I have been hearing more and more about kids getting together en masse for coed sleepovers. Some parents have been very positive about these group adventures in nocturnal cohabitation and insist there is little to worry about — the kids are all just friends, no one is drinking or doing drugs or hooking up, that the kids just like to “hang out together” in their jammies; sometimes they even text while sitting next to each other on the couch!
Think I’m making this up? Amy Dickinson from Time.com wrote an article back in 2001 about a 17-year old boy who was able to persuade his parents to hold his first coed sleepover. The family eventually hosted three coed parties with 20 to 30 guests–one on New Year’s Eve! Dickinson contends that the boy and his father “established very sound party-giving techniques that [she] believes would benefit any parents who are thinking of having or letting their teen attend such an event.” And then she lists the guidelines.
More recently (in April 2010), journalist Amanda Morin wrote an article called “Losing Sleep Over Coed Sleepovers” in which she cites Dr. Linda Sonna, a psychologist and author of 10 parenting books, including The Everything Parenting a Teenager Book. Sonna says increasing numbers of parents say their teens want to attend coed teen slumber parties. For many parents, there’s no discussion about it – coed sleepovers are out of the question. For other parents whose teens who are hosting and attending these boy-girl events, it’s merely a sign of the times, a natural extension of the ever-expanding platonic relationships between the sexes. Some parents are clueless; their child simply tells them he/she is going to sleep at a friend’s house, but the parents never call to check in with the host parents, so they have no idea the event is coed.
How do you feel about group, coed sleepovers; they seem to be the new “cool” thing? Yay or nay? When would you allow your child to have someone of the opposite sex sleep at your house? Could they share a room? A bed? What about same-sex sleepovers? Do you let kids sleep in the same bed?