elementary age kids/ sleepovers with families you don't know well - Mothering Forums

View Poll Results: Do you let your elementary aged child sleepover with families you don't know well?
Yes. 15 20.83%
No. 53 73.61%
Other (please explain). 4 5.56%
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#1 of 25 Old 01-06-2008, 07:42 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Do you let your elementary school aged children (about age 5-12ish) go to sleepovers at homes where you don't know the families well? I'm really not comfortable with this at all for a number of reasons and don't allow it, but I know people who allow their children to go to sleepovers with families they don't know well.

One reason I don't do this is because I have a friend who was molested at a sleepover when she was elementary aged.
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#2 of 25 Old 01-06-2008, 08:23 PM
 
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I would have to know what you mean by don't know well. If I had met the parents and didn't get any red flags I did allow my children to go. I think your history of knowing someone that was molested of course colors your view. If it had been a family member that had molested your friend and while her parent was near would you fell differently? Probably. Statistically molesters usually are people closer to your family than "the sleepover kids parent" they usually are the one of the last people that you would suspect.
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#3 of 25 Old 01-06-2008, 08:27 PM
 
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nope. no way. And let me say we are definitely the odd family. I truly can't believe how common it is.
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#4 of 25 Old 01-06-2008, 08:30 PM
 
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I said "other." My son is almost 7 and we haven't been faced with this issue yet.
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#5 of 25 Old 01-06-2008, 08:40 PM
 
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We typically start with play dates then move on to sleep overs. I don't have to socialize with the parents, or even consider them as friends, I just trust my gut. Sleepovers are the highlight of my kids weekends (6 and 3), when they happen!
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#6 of 25 Old 01-06-2008, 08:41 PM
 
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My dd only had a few sleepovers. One in particular, her parents didn't speak english, so while I had known them for many years, I saw dad every day, I didn't know them well. But, I know the child very well, and this is one kid who could come live in my home any time.

So, I didn't have any problems letting her go over there.

SHe was invited to sleep at Laura's house, but I hadn't met her mom yet, so I said "not tonight". Then when I met her, she was roaring drunk at 5:00 P.M, so there was no way I was going to let my dd go over there for a sleep over. A year later she took a group of sixth grade girls out for pizza, and wrecked her car because she was drunk. The police called the parents of the girls to go pick their kids up. Boy were they mad!
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#7 of 25 Old 01-06-2008, 08:58 PM
 
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Um, I wouldn't lump 5 and 12yos in the same catagory!

No sleepovers at all before age 9 or 10. And then only at homes where I've met the parents and didn't get any "red flags" from them. I don't feel the need to "know the family well" before allowing a sleepover, if the child already knows my child from school.

I don't have the same standards for an afternoon playdate- talk to the parents on the phone and then meet them when I pick DC up after the playdate. Nor do I have the same standards for my 13yo middle schooler. I've let her stay at a friend's house before meeting the friend or her family- but this was after she'd known the other girl for several months at school and I trust that DD trusts HER gut and wouldn't have asked to sleep over if she didn't feel safe with that friend or got any "bad vibes" about the way the girl spoke about her family.

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#8 of 25 Old 01-06-2008, 10:47 PM
 
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No way, there's no reason to put my child at risk and most elementary kids would be more comfortable sleeping at home in familiar surroundings. Let the kids play during the daytime.
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#9 of 25 Old 01-06-2008, 10:48 PM
 
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No. I do not recommend any sleeping over.

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#10 of 25 Old 01-07-2008, 12:16 AM
 
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My child isn't elementary aged yet, but I probably will be lenient about her sleeping over at friends' houses. My parents were, and I've never had a bad sleepover experience.

ETA: just read the OP and I do have a five year old but it hasn't come up yet. She's not in elementary, though.

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#11 of 25 Old 01-07-2008, 12:18 AM
 
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No, small children should not be sleepoing anywhere with people you don't know well. I know lots of folks who do sleepovers, but none have ever done them with families they don't know. I've never known anyone who would let a 5 yr old sleep at a strangers home.

We allow sleepovers, and we have hosted sleepovers. We evaluate individual invtations. None of my young children would ever be comfortable sleeping at strangers' homes, even if they knew the child.
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#12 of 25 Old 01-07-2008, 01:59 AM
 
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even as an oler child I had some nightmare sleep overs and I can't beliebe my parents let me go over to complete strangers house.

Kylees house -apparently she shared a room with her 16 year old brother. i found this out in the morning when I woke up and he was sleeping in the other bed. I was wearing a t-shirt and undies. I was 12. fortunately he was passed out drunk so I was able to get decent before he woke up. later that morning her parents beat the crap out of her like I wasn't even there. and I came from an physically abusive home and that still floored me.

Jennys home - pit bulls that held us hi stage, no running water and nothing in th fridge (her parents went out partying and left us alone with that). so she drank beer. we hung out in her moms room where the sex toys, contraceptive and pubic lice shampoo were all just sitting out on the night stand. Jenny modeled her moms . . .uhhh. . . erm. . .costumes . . . I also learned a lot about blow jobs the next day from the neighbor kids. I was 13 . . . .

that was my last sleep over with anyone but my best friends. I didn't need my parents to put limits on me at that point. i just wasn't interested.

my children have a very short list of people they may sleep over with. and we rarely do it just for the sake of a sleep over. it is usually because I have to work. when it is a sleep over for the sake of a sleep over it is almost always a group thing (well in general most of my friends have 2-6 kids so my three plus theirs always equals a group) and when it is a one on one thing the dad and brothers are usually out of the house (I have all girls).

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#13 of 25 Old 01-07-2008, 02:05 AM
 
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Nope. We have to know every person of the other child's family incredibly well before our kids could sleep over. Even then I usually suggest the kids sleep over here instead.

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#14 of 25 Old 01-07-2008, 01:17 PM
 
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Well, this hasn't technically come up for us yet, but I anticipate that it will within the next year. My answer is an emphatic NO.
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#15 of 25 Old 01-07-2008, 01:53 PM
 
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I would allow sleepovers but never ever at a strangers.

Mommy to THREE sweet boys & ONE sweet girl + a newb due in February!  I need a nap. 
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#16 of 25 Old 01-07-2008, 01:55 PM
 
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i agree with the pp about not lumped 5yrs and 12yrs older together!!

that said - i haven't let me dd go out to a sleepover - but i have been host for about 34 now... 2 groups sleepovers and 2 one-on-one sleepover... and all went well

BTW - she was 7 for her first 1-on-1 sleep, but i had known the girls mother for YEARS, as her older sons were friends of my brothers growing up

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#17 of 25 Old 01-07-2008, 02:45 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lilyka View Post
even as an oler child I had some nightmare sleep overs and I can't beliebe my parents let me go over to complete strangers house.
Um, yeah, me too.

I remember staying at one girl's house when I was about 12 or 13 years old. My mom didn't really know the family. I don't remember where her dad was (not home during the stay) and her mom was home, for a while, before going out drinking for the night. I know we didn't have dinner or breakfast and not that it hurt me but it was shocking and sort of upsetting at the time.

There were some friends/families that my mom literally knew her whole life and even some of those situations were not good.

One of my closest friends had an absolute (yet highly functioning) addict father so we witnessed and were part of some very inappropriate behaviors.

Another had an incest vein running thru the family. Tragic and the memories will forever creep me out. I totally agree with the other poster, having some connection to molestation does influence ones feelings IMO.

While nothing truly bad ever happened to me personally, the "what could haves" are really frightening as a adult.

I don't know how I will handle sleepovers when it comes up, which won't be for a few years.

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#18 of 25 Old 01-07-2008, 04:53 PM
 
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just a little side note one of our compromises has been "pajama parties" they go in modest pajamas, hang out, watch movies, have supper, and treats and stay up past bed time and then really really late .. ya know like 9:30 they come home and sleep in their own bed.

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#19 of 25 Old 01-07-2008, 08:43 PM
 
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I do not allow sleepovers with families I don't know well, period.

Bethany, crunchy Christian mom to Destiny (11) Deanna (9), and Ethan (2)

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#20 of 25 Old 01-07-2008, 08:59 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Caneel View Post
Um, yeah, me too.
Me three.

My parents were pretty clued-in to this sort of thing and my first sleepover was with my Girl Scout troop at age 9. Although my mom knew the troop leader and many of the other girls, it was a disaster. . .namely no food in the house and no plans on how to entertain us (no movies/TV, no games, etc). The mom just went to bed and left us to fend for ourselves. We ended up just going to sleep very early and it wasn't fun at all.

Honestly, the only thing these sleepovers did for me was open my eyes to the way some people lived -- sexual abuse, drug/alcohol abuse, no food, pet urine/feces all over, downright filth. My parents are good people and raised me well, I just think being exposed to all of this at such a young age without any guidance was a bit much. And I'm the adventurous type that never got homesick. I stopped going to these sleepovers because they were scary and I didn't want to have any part of them.

The best sleepovers I had were with my best friend around the same time period. She lived right next door and my parents knew their parents well (tight-knit community and they were always chatting outside). Nothing freaky went on there.

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#21 of 25 Old 01-08-2008, 08:14 PM
 
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I voted no.

DD (9) hasn't been invited to any yet, but at the moment there are only two families I would say yes to. If I don't know all the members of the household pretty well, no way. I guess if she starts getting invited to some, I'll just offer to host instead or do an "almost-sleepover."

It's funny, because I loved sleeping over at my friends' houses when I was a kid - it was mostly the same two friends - but as a parent I find myself thinking "why the heck do kids have to have sleepovers anyway?"
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#22 of 25 Old 01-09-2008, 10:25 AM
 
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I have let my kids go to pretty much anything they are invited to. I do think about the extreme circumstances that could happen, but I do not run my life living in fear of the stories that make the news or get passed on like the telephone game. When I talk to the parents beforehand, I find out what all will be going on, who all will be there etc. I ask my kids extensive questions the next day. There has been one family that I was not all too impressed with and I don't allow sleepovers there any longer. Nothing bad happened, I just didn't like the way they ran their house... based upon my own personal judgment, which is completely biased towards what I prefer.

I'm obviously the minority here, which I'm fine with.

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#23 of 25 Old 01-09-2008, 11:59 AM
 
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Never. I was not/don't know anyone who was molested, but I'm not blind to the possibility of that or something else happening. I would always wait until I knew the parents VERY well, and until my child was old enough to know enough to call me for whatever reason. I don't think a 5 year old is capable of that...
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#24 of 25 Old 01-09-2008, 12:00 PM
 
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Never. I was not/don't know anyone who was molested, but I'm not blind to the possibility of that or something else happening. I would always wait until I knew the parents VERY well, and until my child was old enough to know enough to call me for whatever reason. I don't think a 5 year old is capable of that...
The family my mom nannies for lets their 7 year old sleep over anyones house. Their 2 year old has stayed over here many nights, and actually prefers it here....After all, we don't CIO and we all fall asleep together, but that's another story.
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#25 of 25 Old 01-09-2008, 06:07 PM
 
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DS is 8 and is just starting to be aware of and ask for sleepovers. Luckily he goes to a small school and I know all of the families of his classmates reasonable well -- been to their houses, had group and individual playdates there and here, gone to lots of birthday parties, that sort of "know". So I would be comfortable with him accepting invites from them. But so far he has decided he isn't ready for the couple of invitations he has actually gotten, and I'm not pushing him.

I think that baseline would be my overall standard -- I would have wanted to meet the parents a couple of times, seen the house, and have a basic comfort level with the family. Not that they have to be the same as us, but I would want to know what DS might encounter.

DD is 4 and she has asked about sleepovers but we've said she's not old enough yet. Since she doesn't ever go to sleep without being cuddled and held, I doubt she'd make it to the "sleepover" stage anyway!
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