Wednesday, August 06, 2008
It is summer time, if you have yet to notice. Your children are out of school and enjoying their time to run the neighborhood ragged. Sleepovers are quite popular this time of year, and if you are experiencing parenting for the first time, you may not know when it is a good time for your child to start sleeping at their friend's house. There are considerations you must keep in mind before allowing your child to attend a sleepover.
First of all, you need to consider how well your child sleeps through the night, how well they handle bedtimes, and the kind of signs of independence they are showing. If you feel that your child is ready to sleep over at their friend's house, then your instincts are probably right. Before they head out the door, make sure that you pack the essentials; the obvious overnight bag with their toothbrush, kids sleeping bag, change of clothes, etc. But do not forget to pack their favorite pillow, blanket, or stuffed animal. They will need something familiar to have with them, especially on their first night away. If your child is afraid of the dark, pack a small flashlight in their bag. In an unfamiliar home, the assurance of a light near them will make them feel better.
If you are having children over to stay at your home, then you will want to make it as smooth as possible. Have a theme for your sleepover. You could have a Movie Night where the kids bring over their favorite movies, or you could have a Game Night. Once the children arrive, sit them down and go over the rules before any of the fun begins. Tell them what you have planned for the evening, including a bedtime. It is crucial that you make sure that the children staying at your home feel comfortable with you. If they are homesick, or they wet the bed, it will be easier for them if they feel like they can trust you. Before the parents leave, talk with them about their child and possible things that you will need to know. For instance, do they wet the bed? How well do they sleep at night? Are they allergic to anything, etc?
But the main rule of thumb is to make sure that the night is full of entertainment and excitement. The more of a good time you give them, the less likely they will be to start to get homesick and the smoother the party will go. Have fun with the sleepovers! Enjoy the children and have a great time!