How has your summer been? What were the highlights? We took a trip to visit a number of friends and relatives with summer cottages. We were, in fact, cottage-surfing.
The Ontario weather was not exactly the best but the visits were spectacular. We were made to feel welcome wherever we went. It was lovely to have time to simply sit on a range of decks and docks with a cold drink and chat. A wonderful holiday. A perfect way to connect with those we care about.
For our kids, one form of socializing is a sleepover. What are the considerations? When is our child ready for such an event?
Is Ashley Ready for a Sleepover party?
There are a number of variables to consider when it comes to sleepovers. You need to consider the relationship with the family of the friend and your child’s personality. One parent asked me about a party for a five-year-old. I would think that for most kids five would be too young.
However, if the friend lives across the street and the kids have been in and out of each other’s homes for years she may be ready. She knows the house and the parents well and is comfortable being with them. It’s also close enough for her to easily come home if the need arises.
A child who has had overnight visits with grandparents or cousins may be ready earlier than others. She knows what it’s like to sleep in a strange bed and wake up to adults other than her parents.
Some kids are much more comfortable heading out on their own and will be ready to spend the night away from you at a younger age than their more hesitant siblings. Respect your child’s temperament and let her go when she’s ready.
Other considerations are about health issues; does the child need any special medication or treatment at night? A child who sleepwalks or wets her bed may be less comfortable visiting away from home. If she does have any nighttime concerns, make sure the host parents are aware of what might happen and how you generally handle it. For example, you may need to ensure that they have the outside door locked if she may take a nighttime jaunt down the street.
No matter how old your child is, make sure she knows that she can always call you if she needs to come home. Tell the host parent that it’s okay for your child to call home, even if it’s late at night.
Finally trust your instincts. If you believe it’s a good idea for him, then go for it.
Some parents avoid sleepover parties but I don’t recommend this. Sleepovers are one of the steps toward independence. Eventually your child will be sleeping in his own basement suite or a college dorm and if he’s never slept away from home this will be more difficult.
Send her on her away to her friend’s house and know that tomorrow you will see a child who is a bit sleepy (after all, who actually sleeps at one of these parties?) and full of stories of good times.
Bring Kathy to your Community
Do you want to hear more? Kathy is always happy to come and speak in your community, at your event or as a workplace wellness presentation. On her website you can find more information on her material. My presentations will share a basic value that I call
P — is a parenting plan
U — is unconditional love
R — is respect for your child as he is right now
E — is encouragement
Digital Books Make Parenting Information More Accessible.
There are times when digital is the perfect answer and let’s face it when sitting in a waiting room, on public transit or passing the time until your child is finished their activity it’s nice to have something to read. And you can read books on your phone and you know that’s always with you.
There are lots of times when a busy parent would like to be able to simply read and my books are digital and make it easier for you to take a look.
Two of my parenting books started as print versions but the third is only digital. The first two are also now in digital format. Who’s in Charge Anyway? talks about roots. It provides a clear road map for parent to focus on the tough but rewarding job of raising children to be responsible, self-disciplined adults.
But Nobody Told Me I’d Ever Have to Leave Home talks about raising children to become capable young men and women.
And Vive la Différence talks about the unique kids and situations which need a special look.
Come and take a look. These may be just the resource you need.