HOSTING A SLEEPOVER
It was our turn last night, and I have to say I wasn’t totally dreading it. Dreading what? you ask. A sleepover.
This topic can be polarizing for a lot of parents. We’ve only started doing them the last year and a half, much to my husbands’ dismay. Not in hosting them, but he’s never been keen on the kids sleeping elsewhere. As a mom, I have to say, I’m ok with it.
I think it’s a great experience for kids to sleepover – to host and have the chance to go to their friends’ homes. Most of the time they come back with a new-found love for me and their dad. They’ve had the chance to miss us, and to see what it’s like in another peers’ home, and realize…they really don’t have it all that bad!
So, last night I was organized as I could be, and I knew it wouldn’t drag on too long the next day as my daughter had to get to camp in the morning. My daughter’s friend was dropped off and I proceeded to take them out. Yes, I took them out. Keep in mind, sleepovers today are not like they were when we were kids. You have to have an itinerary of things to do, lest your house gets labelled as the “sucky sleepover house”. A label you do not want your kids house to have.
So off we girls went. We had sushi at our favourite place, followed by some pampering with a pedicure. I watched as my daughter and her friend held hands, and declared that each other was their best friend (something which made my heart sing as we have just moved to a new neighbourhood and my daughter has been feeling very lonely). As I watched them hold hands and chat in their seemingly giant pedicure chairs, I knew that I was doing something positive for my daughters’ emotional well-being. That, my friends, is worth more than anything in the world.
After we got home, snacks and a movie. Some playtime with the guinea pig, typical brother harassment from my son and a chapter from the latest American Girl book. Lights out!
My son is at his friends’ house tonight for a sleepover.
So, next week, it will probably be our turn again.
Sleepover Hosting Hacks to avoid being the “sucky sleepover house”
1) As a parent, try and find out all dietary restrictions/allergies as far in advance as possible. From there, create a menu that the kids will enjoy, and possibly include treats that you may not otherwise offer when it’s just you and the kids. After all, being known as the “awesome mom” is a good side effect. For example, Kool Aid. My kids know they are NEVER allowed this stuff, but if they are having a sleepover, some Kool Aid may magically appear in our pantry to share!
2) Ask your child if they have any ideas on activities or places that they would like to go. If it’s within your budget, try your best to make it happen. Kids have very different experiences visiting and doing things with a friend than when they do the same thing with a sibling.
3) Create a cozy sleeping space for your child’s guest. They will always have the option of sleeping in the same bed, but if they prefer their own space, make sure you have it set up for them – with a spare sleeping stuffy if they forget their own!