Sleepovers Pros and Cons
Today is National Sleep Over day. From our own experiences, we know that sleep overs are fun. But, some of you parents might be convinced that sleep overs are a good idea.
A common reason parents, like you, might not like sleepovers is the lack of control you have when you're kids are at someone else's house. You can't control the activities, food, bedtimes, sleeping arrangements. This lack of control can be nerve wracking for many parents.
If you're a parent who agrees with sleepovers, a common mistake is not vetting out the host parents. Just because your kids are in the same class or school doesn't mean you know the family. Familiarity isn't the same as knowing. When my daughter was younger, a mother called to ask if she could spend the night. This mom seemed nice enough, but I didn't know her. So my answer was no until I got to know the family better.
Safety should always be top of mind. Here in the South, many people own guns, which is their right. This means that many parents own guns. The issue isn't gun ownership, the issue is to make sure that the guns are locked up so kids can't get to them. When parents go to sleep doesn't mean that the kids will too. So safety is top priority. Any responsible parent will appreciate your concern as they'd want the same for their own kids. If you're not comfortable enough to ask the tough questions then it's best to keep your kids at home.
When To Say Yes Or No To Sleep Overs
May 9th is National Sleep Over Day. Many kids enjoy sleep overs. It’s fun to stay up late, watching movies, playing games or talking with friends. Not all parents are in favor of sleep overs.
If you let your kid spend the night at a friend's house then talk about your expectations first. Talk about following the host parents' house rules. Figure out a time for you and your child to chat on the phone before bedtime. And let your child know that if they want to come home that you'll pick them up.
If you decide not to let your kid spend the night at a friend's house then have a straight forward chat with your kid. Let them know your reasons. You can offer an alternative that they can stay at their friend's house until bedtime when you'll pick them up.
When it comes to telling the other parent no, this can be touchy. Be direct. It’s up to you how much to tell them about your reasons. You’re not comfortable with sleepovers. And let them know of an alternate idea. That is letting your kid stay until bedtime. And returning for breakfast the next morning.
Blanca Cobb is a WFMY News 2 Contributing Editor, body language expert and keynote speaker/corporate trainer who covers nonverbal communication, psychology and behavior. Follow her @blancacobb. The opinions expressed in this article are exclusively hers.