Elementary Schoolers
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Kids Health & Safety
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Sibling Rivalry
Sleepovers & Bedtime

Surviving Sleepovers

Once your child has their first sleepover, it's bound to result in constant begging for many more. Although you might get a migraine just thinking about having one more sleepover, it's something that children truly enjoy. Organizing sleepovers doesn't have to involve stress and anxiety. Think about it this way: When you have a sleepover at your house, it's likely to result in sleepovers at a different parent's house at another time

Preparing for Sleepovers and the Bedtime

Let your child know what is expected of them and their friends before the madness begins. Get yourself ready by doing a little preparation that will limit the amount of frustration later on in the evening, especially as the kids’ bedtime approaches. Keep in mind the planning may be slightly different for an all boys or all girls sleepover. To have a less stressful night and bed time, try these tips:

  • Limit the first sleepovers to just one guest. If things go well, then consider inviting more kids to the next one. Remember, the more kids, the more chaos, so be careful!
  • Don't be afraid to be the "bad guy." Communicate right away with your child and the guest(s) about behavioral expectations (including a bed time for children). If they're a familiar visitor they probably are already aware of the house rules, but if not you'll want to inform them.
  • Gather background information a few days before the sleepover. If you plan to play a movie that's rated PG-13, check with the parents first. Or, just play it safe with a G-rated movie instead.
  • Be prepared with a few activities. Planning in advance is always helpful. Consider renting or download a movie your child likes, getting some supplies for arts and crafts, or renting a video game.
  • Consider the timing. Instead of having an all day Saturday sleepover event, make it on a Friday. Kids are already exhausted from the school day and this might be the solution to getting them sleep at a somewhat reasonable bedtime.
  • Keep calm. Even if things go awry, remain cool and collected. Remember to take pleasure in the moment and keep a positive attitude. Your child is learning valuable social skills by participating in sleepovers.

Sleepovers Should Be About the Fun

A sleepover is supposed to be a good time for all involved, but you don't have to constantly entertain the guests. As children become older and get used to having frequent sleepovers they learn to entertain themselves most of the time. And at some point the kids’ bedtime will become later than yours! However, don't completely step out of the picture, because as the parent you're still responsible for your own child and whoever else is there. Take part in setting up kids’ sleepovers and provide a fun, safe and comfortable atmosphere for all.