Your child’s first sleepover: preparing them (and yourself)

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In many ways, having a sleepover is really one of the first rites of passage that your children will ever have. It is an important kind of socialising for many children, and it can be useful for them in terms of gaining and developing friendships. It is also important for you as a parent; events such as the first sleepover are very often tests which seem designed to enable you to begin to let your child go out into the world. In all likelihood, you will be a little worried first time around. That is perfectly natural, but it’s healthy to try and let it happen too. In this post, we are going to look into some of the things to consider if your child is going on their first sleepover.

Trusting The Friend

The major concern really for most parents here is how to trust the friend your child will be staying with. The best thing to do is to be in contact with the parents. It really does help if you know them already, but if not you should at least make an effort to get their contact details. The last thing you want is for your child to go round to a relative stranger for the night with no knowledge of who they are. You need to be able to trust the family to look after your child, and that might mean that you want to meet them beforehand. There is nothing wrong with this, and you should give yourself the opportunity to do so. The more you trust them, the happier you will certainly feel about the whole situation.

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A Rehearsal

If you want to soothe a nervous child, you should make an effort to hold a little rehearsal for the sleepover. This can  be a great way of helping your child to understand what it will really be like, and that can make a world of difference. You don’t have to go all out on this, but as long as you prepare them in some way for what they can expect, it will really help them to enjoy it all the more when the time comes. The rehearsal doesn’t need to be done if you feel that they can probably cope with it either way, so only do it if it seems necessary. If it is, then it will help a lot.

Dealing With Nerves

If your child is likely to get nervous about staying at someone else’s house for the night, then you might want to do whatever you can to assuage their nerves. There are a number of ways to do this, and it depends on part on what they are nervous about. A lot of children get so nervous on sleepovers that they wet the bed. If you know that your child has a chance of doing this, then you should help them to prepare for their nerves to reduce the likelihood of this happening. The thing about children and incontinence is that it is largely psychological, so if you can help them to feel safer and less nervous it will make a significant difference, and they will be much less likely to get too nervous or to wet the bed. Similarly, if they have any other particularly nervous behaviours, you should endeavour to help them understand and get through them. It will all help in the enjoyment of the day and night as a whole.

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Mobile Phone

If your child does not have a mobile phone, you might want to give them one just for the night. You might find that it helps you to feel more secure about her sleepover – and there is a good chance that it will make them feel better and safer as well. If they do have a phone generally, make sure that they have it on them for the sleepover. You will find that this really does make a huge difference to how you both feel about it, so it is worth thinking about.

Give Them Options

Something which is hugely important is to make sure that your child knows that they have the choice to do what they like. That means that if at any point during the night they would like to come home, they can do so, and it will not be a problem. This is useful, because one of the common fears for children at sleepovers is that there is no escape. If you make it clear that you can come and collect them at any time, they will be much more ready for the sleepover, and this will mean that they enjoy it all the more as well.

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