The Lateover solution to Slumber Parties

November 14, 2012 in activities,slumber parties,Wednesday wisdom

Avoiding slumber partiesFrozen bras. Sneaking out to teepee houses. Watching Children in the Corn. Consulting the Ouija Board. I wasn’t ready for the world of slumber parties when my girls started asking about them about the time they started school…so that’s what? Four! Little girls find the words slumber party and grab onto them like a treasure. For several years, I could project the slumber party world into the future and not worry too much about it.

Then some indulgent or inspired mom who wanted to grant her seven-year-old’s deepest wish for a slumber party sent an invitation to  real sleepover. “I’m sorry” I told the pleading brown eyes, “You are old enough yet.” Parents need to say no sometimes. It is rarely easy.

Within the year two or three more invitations came. I sighed. Really? How many 8-year-olds really want to be away from home all night?And is one night of fun worth a whole crabby weekend? What are these moms thinking? Maybe I am the crazy one?

Saying no was getting old. But I persevered because even though I worked hard to get to know the families of my girls’ friends, I didn’t know much about them beyond the behavior of their kid and how often they smiled in the school parking lot. Too much could happen at a slumber party. And usually, there were husbands and sons home. And well, males made me nervous. If a husband or son had a porn problem, I knew no mom would admit it in the parking lot at school.

My daughter, now 10, has attended exactly one carefully chosen  slumber party (sometimes she doesn’t want to go). Currently we have a case by case slumber party policy.

My sister-in-law and her mom friends, they’ve tackled this whole slumber party thing in a brilliant way: the lateover. Knowing little girls’ fascination with slumber parties, and knowing that a day with an elementary girl who is short on sleep is no fun, this group of moms, who all trust each other, have regular lateovers with their second and third graders. The girls (I think there are 5 or 6 of them) get together at a house in the evening, eat, play games, giggle, paint nails, all the fun stuff. Then they change into their PJs and snuggle up with blankets and sleeping bags and watch a movie. Parents arrive about 10 pm to pick up their princesses.

I’ve never had many close mom friends with girls the same age as mine. But I could easily host lateovers and I know the other parents would love it (girl squealing already taking place at mere suggestion).

All the magic of sleepover, not many of the problems. Perfect.

I borrowed the clip art up there from Zippo party supplies, but you should check out their slumber party page. They have fun ideas for games to play whether it is a lateover or a slumber party.

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{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

Blond Duck November 14, 2012 at 1:29 pm

My mom made me go to bed at 9 p.m. at sleepovers.


Mothering From Scratch November 14, 2012 at 6:22 pm

{Melinda} This is such a brilliant idea. Wish I had thought of it when my daughter was younger. Sleepovers were a very occasional thing until middle school. Then that was all she talked about. I relented. I wish I hadn’t. It’s very hard to un-give a privilege. We don’t allow them to the degree of most/all of her friends. I still struggle with this, though. Again, wish I had set more strict boundaries before it ever became an issue. You are so wise to do this. You won’t regret it.


tori nelson November 15, 2012 at 11:49 am

I knew I was going to love this post when it started with “frozen bras”. Awesome 🙂


Holly November 30, 2012 at 5:30 am

brilliant intro. So true. Children of the corn made me laugh out loud. I like this solution!


Amy L. Sullivan January 25, 2013 at 12:29 pm

Your first sentence kills me. I think we were at the same slumber party. Ha!


Jill January 25, 2013 at 1:33 pm

I solved that the first year my daughter wanted on for a birthday party by having a breakfast party where the girls were supposed to arrive in pajamas. They had a pancake bar, games, etc in their jammies. The opposite option! I like this one. Though my “baby” is almost 17, so I don’t think it matters too much anymore 🙂


pruningprincesses January 25, 2013 at 1:49 pm

What a great idea! Jill, it does matter, because sharing these great ideas helps other mommas who have slumber party dilemmas! I am sure you have learned tons of other things that you no longer practice but that would help moms with younger kids. Thank you for the idea.


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