Sleepover Wishlist

By Eve Wee-Ang 2021-10-21 15:31:32

How to set up your home for a teen sleepover.

When I was a teen, I envied my friends who could have sleepovers. Back in my time in Singapore, sleepovers usually meant a bunch of friends having barbeque at a chalet on a Saturday night and the girls spending the night together. My friends dreaded it when Cinderella, me, had to be the party pooper by leaving early so I could get home before my 11 p.m. curfew. 

My mother’s cast-in-stone theory was that we had our own house, why do we need to sleep at someone else’s? Hence, up till the day I got married, I never stayed over at anyone’s house. Then I became a mum, and my kids started receiving birthday sleepover invites.

As much as I detested being the party spoiler as a teen, I find myself becoming like my mother. At first, I came up with excuses on why my kids could attend the birthday party but not the sleepover. When my excuses ran out, I started allowing their friends to camp at our house.

However, they couldn’t stay over at their friend’s house. My husband smirked and predicted that one day the kids would smell a rat in my one-sided arrangement. He was right. It took me a while to get here, but now my kids take turns having sleepovers at our house or their friend’s, when their parents are our friends too. I have learnt that as expats, friends made overseas are like family. 

Armed with a black belt in Sleepover Organizing plus feedback from my kids and their friends, here are ideas for hosting a teen sleepover that will make you the coolest parent ever. You are welcome.



Pretend that you aren’t checking in on them

Sleepovers are the best opportunity to eavesdrop on what our teens are up to, I get it. But if you are too obviously nosey, they will migrate somewhere else in no time. The trick here is to lurk in the background and look busy yourself but with all your sense satellites tuned to their direction, just to make sure they aren’t about to burn the house down.


Let them stay up

The reason kids want to sleep over with their friends is because they can’t get enough of each other, so why not let them? They are teenagers. They will recuperate from the lost sleep in no time.

If a sleepover calls for an early bedtime, they may as well return home to their own beds because really, what’s the point?


Stock up on junk food

Once upon a time, my idea of sleepover snacks was serving water, fresh fruits, nuts, and carrot sticks. 

Then I noticed my kids’ friends lugging luggage filled with bubble tea, chips, chocolates,and candies to our house, completely ignoring my fancy healthy snacks display. “Chill, mum, it’s just one night of junk food.” That’s right, chill parents.


One-day student exchange program

It’s an urban myth that teens hate chores, especially when it’s something novel to them like helping at their friend’s homes. There were many occasions when I had to outsource help to my kids and their friends to try their hand at making their own breakfast, bake cookies, light the candles, or set the table. Hosting a sleepover can be a handful but you don’t have to do everything yourself. 

Teens are more than happy to be included in your family’s routine, it’s like a one-day student exchange program.


Finally, more sleepover party ideas from the horse’s mouth…

“Watching horror movies” 
Benjamin Tank, 16

“Home manicures, where the manicurists come over and you could do your nails together.”
Michelle Chia, 14

“Playing Super Smash Bros all night long” 

Owen Long, 13

“Pulling an all-nighter”
Drew Lewis, 15