Sleepovers are the stuff childhood memories are made of. Staying up late, chatting with friends, playing slumber party games , indulging in midnight snacks. It’s a glorious time that any kid will cherish for years.
Of course, there are a few things that can ruin any good sleepover party, and as the coordinator, you need to watch out for these pitfalls. Here’s a checklist of things you want to avoid in order to keep your next kids’ sleepover fun and safe for everyone.
Emergency Contacts: Make sure each of the kids brings a parent’s cell phone number and/or emergency contact in case they need to be called in the middle of the night. It’s a good idea to encourage parents to have a conversation with their kids before the party reassuring them that it’s perfectly fine to call and ask to be picked up if they’re scared, homesick, or uncomfortable. Also, check about any allergies ahead of time.
Supervision is a Must: Just because your child is hosting a party doesn’t mean you have to give them free reign and no rules. Gauge your guidelines according to the age group, and give them some wiggle room (it is a slumber party, mom!) but keep reasonable rules in place. For example, if your child isn’t old enough to watch an R-rated movie regularly, don’t allow such entertainment during the sleepover either; opt for age-appropriate slumber party movies instead. You don’t have to be a helicopter mom to keep an eye on the situation.
One-Gender Policy: Nobody’s saying your child’s friends are going to get too rowdy, but when it comes to certain things, the better safe than sorry rule should be practiced. And sleepovers are certainly a good place for this one. Mixing a group of boys and girls together for an overnight with little supervision, lots of sugar, and heightened levels of excitement is just a recipe for disaster, and you don’t want to be the parent to invite that kind of curiosity into your child’s group. Besides, why should your daughters have to feel the need to impress at 12:30 in the morning!?
Also, keep the house lit properly, so no one is tripping over anything on their way to the bathroom at 2AM.
And if your child is the guest at a sleepover, don’t be embarrassed to ask a few basic questions like:
- Who will be supervising? All the time?
- What activities will there be?
- Are the internet and TV monitored?
- Will there be older children involved?
- What are the safety rules of your home?
There’s nothing wrong with being a proactive parent, so have a conversation with your child before the party about personal boundaries and respect to ensure that your child’s next sleepover is a success.