Ask the Expert: Should I let it go ahead or hold my ground until she is older?
Question: My daughter is five-years-old (she will be six next week) and she wants her friend from school who is two months older to stay for a sleepover in our house. Her parents seem to be okay about it and are even encouraging it, but I’m worried they might be too young.
Is there an age you should allow sleepovers?
She is our only child so I’m learning as I go and have no experience. When I was a child, I did not do sleepovers until I was at least 10. I did, of course, have my cousins stay over at a younger age, but not children outside the family. So my gut is to say “no”.
But then I worry that because she is an only child she might need the company of her friends. Perhaps she is lonely or misses other children in the house? I had my sister growing up and we were very close, so part of me feels guilty.
Should I just let the sleepover go ahead or hold my ground until she is older?
Answer: The short answer to your question is that there is no particular age as to when you should allow or not allow sleepovers. It is, of course, a personal judgement for each parent about what they and their children are comfortable with.
A lot of is down to how much you know the other parents and the other child. There is a bit of trust involved in letting your young child stay with another family, especially when they are not cousins or close family members when you have a pre-existing family relationship. While her parents might appear to be encouraging of it, they may also have some worries about it. Also, six years old is relatively young for a child to stay in another person’s house and they could easily become nervous when…