Why Avoid Sleepovers
By Barrington H. Brennen
have sleepovers for their growing children? Are
there any challenges in having sleepovers? Truly, I
am amazed how sleepovers have become so popular
during the past decades. I also observed that
mostly, it is the children who request sleepovers,
not the parents. Then parents give in with the view
that there is no harm in having the sleepover. They
are little children.
Let me remind us about two important principles.
It is in the home where children are to feel most loved and secure.
It is the parent’s full responsibility to provide a
healthy growth development plan and environment for
With that in mind, we must understand that young
children—from birth to age twelve—are very
impressionable and are developing life-long patterns
of behavior which become the foundation for their
character. So, parents are to guard every minute of
their children’s lives to ensure that their mind and
senses are not cluttered with negative ideas and
It is also my view that teenagers are full of energy
and creativity, yet vulnerable and can be innocently
exposed to environments that can adversely change
their lives forever. It is my view that sleepovers,
no matter how well they are organized, are one of
those negative gateways for learning destructive
Before I go further, I want to share what I would
consider as positive points for sleepovers. In the
article, “Sleepovers—Bad Idea or No Big Deal?” the
writer Shelby Abbott states: “It can be fun for your
kids to build deeper and more meaningful
relationships with their friends. Time spent in
someone else’s home can foster an environment of
great friendship building. Being in someone else’s
home can also help kids learn a different family
culture or environment. This helps to make your kids
more well-rounded, knowledgeable, and empathetic.”
Also note this important point he makes: “The pros,
however, kind of end there. And honestly, the
positives mentioned do not only happen in the
context of a sleepover. Those benefits can happen in
different environments that don’t require the
vulnerability of staying overnight.”
Then, what would be a negative point for having
sleepovers. I must first quote from the same author.
Here are his words: “We’ll start with something
minor. Your kids are probably going to stay up late
and eat a bunch of junk food, which may make them
sick to their stomach and guarantees they will be
grouchy the next day. Other more likely outcomes are
the mischievous actions, words, and attitudes kids
tend to shift toward when unsupervised for long
periods. They could watch something on TV you may
not approve of. They could be exposed to
pornography, alcohol, foul language, or even unsafe
circumstances. None of which they are equipped to
handle because of their immaturity as children. Even
worse, they could be abused in some form or harmed
in a way that could affect them for years to come.”
The challenge with sleepovers, especially if the
number of guest children greatly exceeds the number
of your children, is that it is exceedingly
difficult to effectively manage all of them. Little
children (those up to 12 years) require hands-on
supervision. Eyes and ears must always be vigilant.
Although teenagers do not require hands-on
supervision, still they need distant supervision and
can be more reckless and challenging.
Interestingly, while researching on the topic, every
article I read had one common reason they opposed
sleepovers. They all had a negative personal
experience with sleepovers. One author said: “While
many kids go to sleepovers that are not a problem,
it only takes one incident to ruin a child’s
innocence. That was the case for me.”
Another point is that of being exposed to seeing . .
Your Daily Relationship
Nugget is a short radio program and podcast by marriage and family
therapist, Barrington H.
Brennen, designed to encourage, inform and uplift
families, couples, singles, parents, teenagers;
the lonely, depressed, troubled, etc.
Your Daily Relationship Nugget is a
Sounds of Encouragement Association
Daily Relationship Nugget is short and sweet. Each
program is between seven to ten minutes in length.
Each program is stimulating, provocative, and refreshing.
Barrington H. Brennen is marriage and family
therapist, counseling psychologist and a retired minister of
the gospel. He combines his 25 years experience and
training as a marriage and family therapist and writer; 43
years as a husband, and 42 years of ministry, to bring to
you refreshing nuggets that can change your life.
Daily Relationship Nugget is a division of
Encouragement Association. Read
about him. Read his hundreds of
on relationship issues and personal development.
Barrington Brennen operates
Marriage and Family Counseling Services in Nassau, The
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therapy face to face in The Bahamas or via video to persons
any where in the world.
Barrington Brennen conducts "Keeping
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Coming soon! Sounds
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It will feature Barrington Brennen and his son, Gerard, as
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for about fifteen years on air.