An educated parent is the best one to choose if and when a sleepover is appropriate for their child. As a parent, if you do choose to let your child sleep over with a friend, there are some factors to consider. Having a “family sleepover policy” is a great way to protect your child, and create some boundaries when it comes to sleepovers.
Family Sleepover Policy
First ground rule in our home when it comes to sleepovers is, we must know the child and the child’s parents before our kids are allowed to have a sleepover. This may seem simple, but knowing the family dynamic of your child’s sleepover buddy is a must! How many brothers and sisters do they have, how old are they? Do they have a dog? How well do you know the child’s parents? Are they married, is there a boyfriend in the house? It is crucial that you know this family, know their dynamic, and how they run their home. When you are entrusting someone else to care for your child, you need to know who they are, and if you can trust them.
Know If Anyone Else Is Staying At Their Home
Again with the siblings…but this is important. Know the ages of any older siblings in the home. Also, be aware of an out of town uncle, or a visitor that the family is hosting. If anything makes you feel uncomfortable, you can cancel or reschedule. Your child, your choice!
Know The Internet Or Media Standards For Your Child
Communicate to the host family your child’s internet expectations. Many kids are exposed to adult movies or pornography for the first time at a sleepover. Bottom line; know what media guidelines your host family has when it comes to media and the internet.
Know Their Gun Policy
Does this family have a gun in the house? If they do have a gun (s), where do they keep them? How do they address guns with their children? Know your host family’s gun safety policies and rules in their home.
Finally, if necessary, come up with a code word for if your child would like to come home early from the sleepover. A code word can help your child to not feel embarrassed if they get scared, or they’re not quite ready to sleep over the entire night. This can really help you and your child have open communication about anything regarding the sleepover.
For more information on sleepovers, mental health, or any other questions, we are here for you! Please contact us at 832.421.8714. We are all in this together!