Within a week after school let out for the summer Sarah and Darrell started asking me if they could sleep over at their friend’s houses. It wasn’t too long before these requests started getting out of hand and I was simply turning them down because I hadn’t planned ahead for this and I didn’t want to figure out some ground rules on a spur of the moment basis. Of course turning down their every request for a sleep over didn’t stop them and I finally had to buckle down and put some structure in place just so I could have some peace about this matter.
With school out for the summer I can understand that the kids just want to keep in touch with their friends and for them this seems to be the perfect opportunity to have some fun together. For me it seems like a lot of work and time even if they are going to someone else’s house. Since the two kids were asking to sleep over at their friend’s house as well as to host a sleepover I decided that I needed rules that fit both circumstances.
Here are some of the things I considered in regards to sleep over’s both at my house and at their friend’s house:
One Specific Day
I chose one night in which they would be allowed to host or attend a sleep over – for me, Friday night works best; this applies to a sleep over here or at another person’s house. I’ve only had to be flexible and make a change once.
My house – Since I’m only one person and I already have 4 kids living in this house I decided that only 2 guests could sleep over at a time and only one child was allowed to have guests over at a time.
Someone else’s house – I also like to know how many children will be sleeping over when my child is away from home. I wouldn’t feel too comfortable if my daughter was going to a slumber party where there was only one adult and five or more kids. It becomes difficult to attend to all their needs and keep track of what’s happening with everyone.
My house – I will not allow boy friends of my daughter or girl friends of my son to spend the night; to me this is just asking for trouble. I also make sure the other parent’s are aware that I have children of the opposite sex living in my home and what ages so that they are aware of who their child will be around. When my daughter had two of her friends spend the night Darrell was not allowed upstairs while the girls were upstairs. Since he is 13 this eliminated any problems that might result from that situation.
Their house – I will also not allow my children to attend a sleep over at a friend’s house that would be a co-ed party. I make sure I know what other children live in their house as well as their ages.
My house – I’m a night owl and like to work on various projects, message boards, and other stuff in the evenings so I decided that the kids could stay up as late as midnight. I tend to go to bed around 1 am or so in the summer so this gave them time to get settled in and hopefully asleep by the time I was ready to go to bed.
Their house – I do not set any limitations for my kids on this matter when they are sleeping at someone’s house.
Wake up Call
My house – You also might want to decide what time they have to be up by in the morning; for me I just prefer to let them sleep as late as they wish. I just informed my son or daughter that if they woke up before me to come in and wake me up. My kids are pretty much fine by themselves if I sleep in a bit later than them but it’s not a good idea when you have other children in the house.
Their house – This is another area that I don’t choose to set any limitations; I know both my kids come home from their friend’s houses so tired and wiped out that they usually go straight to bed and sleep pretty much the entire day.
My house – With many children living in single parent homes today another consideration is having a parent or adult of the same sex as the child/children sleeping over. My children’s friends and parents are aware that I am a single mom and that any girls sleeping over will not be around any male adults and any boys sleeping over will have me to answer to for the evening.
Their house – My daughter has one friend who spends every other weekend with her dad; the weekends she is with her dad are the weekends my daughter is home with me so they are the only times that she could spend the night with her. I am comfortable with my daughter spending the night with them. This is something you will want to take into consideration when allowing your child to spend the night at the home of a single parent and make sure you are comfortable with this situation.
My house – Find out from the other parent about any special instructions or rules they might have for their child as well as any medication they need to take or are allowed to take. Other parents may not allow their child to play certain video games, watch some movies, or listen to different types of music. They may also want their child in bed and up by a certain time as well. It is also important to know what types of medication their child takes or is allowed to take. My daughter had a friend sleep over who came to me at 11:30 pm and said she had an upset tummy and wanted some Tums. I told her I couldn’t give them to her without her parent’s permission; she wasn’t too happy with that answer and told me her dad was sleeping. I told her I was sorry but that I could not give her anything without his okay; she did finally give him a call and ask him and he verified to me that she could have them. You don’t want to take any chances with the health of someone else’s child when you don’t know their special circumstances.
Their house – My daughter takes allergy medication in the summer and I make sure she takes this along with her and that the other parents know that she takes this and why; I also let them know that if she misses a dose she’s not going suffer any adverse reactions that they’ll have to handle.
Summer months seem like the perfect opportunity for your children to spend more time with their friends. When your child starts asking that inevitable question you may get visions of staying up late (maybe even all night long if you could stay awake that long), eating popcorn and other junk food, watching movies or just talking and giggling the night away from when you were a kid. Are you ready to deal with all that “fun” while you host a sleep over for your kid? By setting up some ground rules you can be the “cool” parent who’s willing to host a sleep over and even get a chance to get to know your children’s friends.