To sleepover, or not to sleepover

sleep over

To sleepover or not to sleepover, that is the question.

Sleepover, slumber party, whatever you call it; we’ve tried it before. She’s keen, she wants it, her friends want it, but then when it comes time to the actual sleeping part, well, she doesn’t even do that at home, much less at some one else’s place. Of course Melatonin helps, but a strange bed, in a strange house, well… it never ends well.

Not even at my mums – where she goes regularly – does sleep come easily. Last week it was nearly midnight before she drifted off, and that was with her melatonin, her collection of teddies, in a familiar place and with mum lying next to her.

There was one time when kind friends offered to have her for a night while we had some much needed respite. She ended up in bed with them at 2 in the morning. Made for awkward breakfast conversation the next day.

Today was the first day of school for term four, and tucked away in the newsletter was mention of the class sleepover. At school, in the cafeteria I believe. Later this month on a Friday night, after a full week of school.

Of course she wants to go, she’s desperate to go. She must go apparently.

I asked her on the way home tonight  “what will you do when the other kids need to sleep?”

She responds “it’s not a problem, no one is planning on actually sleeping”

Tell me, do you do the sleep over thing? If you do, how do you prepare for it?

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  1. hmmm hard one… can she go for a while and then you pick her up. End of the week isn’t a good idea either (who thought of that?!?). Most kids are tired and emotional anyway, times it by a thousand for aspies. Good luck, hun xx
    Kellie (stylishkellie) recently posted..M.S.S loves: Dream DivaMy Profile

    • Oh I know Kellie – I am sure we aren’t the only ones who are not 100% convinced it’s a good idea! I think we are going to allow her to do part of the day and then collect her, but will know more after a meeting with school this week.
      Renee Bugg recently posted..Ten little thingsMy Profile

  2. At first, I was going to say a flat-out “No. I wouldn’t.” But I guess, UNLESS… you trust the chaperones / caregivers to handle the fallout on the night and/or are prepared to get a middle of the night call, then maybe? I don’t know. What would freak her out more? Not going, or going and feeling unsafe or freaked out about not being home? I guess that’s what it would come down to for me in weighing up the decision. I always try and imagine how my child will go in those sorts of new situations and whether I could put her through feeling out of her depth without that easy get-away option. And that usually is what leads me to having a talk with her about some of the various possibilities, so that I know I’ve prepared her for all sorts of situations that might arise (and I might sometimes also word her up that other things might happen too that we haven’t thought of together) – my child is one who used to be very insecure/unable to interact when she was little, and I cottoned on eventually that she appreciated having that fore-armed knowledge to help her feel a bit more safe and confident.

    I have to say I agree with Kellie. I’d let her go and pick her up later (if it were my daughter and that was her history with sleep-overs to this point). There has been one time this year where I had to make a decision, when my daughter was invited somewhere and neither she nor I felt comfortable enough with her going and staying over. We discussed the “Stay for a while and we’ll pick you up” option and she opted for not going at all. Her choice!

    However, I always like to think I’m letting my girl make informed and rational choices after the options (and possible outcomes) have all been clearly discussed. We make the decisions together but if they are big ones – ie. if either I or her father or both have preconceived ideas about what should happen – it’s not up for discussion so much as it is gently but firmly negotiated that “this is how it’s going to be”. It works. For us.

    Far out. This is a bloody essay. I don’t know if any of it has helped, but obviously I have nothing better to do than bash out some words! Lucky I type at 90+ words a minute! 😉
    Kirrily recently posted..The Must-Do List: Disney’s Fantasia feat. MSOMy Profile

    • Thank you for your essay – I love hearing your thoughts xx

      We are leaning towards her doing the day and the dinner, and then collecting her. As you say – we have to weigh up what she has to gain from it – and to be honest, I can’t see the benefit from it.

      And we just can’t justify putting her in a position where she may be distressed if I can’t see the benefits for her… x
      Renee Bugg recently posted..Ten little thingsMy Profile

  3. wha-?! class sleepover ? what a weird idea…well, i am glad that’s never been on our schedule.. yet (camp still a few years away). i think normal sleepovers are probably also more popular with girls (?), although I wouldn’t know, as well, my boy has no friends. we have done a sleepover sort of thing in the past with a toddler friend, and although he was very patient with her in the day, it bothered him a LOT to have her in the room, but fortunately, after a bit of mischief, she fell asleep. that’s our sole experience with that. but sleep obviously is a daily battle, and if somebody would invite my son for a sleepover in ANOTHER house today, or – shudder – in the school with the whole class.. i would probably say no, because that’s just not gonna work… If Poss really wants to, HAS to go, though..I guess if you have a reliable carer who is there and can give you notice when it looks like it’s no more fun for her (but before it becomes .. traumatic or whatever).. well, try propose it to her and be on standby, it’s only for one night after all.. and in the end, we always want those experiences for them, too.
    (i personally must have had hundreds of sleepovers with my besties over the years, my mother was pretty cool with us not actually sleeping and even lied to the other parents about it.. uhm. )
    nikki recently posted..Inclusion at schoolMy Profile

    • Oh we had heaps of sleep overs as well as kids – but maybe not till a bit older? I’m not sure…
      But on this one, we are going to do a compromise; dinner and then a late pick up to sleep at home. We think it will be the best way… or fingers crossed anyway!
      Renee Bugg recently posted..Ten little thingsMy Profile

  4. I don’t know. My answer is that I wouldn’t want my non sleeper to go either, but I would let her go because, well, I can’t keep her home forever and I think my child could benefit from seeing that other kids DO SLEEP!! We have only done sleep overs with family at this stage and like you, there was sleeping on the couch with a grown up for half the night. She still remembers Uncle B snoring beside her.

    • It’s so tricky – I think the benefits of her seeing the other kids sleep would be valuable, but weighing it up against her distress at not being able to sleep or calm, I just can’t justify it. A compromise of sorts is in the works – she’ll go for the afternoon and the dinner and then we’ll pick her up just before bed. Not ideal – but it’s a start.
      Renee Bugg recently posted..Ten little thingsMy Profile

  5. I’d be asking the school what the staff to student ratio was, so that if necessary Poss had 1 to 1, and what their plans are if she literally cannot sleep? Will someone stay with her and keep her quiet and as calm as possible, or would they get irritated and phone home in a huff?

    IF, the answers come back as satisfactory then I guess I’d be willing to give it a go. But knowing from previous posts that Poss can be a bolt risk I’d be more worried about her both feeling and being safe than the matter of sleep.

    Never done a sleepover with M so wouldn’t know, and the only one my boy had was with a very close and trusted friend. Sorry, not much help am I?

    Will just say I find the idea of a class sleepover an extraordinary concept!
    Karen recently posted..Silent SundayMy Profile

    • You raise some excellent questions Karen – which to date – the school has been unable to answer.

      We are meeting with them this week to flesh it out further, but in all likelihood she’ll do the afternoon of activities, the dinner and then we’ll collect her before bed.

      She’s not overly happy about it, but I think we need to be safe instead of sorry on this one.
      Renee Bugg recently posted..Ten little thingsMy Profile

      • I must admit, she’s bound to “hate” you for it, but in the long term it’s not a popularity contest being a parent, and going with your gut is usually the best plan. I’ll be interested to hear what the school have to say though, as there is an extra expectation of “in loco parentis” at bed-time.
        Karen recently posted..Bouncing ButterfliesMy Profile

  6. Have we done it? Nope! But only because she hasn’t been invited, and has no desire for one.

    I think if my 7yo’s school did a sleepover we’d go for it – would be great practice for school camp but in a familiar place, it’s not at anyone’s house (so less chance of offending anyone), and there will be a lot of excited non sleeping kids – can fit right in. If the worse case scenario is she didn’t sleep but felt included, then it’s absolutely a win.

    Anyway, my two cents 🙂

  7. Ah I hear you. We have a miss 9 who is so excited about her upcoming one night school camp – but terrified at the same time. Grand total of 2 friend sleepovers. Both involved a late night phone call but stayed over. I soooooooo want her to “win” at this but not to push. Doesnt help that her camp is actually a camp. In a tent. And her non camping family have not introduced her to tent camping before. Got about 5 weeks up o ur sleeve to fix it!
    Alli @ ducks on the dam recently posted..Wonderful Wednesday – Kid’s Cubby HousesMy Profile


  1. […] There was also much chatter on the interwebs this week about parenting topics as diverse as fast food, home work, technology, after school activities and even right here on my blog, sleep overs. […]

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