Laura has a friend here for the night. We've never had her over before and she is kind of annoying. Her demeanor has a blend of impudence and smart-aleckiness that I find disrespectful. Also she kept asking me to repeat myself while she stood before me listening to her ipod. "But it's on really low!" she said, in response to my correction. It makes me realize how much I enjoy Laura's usual crop of friends, who are polite and well-parented. I even like the ones I don't know as well, the shy, quiet ones. Shy silence is greatly, greatly underrated in this world.
Oh well. She'll serve as the example for some teachable moments after she leaves.
So what are your sleepover best practices? I don't really do a whole lot different in the household. Laura's at an age where she can be trusted to pretty much run her own show. I feel obliged to keep Hank from exasperating them, though I expect him to be included in the early-evening movie watching. Then he goes to bed at his usual hour and the girls can have some big-kid time.
I am liberal about bedtimes. I know part (all?) of the fun of a sleepover is staying up late. The key for me is that I do not let them remain downstairs until all hours. About 10:30 or so, we tell them they have to be upstairs and relatively quiet. Then it's adult time downstairs. I want them to have fun, but I don't want to be in the middle of that fun.
It is rare that the girls outlast me, but the next phase would be telling them they have to be in bed and can read or talk as long as they want. This leads to tranquil snoozing for all. And Laura knows she can get up as early as she wants, but breakfast will be self-service.
We have a good record of sleepover customer satisfaction, with only one middle-of-the-night bailout. Dozens served. What's the deal at your house?