We grew up in a world that is far safer than the one we know today. We go to sleepovers and whisper secrets with our friends. We stay up late at night chatting on the phone with our first boyfriends or girlfriends. But the world as we knew it back then isn’t the same. Many households have completely banned doing sleepovers because of the dangers it poses to their kids.
Even if you chose the perfect type of loft conversion available today, it doesn’t matter because kids don’t do that anymore. Parents are too fearful of all the news about abuses that happen in other households that they refuse to allow their kids to go to a sleepover or pyjama party. They don’t like hosting one, too, because it requires too much energy from them.
But there’s another group of parents who say that banning sleepovers is ridiculous. Sleepovers are great for social interaction. These are an essential part of growing up. Can you imagine your childhood without sleepover parties? There’s a way to put aside your anxieties. There’s no need to deprive your child of such an experience.
Meet the Parents
The more you know about the host’s parents and siblings, the better you feel about any possible sleepover. Getting to know the parents of your child’s friends is essential in keeping these relationships intact, too. Make it a point to spend time with the parents and know what kind of household they lead. Are there other people in the house aside from the family? Who’s going to be there during the sleepover? It is your right and duty as a parent to get to know who will be under the same roof as your child.
Make Sure that the Parents and Your Child Understand Your Rules
Communicate your rules with your child first. Make sure that they understand that the rules in your household still apply even if they are in another house. If you prohibit junk food, that should still apply outside your house. Talk to them about drugs, alcohol, and sex. There is always the risk of children trying these things, so they must understand your views.
Your child should also be respectful of the host’s rules. Whether the host is stricter or laxer, your child should follow and be disciplined enough to mind their manners. Make sure that they are appropriately punished when they don’t follow the rules.
Give Your Kid Access to You
Here’s what your kid needs to know more than anything else: that they can call you no matter what time of the day it is. If they feel uncomfortable with the sleepover, they should be able to call you even if it’s three in the morning. If your child is not allowed to use a mobile phone, make this sleepover an exception. Your child must know that they’re welcome back home no matter what the reason is.
But before allowing your child to go to a sleepover, make sure that they’re ready for it. They must understand the rules to follow and the danger signs that they should be aware of. The communication lines should be open. Sit down with your child and explain what they should expect from the sleepover.