How to Handle Your Child’s First Sleepover
A sleepover invitation! Your kid is about to embark on a lifelong adventure known as Sleeping At Other People’s Houses! You will have an evening to yourself! If you’re very lucky, the sleepover will be scheduled on a weekend to maximize your free time.
Make sure you pack a sleeping bag, a favorite pillow, and unable-to-sleep-without toy. Throw in the Bible, because how can it possibly hurt?
Unpack the pillow and the unable-to-sleep-without toy ten minutes later. Because your kid needs them to sleep with that very night.
Wait a minute, how well do you know these people? Call the other parents to apologize, but you read an article about gun safety and could she please reassure you that they do not keep guns in the house? Oh, but they’re unloaded, right? Whew, what a relief. Haha, well, can’t be too careful, you know.
Repeat the phone calls as necessary with other concerns as they come up, such as Do you have bed bugs? And Where Do You Stand on Corporal Punishment? And what about High Fructose Corn Syrup in over-the-counter snacks? If for some reason your calls start going straight to voicemail, resort to email. Or perhaps a friendly yet unscheduled pre-sleepover visit to their home will give you the answers you need.
4. Re-Rejoice and Re-Prepare!
As the sleepover approaches, discuss What to Expect with your child. Let your kid know that you are a phone call away, but set some ground rules. Tell her that she can call you to check in and to say good night, but that if she calls you after a certain time (I recommend 11 pm), you will come to pick her up and take her home. This will avoid the “ok, I’ll try to sleep”-but-will-probably-call-you-in-five-to-eight-minutes” routine that loses its charm by the second phone call.
5. The Final Stretch
Drop off your kid! Start to rejoice! While waiting for your phone to ring.
Come back tomorrow when Marinka tackles How to Host a Sleepover.Published March 30, 2011. Last updated June 28, 2018.