The Perfect Baby Blog

Outraged mom reacts—sluggishly—to a 2001 teen trend

Sunday, June 28th, 2009

Almost all parents excel when it comes to paranoia. For the few who don’t know how to freak out competently on their own, there are syndicated parenting columnists like Debra-Lynn B. Hook to give them a nudge. In a recent piece, Hook uncovers a trend so disturbing she can’t quite process it:

Co-ed sleepovers. I repeat: Teenage girls and teenage boys having a slumber party. Together. At the home of willing parents. Whaaaat?



As incomprehensible as this idea is, Hook—a Kent, OH-based journalist, mother, and African drumming enthusiast—can prove it’s really happening; she references a report which says the trend “been ‘sweeping the teen circuit’ for several years.”

Problem is: The Time story in question was published in January, 2001. The so-called sweeping took place in the ’90s. Which isn’t to say Time‘s coverage doesn’t merit attention. It’s actually quite funny: At one point, the writer suggests that parents who wish to host slutty sleepovers safely would be well-advised to invest in security systems. That way:

[Any teen] coming or going will set off [the] house alarm. For families without security systems, I suggest that a parent sleep on a cot or couch near the door.

Hook does cite some empirical evidence: Her own 16-year-old daughter, it seems, actually attended a boy/girl post-prom sleepover this May “in a buttercup yellow dress and just the tiniest bit of mascara.” The discovery of this event so stunned Hook she couldn’t quite process it:

“…one of the moms confirmed the kids’ after-party was at her house. The boy-girl after-party. The boy-girl SLEEPOVER after-party.”

In case you’re wondering. a Google search doesn’t exactly confirm that co-ed slumbering is back! and destroying the nation’s fabric. But maybe it is. I’ll do some more checking and see if I can find a 1972 Hartford Courier exclusive or maybe a mention in the 1897 Farmer’s Almanac. Please refrain from panic until we can sort this out.

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