when the BFF leaves.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Minneapolis on

I would let her go because this girl is known and liked in your DD's circle of friends. Since you are feeling cautious, you could call the BFF's Mom and get her opinion on her family and home life. I'll bet your daughter also knows from her own past not so good sleepover experiences now, clearly what your rules are and what she is not allowed to do. I'd share your concerns with your DD and remind her of your expectations, and that you will have to little chat first with her friend's Mom. Then I'd call the friend's Mom personally, thank her for the invitation, tell her your DD is very excited, and ask that you can clarify some of the details in advance since she had not yet stayed overnight at their home. Then you can ask about supervision, activities, rules, etc. I think any decent parent would have no problem, and in fact welcome a little pre-sleepover parent to parent conversation.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

I would make a time to talk to and meet the girl's parents. As parents, they will understand and appreciate you wanting to know a little something about them before you let your daughter spend the night at their house.


answers from Phoenix on

My daughter is 12 tomorrow and my son will be 9 in 2 weeks. Last year was the first year I let both of them spend the nights at their classmates bday parties. My daughters overnight party was first and she had a good time although I was told by the parents they were "staying home" and later I found out the mom took the girls to the mall. Ok, not thrilled with that info. When my son went overnight to his classmates bday party, the boy had 3 older brothers who ended up calling him names, teasing him and showing him the dads stash of half naked calendar pics in his office. NICE!!! So he did NOT have a good time and I ended up telling both kids that I can't trust these parents with doing the right thing and clearly they don't watch our kids like we do. So I felt terrible about telling them that they could not do anymore sleepovers until they are a couple years older. I don't mind taking them to a party but will pick them up late and they won't spend the night. No way. My son was happy with the decision because I think he was sort of traumatized by his experience and my daughter wasn't happy but I think she saw my point and does understand. Just my experience but if it were me, I would let her go to the party but not spend the night. Good luck!



answers from Chicago on

I don't let my daughter stay anywhere if I haven't met the parents. I did let my daughter go home overnight to a HOUSE I'd never seen, but I had met the mom at school and the principal gave a recomendation that she thought it would be ok based on what she knew of the girl and her parents (we have a smaller school, so she would know). One other time I told my daughter that she could for sure stay for the party, but based off my reaction when I dropped her off would determine if we got her sleeping bag out of the car - I had to snoop around and ask some questions first.

So, I would call her parents and talk to them. Can you come over for coffee and chat for 10 minutes a couple days before the sleepover to give you a comfort level? Or just talking to her on the phone. Fess up to the mom that you had a bad experience - she will probably tell you straight up what goes on in her house.... and if she can't, then that's the red flag you're looking for.

I can't tell if you're overprotective, because I don't know what stuff you consider to be out of line. If your daughter took part in things she would never be allowed to do at home and they were:
eating potato chips and drinking Dr Pepper at midnight.
Watching cartoons
telling ghost stories
jumping on the bed
playing the wii (not call of duty, but wii resort or boxing)
listening to B96FM or 101.9 the Mix

Then, yes I'd say you are overprotective and have unrealistic expectations for what goes on at sleepovers. But if she came home and talked about call-of-duty, Texas Chainsaw Massacre and the friends older brother and his 2 friends who hung out with them until 2am.... Then, no you're right in line with where you should be!!!!!


answers from San Luis Obispo on

I remember once dropping my daughter off at a birthday slumber party and wishing I had researched a little more. It was not in the best area and I remember going on scavenger hunts etc.. at birthday parties at that age. So not wanting to come off as snobby, I reluctantly left with directions my daughter needed to follow, like not going anywhere unless I knew about it etc... It ended up being perfectly fine but I don't think you are over-reacting by calling the mom and asking what the plans are. If she is the kind of mom you would leave your kid with... then she will understand and in turn see what kind of a mom you are and be okay with trusting her daughter with you.
If you still don't feel good about it... tell her you have plans the next day but you will drop her off for the evening but pick her up before they do the slumbering part!
And then you better REALLY have something fun for your daughter to do... maybe mani's and pedis or something fun and use that time with her to explain to her how you love her and that she can expect you to review every situation on a case by case basis until she can do it for herself. I remember sneaking out of one Slumber Party, climbing over the fence and running around on a golf course and going inside the drain pipes! Kids are DUMB until they are not! Or until they are moms. LOL!



answers from Colorado Springs on

You are not being *over*-protective. You are being protective. And, that is your job. I would not, under any circumstances, let my child spend the night at a house without me when I didn't know the people very, very well. Does this friend have an older brother? Will he be having friends stay the night at the same time? Who else will be in the home for the birthday party? To me, it just isn't worth it.



answers from Chicago on

You will have to live with what you allow one night a lot longer than just that night. If you give in to this and don't feel right about it then it will be harder to pull back later. Hold to your values and senses of right and wrong. What may be a hissy fit this weekend may result in the teenager who listened to their gut and called you when aparty got out hand and they need a ride home as well as their friends so they don't drink and drive. Communicate your reasons why and if you don't let her go make afun night for you and her so she still has a good time.



answers from Chicago on

We don't let our daughter spend the night at homes where we don't know the parents. That has always been our rule & she knows that so there is no arguing. If I were you, I would let her go to the party but not spend the night. Just tell her it is either that or not going at all & she will probably be OK with it. Having her BFF not spending the night either will probably help. We have found that there are always girls who don't spend the night at sleepover parties for one reason or another - not knowing the parents, not wanting to stay away from home, plans in the morning, etc. Nobody seems to mind. I think it is almost expected that there will be somebody who can't stay. I would just ask the birthday girl's parents what time will be good to pick her up so you're not disrupting the evening & make sure the birthday girl knows ahead of time that your daughter is leaving so she will not be upset. Hope everyone has fun!


answers from Dallas on

I would call and meet the parents before letting her spend the night. I'd probably already let her know she would go, but I had to meet the parents first. I loved sleep-overs and especially group parties when I was young, and I wanted my daughter to have the same experiences. She's 16 now, but when she was younger, if I didn't know the parents, I met them. I never stopped her from spending the night, now, if she didn't want too, I asked her why then I told her to tell her friends that I said no. A couple of times she didn't want to go.
Always important to meet the parents.



answers from Chicago on

We always pick up at about 10 and tell the host we have an activity in the morning. Everyone is happy and well rested!



answers from Peoria on

I don't think you are being overprotective at all. It is scary not knowing what your child is doing in a place that is not like a school or with a certifie leader, per say. We have a "no sleepovers" rule at our house. Maybe some people think it is extreme, but for me, if they are not there overnight, then I can prevent bad things (of ALL kinds) from happening. And that - literally - helps me sleep better at night. By the way, if I say no to all of them, then there is no room for other parents or friends to be hurt, because it is always "no."

Next question: Daugter's First Sleepover