The Dreaded Slumber Party
Uh-oh, your 10-year-old just spoke six words that no parent really wants to hear: “Can I have a slumber party?”
Yes, the slumber party, or sleepover if you will. Heaven for kids, anything but heaven if you’re a parent. In fact, the best part of a slumber party for a parent is when it’s over. While slumber parties are understandably met with doom and gloom by parents, that isn’t to say that you can’t still help throw your child and their friends a great one. So set your feelings on the event aside and follow these tips to help your kid have a sleepover for the ages:
- Limit the guest list: Make sure the size of the guest list reflects the space of your home. But even if you have a large home, don’t get carried away with the invitations – we recommend capping it at eight.
- Be detailed about things: Set a drop off and pick up time for your guests’ parents to follow, and detail what they should have their child bring (i.e., sleeping bag, pillow, game, etc.). We’d also recommend speaking with them prior to the event to reassure there will be proper supervision and learn of any intangibles that will have to be considered (i.e., food allergies, medication, etc.). **Good Tip: If there is medication involved, have the parents come to administer it**
- Set a “quiet time” curfew: Kids need their sleep, and while slumber parties are associated with staying up into the wee hours of the morning, it’s important to provide an environment for resting. On this note, we recommend designating midnight (or an age-appropriate hour) as “quiet time.” At this hour, turn the video games and movies off, put the board games away and prepare to simmer down for the evening. Kids that want to sleep are then provided an environment for doing so, and those who don’t can quietly tell stories, read books or partake in less boisterous activities until they’re ready to crash.
- Give them space: Yes, you should be checking in on the group from time to time. But if you can, give them their space (i.e., the living room, basement) and let them have fun. If you’re hosting the party in small living quarters, give the kids the bigger space and plan to hang out in your bedroom for the night.
Remember, you’re doing the slumber party so your child and their friends can have a great time. So make sure you provide a great spread of food and entertainment options to boot. Last but not least, be flexible! If there’s an issue, address it quickly. If you have to, make a call to your guests’ parents. Assume responsibility and maintain a good attitude about the party, and it’s sure to be a smash!