If you're like most modern parents, it's important to you that your child enjoy positive social interactions with peers. An important social ritual in the life of all American children is the sleepover -- and most busy parents experience at least a little bit of dread at the thought of hosting a sleepover in your home. If your child is just now reaching the age where sleepovers are a part of the social picture, you may be experiencing anxiety at the thought of hosting overnight visits concerning other people's kids. Fortunately, strategies exist that will help ensure that sleepovers run smoothly. Here's what you need to do:
Although it may be tempting to host a full-on slumber party for your child's first sleepover experience, it's best to start small and have one or two good friends spend the night before opening up your home. Large groups of kids can be overwhelming, particularly because sleepovers are usually held on Friday or Saturday nights, when parents are understandably exhausted after long work weeks.
Also, keep in mind that sleepovers come with a certain amount of pressure for the kids involved -- your child probably won't tell you that he or she doesn't feel ready to host multiple friends or classmates, so keeping it small
One of the last things you want or need to deal with on a Friday or Saturday night is a situation where your child's sleepover guest or guests don't like what you've prepared for dinner -- and you may not feel like cooking anyway. All kids love pizza, so arrange for local delivery from a takeout pizza restaurant -- for maximum convenience, you can even order pizza online. Be sure to check with the child or children who are going to be spending the night at your house to determine what type of pizza they like the best as well as make sure that any dietary restrictions are met.
Relax and Enjoy
Many parents make the mistake of trying to micromanage the sleepover, but this approach often backfires, resulting in everyone involved feeling too much pressure to have a good time. Provide a few movies and activities for the kids to choose from, and be available while remaining unintrusive. Make sure that you and the other parents are all clear concerning what time they're going to be picking their kids up in the morning.