Two summers ago, my eldest child was invited to his first sleepover at someone’s house who wasn’t related to us. It was one of his best friends, who lives down the street from us. My son wasn’t very excited about it, so we sat and talked about it. He was nervous about this first sleepover at a friend’s house, as he’d only ever stayed with relatives before. I suggested that he have the friend stay here instead, which is what happened, and it went well. He’s since gone for sleepovers at that friend’s house, and had a great time.
My daughter was invited to her first sleepover this summer at the home of one of her best friends, whose Mom is also a friend of mine. I half expected her to be nervous like her brother was, but no! She couldn’t wait to go. In order to get her ready, there were a number of things we discussed before hand.
1. She could call me at any time. I made sure she knew that even if she woke up in the middle of the night and wanted to come home, I would come and get her.
2. I reminded her to use her manners. We’ve ingrained manners into our kids and remind them before every play date, and I did the same for the sleepover.
3. It’s okay to follow different rules. My daughter has a sense of justice about her, and knows the rules of our house inside and out. I explained that her friend’s house may have different rules (i.e. bedtime routines) and it was okay to follow the rules of their house.
4. Pack a stuffy. Having a familiar toy from home helps your kids to feel connected to you and more at ease.
5. Eat what you want. I explained that different families have different meals, and if she was served something she didn’t like, she could just say she was full instead of “I don’t like it.”
How do you get your kids ready for a sleepover?
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