Five giggly, chatty first-grade girls fell asleep in their sleeping bags on my living room floor around midnight Saturday. It was my daughter’s 7th birthday and her first sleepover.
In fact, it was the first time I have ever let her have friends to spend the night, having set the arbitrary age of 7 as the age to allow sleepovers when her older brother turned 7. So now that we’ve officially launched sleepover era in our house for two of my children, I’m wondering when all the rites of slumber party passage begin – prank calling, fingernail painting, toilet papering, truth or dare, commiserating over boys, etc. – all the things we did at one age or another during slumber parties when we were kids.
What do you think is the best age to start allowing friends to spend the night or sons and daughters to go spend the night with friends? At what age do sleepovers end? What rules do you set beforehand? How involved are you as a parent?
My daughter and friends had a great time, and it was fun to watch her spend an entire evening with a small group of friends. One of her guests came from the southwest Oklahoma town we lived in last year, and she fit right in with my daughter’s new group of friends from this year.
I’d love to hear from readers about their children and sleepovers. Have you had a great idea for an activity before the sleeping actually begins? For boys? For girls? Is there anything as a parent you wish you had known before you started slumber parties?
At 7, thank goodness, my daughter isn’t ready for toilet papering or boyfriend anguish. The only setback during her sleepover came when they wanted to tell scary stories but no one could think of any before they fell asleep. I’m still trying to find the right balance between hovering and letting her take the lead. Perhaps by starting at age 7, I have time to learn.