Pretty much everyone can agree that sleepovers are a big deal. They are definitely an important part of growing up, and many people have fond memories of what they did while staying at a friend’s house during their childhood.
Nevertheless, the first one can be a learning experience for both children and parents. Despite how awesome sleepovers can be, there are some downsides to them.
So, that is why parents and children need to prepare themselves before being involved with one. Preparation is key. Here are some tips for parents who want to prepare themselves and their child for his or her first sleepover.
10 Don’t Worry About Your Child’s Age
Naturally, moms and dads spend a lot of time worrying about their children and one of those common worries is whether or not they are old enough to host a sleepover, or attend one that is being held at a friend’s house.
But the truth is that there is no particular age for this that is right for everyone. Every child is different from the rest, which means that some kids are ready for sleepovers earlier than others, and it does not actually have much to do with how old the child is at the time, contrary to what some mothers and father believe.
9 Test Things Out First
One great way to prepare a child for a sleepover is to host a play date for them and one of their friends. This can be something that lasts a few hours, or the friend can stay for a longer time. This is a pretty big deal for kids. It gives them a chance to strengthen the bond they share with their friends, and it is also a great way to give them a little independence while they play. Do this for dinner or close to bedtime, to get them used to having friends around at this time of day, so it doesn't feel so strange during a sleepover.
8 Give The Other Parents A Call
Moms and dads worried about what the rules are going to be, or if they can trust the other parents can ease their minds by getting to know the parents who will be watching their child while they are gone. It's as simple as just calling up the other parents and speaking with them, as well as making them aware of anything they should know. Talk to them about rules, bedtimes, and how bad behavior might be dealt with, as well as anything medical or emergency related - medication, allergies, emergency contacts, etc.
7 Start Out With Someone They Know Well
Rather than start with a brand new friend or big party, parents can ease kids into it by having them go over to a well-known relative’s house for the evening.
Typically, grandparents love to have their grandchildren stay with them once in a while, and staying over at a relative’s house is usually a pretty fun thing. Parents will know that grandparents are already aware of the really important stuff, and kids will probably have spent so much time there that they will be as comfortable as possible on their first night away from home.
6 Ask A Few Questions
Communication comes in handy when parents are mentally preparing themselves for their child’s first sleepover, since they are usually quite worried. They can ease their fears by asking their child questions about who will be there, and what they will be doing. You may want to ask about what the child expects, and what they've been told will be planned for the night and morning. This is also a good time to let children know that they can voice their concerns as well - and that it's ok to be nervous or to come home if they want.
5 Tell Them What To Expect
Talking isn't just for the parents, of course! Kids who are little bit nervous about attending their first sleepover need to be told what sleepovers are like beforehand so that they know what to expect. Keep the focus on how much fun sleepover are to reassure them, but also make sure they know what time they will be coming home, what's expected of them in terms of manners, and reassure them if they've heard any pranking horror stories.
4 Prepare To Stay Awake
One great thing parents can do in order to prepare themselves for their child’s first sleepover is to get some extra sleep beforehand. That is because they should stay up a little later while their child is gone, just in case they call and want to come home. Sometimes being away from home all night is a bit much for some children.
That's not to say that parents should pull an all-nighter, but you may not sleep well even if you try, and getting some extra naps in will help prevent too much exhaustion the next day. And make sure the phone ringer is turned up, so if your kid does call, you'll hear it in bed!
3 Tell Them How Well They Will Do
One of the most important things a mother or father can do for their child is give them praise - and praise can really help boost a kid's self-esteem when they are feeling nervous about an event coming up.
Parents should remind their kids of how awesome they are, and praise how mature they are for their age. This will help to ensure that the child feels as though they are grown enough to spend some time away from the nest for a little bit. A little praise goes a long way, especially where children are concerned.
2 Know That It Might Not Work Out The First Time
Sometimes a child’s first sleepover does not go as well, and that is okay. Moms and dads need to be sure they are prepared just in case something does not work out. But at the same time, they also need to remember that they can try again at a later time. In addition, if a child’s first sleepover does not work out, then it is a good idea for mom or dad to help them come up with a game plan to make sure the next time is better - figure out what went wrong, and then go from there.
1 Pack The Right Things
When it comes to sleepovers, packing the right things is essential. Kids who are going to attend their first sleepover should have their hairbrush, toothbrush, and their toothpaste in their overnight bag. They also need to have a pair of pajamas, and maybe mom or dad should throw in a snack they love. That is especially a good idea if they are a picky eater, which many kids are.
Socks are another good item to put in a child’s overnight bag, just in case their friend’s house is a bit cold. Also, if the child has a favorite blanket or stuffed animal, pack it that way they have something to comfort them if they are a bit nervous.