#MicroblogMonday: Sleepover Parenting.


(Not sure what #MicroblogMondays is? Read the inaugural post which explains the idea and how you can participate too.)


My mother let me have exactly one sleepover party when I was younger. I think it was my 11th or 12th birthday party. Or maybe my 10th.

Whatever the age, my memory of it was that we ate cake and played games and slept in sleeping bags in our finished basement and had a great time.

My mother’s memory of it was not as pleasant. To this DAY she talks about that night as the worst night ever. We went up and down the stairs too late at night, my father had to tell us to go to sleep WAY too many times… and then we were up super early, and loud, and she was pretty sure I’d never have another sleepover party again.

I wanted more sleepovers, and sadly never got them.

So I promised myself I’d let my kids have as many sleepovers as they wanted, whenever they wanted. I was going to be THAT cool parent that had kids over all the time, and they could stay over whenever and however often they wanted!

Which, you know, is silly.

Because sleepovers are crazy.

Owen had a sleepover party for his birthday last month. We had 6 boys in this house; 5 of whom slept stayed the night.

It was actually crazy.

And here are a few things I learned.

1. They need supervision at all times. The kids that came over are a good group – generally well behaved, polite, and decent kids.

But there’s something about a BUNCH of them, together, that makes them come up with these Very Bad Ideas. It’s like they all have to one up each other or something, so that you go from Oh, wouldn’t it be SO COOL if we raced cars? to Let’s race cars and smash them into the walls and see if they break to Let’s race cars IN THE TOILET AND FLUSH!!!

It’s best if you make sure there’s an adult within earshot, monitoring their activities.

2. They won’t eat much, but food crumbs will inexplicably migrate. I was actually really surprised at this – not only did I expect we’d have no pizza left over, but I had also planned on at a half hour of eating time with the pizza and the ice cream cake.

I think we got maybe 5 minutes out of them, and not one of the boys even finished their one piece of pizza. The ice cream cake went over a little better – maybe 7 minutes of seated time, eating.

They did eat the snacks, though… and I’m still finding pieces of pringles in the cushions of the couch.

3. You will likely need earplugs. Holy crap, 6 boys together are LOUD. We have a pretty quiet house; O’s a pretty quiet kid and there’s only one of him. So I knew that the party would probably be chaos. But the yelling took me by surprise.

Apparently it’s a “thing” for 7 year old boys to scream like they’re girls. (That was one of the activities of the night, too.)

4. They are either on – being crazy and loud – or they’re sound asleep. When the last holdouts finally fell asleep – three in Owen’s bed, two on the floor in sleeping bags – I went in to check on them, and I was kind of just amazed at how, an hour before that, they were yelling and jumping and tickling. And then, out cold.

My favorite, though, was that one of Owen’s best friends was laughing – which is why I went in there in the first place – IN HIS SLEEP.

All things considered, I actually kind of enjoyed having them all over. I didn’t mind hosting a sleepover party, and if Owen wants more of them, I’m game.

Maybe only once in a while, though.


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10 Responses to #MicroblogMonday: Sleepover Parenting.

  1. Middle Girl says:

    I had a similar experience except no sleepovers. And I made a similar declaration for my kids. Both my son and daughter had a fair share of sleepovers–birthdays or otherwise–throughout their childhoods. There was finetuning along the way and I think ultimately we were all better off for the experiences.

    Kudos to you for giving your son the sleepover and having the courage to do it again–armed with knowledge of what you learned this time.

  2. Ana says:

    I had loads of sleepovers in my day. Either one friend over or a whole crowd (for birthdays). I always felt bad for my friends who weren’t allowed to have or go on sleepovers (really only one friend, her dad refused to let her stay the night anywhere).
    My parents never complained, maybe we were pretty quiet? We were definitely not up to any trouble, just giggling, movie, snacks, and girly stuff. I’m not sure when I’ll let my sons have sleepovers with friends—I can’t imagine them even wanting to stay the night with someone else at this age, but I’m sure they will change faster than I do.

  3. Jen says:

    My 7 year old is having her first sleepover here on Thursday – with one friend! I am not brave : ) If it goes well we may scale up over time.

  4. Valerie says:

    My max at our house is 1 other kid. After that it just turns into pure chaos!

  5. Turia says:

    Ooh, you are brave! I’m glad it went well. Sounds like you learned some key wisdom for the next time.

    We are a few years away from that (at least- E. has again, for the second year in a row, decided he doesn’t want a birthday party and doesn’t want any friends to come).

    I loved sleepovers as a kid. We only ever had a couple of friends over though, so I guess it stayed manageable for my mother.

  6. loribeth says:

    My sister & I used to have sleepovers with the three sisters across the street from us all the time. We would play records (yes, vinyl), (audio)tape our own “shows” where we would sing while the oldest sister played the guitar, read comic books (& then later teen magazines), play cards and eat tons of potato chips. And talk, talk, talk. 🙂

  7. Mel says:

    Ha — I was just considering letting the Wolvog have one, but this makes me rethink that 🙂 We’ve had very few sleepovers. I remember loving them as a kid, but the kids aren’t that into them. Good on you for handling 6 boys at once.

  8. Justine says:

    I had only one sleepover, too. I went to quite a few, but not until I was about 12. So far my son hasn’t asked for any, which I think is a good thing … I’m up for one friend staying over, but six? You’re a brave woman.

  9. That was a fun read. When I was a kid, there used to no sleepovers. I am not sure, may be it might be the cultural thing because this concept was unknown. I dont know what the future holds now because our society is constantly evolving. It might be the case that my son some day tells me he wants to hold a sleepover party and a regular cake cutting party won’t be enough.

  10. torthúil says:

    Hahahaha I am laughing at your description of the party. That sounds pretty awesome. I also find it funny how adults and children can remember things so differently.

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