Saying No to Sleepovers

How do you say no to a sleepover? My fourteen year old is asked to sleep over so many people’s houses that if I said yes to all of them she’d be an emancipated minor by now.

I’ve been going with “not tonight” but other parents are definitely noticing. My daughter told me that the kids’ parents have said that Mr. Archbold doesn’t trust them. It’s not that I don’t trust them, it’s just that I don’t trust them with my children who mean more to me than anyone in the world. Is that so hard to understand?

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  1. Just so. Happily, the daughter-person and a close circle of Catholic girls - and their Catholic parents - bonded wonderfully through high school. All of them grew up to be successful young professionals and faithful Catholics.

  2. Ask them if they would trust you with their bank account details and pin numbers. :-)

  3. Don't give in to pressure. Sleepovers are generally not good idea. You and your wife are responsible for your child's welfare - moral, intellectual, physical and spiritual.

  4. If you don't allow your teenage children to learn normal socialization skills, they will run amok when they get to college.

  5. Pat, why are sleepovers "Normal Socialization Skills"?
    How often do you "Sleep over" your friend's house? Maybe a lot, but in my neck of the woods, we leave at a decent hour or stay in a hotel if it's not family.

  6. Such irrational lies have been well-ingrained in those who allow themselves to be inundated by an immoral and erroneous view of life.

  7. Netmilsmom, are you seriously asking me for statistics on how common sleepover parties are for adolescents and teenagers?

  8. My daughter did go to sleepovers, but not very many and with only a few girls. Lots of people don't allow sleepovers, it is not a big deal. If you don't know people who don't allow sleepovers, that doesn't mean there aren't any! It just means you don't know any. For both our kids we often said they could stay until 11, or even until midnight. My son has anxiety problems and often couldnt' sleep away from home; if he was invited to a party or something we would just say that we were busy in the morning but he could stay until a certain time. Nobody cared.

  9. Pat, I think what Netmilsmom is asking is how is having sleep-overs as a teenager contributing to our ability to function is adult society?

    "Socialization" is a process where we learn to live and function in society. Is sleeping over a critical skill we need to learn as children so we can use it as adults, comparable to, for example, the ability to relate to people of various ages or to have a grown-up conversation? (both, incidentally, are "healthy" socialization skills)

    Netmilsmom is drawing attention to the fact that as adults, we don't normally "sleep over" at our friends' homes, but we stay until it's time to go, then go home. Because, frankly, that's the polite thing to do.

  10. Carolyn, adults also don't play tag, but children do. It's part of normal socialization.

  11. Pat, if you seriously believe that sleepovers are part of normal socialization skills, it's time you wash the mud off your eyes--or better yet, perhaps you need to be a fly on the wall at 3 a.m. when a bunch of junior high girls are still up. What's the old saying, "Nothing good ever happens after 2 a.m.? It's true. Especially, especially now in this day and age of children having unlimited, easy access to the internet. Check in with reality, Pat. You'd be amazed we're not living in Oz.

  12. @Unknown: Pat is a troll, dude. He comes here just to annoy people, because the blog is about a worldview he does not share. Why are you debating "normal socialization skills" with someone that crazy?

  13. Sophie, a troll is a person who sows discord on the internet by starting arguments, or posting inflammatory,extraneous, or off-topic messages. Your last comment is EACH of those 3. Mine, contrarily, directly addresses the issue. it merely challenges the blogger. If you have a reasoned opinion on this topic share it, but a passive-aggressive comment to Unknown, that's clearly meant for me, and calling me crazy, is trolling. Good night.

    Unknown: I've been there, at 3am when they're still up. Why would you think I havent? It can be infuriating. They laugh so damn loud it hurts my ears. they play truth or dare, they practice kissing, they pick on one girl, they share secrets, they try to steal a cigarette from upstairs. If it goes well, they learn a little bit about being away from home for a night, about independence, about the difference between mischief and misdeameanor, about what it feels like to picked on. About what it's like to stick up for the fat girl. About how far you can push the grown ups and what's going too far. Shall I go on? that was just from the top of my head.

    1. You've helped demonstrate why it's not a good thing, generally.

  14. Lynda, that's 3 comments you've made here that are each void of any substance or argument or reasoning. Will we get a fourth?

  15. Pat - Sleeping over someone's house is not part of socialization in the adult world. Our job as parents is to make good adults, not good kids.
    Normal people do not "sleep-over" other's houses. There is no reason why a parent should be required to give permission for their child to do it either.
    Not that one does not have the right to let his/her child participate in this activity, but it's up to the individual parent to make the call. And that parent shouldn't be judged or called out as not "socializing" his/her child if the decision is not to allow it.

  16. Netmilsmom, please see my response above to Carolyn.

  17. I am old-ish. In the 70s when I was a young girl, in my very small town, besides all of the things Pat mentioned, the girls experimented with lesbian behaviors. (These were the 'cool' girls.) It was my first and last sleepover. But it was not the last I heard of it... My children, needless to say, did not 'sleep over'.

  18. Sleepovers cause homosexuality. I knew it!

  19. Pat,

    "Sleepovers cause homosexuality. I knew it!"


    You sounded like one of those TV guys! She gave you a little opening, and you marched right in!!!

    I also liked when you:

    - Asserted that sleepovers are about socialization, rather than having fun ("Sure you can go to the movies with your friend, Sally, it will be good for socialization.")

    - Assumed that the term"normal socialization" has a clear meaning.

    - Assumed that normal = good

    - Purposefully missing the point of a comment to be argumentative: "are you seriously asking me for statistics on how common sleepover parties are for adolescents and teenagers?" Nope. No one that can read thought she was doing that.

    - Pushing a tired cliche: "If you don't allow your teenage children to learn normal socialization skills, they will run amok when they get to college." Fraternities and sororities are filed with the most normally socialized kids on campus, guess that is why they are so well behaved!

    - Offered a snarky gotcha, instead of addressing the issue: "adults also don't play tag, but children do. It's part of normal socialization." The point being made was that it not clear what purpose sleepovers have in the socialization of a teenager. The fact that little kids kids may learn not to punch each other by playing tag is neither here nor there. Lessons that made perfect sense in the scheme of an overall education (handwriting) may have no place in, say, medical school.

    Assuming that little kids inevitably learn valuable social skills from an unsupervised game of tag (that's a big assumption), the point is that whether the game is beneficial to them is largely determined by who they are playing with. Do you let your kid play flashlight tag with neighborhood kids if someone's big brother is feeding them racist jokes every time they hang out? If so, are you a racist? If not, why are you such a reactionary?


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