Cookies, candy, a few tummy aches, and maybe, just maybe, some pancakes in the morning. It’s a moment of childhood that almost every person has experienced once: a slumber party (or for guys, a “sleep over”). Whether you went to only one, or every weekend your parents got a break while you jumped from house to house between friends, a slumber party has it’s perks.
Well, that is, the perks come as a child.
As an adult, the idea of having 5 kids spend the night that AREN’T your children could make you woozy. But, with a few tools in place, you could get through that first sleepover, and maybe even a few after (as long as Junior or Princess is following the rules)
1.) Strictly Enforce the One-Gender-Only Rule. “So I’m not a progressive parent. Sue me. I just don’t think there’s any reason to mix boys and girls overnight. It’s not just about the opportunity for them to do naughty things, but also about the pressure of being ‘on’ for the opposite gender. Let the kids worry about impressing their crushes in the halls at school, not on at 1 a.m. on someone’s living room floor.”
2.) Know the Parents. “You don’t have to get a background check or anything, but you should be familiar and comfortable with all the adults that will be home at the time of the sleepover. If they are unwilling to answer your questions or respond to any concerns, you probably have your answer on whether or not it’s a good idea to let your child attend. Speaking of parents … ”
3.) Make Sure There Will Be Supervision. “No, older teen siblings don’t count. You may also inquire as to how much supervision … as in, will the parent turn a blind eye if the 10-year-olds turn on an R-rated movie, or will they suggest something more appropriate?”
4.) Share Your Contact Info. “It’s a good idea to trade cellphone numbers and ask that the supervising adult save your contact info in his or her phone in case of an emergency.”
5.) Tell Your Kids It’s OK to Ask to Be Picked Up. “This could apply to any age — the younger ones because they miss home, or the older ones because they feel uncomfortable with the direction the party is going. Chances are they won’t call, but the reassurance that they can might help them make it through the night. And if you have teens that call, let’s say because alcohol was introduced and they didn’t want to participate … buy them a present the next day.”
6.) Opt for ‘Late Night’ Instead of ‘All Night.’ “Some parents, like my dear friend who asked if it’s ok for her daughter to come to the party but not spend the night, just don’t want to get into the whole sleepover thing. That’s totally cool — we all have to make parenting decisions that make us feel comfortable. I love that she still wants her girl to come have fun with us.”
Thanks to Jenny Erikson at the Stir for suggesting this Slumber Party Survival Guide!