Sleepovers (I was told boys don’t have “slumber parties”) can be a little controversial. I let my kids have sleepovers, but not everyone invited is allowed to stay the night. I’ve heard one reason being that at sleepovers, kids do things they normally wouldn’t do. I think that can be true, but as far as I know, (and I could be gravely mistaken) my kids do what they always do: run around like maniacs. I do get worried that in the middle of the night when I’m asleep, they are going to do things they aren’t supposed to do. But at our last sleepover, J-Dog actually woke me up to ask me if he could go on the internet to look up something about football. He knows he’s not allowed to go on the computer without permission, and instead of doing it behind my back, he asked. I was way impressed. If he’s asking to look things up, I don’t think he’s looking up things he shouldn’t. We also have everything from You Tube to Google image searches blocked through a filter just in case, so I wasn’t too worried.
At slumber parties when I was a kid, I don’t remember doing anything I shouldn’t have. We did do things we normally wouldn’t do (draw on anyone’s face that fell asleep, pretend to french kiss pillows, go outside and dance in the middle of the night) but we never did anything we weren’t supposed to do. I do, however, have some great memories of scaring each other in the middle of the night, staying up talking, and putting on skits. These are experiences you just can’t have at a party that lasts only a few hours, and you really grow close to the people that you bare your soul to at 3 a.m.
J-Dog just had a sleepover and the boys stayed up, played army, traded football cards, watched a couple of movies, and the next morning played a game of football. Luckily the kids who didn’t spend the night were able to stay for most (if not all) of the festivities and then come again in the morning. But if we had thrown a traditional party instead it wouldn’t have been nearly as much fun! I will admit that boys were cross dressing at the party, but they would have done that even if they weren’t going to spend the night! Almost as soon as they arrived they were putting on the little girls’ dress up clothes.
I do think that you have to be very careful who’s house you let your kids stay at, that’s part of the reason I like having the parties at my own home. I know everyone at the party, I know what movies are being shown, and I also make sure we only show movies that everyone is allowed to watch. So far my boys have only gotten invited to sleepovers at people’s homes we know well and trust so we haven’t had to tell them “no” to a sleepover yet. Maybe for some it’s easier to have a blanket, “no sleepovers” rule, rather than tell their kids they can go to Johnny’s house but not Jimmy’s. But I think it’s OK to be discriminatory as to who you let your kids sleep over with, and if it’s someone you know well, they can make memories and forge friendships that can last a lifetime.