Cautious Parents Banning Sleepovers

Jim Liebelt | Senior Writer, Editor and Researcher for the HomeWord Center for Youth and Family at Azusa Pacific University | Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Cautious Parents Banning Sleepovers

Forget the sleepover rituals of junk food, "truth or dare" and late-night gab sessions that have ushered tweens into teens for decades. A new generation of parents are sticking to strict no-sleepover rules.

Today, they call them "sleep unders," "half-overs," "late nights" and "breakfast bashes." Come in your jammies, bring junk food, play all the games you want, but at a certain point these children will be tucked in under their own roofs where their parents know the rules about R-rated movies, Internet use and adult supervision.

"In the old days it used to be that you would build up to a sleepover and you knew everything about that family" says Stacy DeBroff, a Boston mother of two and author of four parenting books including "The Mom Book!" "But now a more vigilant kind of hyper-concerned parent says unknown dangers may lurk, I don't know every variable ... and so I'm going to hover and basically swoop in and take you out."

While plenty of families believe slumber parties are harmless good fun, several news stories about molestation at sleepovers — including a Vermont father who was charged in June with drugging a 13-year-old friend of his daughter with a smoothie and then fondling her — have given parents who worry about slumber parties concrete reasons to avoid them.

Source: Hartford Courant,0,573003.story