Staying the night with a friend is like a rite of passage for children. They are usually school age before they begin staying with non-family members, and it may seem like a worrisome, and perhaps traumatic, issue for parents. However, there are questions you can ask that will make the experience easier for you and your children.
Read on to find out five questions that are great to ask before your child’s first night away from home!
1. Who is attending and supervising the event?
It is essential that you know the parents of the child your little one will be staying the night with. Make sure at least one of the parents will be there for the entire sleepover, things could get scary for your kid if a strange babysitter or other family member is supervising. It is also not a bad idea to ask if there will be other adults or older kids present, just to be aware who is around your child while you are not with them.
2. What activities are planned for the sleepover?
Don’t be afraid to ask what your child will be doing while at the sleepover. If you are against violent movies, video games, or other activities, let your view be heard. It may change what the other child’s parents have planned… or make you rethink the entire event. Also, make sure to discuss any food allergies/aversions, or anything that you don’t want your child having (soda, candy, etc).
3. Where will the sleepover be?
This answer should be straightforward – at the house where you drop your child off. However, it’s possible that the parents are planning to take their child – and therefore, yours too – to the grandparent’s or other relative’s house. Confirm the location so you know where your child is the entire sleepover. Also, check to see if they will be sleeping indoors or outside (in warm weather), so you can pack your child accordingly. You may need a tent, a sleeping bag, or a just a blanket and pillow.
4. When does the sleepover begin and end?
Make sure you know when to drop off and pick up your child so he isn’t overstaying his welcome. Most sleepovers will have a start time, after dinner so the children are ready for a few activities, snacks, and then bed. The following morning, it is ideal to have your child picked up after breakfast, before noon. However, make sure to ask so you don’t pick her up too early, and he misses out on additional activities.
5. Does your child seem ready for a night alone without you?
This is a question to ask yourself and your little one before sending him off on his first overnight away from you. Is bedwetting a concern? It may be best to keep him home until he has that under control so he isn’t embarrassed or scared of an accident. Also, how does he act around adults when you aren’t present? Think about reports you get from school and other family members. Finally, ask your child directly if he wants to go to the sleepover, and if he has any concerns.
Do you have any other questions you would add?