A rite of passage for tweens is being able to have their first sleepover with friends. The excitement of staying up late, watching fun movies, eating snacks is the perfect idea of a fun get together. It’s not always the first choice of a fun get together for the parents, though. Dealing with tired, grouchy children the next day is definitely not very pleasant. Therefore, have some guidelines in mind regarding sleepovers for your children. Soon, if they are followed, the idea of a sleepover won’t be met with too much eye rolling from you!!
- Choice of friends – the group should consist of friends who already get along very well together. Sleepovers aren’t the time to invite over those young people in budding friendships.
- House rules – should be followed to the letter. Lights out when prompted, no helping themselves to more food without asking first, cleaning up any messes that occur, no snooping around by the guests, if someone wakes up early…be considerate of those still sleeping and, out of courtesy, don’t sleep in too late so families can get on with their schedules for the day.
- No mixed sleepovers – these parties should be girls only, or boys only…not mixed. This creates more due diligence on the part of the parents to keep boys & girls separate while sleeping. Besides, what’s the point? Sleepovers are more fun with just your girlfriends or guy friends, anyway.
- Smartphone free sleepover – encourage your daughter and her friends to give up their smartphones during the sleepover. Collect them in a basket. Not having the gadgets will greatly reduce the possibility of inappropriate behavior such as pictures being taken and posted on the internet. Good old fashioned toe nail painting, tinting each other’s hair (with permission, of course), movies, snacks are the stuff of successful sleepovers!
- Cheerfulness the next day, if possible – you are more likely to agree to sleepovers if your children aren’t overly beastly the next day from utter exhaustion because of sleeplessness. Compliment their efforts to overcome their grouchiness. This is a good exercise in practicing virtue.
- Write a thank you card – if your child has stayed at someone’s home longer than two nights as in the case of travelling with a friend’s family on vacation, a handwritten thank you card should be sent without delay.
Any time they plan parties, your children need to understand the roles of being a good host and guest, depending on the situation. Then future events will be a great success and you will be teaching them some very important skills as they grow up. Always showing care and consideration for others has positive lasting effects.
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