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Sleepovers & Bedtime

Successful Sleepovers

By the time kids reach the their teens or tweens, they are usually putting in requests to either have or attend sleepovers. And who can blame them? Sleepovers can be a lot of fun! For parents, sleepovers are either welcome or nerve-wracking. Some parents like the idea because, in a sense, they get free babysitting for the night, while others fear the risks involved.

Playing it Safe with Sleepovers

Make sure that a sleepover is set up in a way that makes you feel comfortable. Many parents opt to have sleepovers at their house, because it's easier to keep an eye on things. Whether or not your child is ready for a sleepover really depends on how responsible she is, where the sleepover will be held, and if you are ready for it to happen. Consider these tips to help you manage sleepovers:

  • Make sure you know the adults where your child will be staying. It is essential to know where she will be and who will be supervising the sleepover. Make sure you are comfortable with the arrangements. Speak with the adults to ensure they will be home, and find out who will be attending, what the rules are, etc.
  • Remind your child that attending or having a sleepover is a privilege. You may even want to have a behavior or chore chart in place, so that your child has to do things to earn a sleepover.
  • Have a discussion with your child about the possible dangers of attending a sleepover and what she can do to protect herself. Discuss being responsible, what is and isn't allowed, and how she should behave at the sleepover.
  • If you are hosting the sleepover, be sure to provide plenty of info to the other parents, lay out the rules, and keep good tabs on everything. Make sure that you have some activities planned out for your child's guests and some food for them to eat.
  • Suggest a "get to sleep" time and be sure to coordinate that with the other parents. Sleep-overs can run notoriously late, so set expectations ahead of time.

Sleepovers are one of the most common ways of having fun with friends. There are some risks involved, but you can help to minimize those risks with the above tips. Remain positive and attentive and focus on helping your young teen have a healthy and happy experience. Before you know it, the sleepover days will be behind you, and you will long to have them back!