The S Word

I was hoping we’d breeze right through the pre-K years with no peer pressure to speak of.

However, Caitlin has a new favorite word that begins with S…sleepover…to which I respond by that tried and true parenting jewel that I thought I’d never utter: “Not until you are older!”

Ahhhh…shades of Leave it to Beaver.

I believe the instigator is a certain older classmate at daycare who wears tights and headbands, clearly a troublemaker, who just turned 5 and celebrated with a coveted sleepover.

Now Caitlin’s 5th birthday party plans are getting more involved than I’ve ever dreamed what with the requests for a swim party, Bon Jovi, sleepover, although I think we’ve set the bar a little more realistic with potential plans for a party at our local playground. At this rate, though, I’m concerned that she’ll want a learjet to Paris when she turns 13.

But seriously, a sleepover at 4 or 5? I think I was around 9 before I could either spend the night with a friend or vice versa. Now our next door neighbor’s 6-year-old daughter and Caitlin are good friends and I could see them having a sleepover at some point in the near future but I’d like to put that off for as long as possible. It just screams of “staying up all night watching Barbie flicks, speed eating Cheetos, and calling mommy and daddy at 2 a.m. homesick.” I mean minus the getting homesick at 2 a.m., that’s a typical Friday night at our house. Why in the world does she want to invite a friend to share in that madness?

I know you parents of tweens and teens are laughing at me. I know some day we’ll be bombarded with requests for belly rings and cell phones and I’ll miss the “Mommy I want to have a sleepover!” days. In the meantime I’ve got to figure out a way to make sleepovers seem uncool. I wonder if there’s a special after school intervention episode of Dora that deals with this topic.


  1. RichieAnn says:

    Saturday morning cartoons have these 15-year-old sleepover hosts that play snapping finger games and and compare nail polish colors. It’s really weird. I’m sure things like that don’t help.

  2. Mgal says:

    My daughter turns 9 this april and is getting her coveted (sp?) slumber party at last. I’m thinking 3 maybe (big maybe) 4 girls over. I’m a single mom, I need my sanity when the slumber party is over.

  3. Erin says:

    I don’t know how to make them seem uncool! but yes, there will be calls because of homesickness and possibly one girl (not yours but someones) getting sick or wetting the bed.
    I think I was 8 for my first sleepover at my house, but I was in kindergarten the first time I slept at a friend’s house. Good luck!! At least it’s next-door!

  4. Liza says:

    I won’t be of help on this one. I’ve lost this battle when my daughter was 6. It didn’t help that Dad was ok with it (because we know the family real well). It also didn’t help that big brother had a sleepover, so she must have one too.

  5. Bluegrass Mama says:

    Even when my 12 year old just has one friend sleep over, I have trouble getting them to sleep at anything like a reasonable hour. I agree that pre-K is awfully young, but by first grade or so, some kids are ready to sleep over. Others never are.

  6. malia says:

    I was thirteen before I was allowed to have a sleepover. I think I was in 4th grade (age 9ish) when I attended my first one.

    Sweetpea has been to one sleepover. It was her, the birthday girl and the b.g.’s cousin. Not too bad. She’s been allowed to have one friend spend the night before. But the winds have been stirring lately and the “S” word is in the breeze again. I dunno, we’ll see.

  7. Anne says:

    same here…i was 8 or 9. Please! Thankfully Lily isn’t really into the notion. She still sneaks in our bed occasionally’ she must have made a connection between that and being in someone else’s home in the wee hours. HAH!

  8. anna says:

    Here’s a vote from one of those moms of teens. If she wants to try it so badly, why not let her? You can always say, “if you are not asleep by …(whatever time seems right)…I’m coming to pick you up.” If she still wants to do it and then doesn’t make it through the night, then you have a really good reason to say, “We tried it once, you’re not going to try until you are older.” I’d be proud of her for even thinking of being so brave and independent. None of my boys even thought about sleepovers until well into elementary school, though we did have a few kids sleep over at our house in nursery school.

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