Sleepovers often lead to late night story-telling, homemade forts, and exhausted children the next day, although the exhaustion is worth it because of all the fun memories that were made! Even though sleepovers are fun, sometimes the first one can be something that causes both excitement and nervousness for your child. Keep reading to learn how to best prepare your child for their first night away at a friends house.
Ready Or Not
Before packing your child’s backpack and rolling up the sleeping bag, there are a few things to consider. First and foremost, is your child ready for a sleepover? The best way to know this is if they are asking you to spend the night at a friend or family members house. Regardless of age, if your child is asking for a sleepover, they are probably ready.
Expectations Vs. Realty
Once you’ve determined readiness, it’s time to start setting expectations. Discuss with your child what the sleepover will be like. Different households have different house rules, meals, and bedtimes. Discuss different scenarios with your child such as what they should do if they do not like the dinner that is being served, (you can pack them with snacks they like) and what if they have to go to the bathroom in the middle of the night, (they should ask where the closest bathroom to the bedroom is before going to bed). Although, you have prepared them, know that things do not always go as planned. It’s a good idea to explain to the friends’ parents that this is your child’s first time having a sleepover and to be prepared for the middle of the night pick up call.
Third Times A Charm
Your child may have been asking for as long as you can remember for a sleepover and you may have prepared them for every scenario possible. However, sometimes, the thought of being away from home for a night can creep up once bedtime rolls around, and your child may start to feel homesick. If you do get the phone call to come to pick up your child, try not to think like this sleepover was a failure. Instead, this was a great learning experience. Use this time to discuss with your child what they did and did not like about the sleepover and then schedule another one! Usually, the second or third time around, your child becomes more confident and comfortable with spending a night away from home.
Every child will handle their first sleepover a little differently. We hope with the tips we’ve provided, your child’s first sleepover will go smoothly! Do you have any of your own tips to provide? Comment below with what has and has not worked for your child.