Sleepover birthday parties and 14 hour playdates

Maybe I’m slightly old fashioned. Not the old fashioned parenting style of reality TV mom Kate Gosselin, of course. But, sometimes I wonder, despite the fact that I consider myself to be a liberal, modern mom. My kids are still young, six and nine years old. So when a parent at our school who I barely know, whose house I’ve never been to, invites my six year-old to a sleepover birthday party that lasts almost two entire days, I decline the invitation. My six year-old has never had a sleepover. My nine year-old has sleepovers at the homes of families I know well.

When a celebrity mom who pretends not to know who I am and routinely walks by me at school without as much as “hello” calls to request my daughter accompany her family to Disneyland (and spend the night there) I decline the request. Our kids aren’t friends. We’ve never been to her house and she’s never been to our house. Maybe it’s because we don’t know each other?
When parents complain about bad behavior among kids at sleepover parties, I’m not surprised. They’ve invited kids they barely know.
At private elementary schools, there are plenty of opportunities to drop off your kids with the nannies or babysitters of families that you don’t really know. Even on the weekends. They’ll take them on elaborate, all day outings that end late at night. I opt out of these type of invitations for my kids, no matter how generous they seem.
Sometimes I can tell a parent is annoyed that I’ve said “no thanks” to their invitation.
That’s ok. I’m a modern mom.
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Christina Simon: Los Angeles, California, United States I'm the mom of two kids who attended The Willows School in Culver City and Viewpoint School in Calabasas. My daughter is a graduate of Northwestern University Medill School of Journalism ('23) and my son is a sophomore at UPenn/Wharton ('26). I live in Coldwater Canyon with my husband, Barry, and our dogs. Contact me at

One thought to “Sleepover birthday parties and 14 hour playdates”

  1. Thank you for reinforcing this!! I grew up in a home where my mom NEVER allowed me to do sleep-overs until I was around 16. Well at that point, who cares. BUT, I never realized the reason for my moms actions until I got older. Too many accidents could happen at a home where you don't really know the family. You hear all the time about kids being exposed to R-Rated movies, scary shows, profanity and in worst case scenarios, abuse. I think you have the right idea about sleep-overs. If they get mad…who cares. More reason to not let your kid go over to their home. Thanks for the feedback!!

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