Originally Posted by contactmaya
I agree with the poster remarking that it was bizarre that there is a sleepover request so early in the friendship. To me, that is something you would do with someone you know very well. On those grounds, i wouldnt allow it. I would want a playdate first, and i would want the playdate at my place. If they still wanted a sleepover , then i would want the sleepover at my place.
In my mind, playdates precede sleepovers until both parents are comfortable that it is the right thing.
They definitely need a cell phone, and i would be calling, even on a sleepover where i knew the parents.
There are a lot of reasons why they might be having the sleepover now. For example, it might be the other girls birthday, or it might be a "start of a new school year" gathering.
My kids stopped calling get togethers "play dates" before middle school, and would have found this odd language.
I don't understand requiring they meet at one's own home first. If my kid invited another child over, and that was the parent's response, I suspect it would effect how my child felt. "So, you can't come to my house, but your mom is REQUIRING I come to yours before we do anything outside of school?" That's really just rude.
Although I've always made sure my kids could call me, I've never called them to just to check up on them. The phone is there is they need an out. I actually really trust my kids to make basic life choices.
May be part of this for me is because my older DD has serious social deficits due to being on the autism spectrum, so I wanted to nurture my younger DD's social life and let her enjoy *normal* life and *normal* events. And for awhile, that was sleepovers.
I think if nurturing your child's friendships is a goal, but you are uncomfortable with the sleepover, you could accept the invitation with the caveat that your child won't sleep over, but that you will pick them up at an agreed upon time (10 or whatever) so the kids can have their fun. But changing the whole thing to your house, your rules, your deal is a little.....rude.
I've seen some very nice things happen at sleepovers. Fun games played, movies watched, pancakes eaten, and bonding conversations happen. One of the best nights of my DDs life was staying up all night watching the Lord of the Rings movies, and then watching the sun come up with her friends (that one wasn't at our house).
I think that moving into the teen years, its helpful to let go of the idea that our offsprings friends need to be people that we know well. I also think it is helpful to make one's own home "teen friendly" and to encourage our kids to invite their friends over. But doing so in a friendly/non-controlling way just seems healthier to me than *requiring a playdate.*