Parents tend to be moving away from allowing their children to attend sleepovers. So maybe a ‘late-over’ is a possibility?
Does no one do sleepovers any more?
It really doesn’t seem that sleepovers are that common anymore, unless it’s at a family member’s home. My kids both had friends come for sleepovers on quite a regular basis when they were around six to ten years old. During the school holidays were the obvious choice but we also had kids overnight when their parents were away at functions.
The obvious elephant in the room as to why sleepovers have become less commomplace is the prevalence of news stories about child abuse, domestic violence and substance abuse. It’s natural to want to keep your child safe from harm, whether the danger is real or perceived. Some may view it as an over-reaction or bubble-wrapping kids but you can’t deny a parent’s right to protect their child.
On social media, some people have said that they don’t offer to have kids for sleepovers because they prefer their privacy and they aren’t comfortable with someone other than family staying in their home.
So, what’s a late-over?
Some call it a ‘late-over’. Others refer to it as a ‘sleep under’. Maybe it’s just a tweaked pyjama party? Basically, it’s a chance for kids to socialise at their friend’s home, and stay late, but not actually sleep over. Guests are returned home (or collected) around 9pm, or whatever time suits their age and parent’s preference.
The activities for a late-over can be just as diverse as for a sleep-over, ie:
- Craft activities
- Video games
- Night games
- Board games
- Pamper session
- Backyard camping
The pros and cons of a late-over
The late changeover means that kids can enjoy a bit more socialising than if they were just hanging out after school and sent home before dinner. There’s plenty of time for several activities and the kids can play night games like spotlight. They can even be ideal for birthday celebrations.
Late-overs can be great at giving anxious kids a bit of independence without a full-blown night away from home which may inevitably end in tears due to being ‘homesick’.
With the house guest being whisked away at a late but still reasonable hour, the slumber of the remaining household members is less disturbed than with no yak, yak, yak beyond midnight! The following morning, there are no tired, grumpy kids (and parents!), who for some reason think that they need to be up with the first birdsong when they have a friend over.
On the other hand, if you’re hoping to use a late-over for babysitting purposes, you’re a bit restricted with your timing. You could definitely fit in a movie or dinner but late-night partying is obviously off the agenda.
When your child returns home you’re likely going to have to deal with a child who’s hyped up from all the excitement of hanging out at their friend’s house, probably with an abundance of sugary treats having been consumed. Good luck with that.
Written by Julie Scanlon
Julie is Editor for Kidspot NZ and our MVP. Her hobbies include laughing uncontrollably at her own jokes, annoying her family by asking questions about movie plots, and never taking anything too seriously. She speaks a little Spanish and a lot of Yorkshire.
Favourite motto to live by: “It ain’t nothing but a thing”