Why You NEED a Family Sleepover Policy

Each one of our kids reached this stage of teen development at a different age.  One of our children had an expressive language delay, so we waited a year or two beyond 13 years old before granting this child the privilege to do sleepovers.  A few years later, this particular child voices great relief that we didn’t push her into a situation that she just wasn’t ready to handle.

The Sleep under/Half-sleepover

My caboose kid participates in sleep under with families that we know well and trust.  At ten years old, she packs her overnight bag with her favorite mermaid PJs, her beloved glittery stuffed mermaid and has fun with her friends until 10:30. Then, we pick her up and bring her home.

On occasion, she erects a little resistance to the policy.  Is it hard not to cave?  YES!  But my job as a parent is to protect my kids even at the expense of their social calendar.

And let’s be real, when all the younger chicks are tucked in the nest, everyone gets a better night sleep. Except for the long awaited trip to grandma and grandpa/ aunties and uncles, sleepovers can wait.

3. Rehabilitate Your Sleepovers

Sometimes we need to adjust. We don’t build homes the same way we did fifty years ago, birthday parties are now mini receptions, and if something breaks, we buy new.  Few things in life are the same as they once were.  The reality of this is somewhat dismal but accurate.

The same logic applies to parenting and the myriad of childhood circumstances that come with the job.   Sleepovers are one of the childhood pastimes that we need to modify to protect our kids.

With the sleepover conundrum, we are dealing with a far more serious issue than “am I a terrible mommy if I give my kid sugared cereal in the morning?”  This subject should be a topic of discussion within families long before your sweet child receives his first e-vite.

Deciding how to handle sleepovers doesn’t require parenting wizardry.  It does demand a new outlook and possibly a different approach to a ritual that seems to be a favorite tradition in Western culture.

We want our children to be as cunning as the narrator eventually became in Dr. Seuss’ I had Trouble in Getting to Solla Sollew:

So I said to myself,

“Now, I’ll just have to start

To be twice as careful

and be twice as smart

I’ll watch out for trouble

in front and back sections

By aiming my eyeballs

in different directions.”

Do you have a sleepover family policy?  If so, please share what works or didn’t work for your family?  Do you have any tips that I didn’t mention?


This article originally appeared at DeniseSultenfuss.com.

Denise Sultenfuss
Denise Sultenfuss
Wife of Mark, mother to six, homeschool mom, farmer, and writer who loves to equip, encourage, and inspire people to live a holy and healthy life at www.denisesultenfuss.com You can find Denise on social media here: Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/denisesulten/ Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/denisesultenfuss/ Insta: www.instagram.com/denisesultenfuss/ Twitter: https://twitter.com/DeniseSultenfus

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