Friday chat: To sleepover or not to sleepover?

March 13, 2015

when is the right age for a sleepover

Yesterday Anya was invited for a sleepover and my instant reaction was she’s only just turned six.  How can she go for a sleepover?  It’s not something I’ve ever really thought about because the situation has never arisen so it never needed any consideration.  But now I have to think about it.  I did a quick google search on sleepovers and came across a thread on netmums where they were discussing what age is right and some mums had happily has sent their kids for sleepovers at four and five.  On the one hand it made me think that maybe I’m being over-protective but on the other I’ve always believed in trusting my own instinct as a mother.  And what is right for one child doesn’t mean it’s right for another.  At least that is what I told myself when reading the thread.

But on thinking about it further I know that Anya is mature for her six years.  She is well behaved and doesn’t get up at night.  She is respectful of other kids parents and is a very social child.  Given all this my rational mind tells me that she is more than ready for a sleepover and will have a fabulous time.  So if I’m being honest, the real question is am I ready?  And the answer is no.  My emotional mind is screaming ‘NO’ not yet!  She has never spent a night away from me, ever.  Would it be selfish to not let her go because of my own feelings?  Richard felt exactly the same as me – no, not yet!  Thankfully we are both very much on the same page when it comes to parenting our child. 

I don’t think that there is a right age for a sleepover (within reason of course) – it depends entirely from child to child, where they are going and how the parents and the child feels about it.  As the parents we need to be absolutely comfortable with it and confident that our child will be fine.  But my dilemma is different.  I am confident that Anya will be fine, I see no rational reason to stop her apart from my own feelings.  She would not be going far so if I was needed for any reason I could be with her in minutes.  I know what I probably should do but the question is will I be able to do it? 

What would you do? Have your kids been for sleepovers and at what age?  I’d love to hear your advice and thoughts.

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  • thefolia

    Go with your gut feeling. I can’t believe sleepover’s start so early. My older one gets invited to sleepovers often and it was at first with a close friend of mine, now that he has made new friends in a new school, I get nervous since I don’t know the family very well. My husband says its good for him to start being independent. The big dilemma now is when he goes over for a sleepover my younger one gets very upset and I haven’t been able to find someone who is able to sleep over in his new school, so papa spoils him that night!

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