Up All Night: Preparing Your Child For The First Sleepover
Can you remember the first time you slept over someone’s house as a kid? I remember my first sleepover like it was yesterday. I was eight years old and had a bag packed with my pillow, blanket and fresh set of clothes. After attending my baptism ceremony at church (don’t laugh but I wore a shower cap to keep my hair fresh) my mom drove me to my friend’s house. Rachel was a friend from school who I spent lots of time with in class and on the playground.
When I first arrived to her house, everything looked different though I have been there a few times before. The lights were turned off downstairs and I soon found myself among three other faces I have never met. I can’t remember everything we did but do know there was pizza involved along with ghost stories and flashlight tag.
Fast forward a couple decades and I now think about how my child’s first sleepover experience will be. Will he have memories he can reminisce about in the future? As a new parent I must say I am a bit nervous about letting him go when the time comes, but don’t want to be one of those moms who wraps her kids up in foam. On the other hand, I am also not oblivious to the fact that times have changed since I was little.
I’m not the only one who feels this way right? Well, before my child steps a toe out of the door, here are some things I am going to consider for their first sleepover.
- Are they ready? As heavenly and angelic as we all like to think our children are, are they truly ready for a night away from the house? Can they listen to others in charge or will this sleepover be a set up for embarrassment? Will we have to pick them up in the middle of the night with rollers in our hair?
- Do I know the parents? Um, have I met you? I may have had multiple sleepovers in my past but they often were with the same people. My mama was no fool and I will try not to be either by meeting with the hosting sleepover parents prior to signing off. I don’t need to know your social security number but do need to get some insight on how you are running things.
- Who’s the boss? Will a parent be home to supervise the children attending the sleepover, an older sibling or what? I don’t want to send my child to any old place to find out the person in charge isn’t going to be there.
- What are the emergency numbers? I need to be able to reach someone at all times should something happen at home or at the friend’s house.
- Who else will be in the house? Other people sleeping over, people of the opposite sex, etc.?
- Where will the kids sleep? Of course this will probably change, but will the kiddos be in the basement (ground floor safety) or upstairs in a bedroom?
- What will be the entertainment? Some people don’t care about this but I would like to at least stay in the know–especially if my child is a certain age. What type of entertainment will be provided? If my child is little, do you allow your children to watch rated R movies as they wish? What type of video games do you have (this has been a hot topic)?
- Do you have plans to take my child out of the house?
- Will there be food? This is actually very important for any parent who’s child has special dietary needs. You can always feed your child beforehand to make sure they get something healthy if that’s your concern.
- What should my kid bring? It’s a good idea to ask ahead of time if there’s anything your child needs to bring.
How did you prepare your kid to spend the night with a friend for the first time?