There will come a time when your children would experience sleepovers at friend’s or family’s house. There’s no exact rule or certain age when it comes to first sleepovers, because children can be independent or socially prepared at different age. To some children, slumber party can be frightening, but to some, it can be exciting spending an overnight with a group of friends. Therefore, the most important thing here is to understand your child’s interest. First time experience is really important, it can shape the whole idea about sleepovers in children’s mind, that’s why it’s important to keep your children comfortable with the idea before committing them to one.
In this article, we’d like to give you an easy guide by giving top 10 first sleepover tips that every parent should know.
1. Measure your child’s temperament and interest level
This step can be done like giving them a pep talk, building the excitement. Children can change their mind pretty quick, they can feel excited with an idea of an adventure, but don’t want to walkout the door the next minute. You need to determine if your child feels comfortable sleeping in different beds, you need to also remember that there might be different routines in someone else’s house. Children who are flexible with different routines are usually more ready.
2. Host your children first sleepover
Just like we’ve mentioned above about different routines, you can make the transition easily by hosting your child first sleepover at your own home. You can start with a small group of friend, or maybe even just one or two. This moment can be used to give a taste to your children what it feels like and what can be expected at a sleepover. The fun social time might grow on your children to slowly love the idea of a sleepover, reducing the possibility of conflict and anxiety.
3. Create an agenda
When you host your first sleepover, make sure that you have a clear plan on what to do for a great night. Your agenda should be filled with fun activities, from playing games, delicious and healthy food, or exciting activities together. Just in case you don’t host the sleepover, you can work together with other parents to create a fun night for the whole children. When everything runs smoothly, you can get children to bed at predetermined time, this way, it minimizes any surprises.
4. Pack your children favorite items
Some children need to hold certain items such as dolls, plastic toys, blanket or a special pillow to get them sleep well through the night. You need to pack all these essential items to avoid any disaster at sleeping time, this kind of items can help them to feel less home sick. Just in case your child has dietary restrictions, you can also prepare your children own meal or work together with other parents by giving them this information. You can also make your own snacks and share them with other children. Don’t forget to pack some kind of protection against accidental bed-wetting, this can avoid any embarrassment and nervousness to children.
5. Don’t forget to call via Skype or Facetime
To avoid the feeling of home sick, you can call your child, hearing your voice can calm them. In fact, we highly recommend that you do Skype and Facetime, seeing familiar faces is good to comfort your children. You can request this to the parents that host the sleepover.
6. Bathe your children beforehand
Sending a clean child to other parents’ house would be much appreciated. Oh yeah, this is pretty important point, because most children when they are having fun with their friends, they don’t want to stop and think about bath time. Other parents would have a bad time trying to get them to take a shower, this might ruin the scheduled activities for other children.
Discuss with other parents about the food, pizza is a popular sleepover dinner, but there are many fun and delicious recipes that you can use to make dinner. All parents can work together to create dinner and snack, especially to avoid sugary snack to avoid children to keep awake past bedtime. It’s important to discuss this with other parents as some kids might have food allergies, every parent should be comfortable with what will be served.
8. Don’t be afraid to ask a lot of questions to the host parent(s)
You need to feel comfortable to whom you left your children with. Don’t be afraid to ask a lot of questions to make sure your children will be at the most comfort and safety. You’ve done everything you can to comfort your child, you as a parent also deserves to feel at ease. You can ask question such as what kind of movie will be played tonight, what kind of dinner/breakfast will be served, what kind of snacks that’s been prepared, what about other older siblings, what time will kids go to bed, etc. If you don’t feel comfortable with all the answers, you have the right to cancel the sleepover.
9. Keep on reminding your child to be on their best behavior
Children can easily forget to behave nicely, when they play games and have fun, rules are easy to forget. As parents, you can talk to them one on one, look them in the eyes and talk in a way that they can respect your words. You can make sure they say thank you, don’t make a mess, or asking permission to do certain things.
10. Now it’s your turn to relax
Don’t call your children every 30 minutes, relax … sleepovers are a great way to build friendship outside school. Sleepovers also teach children to be independent, teaching your child to take risks, and increase your child’s social skill.