Am I ready for my child to go on a sleepover?

Parenting is hard. I’ve been a mum for almost seven years now and whilst the baby days are behind me, there is so much more I feel I am not equipped to deal with.

This week, my eldest son asked if he could have a sleepover at his friend’s house. It took me by surprise and to be honest I was not prepared for it at all. I, myself have yet to have a night away from my boys, let alone letting them be away from us. I told him I would discuss it with daddy and that we would think about it.

He’s been on many sleepovers before but usually, it’s when we are visiting friends and so we all go as a family. We’ve talked briefly about him having a sleepover at one of our good friend’s house as a practice before but annoyingly, we never got around to organising it.

The friend he wants to have a sleepover at is a school friend and whilst I know the mum and the boy has come around for playdates, I don’t feel I know them well enough to let him stay over.

What am I most worried about? Is it that I don’t know the parents well enough or is it that I’m just not ready for this new found independence? The not knowing what he is up to? Am I being over-protective? Am I unwilling to set my children free a little? (yes probably all of the above)


What exactly am I afraid of?

There are many baby manuals out there. How to get your baby to sleep. How to wean/potty train, yet there are no parenting manuals for this kind of thing. No rules about what the right age is for children to have a sleepover. Does it mean that because we have passed the baby stage, we suddenly know what is best for our children?

A night away from home is a big deal for both of us. (well mainly me)

I’m just not quite ready for him to start spreading his wings a little wider. Do I want to be that mean mum that says no and he misses out?

Do I just need to take a deep breath and suck it up? Or do I need to go with my gut and say no?

I can’t even remember how old I was when I first had my sleepover but I was well into double digits and even then, I had said friend stay around our house first before I was allowed around theirs.

Maybe, I need to give him a little credit and trust his judgement when he tells me that he is ready to do this and that he will be fine. After all, he’s a good kid and that should surely count as something right?

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*This post first appeared on The Huffington Post

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  1. Ahh! I know what you mean….There is so many books about babies but nothing for when they get older. lol
    It’s so hard letting them go….My eldest was 9 when she went on her first sleepover and it was so hard for me to agree to it….Nearly 7 seems so young. I don’t know if I would be happy with it…
    Only you can decide….Maybe you can organise a few more playdates or have your boys friend have a sleep over at your house first.

  2. I think it’s important to go with your gut. Whenever I have gone against it, something has always gone wrong!! Let us know what you go with #KCACOLS

  3. Your gut feeling is always the way to go. It’s a tricky one, 7 seems a bit young, especially if you don’t know the parents very well. If they were your best friend then perhaps it would be different! Let us know what you decide! 🙂 #KCACOLS Becky x

  4. Oh, this is a tough one. Because I am a single mum cygnet is not in my flat two nights a week (he’s at his dad’s). It felt very wrong at first but I didn’t really have any choice so I have gotten over it. I’d say that it all depends on how comfortable you feel with the other child’s parents. If you trust them and their home environment is similar to yours then it’ll be fine I’m sure. Pen x #KCACOLS

  5. I think its tough. Every child develops so differently and seems ready for things at different times. I’m often a ‘go with your gut’ type person but it’s not the same when you and your kiddie think differently about what they are ready for. I often also go with the ‘what’s the worst that could happen’ thought. Could I cope with that? I hope it all worked out xxx

  6. I’m with you on this one. I’ve never felt comfortable with the idea of sleepover at friend’s houses when they’re small either.
    In my case, it’s because I’d feel uncomfortable having them stay over at someone’s house when I don’t know the parents that well.
    Luckily they’ve never seemed fussed about them and not asked for any yet so all good lol! 🙂

  7. We don’t do sleep overs. WE did with our eldest and found they never did much good. The kids had fun but the parents often got less sleep as did the kids, leading to grouchies by dinner time. The statistics around sleep overs are a little off putting as well given the number of kids introduced to sexual play by peers or a member of their family. That freaks me out! I like that you do group sleep overs! Unless it’s family that’s our plan too, make a night of it for everyone!!! Hope I didn’t freak you out more 🙂 #KCACOLS

  8. Good luck with whatever you decide. Maybe it’s time for that test sleep over. #kcacols

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