Growing up, most of us had at least one sleepover. If you were lucky, you had them often. But there were always times when your parents would say no to your friend staying the night, or you staying at theirs. Chances are, at the time, you threw a tantrum and despised your parents for not letting you hang out with your friend all night long. But did you ever stop to wonder why they said no?
From destructive children to terribly-mannered parents to bratty kids, these parents share why they said "absolutely not" to their children's sleepover. They did what they thought was right and their children are even better because of it.
Don't forget to check the comment section below the article for more interesting stories!
#1 A Reason To Leave Mom
I no longer allowed my son's best friend to come to our place or for him to go over to his after the best friend's mom reported us to the authorities for harboring a runaway. This was after the best friend had been tossed out of his mom's house and told to spend the night sleeping outside and she'd refused our phone calls to find out what was going on. So yes, I wasn't going to let a 16-year-old spend the night in 30-degree weather with nowhere to go.
The authorities showed up and we explained what was happening. We were treated like dirt and told that from now on, we had to have full permission from the mom. Fine. We urged my son's friend to go to the authorities, report to them what was happening, and left it at that. The mom tried to apologize three days later and said it was okay for my son to go to their house and vice versa. I politely refused and hung up while she was screaming at me.
I'd always been kind of uncomfortable with the woman and but that just sealed it for me. They were still friends at school, but they weren't allowed to hang out anymore. I explained why and they both agreed to the rules. The son is in the forces now and is doing quite well. He no longer has any contact with his mother. Gee, I wonder why.
#2 What Xbox Are You Talking About?
He is destructive and has issues that affect his interaction with other kids. The kid doesn't play. He just upturns bins, throws things around, and breaks stuff. My son is growing out of this kid. The child is very sheltered and doesn't have the behavioral therapy that the doctors recommend so he is just too much for my oldest and youngest to deal with. So, that means the requests for him to come over are drying up. They really have nothing in common anymore. I had to hide our Xbox every time he came over after he broke multiple games. He couldn't understand why the shattered CD wouldn't work or why we were mad.
#3 Love The Way You Lie
She was a chronic liar. My daughter met her in kindergarten. She lied constantly about everything. One day, my daughter asked us to help her put together a birthday card and make a homemade present for her friend's birthday, but when she brought the gifts to school it turned out the girl had lied about what day her birthday was. I didn't want to put down my daughter's first good friend, but I refused to have them spend more time together than was necessary. I was relieved when she started ending every story about something her friend had said with "...it's probably not true though." She outgrew that friend after a few months. I met the girl's parents later in the year. That poor kid never had a chance.
#4 Kid's Gotta Eat
My daughter has a friend whom I just absolutely cannot stand. She talks forever and when she is just visiting, she manages to eat all my food and drink up all of our water bottles. I know her parents and I know for a fact she isn't being starved at home for her to act the way she does. She's also the I'm-nice-to-your-face-but-try-to-hurt-the-smaller-kids-around-when-no-one's-watching kinda kid. She has been asking me all summer if she can spend the night and I always have to come up with an excuse as to why she can't because I honestly don't think I could handle her for a whole day and night. I know it sounds horrible but really I feel no guilt.
#5 Down In The Dirt
Their family was filthy as heck. They still had the last house owner's wallpaper (which was peeling off) up and their windows were dirty. I don’t think they had washed them since they moved in. The whole family stinks and their clothes are always dirty. The kid's mom wore a wedding dress that had stains all over it. And when she asked me, “Can my friend come over?" I said, "Absolutely not! Anyone but them."
#6 What A Poor Girl!
A girl who is our neighbor is a complete sweetheart but the parents don't seem to care about her. She is seven and is often left outside unsupervised for hours in a not so safe neighborhood. She asks to come over and spends the entire day with us. The worst part is her parents don't even check in on her. But the tipping point was when her mom asked if we would watch her while they ran an errand and said they would be about two hours. This was at 11 a.m. She was already over at our house playing so we said that was fine.
They didn't come back home until almost 8 p.m. They wouldn't answer their phones or return messages. We had to cancel plans we had with family that evening, too. The poor kid kept asking when her parents would come back and was on the verge of tears by the time they finally did. My husband and I were considering calling the authorities for child abandonment. Turns out, they were out celebrating the little brother's birthday.
When I talked to the mom about it she flippantly said, "Oh, I thought you got my message." My husband and I were blowing her phone up for hours. There was no way we missed her message. My kids and her are only allowed to play outside in the front yard now which is super inconvenient because I have to stay out there the entire time to ensure their safety and watch out to see if the parents try and leave.
#7 Ain't That The Tooth?
My son and his friend were roughhousing and she chipped a tooth. When her grandmother found out, she threatened to sue us. We told her we’d help pay for getting her tooth repaired if they didn’t have insurance, but she’d had none of it. She was going to sue us for the “pain and suffering” on her granddaughter's behalf. Needless to say, they never had her over after that, and we never got sued.
The grandmother did corner me in their middle school about three months later, though, screaming at me about how she was going to destroy me and my family. Teachers and staff called the authorities on her, I played up being emotionally traumatized, and they had a nice long talk with her. We never heard from her again after that and we moved away not long after. Fun times!
#8 It's Nerf Or Nothing
I had a kid come to my kid's last birthday party and he will never be invited back for a party or otherwise. He was just a total jerk the whole time. Rude to adults, insulting my kid, wrecking everything anyone built, and just generally being awful to everyone. I didn't even feel sorry for him when he took a nerf dart to the eye since I had said no to nerf guns but he and another kid pulled them out when my back was turned.
#9 Causing Chaos In Their Home
The girl was my daughter's friend from upper elementary school. She had some social quirks and it seemed like she may also have had an attention problem but it was relatively mild. She could be very nice and helpful. She could also be a manipulative lying terror. I didn't mind my daughter going to her house, but the friend only slept over here twice. I didn't let them have many play dates together either since I noticed her attitude was being copied by my daughter.
The first time she went into my son's room and made an utter mess of his toys. It looked like a tornado went through the room. My son complained loudly about the mess. She told me that they had all gone into his room to play. My children told a bit of a different story, but they agreed that everyone had to help clean up. I wasn't about to grill them on who did what. She apologized with big sad puppy eyes. I wrote it off as testing the boundaries in someone else's home.
The second time she lied to me about a certain movie that she said she watched at home. I let the girls watch it, but then found out that her mom had not allowed her to watch it. To make it worse, she destroyed some of my daughter's belongings. I didn't find out about most of it until after the friend had gone home since my kid is pretty passive. That was the last sleepover at either home.
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#10 Don't Be So Hard On The Kid
One of the kids that lived on the street was constantly dirty whenever he entered our house, and not particularly considerate of that fact. He was just a bit too enthusiastic about playing in dirt outside (which I don't think is too uncommon for a boy his age, he was about seven or eight at the time). He kept tracking the mud all over the floors and furniture, and even on one of the beds.
He also had a habit of breaking toys and even bit another child during a basketball game in our driveway. I felt a little bad for him since he was already three to four years younger than most of the other children on the street, so on top of his lack of cleanliness and behavior, the age gap only served to alienate him from the rest of the group more.
He probably did not have the best home life. His parents were separated for some reason and he lived with either his grandmother or great aunt. We've since moved away from the area, but I hope some other relative was able to step in and resolve the situation.
#11 No First Date?
A relatively new male friend of my 13-year-old came over for the first time, and when I say came over, I mean climbed over a six-foot cinderblock privacy fence to surprise my 13-year-old with a plastic engagement ring and a taken a plant that he got from one of our neighbors houses. After that little scandal, she was then invited on his family's vacation. She did not go. He's not allowed over again.
#12 Not A Great Mother
A few neighborhood kids, seven and nine-years-old, asked my five-year-old daughter to climb out of a screenless window to go play and pet a cat. She escaped outside and did fine, but obviously, I would have strongly preferred that they had asked permission first. We go for frequent walks and sometimes hear yelling and screaming coming from their house. While waiting for an ice cream truck one day, they were outside and said their parents "fight and yell a lot," all while the parents were asking a seven and nine-year-old to watch their one-and-half-year-old brother while they wandered the neighborhood. Yeah, no.
#13 Leave The Ants Alone
My oldest kid has an incredibly gentle soul and is very into ballet. He had one friend come over to a sleepover that I ultimately sent home after he made fun of my son for loving ballet. He also smashed ants from my son's ant farm in front of my son. I get that he was little, but man, I'm not letting anyone who makes my kid cry like that in my house again.
#14 Biting To Get What They Want
My daughter was five at the time. There was this kid who was a son of a coworker. The coworker was cool. My daughter got along with this kid on the playground. So we decided to do the playdate thing. The kid couldn't handle sharing his toys so he started biting. My coworker apologized profusely and asked if we could have a do-over at our place. I figured it wasn't an issue because his toys weren't going to be there. Nah. Then he started biting because he wanted her toys.
#15 Definitely Not Safe
My kid is not allowed to go to his friend's house down the street. The authorities are there much too often, including a time when a friend of that family was apprehended while visiting. I have told him that it's not a safe house and that his friend can come here instead, but he can't go there. There are other reasons why I don't trust their judgment, but I figure the bookings are enough, right?
#16 She's A Wild One!
Years ago, we had new neighbors move in across the street that had a daughter that was a year younger than mine. They introduced her one day and suggested that we get the girls together to play over at our house (they had seen that we had a swing set and trampoline). I just smiled and said maybe. I had a bad feeling about them and their daughter so I kept my kid away from theirs and I’m glad I did. This girl, who at the time was about eight, was found many times on the roof of their porch. She would go start the car, climb all over the car, and play in the street. She cursed like a sailor. I’m glad I listened to my gut.
#17 Bird Is The Word
I only allow sleepovers with close family and friends but the girl next door asked for a sleepover. She was maybe eight, and my daughter was six. The first time the girl came over to play, she told me to put my macaw in his cage where he belongs because birds should be in cages and she didn't like him. I told her she could go back outside if she didn't want to be near him, but I would not lock him up.
She also informed me that she was going to need me to make her dinner, right now, because she was hungry. It was not even 4 p.m. and she had not been invited for dinner. She was extremely demanding and disrespectful. She complained about the snack I gave her. When the girls went to play outside, she made my daughter cry three times in 40 minutes. This was the first and only time she was allowed to play with my daughter.
When I told her it was time for her to go home, she asked to spend the night. I told her no. Then she informed me that her parents, who I have never met, had already said my daughter could spend the night with her. I again said no. She demanded to know why. I have told the girl no every time since that she has asked to play with my daughter.
#18 Bad Deeds Behind Their Back
The boy was four and my son was three. He would tell my son to do things he knew not to do (throwing toys, shrieking, etc.). I asked my son why he would do those things only when around this boy. My son was extremely uncomfortable but finally answered after I asked him a few times. He said, "Chris tells me to and if I don't he hits me behind the couch." I addressed it with the parents and their response was "boys will be boys."
#19 Breaking Scout's Honor
My 11-year-old daughter's friend from her Girl Scout troop told her mom that a pool lifeguard hit her (I took my kids and the friend to the pool for the day). I didn't get in the pool, but I was sitting with my feet inside the water as I watched the kids swim and play. No one even touched her in a way that suggested or could be mistaken as hitting. I realized the girl was bad news. She eventually stopped participating in Girl Scouts to my relief.
#20 Like Mother, Like Daughter
This kid at my son's school has major anger issues, which is not a big surprise because the mom is always angry as well. The bad thing is, I know this without even speaking to the mom, ever. I witnessed her violently knocking on the classroom door just because the teacher was a couple of minutes late letting the kids out. I also witnessed her screaming at a few innocent grocery store employees. Her son won't be allowed over.
#21 That's The Dog's Job!
The last time my kid's friend came over, he swore at the dog and peed on the floor—right in front of us. My son and his friend were both 11 and we were watching a movie. He called the dog a bad word for no reason whatsoever. The movie ended and both boys were asleep. I woke them to brush their teeth and go to the washroom before bed. He stood up and peed on the freaking floor. I had his mom pick him up immediately.
#22 Let's (Not) Get Physical
My son has autism and has special needs friends. One of my work friends had a little girl who had a huge crush on my son but would get upset when he had to leave. One day, her mom was kind enough to pick my son up for the girl's sleepover party (mind you these kids are nine to 11 range). Everything was going good until we found out she was hitting and scratching our son. We went to go pick him up and she started to hit me and began throwing things. My heart hurt, really. She's a good kid but I won't allow my son to stay over anymore due to that. I feel bad but his safety means more to me.
#23 Training To Be The Next Tony Hawk?
My son was eight. He would be at this friend’s house and it always turned in to a sleepover. I didn’t love the lack of communication from this kid’s family and it was nearly the last straw when I had not been told they were going anywhere. I called multiple times between 9 and 10 p.m. with no answer, so I finally drove over there to get him and they had gone to a movie. Without telling me or asking.
I was annoyed and texted the mom to please bring him home immediately when they were done with the movie. The actual last straw was when my son told me about being in the high school parking lot across the street from this friend’s house playing on skateboards. At two in the morning. Who lets small kids play in a high school parking lot at two in the morning? I blocked the mom’s number on my phone and directed him towards other friends. They’ve not hung out in nearly two years now and that’s okay by me.
#24 Man's Best Friend For A Reason
We banned one friend from staying over because he was playing rough with our son and our large dog. The dog whined and was stressed and when the kid didn't stop, our dog nipped him on the rear. Not hard enough to hurt the kid but enough to say stop. That has been the only time our dog has done that to anyone. We kicked the kid out right after that incident.
#25 Looking To Use Those Claws
My wife has chronic migraines so we try and keep our noise levels down in the house. That, and our cats don't like to be chased by strangers. My oldest had a friend over and I told her repeatedly to leave my cat alone. She just kept on picking them up and carrying them around. After that, she was not invited back. If you can't listen, I'm either going to let my pets bite you or you're going to get the heck out.
#26 Talk The Talk
My daughter had a friend at school who also lived in our apartment complex. She spoke louder than a grown man, walked harder than myself, and was just very, very obnoxious. She was nice as could be, but she was just extremely annoying! It was unfortunate, really. I made the mistake of having her over for a sleepover with my daughter once. I definitely will not make that mistake again.
#27 Can't Do It Alone
The kid's parent was an “attachment parent”. The type of parent that you run into from time to time and they are just looking to saddle up with someone—anyone. There are (in my wife and I’s experience) parents that will try to corner you into play dates, like going to camp together, sleepovers, beach trips, everything and anything. Maybe it’s because their kid is a little brat that nobody invites or the parent is so overworked that they’re just trying to unload their kid on you for as long as possible.
Anyway, I learned quickly to spot this stuff a mile away. One friend of ours wasn’t so lucky. They let one of these attachment parents in a little too close and told them what camps their kid was going to that summer. Next thing you know, the parent signed their terrible child up for exactly the same camps. They had to carpool that family's kid every day. The one that I had to cut off would leave notes for us in my kid's backpack, text incessantly, and seek us out at school events. They even told my kid to tell us to invite them over. Hard pass.
#28 Got Their Eyes On You
There's a kid a few homes down whose parents and grandparents just let him roam the neighborhood alone at any time even when he was quite young. I remember finding him sitting on my front lawn one morning in the sprinkler when it was blistering hot out, wearing a winter coat, T-shirt and shorts, and no shoes. His grandmother was supposed to watch him but I never saw any adults ever come out of the home.
Well, any time this kid was over he would break something then deny it happened. He even took one of my kid's razor scooters and stripped all of the stickers off of it. He denied that too. After watching him purposely break something in the back yard, I told him he was never allowed to come back on our property. The neighborhood kids learned that we have security cameras aimed all over the house so there's no point in trying anything quietly now.
#29 Not The Clif Bars!
This one child had no respect for our house rules and would take snacks even though I had fed her. I told her many times, "If you're hungry, just ask me for something to eat." Then one day, she was going to sleep over at our house. She went into our cupboards and opened a box of Clif bars that I was going to return. I accidentally bought ones with nuts in it. She proceeded to eat six of them, knowing full well how allergic my kid is to nuts. I lost it.
#30 What A Weirdo!
My son had a friend who was very odd. She was a sweet kid to your face but very devious behind your back. He would constantly try to get my son to lie to me about a variety of different things. For example, telling my son to tell me that his parents would go to bed at 6 p.m. and lock him out of his house, so he had to stay overnight with us. He would also have my son call me if I wasn't at the house to find out where I was and how much longer I would be. I didn't let him come around much.
#31 Playing Some Horrible Games
Last year, my boys, then seven and nine, made friends with a boy in the neighborhood who was about 13 or 14. I wasn't crazy about that to start with, but I let it go. It's kind of a red flag to have an age difference like that, but when I was younger I played with kids younger than I was. Anyway, the kid came over every day right after school and texted me immediately if he didn't see my kids.
He was very pushy in both wanting to hang out all the time and what kind of things they'd do when playing. It wasn't until long that I find out that he was teasing the younger one and coaxing my older son to join him in doing that. I had a good talk with my older one to not tease (especially not his younger brother) and how he doesn't need to try to impress anyone by being a follower.
The final straw was when the older kid told me their friend convinced the younger one to lick the floor in some sort of game. I told the friend and his mom that he couldn't see my kids anymore. I found out later that he took Nintendo Switch games from my kids as well. In a way, this was a great experience for my kids to learn a couple of life lessons.
#32 That's Some Next Level Pocketing
My son really wanted someone to come over this weekend, so we called a few parents. All of them were not home or just couldn't. He ended up finding someone else to invite and they had a nice time. Or so I thought. Well, the kid attempted to take things from our house. He took everything from nice pens to trying to take my wallet—while in my pocket. He's also a brat, and my kid complained about him after.
#33 I'm With The Band
One of my son's friends can't take no for an answer. If I tell him "no," he asks again. At which point I remind him again: "No." He has a mostly absent father in his life and I'm guessing his mom never says no to him, or just folds after the second attempt. His mother lives with her father (the kid's grandpa). My son slept over there one time and when I went to pick him up, grandpa answered and was looking for the kid's mom. But she wasn't even home. And grandpa didn't even know this. So here my son is with his friend, pretty much alone in their house. Not happening again.
#34 Take A Dip In The Lake
My son's friend invited him to a birthday at the country club his parents belonged to. My son was seven. The parents were not invited, so it was a drop-off kind of thing. We got there and at first, we didn't even see the birthday boy's parents, just a lot of kids running around, and adults everywhere drinking. I finally found the mom and I made sure she knew we were dropping our son off. When we came back at pick up time, all the adults were socializing and no one was watching the kids. I knew I should have listened to my gut when I had first got there. After 20 minutes, we still hadn't found my son. My husband went to look for him and they said he couldn't come in because he wasn't a member. He told them he was coming in to find his son. It was awful. The kids were out playing by the lake with no supervision. Never again.
#35 Wash Your Toes
Ony of my son's kids came over for the night and he had the absolute worst smelling feet I have ever encountered. My house is two-stories and about 1,600 sq feet. He could be in the house for one minute and I'd have to air out the entire place for hours. No exaggeration. It was absolutely putrid. There is no way that he will ever come over again—unless he keeps his shoes on.
#36 A Ride To Remember
The kid was a liar and his mom was a liar. I can deal with many issues and genuinely love all of my daughter's friends and having them over. But that kid? She had her invitation permanently revoked. It was the little things. It was third grade, and the girls wanted to go on a bike ride. My kid is young, so she had a big girl bike with hand brakes. I asked my daughter's friend if she could ride a bike with hand brakes. She lied and said yes, that she rides them all the time.
Fast forward three minutes later and the kid is careening down an incline into the street. Legs splayed to sides, screaming. My husband had to fly behind her so he could push her over to stop her momentum. Luckily, she fell over on her own into the grass before he got there. We walked the bikes back home. Her invitation was revoked soon after. It was the last straw. I couldn’t trust anything that came out of her mouth, even when it came to her own safety.
#37 Treating It Like A Hotel
The kid was really good but he would come to our house and stay for literally days! He lived a couple of doors down and I would send him back to his place to get clothes. I had met the parents briefly and they would come and go, but they never checked on him or anything! He and my son were about six. When my son asked to go over there for a change, I said no way!
#38 Bringing Some Unwanted Friends
One of my son's friends came from a badly run household. I'm talking mold, roaches, bedbugs, and lice. The parents wouldn't even try to keep it clean. Three kids, two parents with five dogs, four cats, snakes, and guinea pigs all running loose. The animals were not in cages or crated and were not housebroken. By letting him stay with us on two occasions we ended up with both lice and bed bugs. My son was banned from entering their yard and home and the other kid forbidden from ours.
#39 Brick By Brick
One kid did a lot of shady stuff but the final straw was when he took a brick to my car. It was a car that wasn't running, but still... I called his parents and he stood there lying and changing his story. His dad lapped it up and got mad at me when I called out his kid on the incredibly ridiculous lies. They never paid a dime and that kid is a real jerk. My only regret is not calling the police.
#40 Trash At Every Turn
The playmate was about eight and the oldest of three kids, all being raised by a mom who clearly had higher priorities other than mothering her children. Every time I saw these kids, they were half-dressed and 90% of the time had no shoes on. The few times I went to their house it was an absolute disaster. Disorganized and filthy. The kids had no idea of the concept of discipline. If one of them felt like dancing on the dining room table, then by golly that dining room table was getting danced on! One day my daughter asked if she could spend the night at her friend's house. I told her, “No, we have plans tonight." I told her the same thing the next five or six times she asked and eventually, she just stopped asking.
#41 Not Winning Mom Of The Year
I let my daughter stay the night at a friend's house. They lived around the corner and our 10-year-olds were new friends and wanted a sleepover. Three separate times, my daughter called me to come pick her up, and three times her mom guilt-tripped her into calling me back to cancel. The third time, I walked over there and found the mom attempting to physically block me from getting my kid, insisting I didn’t need to talk to her or see her.
I told her to give me my kid or I was calling the authorities. My daughter came out, crying, begging to go home but also because she suffers from severe anxiety. She was terrified that the whole family would be mad at her and I was going to be mad at her too. It turned out the parents were having a huge fight and the mom didn’t want me to think she was a bad mom. I don’t, I think she’s one of the worst moms I’ve ever come across. I'll never let her go there again.
#42 Still Trying To Come Over
My daughter met a girl in second grade and she came over once. She was a bit hyper, a tad weird, but overall okay. The next time she came over she was like a cyclone hitting the house. I told her parents that she couldn’t come over anymore. Two years later I kept getting calls and texts while we were on vacation from this girl’s parents. I didn't answer so they started having their other daughter call and ask if the girl could come over because they didn’t want to deal with her. It was so odd.
#43 Five Finger Discount
A 10-year-old kid was taking things from the house. At first, it was just little knickknacks but then it went to antique silver pieces, etc. At first, we didn't know it was the kid until one day we realized things only disappeared when she came over to play. Turns out, other neighbors had the same issue when she visited their homes. When confronted, she boldly lied and when we called her parents they said they would look into it.
She showed up at our door a few days later with all of the items in a plastic bag and said, "I found these." No remorse, no apology. What made it scary was that she displayed no shame or guilt. Children sometimes have a tendency to covet or take things that aren't theirs, but will usually experience some degree of shame or guilt. But this kid, nothing at all. We told the parents that she will no longer be allowed back. They didn't seem too bothered, almost like they knew it would happen.
#44 Madness Waiting To Happen
My daughter's best friend is a great kid most of the time but by the end of day, she is a handful to deal with. My son has ADHD and she doesn’t get along with my son much. When it’s a play date for a couple of hours it’s fine and I can handle it and keep my son separate. There is no way I could handle a sleepover though.
#45 Say It, Don't Spray It
My son's friend was a complete jerk with absolutely no respect for adults. Once, when he came over, he put bleach in a spray bottle and chased our five-year-old around spraying him. That was the breaking point for me and I put my foot down, saying that he could never come over again. His mother apologized, but never again.