Summary: Slumber party is an activity that kids love the most on school holidays. However, it seems like parents don’t feel the same as their teens, especially when their teenage girls are asking to attend the sleepover party with other boys involved. Parents couldn’t help worrying about their girls, because, you know, the hormone thing. However, if well guided, there’s nothing much to worry about sleepover party. Just check this part to see the complete guide.Reading Time: 9 minutes
It’s summer vacation now, kids are expecting this for long. During summer vacation, they can do whatever they want, play games and the most exciting part, host/attend a sleepover party. Almost every kid loves sleepover parties, however, their parents show different opinions on it:
Kids in all age love sleepover party a lot because they can prepare sleepover party foods and stay up late at night to play games, chat, go camping, watch horror videos, sleepover movie, play sleepover pranks while others are sleeping, etc. There are many different sleepover party activities to do at a slumber party and it is never getting boring.
Young kids’ interest on sleepover is all about doing something new or rare that they haven’t tried before.
But, elder kids’ purpose, especially that of a teenager, is all about having some time away from their parents, pursue some freedom and make the decision on their own.
However, parents are extremely anxious when they heard that their kids are asking for attending a sleepover party because bad things usually happen without the adequate supervision of the parents.
Part 2. The Pros and Cons for Kids to Spend Night Out
Allowing your kids to attend sleepover parties that host by their friends has many benefits to your kids, to name a few:
#1. Build Up Independence for Kids
According to some survey, children who have never spend the night out without their parents behaved terrified at the first school residential trip. Children can learn new skills on how to pack their own clothes and ready for the sleepover and conquer the fear of sleeping away from home.
#2. Enhance Social Skills and Get Rid of Loneliness
Attending the slumber party with friends can strengthen your kids’ relationships with friends while playing together the whole day, the bed sharing and the bedtime chat. Kids, especially girls can share their secret and fun with their best friends during the sleepover party. What’s more, you will find that shy boys/girls who barely talk to others except for their families are more willing to talk and share their opinions actively.
This means a lot to kids who are the only child of the family. Single-child is somewhat lonely than those have siblings because they don’t have kids at their age to share their happy and sad things or play with them together unless going to their cousins in ordinary times.
#3. Your Children Know How to Behave in Someone Else’s Home
Every family has their own lifestyles and rules to obey. Some might ban snacks after dinner and some don’t allow too many candies. Going to a sleepover party gives your kids an opportunity to experience a different family.
You’d better wish the parents who host this party is not really good at cooking. Because once your kids have tasted something worse than yours, he/she will love your dishes after he/she come back. And this might be the useful cure for your picky eaters‘ issue, which you are looking for the solutions for long. (Hope the parents don’t see this post, at least not the previous sentence. LOL)
Even though there are many benefits to host/attend sleepover parties will bring to your kids, there are many unknown risks of going to a sleepover party:
#1. Sleep Deprivation
A sleepover party is usually about staying up late at night or even play the whole night. This will interrupt your sleep schedule for sure. In our previous article, we’ve shown you how much sleep do babies need every day with a chart by age. Lack of sleep will lead to fatigue, hard to concentrate, weaken immunity, depressed and bad-tempered. If your kids are going to a sleepover party, just make sure that he/she has time to rest and recover the next day.
#2. Accidents during the Slumber Party
If you’ve hosted a slumber party or kids birthday party before, you would understand that it is impossible for parents who host this slumber party to always keep an eye on so many kids, every second. Because it seems like kids are so energetic that they don’t feel exhausted at all even after hours of playing. Accidents always happen in the middle of the night, kids find the party boring and come up with some boring ideas after parents put the party girls to bed and go to sleep.
Take the case I’ve heard about years ago, for example, 5 slumber party girls get boring after sleep time comes and they sneak out to the street and play hide-and-seek in the abandoned building nearby. One of them fell down and get her knees broken. No one notice that until the next morning, a grandpa jogging through this and call 911.
#3. Sex Involved
Teenagers are less likely to share their stories with their parents any longer like they do when as young as a pre-schooler. They think they aren’t kids anymore and don’t need to report or ask for the permission for everything. They want to make their own decision. So, they lied to their parents saying that they are going to a slumber party in their classmates’ house but actually, they spend the night in their romantic partners’ house to prevent their parents’ chatter.
To spend the night in a boyfriend/girlfriend’s house doesn’t always mean sex involved, however, that mostly happened. Even though teenagers are old enough to make their own decision, they are still too young to make the right decision about sex. There are many examples that teenage girls get unexpected pregnant on a sleepover and this totally change her life even decades later.
#4. Drinking, Smoking and Taking Drugs
Parents worry more about teen sleepover parties because some of these parties involve alcohol, smokes and drugs. To avoid being found underage drinking and drug taking, teenagers always cheat their parents about the party. They lie about where are they going or who will they be with. Without the supervision of parents, the sleepover party will go much more dangerous.
All these evil things are highly addictive once you give it a try and it’s not that easy to be clean. Under the influence of alcohol, smoking and drugging, kids put themselves into a more dangerous environment because their judgments are impaired. There are many severe harms do to kids physically and mentally: Slow reaction, memory impairment, impairs vision even with a small dose… More unwanted tragic consequences might happen during a drug-involved sleepover party: Unintentional injuries, alcohol poisoning, violence, raped, and car accidents.
To avoid these terrible things, parents need to know when and how to talk to kids about alcohol, sex and drugs and make sure that they truly know the risk of taking these addictive substances. According to the survey, teens whose mom/dad has talked with them about alcohol or marijuana are less likely to use substances than those haven’t talked about that before, like nearly 50%. Moreover, show more interest in your kids and communicate with them from time to time so that they will be less offensive to talk to you about their day.
Part 3. Should Parents Ban Their Teenagers from Sleepover Party
Considering the dark sides of the sleepover party, more and more parents are worried when their kids are asking for a sleepover party. You know, there are many sexually molested cases in recent years. Kids are either too young to know what’s happening or too weak to protect themselves. So, should parents ban their teenagers from a sleepover party? That depends!
If your kids are asking for a sleepover party because he/she would like to experience something different. A sleepaway camp, natural history museum sleepover or an aquarium sleepover will be a good kids sleepover ideas that you can definitely say yes and go with your kids.
If your kids want to have a sleepover night in his/her friend’s house because summer vacation is too boring for an only child. You can say yes when the following preparations are done:
– Ask your kids which of their friends are hosting this sleepover.
– Ask your kids about the date, the address and the phone number of the hosting parents.
– Ask your kids when will be the pick-up time and set a sleepover rules checklist.
– Call the hosting parents for the detailed info like sleepover themes, sleepover activities and time schedule of the sleepover.
– Remind the hosting parents if your kids are allergic to any food.
The more detailed you know about the slumber party and the hosting family, the less you will worry about the kids when they are attending the sleepover party. I am sure that the hosting parents will definitely understand you because if their kids will be out of their supervision for a whole day and go to the family that they barely know, they will do the exact same thing that you do.
If your teenage girls/boys insist that everyone in their class has attended more than one sleepover and they want to give it a try as well. You need to know that even though your teenage kids are old enough to be independent and can do their own decision, there are many other things that they are not well-prepared or not capable to deal with when that happens, say sex, sex assault and pedophilia. These are the last things parents want to see, or even hear about. It would be absolutely a nightmare and will cast a long shadow to both the victims and their family.
Considering this, many parents choose to reject all sleepover without giving a reason. Because, these topics, sex and child molesters, are too shame to talk about and parents think they are too young to bear these. However, this is always proved to have an opposite effect by rejecting your kids’ request for going to a slumber party without giving them a persuasive reason. They will read this as irrational and they will just sneak out without letting you know as a discontentment. This is the riskiest thing that parents don’t know where their kids are, who they are with, what they are doing and when they will be back. Maybe you will be anxious the whole night unless your teens come back home.
To prevent this from happening, we need to have an open and straightforward conversation with our children about the possible dark sides they might encounter in a sleepover or in the future. Tell them about the risks, how to avoid and how to ask for help if these unfortunately happen. Make sure you have a secret code that only you and your kids know as an SOS signal so that they can include the code in a text message or a phone call to let you know they need help. And luckily, in today’s digital era, we can do this with a smart GPS watch for kids.
Tell your kids that you will always offer a safe ride home to them as well as their friends when they need anytime and anywhere, without asking any question unless they want to talk.
Sometimes, it will be your turn to host a sleepover party for children. You will go with “Yeah, what a relief” because your kids are still under your supervision. No more worry about any possible risk they will take when spending the night out. Then, you will go with an “Oh no” because sleepover plans are not as simple as you think.
If you’ve hosted a party for 5-8 kids with the best kids birthday party ideas, you can understand how long the to-do list will be when you are trying to list all things out. But it is much more complicated than hosting a birthday party for kids because birthday parties invite parents. And the parents can help and take charge of their own child during the party. However, at a sleepover party, you need to supervise so many kids with your husband or unfortunately, on your own. There are date, time, theme, invitations, sleepover foods, snacks, sleepover decoration ideas, sleepover crafts, sleepover essentials and what things to do at a sleepover.
Note: Considering that there are so many preparations to be a successful sleepover party planner, I would give it an all-round introduction on how to conduct sleepover plans in the next post.
Only with the best overall preparation, you can offer your kids and their friends an unforgettable and safe slumber party which they will recall the memory years later. To get the latest CoolKid+ kids parenting articles, please register for our monthly email subscription for free.