Regular but have NCd for this... sorry it's long...
DSS is 10 and is with us EOW. About a year ago he started asking for friends to come over for 'playdates' during weekend. DH and I agreed this was great - why would he want to spend a whole weekend with two adults.
This seems to have snowballed a bit though and I'd like some advice....
The playdates became sleepovers, first with one friend and then with two. Then he stopped asking about playdates and just asked for sleepovers. It's not every weekend with us but becoming much more frequent.
On the plus side, I know it's completely expected at this age. DSS has a great time, his friends are very polite and we haven't had any dramas.
On the minus side, a sleepover eats into Sunday - the last couple of times, one or other set of parents has not been able to collect on a Sunday morning and so we have the friend with us until 1pm - almost 24 hours - which I think is too much.
So with the latest sleepover request, I said to DH, let's do a playdate instead. DSS isn't happy. AIBU?
I'd love to hear from mums and stepmums with much more playdate and sleepover experience than I have - how often do you do them, for how many friends etc.
How often does he go to other people's houses for sleepovers?
I think in general you have to return invite unless the sleepover was a birthday or other family has circumstances like new baby. Inviting 2 at once stops the need for 2 separate sleepovers if you see what I mean.
In one term, my 9 year old probably hosts one and is invited to 2 or 3.
Have you considered a play around (this is what my 9 year old calls playdates- dates are romantic) until late 9pm/10pm instead?
I don't see the problem. The alternative is he stops coming to see his dad at all and stats at home where he can see his friends.
We actively encourage Dss and dsd to bring their friends here. We live locally to their school etc and so far they haven't been interested.
It's normal behaviour. But you don't say how his dad feels about it. Unless he minds it isn't your job to be bothered by it
Well we don't take up any of the reciprocal invitations as DH would not want to lose DSS to an overnight at friends on his weekends. So DSS's mother gets the 'benefit'.
Cheese, your DC hosts one a term and we are hosting around four or five.
But that is your choice not to take up the return invites. So if he isn't "allowed" to go then it is wholly understandable that he wants to have that friend time at his dad's
Not sure what thread you are reading, wheresthelight. I didn't say he couldn't see friends at ours or have sleepovers. Just that there seem to be a lot and I am asking people what the norm is. And thanks for telling me it isn't my job to be bothered about how weekends are spent in my own home. Anything constructive to add?
But it isn't your job to be bothered by it. Whether you like that fact or not it is true. It only matters if his dad is bothered by the loss of time.
And for the record I did say it was perfectly normal. Growing up my house was either full of friends staying over or empty because we were at someone else's. My parents had a larger house then most of my peers so mostly they were held at ours.
Do you have dss on Friday nights?
I've recently started Friday night sleepovers so half of Saturday and all of Sunday is free.
Can you drop off dss friend rather than have him collected?
Of course it matters how Lala feels about the amount of sleepovers!! I don't doubt it's her that's doing most of the work involved....cooking, arranging beds/bedding, checking kids are not up too late and probably most of the clearing up after!
I'm not saying that she should say NO to any friend contact for her DSS, but come on, she's the other adult in the house, it's her home/life/time that's being encroached on as well as the DF's!
Anyway Lala, it might be an idea if DSS has friends for a play date, then sleepovers on alternate dates, that's not unreasonable. You could maybe sometimes get them a film/popcorn etc to watch, if you time it right, you could be getting them home by 8.30/9pm at latest!
I think at least one weekend without any sleepovers in every two is more than reasonable. One in three better. One sleepover in four about right. Not every weekend.
My DS has regular sleepovers, we host more than others as we have more room. BUT I always ask my DP if it is OK - it's his house too and often him that ends up being woken up in the middle of the night! (My DS is 13).
It's fine to ask that the kid is picked up at 10/11 on a Sunday (11 is kinder!). We don't have sleepovers every weekend, but probably every three weeks or so. So in your case id say roughly one sleepover followed by one family weekend or sometimes two sleepovers then a family weekend.
But maybe come up with something enticing - like bowling or pizza - when it's a family night so he feels good about coming.
I limit DD. Certainly not every weekend. Once a month is more than enough.
I'd consider letting him go to some on "your" nights too, especially if it's a special occasion like a birthday. It's healthy if staying with you is just part of normal life, not some sacred time when normal life gets suspended.
It's also really good to get to know a few of his friends and their parents at this age, add it'll help you make decisions over what you're comfortable with him doing as he gets into his teens.
Many thanks for all the helpful views.
Cheese I like the idea of Friday night sleepovers. It may not have huge appeal at the end of a day at work but you're right that it intrudes less into the weekend. Hadn't thought of that before.
Wdigin Thank you. You are spot on. I deal with the sleeping arrangements, bedding, towels
which are never used! and food/treats, including rustling up extra lunch etc when parents don't collect on time.
The thing about him sleeping over at friends on DH's weekend hasn't actually come up yet. I know that DH would like to see more rather than less of him but equally there is no way DH would say no if it was a special thing like a birthday etc. DH also knows that at this age, DSS will only want to see more of his mates and become more independent, and he fully supports that. So I think he's in a good place.
Do you know how many return invites he gets.
Some parents don't do sleep overs much, possibly as working weekends or something.
If you dropped him off at others you'd have more idea how often they do it.
It could be he is doing all the sleepovers, which would give you more idea.
I had 3 dCs so no way they would get many sovers as that is sos x3.
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