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To not allow my 6 year old to a sleep over?

(77 Posts)
Sherbertfizzer Sun 17-Mar-19 08:44:18

My dd6 has been invited to a sleepover party and I am shocked. I am completely out of my comfort zone on this one. There's no way I will allow dd to go but I don't quite know how to not offend the mum.
My dd has been in same class as her friend for only a year and I have spoken to her mum a handful of times. The girls mum has said it will be in a months time and that I can even stay too!
I find it very weird and uncomfortable. I have met the girls father twice, he seems ok but AIBU to politely decline? I mean am i the only one to find this all a bit odd? Who knows what these people are into and who they might have over or other parents staying the night.

Hyacintharehighersincelasttime Sun 17-Mar-19 08:45:46

Rather her than me.
I bet they would all love it though.

Waitingonasmiley42 Sun 17-Mar-19 08:46:04

Perfectly ok to say no. "Weird and uncomfortable" seems a bit over the top though.

Catscratchclub Sun 17-Mar-19 08:48:22

Ours have been having sleepovers since reception - usually goes without a hitch but sometimes parents need calling to collect.

Why do you find it weird and uncomfortable though?! Fair enough to be a bit nervous the first time they are away from you, but you are maybe over thinking it?!

FudgeBrownie2019 Sun 17-Mar-19 08:48:24

Fine to refuse. I'd be honest and say "we're not ready for sleepovers yet".

Hyacintharehighersincelasttime Sun 17-Mar-19 08:48:30

My dd had a sleepover with a friend, just two of them, and had to come home after one night <<it was meant to be two>>

but a party sleepover should be ok, not weird.

hidinginthenightgarden Sun 17-Mar-19 08:49:07

I think 6 is a bit young. I don't think I would be comfortable with sleepovers until they are in Juniors.
I do think you are over reacting though.

JuniLoolaPalooza Sun 17-Mar-19 08:49:20

The mum won't be offended, just say you'll pick her up after dinner, too young for sleepovers. Simples!

4sausages Sun 17-Mar-19 08:49:59

6 does seem a bit young. I think mine were around 8 before they started going to sleepovers. I'd ask what the whole sleepover entails- are they going to have tea and perhaps watch a film? I'd so perhaps you could say you think dd us a bit young for a sleepover, but could she just come for the evening? Perhaps compromise by picking her up later than you would normally allow.

Neolara Sun 17-Mar-19 08:53:08

God, no way would I do this. By agreeing, your committing yourself to hosting a sleepover at some point too. Horrendous prospect. Crying, over wrought, tired kids. Hell! Just say, sorry you don't think your dc would cope with a sleepover at the moment but maybe x would like to come for a playdate.

Meltedicicle Sun 17-Mar-19 08:53:41

I don’t think it’s weird but 6 is young so I would understand if someone said their child wasn’t ready. At that age some kids have slept away from home loads (grandparents, friends, Rainbows sleepover etc) while others will never have done. I’ve had my Dd’s friend for a sleepover at that age but DD has never slept over anywhere before.

Hyacintharehighersincelasttime Sun 17-Mar-19 08:54:43

you could make plans for the following day, so you have a good excuse

BlueMerchant Sun 17-Mar-19 08:55:02

Strange that you are invited too!!
I allowed my DD from the age of 6 to stay at her friends homes if they were families I knew and who seemed happy, friendly and lived locally. I'd often have dds friends round for a playdate before this sleepover so I could see how my child got along with them and to see what kind of child they were if I'm honest.
It's the invite to you that's baffling to me. Was she joking,? Must have been surely.

Booboostwo Sun 17-Mar-19 08:57:07

YANBU if you think your 6yo is too young to sleep away from home and might become unhappy or stressed.

YABU if you think these parents are maniacs who will abuse and neglect your 6yo during the sleepover.

I suspect the second is the case so you are OTT and the only odd one here is you.

YeahNah1980 Sun 17-Mar-19 08:59:10

Why are you shocked? The mum probably invited you so you’d feel more comfortable with it. I think your Tracy is completely over the top. The kids will have a ball.

Aragog Sun 17-Mar-19 09:03:49

Dd has enjoyed sleepovers with friends from being around that age. We knew parents from school and they'd played together at one another's houses generally.
We had sleepovers here and Dd went to other girls' houses for them too.

It was the norm amongst Dd and her friends. Started with closest friends and then extended out. Dd is how a teen and we have others staying over fairly regularly still.

Sleepovers aren't my favourite activity personally - noise, lack of sleep at times, etc. - but many children do enjoy them and the vast majority go off well in my experience.

However, if you or your child isn't ready for them then say so.

But it's not really such a surprise or shock that many children do have them from this age, or to be invited to one ime.

Many of the year 1 and 2 children I teach go on sleepovers.

BrokenWing Sun 17-Mar-19 09:07:52

Agree with pp, 6 is too young for sleepovers. Ds and his friends started sleepovers around 9 years old, but only with friends where they had already gotten to know their parents by being at each others houses, staying lunch/dinner, going out for day together, being in same footie team and knew the parents from there, going for the evening and being picked up after etc.

No way would I send my 6 year old overnight to a house and parents I/they didn't know.

bonbonours Sun 17-Mar-19 09:11:33

My eldest first went on a sleepover at that age, it's really not weird or outrageous. But if you or your child aren't ready for that then say no. (sounds like it's just you though, you don't mention how you think your child feels about it. )

Illstartexercisingtomorrow Sun 17-Mar-19 09:17:21

Does no one else refuse sleepovers because of safeguarding issues??

I cannot understand it. I realise it’s fun, but in every other situation parents make sure the Carers are DBS checked, first aid trained, appropriate qualifications, risk assessments done etc. You don’t just go and leave your dc in the care of an acquaintance? Why are sleepovers ok?

Hyacintharehighersincelasttime Sun 17-Mar-19 09:18:46

You have to learn to trust

PregnantSea Sun 17-Mar-19 09:18:49

What's the problem with her going to a sleepover party with her friends?

Whatever it is, it's important that you're comfortable so obviously just decline the invite if it's bothering you. But I'm not sure why it would?

arethereanyleftatall Sun 17-Mar-19 09:23:21

I'm afraid I did exactly the same thing for dds 6th birthday. I invited 5 of her friends for a sleepover. Sleepovers were absolutely normal for us from a young age for our children, and I assumed it was the same for everyone.
I got 3 responses of 'sorry my dds not ready for that.' No problem. I learnt quickly, and changed it to a pyjama party. No drama.

Ithinkmycatisevil Sun 17-Mar-19 09:27:09

DD2 started having sleepovers when she was about 6. however I knew the families of the two girls who's house she slept at quite well. (I worked with one of the mums and am very good friends with the other)
So it was a bit different. I'm not sure id like a 6 year old sleeping over at a relative strangers.

Barrenfieldoffucks Sun 17-Mar-19 09:28:24

Sleepovers aren't really a thing here yet, my oldest is 8.5

I wouldn't want a sleepover at that age

ThatsWotSheSaid Sun 17-Mar-19 09:36:33

If you are worried about safeguarding do you let her go on play dates? Genuine question.
It’s an odd one I agree but my dd went in sleep overs at that age. I knew the parents though.

corythatwas Sun 17-Mar-19 09:41:29

Perfectly fine to say no to something that doesn't suit you or your family. But rather OTT with the weird and uncomfortable thing.

I don't think you'll be doing your dd any favours by treating anything you aren't used to as suspicious. It will be much easier for you to teach her genuine safety if she is used to you as a calm sensible person who doesn't overreact. Doesn't mean you have to allow things, just be brisk and practical about it: "No, I think dd is a bit young, but thanks ever so much for the offer; perhaps otherdd would like to come over for tea?"

Many families do sleepovers, many don't. Brisk and cheerful is the way to go.

Smoggle Sun 17-Mar-19 09:44:56

My oldest is 8 and we still only do sleepovers with family/close friends/cubs.

It's fine to (politely) decline.

Ohyesiam Sun 17-Mar-19 09:45:21

Weird and uncomfortable?
Or a normal part of childhood?

brownjumper Sun 17-Mar-19 09:55:51

We have a rule in our house, no sleepovers before 10 years old. The kids know not to ask, so I don't often have to say no to parents as the kids have headed them off. I want them to be old enough and sensible enough to know when something is wrong.

HolesinTheSoles Sun 17-Mar-19 09:57:54

I think your reaction is a bit OTT. Lots of 6 year olds are ready for sleepovers and lots aren't. It's not crazy of her to ask and it wouldn't be crazy of you to politely decline.

Drogosnextwife Sun 17-Mar-19 09:58:53

My 2 don't like staying away from home, DS wouldn't even go to a party during the day yesterday, even if I stayed with him, he still made me take him home. Either tell her your DD doesn't like sleeping over so you will just collect her or tell her you have something on the next day and need to be up early.

blockedoffandfuckedoff Sun 17-Mar-19 09:59:32


My DH and I had this conversation a couple of weeks ago. My son is 4 and will be starting school in August (Scotland) and we discussed how we felt about sleepovers. We’ve agreed that he needs to be older before we’ll allow it and even then it will be with parents we know.

I’m happy to be called OTT on this one but as someone pointed out, in every other walk of life you don’t leave your children with strangers so why is this an exception.

Like I said, I’m happy to be called weird or too strict but I don’t disagree with you

WrathOfGrapes Sun 17-Mar-19 10:00:35

I don't really see the issue here. If you don't want her to go, just say so but I think it would be a shame.

FromDespairToHere Sun 17-Mar-19 10:06:00

I'm so glad that my DD is older and was a child before everyone got so weird and overprotective. Sleepovers started in yr 1, so when they were turning 6. I feel like I'm talking 100s of years ago but she's only 19 now!

blockedoffandfuckedoff Sun 17-Mar-19 10:07:53

Btw I’m 34 and my parents were the same as were many others in my class. So I don’t think this anything new.

swindy Sun 17-Mar-19 10:08:17

Wtf? If I was her dad I'd be outraged at what you are suggesting.

If you don't want to send her don't. But it's not "weird". You are weird for assuming every man is into abusing kids

OpiesOldLady Sun 17-Mar-19 10:09:18

No sleepovers here. Ever.

And yes, it's a safeguarding thing. I might know the mother/father but I don't know elder brother/uncle/whoever else pops in. I am not willing to put my child in that position. Do I let my child go on playdates? Sometimes, but usually have those at mine or in a soft play. Am I overprotective? Yes. But my kids are the most precious things I have.

Chocolatecoffeeaddict Sun 17-Mar-19 10:12:54

My eldest has gone to sleepovers from the age of 7 with his best friend from school and I knew the mum to speak to. He really enjoyed it and I'm glad I let him.
It think 6 is a bit young. My daughter is 5 and she's nowhere near the sleepover stage yet and I wouldn't br comfortable with it. I would be honest and just say you don't think she's ready just yet. Them asking you to stay over is odd though, just say no.

flirtygirl Sun 17-Mar-19 10:13:59

My daughter did her first sleepover at nearly 8. I would only let my daughter sleep over at 1 friends house.

Every child is different and every family is different. Op do what feels right for you and your child and don't be swayed by others. You know your child best but you also need to be guided by what you are comfortable with as a mother.

goldengummybear Sun 17-Mar-19 10:22:17

Does your dd go round to play at her friends houses after school? Do you stay too? Do you stay at parties that she's invited to?

It's fine to decline and people do because their child isn't ready, wears nappies at night etc

In my experience it's not weird that this family are hosting a sleepover. If this is a very close friend of your DD's, I'd be asking if she can be picked up say at 8pm rather than stay the night.

StickyShoess Sun 17-Mar-19 10:29:45

Well this is a weird thread
Sleepovers are a perfectly normal part of childhood
Not everyone is a peado
We’ve had hundreds of sleepovers (in fact I have a house full of 7 year old girls as we speak!) and if anyone said they couldn’t come in case my DP might be inappropriate with them I would go absolutely apeshit - how dare you make such accusations based on absolutely nothing!
Poor kids, you’re raising them to be anxious and scared of everyone

Heratnumber7 Sun 17-Mar-19 10:29:51

Girls of 5 in Guiding go to sleepovers residential events. They have a whale of a time. YABU

Shelbybear Sun 17-Mar-19 10:33:22

It is a bit young but I don't think it's weird. I do think it's weird that she said you could stay too but maybe she cld see were uncomfortable with it and wanted to reassure you.

Pretty sure I stayed with my best friend at that age and had a fab time. She had 2 sisters so we all played together, they all shared a room and we had a great time.

Have you asked her daughter if she wants to go? You'll know best whether she wld stay or maybe get upset at bedtime or something.

daisypond Sun 17-Mar-19 10:37:50

Sleepovers are a normal part of childhood. But six is a little young perhaps and best put off till older - they can be very wearing on the parents and the children often don’t get much/any sleep. There’s lots of good and valid reasons against them but “weird” isn’t one of them.

Stompythedinosaur Sun 17-Mar-19 10:38:31

It's fine to say know, but I don't think it's weird. My dds are 6 and 7 and have been on many sleepovers, we have also hosted a number which were fine.

I'm not inclined to think that there are paedos lurking around every corner.

ineedaholidaynow Sun 17-Mar-19 10:47:55

DS would never have wanted to do a sleepover at 6, although some of his friends had already been doing them for a few years by then. We had one of his friends stay over when they were aged 4 as their mum had gone into hospital to have a baby.

His scout group do Beaver camps from aged 6, but he did his first camp with cubs, so aged 8.

I think most of our friends’ DC who did early sleepovers had usually been friends with the other DC since nursery/pre-school and the parents had known each other then too.

I assume you were invited to stay too as they thought that might help your DD stay.

It is hard as your children get older and you have less to do with their friends’ parents and you have to make judgements what you feel safe about. Also how well do you know parents anyway?

MumUnderTheMoon Sun 17-Mar-19 10:54:31

My dd wanted to have a sleep over with her friend once and I went too. Seems a good compromise but you could just say no.

Drum2018 Sun 17-Mar-19 10:59:38

I think it's very weird that they said you could stay too. What if all the parents wanted to stay - do they own a hotel??
I'd just decline the invite, no explanation needed. I wouldn't have let my kids on sleepovers outside of family at that age. No doubt I'd have been called at 3am when they woke up wanting to go home grin

Zoflorabore Sun 17-Mar-19 11:08:10

Dd is now 8 and in year 3.
When she was 5 she went for tea at a friend's house and the mum called and asked if dd could stay over. We agreed and drove to their house with dd's overnight bag.
I got a phone call at 4.30am asking to pick dd up as she was upset! That was memorable.

She has been on several sleepovers since but has known about them in advance mainly which I think helps. She also isn't pressurised into staying anywhere she is invited to. Whilst we have the final say if she is allowed at a certain person's home, she also has a choice of whether to go or not, for whatever reason.

Strugglingtodomybest Sun 17-Mar-19 11:09:16

If you don't want your DD to go, that's fine, just say she's too young still, but it's really not weird or odd and I don't understand why you were shocked to receive an invite.

sweeneytoddsrazor Sun 17-Mar-19 11:11:19

Sleepovers are perfectly normal providing the child is ready for them. With regard to safeguarding issues, is it nit the case that most abuse is carried out by very close family or friends rather than parents of the child whose sleepover it is?

adaline Sun 17-Mar-19 11:14:39

What I don't understand is people not letting their child sleepover but expecting others to let their children sleepover at theirs!

Either sleepovers are a safeguarding risks or they're not - it shouldn't matter whose house It's at in that respect, should it?

Or are people saying they don't trust other people's parenting but other people should still blindly trust theirs?

Smartieshavetheanswer Sun 17-Mar-19 11:16:36

Not sure why there's such a mad trend to have them at such a young age. Children are incredibly vulnerable at night so why let them go at such a young age to a house you're not familiar with?

My DD bonded immediately with a classmate from nursery but neither family suggested a sleepover until they were about 9 and by then, we knew and trusted one another.

Even then, I don't 'get' the idea. Sure, if the children are older and doing something/going somewhere late, it makes sense, but otherwise, it's just a night of no sleep and unmonitored antics.

DD's here have had one large group sleepover each, and that's it. We have a no phones upstairs rule which was disobeyed, so never again.

lyralalala Sun 17-Mar-19 11:20:40

It’s not weird or odd. And your child is far more likely to be harmed by someone in your family or circle of friends than a random parent at a sleepover.

PRoseLegend Sun 17-Mar-19 11:21:30

I'm of two minds about this.
On the one hand, sleepovers were a lot of fun for me as a kid. Some of my best memories are from sleepovers (mostly from age 10 up).
On the other hand, I was sexually assaulted at a sleepover when I was 8. This girl was not my friend at school, but her mum worked with my mum, and my parents needed someone to look after me for a night.

So i'd say under 10 is probably too young, and when you do let your kids go, meet both parents and in fact all adults in the household, and have conversations about appropriate/inappropriate touch and calling mum or dad if they feel uncomfortable.

But if you're being allowed to stay over too, then surely your dd can stay with you?

Aragog Sun 17-Mar-19 11:22:15

*the Carers are DBS checked, first aid trained, appropriate qualifications, risk assessments done etc. Y*

But most of those things don't actually prevent things going wrong.
A DBS is out of date the minute it's been issued. It only shows things that someone has actually been found doing, nothing hidden or not yet known.
First aid - most people know how to deal with a basic issue, but all will also know how to call 999 in an emergency and be talked through what to do. Not all the teachers and TAs in your child's school will actually be first aid trained either.
Qualifications to look after a child? I think many volunteer positions and even some lower level TAs, lunch staff, etc will have no qualifications linked to child care.

fWIW I do have DBS clearance - for two roles, dh has dbs clearance too. I have FA training. I do have various qualifications regards working with children. Does that mean I'm okay to hold a sleepover?

FluffyHeadbands Sun 17-Mar-19 11:22:49

DS had a sleepover as part of his 6th birthday party. One child just came for the afternoon/ evening and then was collected, another child felt ill and wanted to go home so we took him around 11 (Much rather that than poor child is sad all night).

We had about 4 in the end. It went perfectly fine. The parents all knew of each other and had done for a few years but I didn't declare my criminal record check on the invite!

If you don't want her to go then say no but I find attitudes odd on MN. You have to learn to judge characters and have some trust of people and encourage your children to do the same.

L1989 Sun 17-Mar-19 11:23:05

op it's totally your decision, if you don't feel comfortable with it then don't send her. Everyone will have their own opinions on this kind of thing and quite rightly so, but bottom line is your the parent so it's your choice. I don't think my eldest went to a sleep over until about 8 years old.
Regarding how to decline I would just be honest and say she's not ready for that yet, or if your worried how the parents would take that then just say your busy lol. X

bonbonours Sun 17-Mar-19 15:51:21

With regard to safeguarding, unless you are with your child 24 hours a day you cannot remove absolutely all risk. As has been pointed out above, abusers could be DBS holding teachers, scout leaders, karate teacher, your uncle, childminder's son, other child at school etc.

What you can do however, is teach your child from a young age what is and is not ok eg the pants rule, and give them some idea of what they can/should do in a situation where they are uncomfortable. In a sleepover situation I have always talked to my kids about the fact that if they are unhappy in any way or for any reason and want to come home they need to ask their friend's mum to call me (or now they are older they have phones and could ring me themselves if need be). This has only happened once in many years of sleepover and not for any sinister reason, she just didn't feel well.

Poing Sun 17-Mar-19 15:57:17

No, I wouldn't let my kids. Maybe as teenagers.

sweeneytoddsrazor Sun 17-Mar-19 16:14:59

@Poing you seriously wouldnt let them til they were teenagers and then only maybe?

bonbonours Sun 17-Mar-19 16:18:12

@Poing ha ha when kids are teenagers the most likely time for any misbehaviour including sexual activity, bullying, abuse etc is between 3.30 and 6.00 when parents are still at work and children are making their way home (or not) on their own and unsupervised. Sleepovers will be the least of your worries. Also when they are teenagers you may not even have met their friends, let alone their friends' parents. Make the most of the fact you get the chance to meet parents of primary school kids.

Loopeylou92 Sun 17-Mar-19 16:31:48

Totally agree with you. I'd just say you're not ready for sleepovers yet and it might be a bit much for dd but maybe she could stay for tea and a movie til about 8 so shes staying a bit later but not all night.

Poing Sun 17-Mar-19 18:46:19

My decision is based on the actual sexual abuse of my child. I have therefore absolutely no problem reducing further risk by saying no to sleep-overs.

Poing Sun 17-Mar-19 19:00:45

And for those who said that they have taught their children from a young age about what is ok and what is not ok with regards to touching, body autonomy and contacting parents, we did too. It made not one iota of difference to what happened, because the person who did it was someone my child knew and our child was unable to say no, stop.

So, if you have a funny feeling about it, don't ignore it. There are plenty of other options to sleep-overs and encouraging bonding.

Maldives2006 Sun 17-Mar-19 19:10:16

Everyone’s children are the most “precious” to them, completely ridiculous statement but it’s still your job to turn them into well functioning adults.

MrsTeaspoon Sun 17-Mar-19 21:12:04

We don’t do sleepovers until secondary school. Kids go on organised camps with Scouts/Cubs etc but that’s it. I don’t really care what other parents choose to do or to think about me doing this - I’m always just matter-of-fact about it.

squeekums Sun 17-Mar-19 21:19:01

*Does no one else refuse sleepovers because of safeguarding issues??

I cannot understand it. I realise it’s fun, but in every other situation parents make sure the Carers are DBS checked, first aid trained, appropriate qualifications, risk assessments done etc. You don’t just go and leave your dc in the care of an acquaintance? Why are sleepovers ok?*

LMAO, no I don't deny my child a life just because lil suzies parents don't have a risk assessment or qualifications. What qualifications do you have to be a parent or guardian?

I'd have no issue if dd was comfortable going

Rachie1973 Sun 17-Mar-19 21:23:09

I loved the sleepover years! A bit of peace and quiet until I had to reciprocate. Boooo

itsbritneybiatches Sun 17-Mar-19 21:31:29

My daughter has had sleepovers with one friend and vice verse for a year. She's nearly six. We know her mum and dad really well.

We've invited another friend so she doesn't feel left out as they are now a friendship of three.

I've also said to her mum she's welcome to stay as we have a spare room and it will be her child's first sleepover not with family.

It will consist of a soft play after school.
A McDonald's.
Home for a dvd and popcorn. Lol surprise packs from b and m. Maybe some paint
Your own plates or mugs from home and bargain.

The three of them will sleep on my daughters pull out bed. I will take them all home at lunch time.

itsbritneybiatches Sun 17-Mar-19 21:32:30

Oh and I will get a couple
Of hours peace while they all play upstairs.

Before I have to pair 89 lol shoes the next day grin

itsbritneybiatches Sun 17-Mar-19 21:33:49

Everyone to their own though

Mamabear12 Sun 17-Mar-19 21:36:59

I think every family is different. We started with sleepovers at family members first (my sister had the kids). And then when my dd just turned 6 she had her first at a friends. But I knew she was comfortable and I trusted the mom. A year later my dd had her second at another friends (this one she has known since age 3) and again it went well. We finally had the courage to allow for a sleepover and again it went perfectly fine. However, I know the girl well and my dd plays with her frequently after school so the girl feels comfortable with me, as I’m always around (sahm and always going to park w my Los after school). My only wish was that they went to bed an hour earlier then they did lol. But 11pm is not too bad. I’ve been to sleepovers where we stay up the entire night or 3,4 or 5am! 😳 i understand about worrying about a sleepover. I do think it’s part of the joys of growing up. But only do them when you feel ready and trust the family.

Idonotlikeyoudonaldtrump Sun 17-Mar-19 22:21:04

But opiesoldlady your children are not ‘things you have’. They are people who deserve to have these experiences and to develop relationships with other people without your presence. They need to learn who they are in your absence.

You can do them damage by overprotecting them just as much as by under protecting.

Idonotlikeyoudonaldtrump Sun 17-Mar-19 22:23:27

But poing you could well be compounding the damage by teaching your child not to trust :-(

PlasticPatty Sun 17-Mar-19 22:26:46

I was going to say 'Under no circumstances!' but if you can go too, and will go, then why not?
My mother (an abused child) was totally against sleepovers. Too much opportunity to come to harm. I didn't do sleepovers, my dd didn't, and I hope my dgd won't. There are school residentials at seven to eight, which she will probably attend, but I am not comfortable with that.

Applecrumble79 Sun 17-Mar-19 22:58:44

I always felt uncomfortable about sleepovers but didn’t like to let my son be the odd one out. If you’re uncomfortable just politely decline

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