With the kids going back to school this week, it’s a reminder for us parents that they’re quickly getting older and growing up. As our children get older, they start wanting to do more and love trying new things. A popular right of passage for all kids is attending their first sleepover. This is something that usually happens when they’re around seven or eight years old.
While a lot of kids are excited about this, it can also be a somewhat daunting experience. However, it’s important that they get used to spending nights away from you, as sooner or later they’ll have a school residential to go on. The good news is that you can help to make their first night away from home an enjoyable one by preparing them properly for it.
Have a sleepover at your home first
If your child is super nervous, it might be a good idea to have a sleepover rehearsal first. Invite one of their best friends over to spend the night, so that your child can get an idea of what sleepovers consist of. Plan a night of fun for the two of them, so that your little one can see that having a sleepover is nothing to be nervous about.
Tell them how much fun you had at sleepovers as a child
Sit down with your child and talk to them about the sleepover they’re going on. Ask them if they’re excited and tell them about how much fun you had as a child. Share your stories of midnight feasts, playing games, and having pillow fights. This will show your little one that there’s nothing to worry about and no need to be nervous.
Get them some treats for their sleepover
To help them get excited for their night away from home, get them some treats to take with them. This could be a new teddy, some new kids pyjamas, or some sweets to share with their friends. It doesn’t matter what treats you get them, what’s important is that you help them to feel excited. Often, getting a new pair of PJs or having some of their favourite sweets can be all it takes to make them excited about their sleepover.
Teach them how to deal with a range of situations
Last but not least, teach your little one how to deal with a range of tricky situations. These should include things like not liking their dinner, missing you, not being able to sleep, or having an accident while in bed. Give them examples of how to deal with each situation. So, for instance, say they don’t like dinner. Explain to them that it’s fine to tell their friend’s mum, as long as they are polite about it. So saying something like, ‘I’m really sorry Mrs. Jones, but I don’t like fish.’ is a great way to deal with a difficult situation.
To help your child prepare for their first sleepover, take note of the useful tips and advice above.