Slumber parties are great for kids in that they offer a good social environment, the child learns how to interact with his friends and their parents and in many ways is a learning experience for all of them. It is up to the parents to have good judgment, however, to decide when the right time is for a child to have a slumber party at his house.
Suggestions for your son’s first sleepover: As this is the first time his friends are sleeping over at your house you want to make it a fun and exciting time. If he has three friends coming for the night and wants to put up the tent in the back yard, encourage him to do it. Buy a trampoline for them to jump on and plan other outdoor activities. Have two or three board games like Monopoly, Scrabble and Boggle and let them have fun learning new words. Four kids in all would be good; five is not so good as it means the fifth child will be an outsider. Kids pair up in twos.
Items you need include extra towels, toilet paper, bottled water, tooth paste and toothbrushes and enough cut fruit and vegetables in the house for them to chomp on. They eat constantly and you do not want them to run out of things to eat. Agree to let them make their own popcorn in the kitchen without you hovering about and let them watch Ice Age or whatever film it is they have watched ten times before. Make sure they are old enough to watch the film that they have chosen and that they are comfortable and safe. Do not encourage them to play games on the computer.
At bedtime go a step further and give each child a soft and fluffy animal to snuggle with at night. Kids love to hold on to something. Offer a bedtime story at this time and let them fall asleep on the couch if they want to. All these preparations and fun things to do will raise his ranking with his buddies and make for good friendships. Set the rules early with your son so he can tell his friends what is and what is not allowed to do. If he does not want to share all his games or toys with his friends tell him to put them away before they arrive.
The next morning prepare a great hearty breakfast of pancakes or flapjacks with eggs and sausages on the side. Let them be full and satisfied that they have had enough to eat. When the kids are gone thank your son after and tell him he can have a sleepover again – not right away – if he cleans up his room.Credit: Rayda Jacobs