My teenage daughter often has sleepovers at our and her friends’ homes. I think sleepovers are a great way for children to socialise, become independent, and create memorable childhood experiences.
However, sleepovers can bring a tad bit of stress for parents. You become worried about their safety, handling the chaos, arranging meals and activities, etc. Fret not.
Here are some sleepover rules to make them fun for your children and worry-free for you.
- No Surprises
You should know beforehand about the sleepover arrangement. It is advisable to allow sleepovers only if you know your children’s friends and trust their parents. Ask them these questions:
How many friends will be there for the sleepover? Who will pick up and drop off all children? What are the names of all children and the phone numbers of their parents/caretakers for emergency contact? Do they plan to stay at home or go for accompanied/unaccompanied outings? Who would be at home to supervise the sleepover? Would there be any adult not known (for example, household help) to you present during the sleepover?
Unless your child or their friend’s parent agrees to disclose everything, do not give a nod for the sleepover.
- Cut-Off Time
Children will continue dancing, singing, partying, watching movies and playing games if there are no cut-off rules. The chances are that they will sleep late and wake up late. It might disturb their routine, especially if they have to attend school or other classes 1-2 days later.
So, make sure that children retire to bed around 10 pm. Of course, they can chit-chat for a while after they snuggle in the bed but switch off the lights!
If your children are doing a sleepover at your home or someone else’s home, then remind them to follow some basic manners:
- Help in chores, especially in arrangements and clean-up.
- Stay or keep friends off-limits from rooms that are out of bounds. For example, the master bedroom, swimming pool or terrace.
- Avoid creating a mess.
- Maintain courteous behaviour with their friends and families.
- Screen Time
These days, children remain glued to their mobile phones and tablets even when they are with friends. When having a sleepover, allow only a limited screen time after which they should keep their devices aside.
You can also take away their mobile phones before they go to sleep. If anybody needs to call their parents or vice versa, you can permit them to use it for that period. Ideally, you can create a WhatsApp group of parents whose children have a sleepover so that everyone stays updated.
Hope these rules will put your worries to stress and you will let your children have a sleepover!