As your kids grow up, they would want to go for sleepovers at their friend’s homes or arrange for a sleepover at their own homes. And that can be a source of worry for you, as a lot of things can go wrong at slumber parties if they are not planned well.
Read on for some tips you should keep in mind when you are hosting a sleepover of your kid’s friends at your home.
1. Your child must be age-ready for the sleepover
As a parent, this is the first and foremost point that you must keep in mind before hosting a sleepover at your home. If your child cannot sleep on his/her own and still needs you by their side at night, or if he/she still wets the bed, then your child is probably not ready for a sleepover yet. You must gently ask your child to wait for a little longer before the right time arrives.
2. Establish the rules
Before hosting or sending your children to slumber parties, you must articulate the rules you have set out explicitly to your children. It is essential that you make your child realize that he/she is not an adult. Points that you must pay special attention to are good manners, polite behaviour, the friend circle (if you are not comfortable with a coed sleepover, you must ascertain that your kid is not a part of it), safety, and lastly, the house rules. As a parent, you must discuss all these points with your child in detail before he/she gears up for the fun night.
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3. Meet the friends
Before inviting your child’s friends over, it is best to meet those friends before the sleepover. Call them over for daytime activities before the sleepover, so that you get to know them and see how they behave. You might want to keep the names and numbers of parents whose children will be at the sleepover at your house and gather essential information about them e.g. regarding food allergies.
4. Set aside space for the sleepover
Once you finally set a date for the sleepover, there a couple of things that you need to set right before the kids come over. For instance, set the area where the kids can play indoors, the internet boundaries, the play area outside, the food and also make sure that the kids are told the time when the lights shall go out.
5. Gather the food
Sleepovers are synonymous with unhealthy eating. However, let your household be the exception. Arrange for some low sodium meals for your kids. Most kids today eat sodium-rich food which might lead to high blood pressure and heart diseases as they grow up. Thus, to keep the children healthy, you can get some healthy low sodium frozen meals from the supermarket or prepare something simple, healthy and tasty at home. Some of the easy kid-friendly low sodium dishes you can make at home are chicken pot pie, chicken noodle soup. You may also keep cut fruits, cheese cubes, veggie nuggets for the kids to munch on. Try and avoid pizza, bread rolls, chips and other junk food that children usually prefer.
6. Address the threats
If your kid is a teenager and has planned a sleepover at home, the alcohol at home (if you have any) can be a problem. So, to be safe and the kids away from the alcohol, lock up all the liquor in the house in a cabinet and keep the keys with you. It might also help to keep a close eye on all the kids in the house.
7. Make the consequences of rule-breaking clear
Before and during the sleepover, make it clear to the kids that there will be consequences for any rule-breaking. At the same time, be patient and understanding with them, and do not be too strict with the rules, or with the punishment. Try explaining to them why they shouldn’t be doing certain things.
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To sum it up, sleepovers are good for both parents and children because it encourages them to become independent. However, be mindful of your child’s safety, set home rules, ensure the children have a good time and do not hesitate to say no if you feel uncomfortable. Lastly, always be prepared for any situation.
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