It’s The Weekend! How I Prepare My Kids For A Sleepover
I can count on one hand how many times I slept over a friend’s house when I was little. While I used to get mad then and at times even feel left out, I totally get it now that I’m a mother. Sleepovers can be such a fun part of childhood, plus they are a great way for children to see how different families interact. Sleepovers allow friendship bonds to tighten and can also promote sharing and personal growth.
While there are certainly pros to sleepovers, there can also be cons if it’s not a safe environment. If your little one keeps bugging you about a sleepover you need to ask yourself, “Are they ready yet?” If you feel they are ready then check out some tips for making it a great experience for everyone.
Get To Know The Family
When you allow your child to spend the night out, it’s not just the parents they are around but it could be the live in grandparents or nanny and siblings. Make sure you visit once or twice or enough times so that you can see if you get good vibes. Observe how they interact with each other and if you do eventually decide to let them go, find out who will be in the house the night of the sleepover.
Observe The Environment
If your child wants to spend the night over a friend’s house and the whole family lives in a two-bedroom apartment then you know they won’t have privacy when they sleep and they may be sleeping in a room with adults you don’t know. Or, if you happen to be comfortable with the actual living space, make sure you are comfortable with the neighborhood because you never know if the kids might play outside or go to the local park.
Rules On A Babysitter/Nanny
Let the parents know if you are comfortable with your little one going on an outing or being watched by their nanny. Never assume other parents can read your mind.
Know The Kids
It’s best to observe how your child and their friend play together first before considering allowing a sleepover. Pay attention to how often the fight, if they do, and can they get along for long periods of time.
Make sure that your child knows what your rules are for a sleepover. If you need to know the parents, know the child, and have a few days notice then let them know that. Also, let them know that just because they know the family the answer may still be no. They also need to be aware that if their behavior at home or at school hasn’t been great then that could influence your decision.
If you decide to let them go, make sure to come up with a code word, phrase, or topic that they can say over the phone or send in a text to let you know to come and pick them up. Having a code means that your child doesn’t have to explain why they are uncomfortable in front of their friend.