Coed Sleepovers – Should You Allow It?

Coed Sleepovers – Should You Allow It?

Are Coed Sleepovers a Bad Idea?

My daughter spent the night at a boy’s house a few weeks ago.  Yes, I allowed her to have a coed sleepover.  Shocking I know!

But before you’re appalled, you have to understand what a catch this boy is…

  • Big blue eyes.
  • Gorgeous curly hair.
  • Great smile.
  • Fun personality.
  • Good sense of humor and very polite.
  • Always treats her well.

I approve.

Alright, before I get tarred and feathered, I guess I should confess that the children in question are only 5.  Clearly it is innocent and platonic.

But does that make it ok for them to have a coed sleepover?  I have to confess I’m feeling a little funny about it.

Coed Sleepovers Between Friends

CJ and Mikey (not his real name) are so cute to watch as they play together or as they shout talk to each other over our fence.  He’s our backyard neighbor and the exact same age as CJ.  They get along so well we have discussed putting a gate in the fence to make it easier for them to play without having to walk around the block.

coed sleepovers

I like this kid.  I like his parents.  I like how he and Chloe play together.

So, what’s the problem?  Why do I have this lingering doubt?

As much as I hate to admit it, there is a very, very small part of me that is worried about what other people will think.  Regardless of how young, how innocent, how perfectly fine it was for these two to have a sleepover, I know that some of you won’t be ok with it.

I guess I’m afraid of the whispered “What kind of Mom let’s their kid have a coed sleepover?”

Even if the question is never voiced, I worry about whether I’m a good Mom.  And of course anything remotely questionable brings those fears bubbling to the top.

But I am not the kind of person that worries for very long about what others think, so this fear isn’t really a huge concern.  What does concern me is when I won’t think it’s ok.

When is that line drawn?

When is a Coed Sleepover a Bad Idea?

I look at my 9 year old son and would have to think long and hard if he asked to spend the night at a girl’s house.  I’m sure at 9 it would still be  innocent and platonic, but 9 is a whole lot more uncomfortable for me than 5.  And by 12?  Definitely not.

And here’s the twist…

What about siblings & coed sleepovers?

I say definitely not, but my son and daughter have both spent the night at their friends’ houses (siblings) more than once.  It works out really well because my son is their son’s guest and my daughter is their daughter’s guest.  Seems perfectly fine, right?

But is that really so different than a coed sleepover?  It is ultimately two boys and two girls spending the night together.

And I have a few memories of sleepovers at my friends’ houses when I was in high school.  Friends with older brothers.  Older, good-looking, brothers…  Ahem.  I really hope my parents aren’t reading…

When my kids are older I’ll definitely be questioning not just who they want to stay with, but the sibling situation too.  And maybe when the girls have a friend over, brother will have to stay at a friend’s or something.  We’re not there yet, but my point is that there is definitely an age when it has the potential to become less innocent.

But, I don’t think we’re there yet.  We will be someday though.  When?  When is that magic age? 

What do you think?

Would you let your daughter have a sleepover with a boy?  If so, is there an age when it is no longer ok?

Leave a comment please!

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8 Responses to Coed Sleepovers – Should You Allow It?

  1. Oy! That is thought provoking! I agree with all your points. Five is one thing, 9 starts to feel a little bit uncomfortable and FORGET 12 year olds! Of course, if your daughter and “Mikey” continue to be best buddies they will probably view each other more as siblings than anything else. I had many friends in high school who were friends. At least I viewed them as friends, but found out years later that they would have loved to change their status from friend to boy-friend.

    • That’s going to be hard too Suzanne, when I decide it’s not ok anymore. To explain that to them in a way that doesn’t insult their trustworthiness, etc.

      I also remember an invite in 2nd grade that was a coed birthday party slumber party. People we didn’t know and were just my daughter’s friends from class.

      I don’t know how I’ll finish with this topic, but I thought it was interesting to discuss. Thank you for commenting!!

  2. The mark of a good post is when I come with a certain strong opinion and I leave all squishy about it. You have managed to find the grays in my black & white thinking about co-ed sleepovers in the areas of age and double play-dates.

    I had never considered those as co-ed sleepovers before, but clearly they are!

    • It’s interesting, isn’t it Lori? And do I really think anything would happen at a sleepover (with parents home) that couldn’t happen after school when we’re not around or behind the gym or at a park or whatever? Just because they can find other ways to do what they want anyway, does that mean we don’t worry about it or worry more?

      It’s complicated in my head anyway.

      Thank you for commenting!

  3. So, my daughter is 17, and I just let her spend the night at her 15 year old friends house (also a girl). Her 10year old brother was there as well as two boys aged 17 and 19. They all crashed in the living room. She loves all of these people like her siblings. The 4 teens are on a retreat team together and have grown really close through that. I did not see it as a big deal. The girls slept on the couch and the guys slept on the floor. The parents were home, too. I honestly don’t see why it should be a problem if you trust your kids and the others. If you raised them right, there shouldn’t even be anything to be concerned about.

  4. Good point J. J. – that whole concept of raised right. But what does that mean exactly? I certainly was a good kid – honor roll, college scholarships, decent behavior – but add boys to the mix after 16? Not the smartest choices on the planet. Good kids can make bad choices and still be good kids.

    On the flip side, kids can find a way to have sex by the time they are 17 if that’s their goal. Sleepovers or no sleepovers. So does it matter?

    On one hand you play the guilt trip card of “we trust you” on the other you have rebellion.

    Kids will be kids will be human…

    I don’t know the right answer. Not sure there is one.

  5. My 9-year-old twin girls (who will be 10 in January) went to a sleepover last weekend at their friend’s house, who happens to be a boy. Other than their friend’s sister, my girls were the only two girls in attendance. It didn’t seem weird at all to me, because my girls are such tomboys, and we know this family so well. They’re almost more like family.

    I think it’s hard to have specific rules for things like this. You have to decide what feels right based on the circumstances.

    • I have to agree Laura, every situation is different. If kids want to find a way to get into trouble they will do so no matter what boundaries we put on them. At the same time, I think we can give our kids a safe “out” even from themselves. It’s SO case dependent though…

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