Hosting Sleepovers – ETB #158

In the last episode, we discussed the pros and cons of sleepovers. Rather than making a blanket decision, I encouraged you to look deeper into the goals of your family and how sleepovers can fit or do not fit into those plans. This week I want to dig deeper into hosting sleepovers. What should you ask the host family? What can you do as the host home for a sleepover?

Hosting Sleepovers - ETB #158

I was recently on Fox 35 Orlando to talk about the pros and cons of sleepovers. It’s hard to have an in-depth discussion on a topic like this in four minutes!

Connie at Fox 35 Studios - February 2023

If you’ve decided that your family allows sleepovers or you handle the requests on a case-by-case basis, think about how to best talk to the host to get the information you need to make a good decision. Think about the questions and concerns that you may be asked as the host home of a sleepover.

Questions to Ask About Hosting Sleepovers

Here are some questions you can ask about sleepovers or be prepared to answer:

  • Who is going to be attending?
  • How many kids are attending?
  • Will the parents be there?
  • Are there additional guests staying with the family?
  • Is this an adult party for which kids were told to invite their friends?
  • Is this just a kids’ hangout?

The answers to these questions change the potential dynamics of the gathering. Adult parties are more likely to have alcohol accessible. A kids’ Friday night hang-out with a handful of close friends at the home of long-time family friends is going to have a different atmosphere.

What About Safety at Sleepovers?

The number one concern about sleepovers is usually about safety. This takes many faces. In my Fox 35 segment, the topic of gun safety came up. How do you handle this topic? Honestly, you just have to ask. You don’t have to interrogate the family. Just be nice and express your concern for safety without making assumptions. Try to stay neutral and not come across as judgemental. Are firearms stored in a safe and kept unloaded?

Go over these safety concerns with your kids about guns, alcohol, and drugs. Prepare them for how to respond if presented with these things and how to get ahold of you if needed. Consider having a numeric code or code word that your child can text or say when they call you to alert you to come to get them out of the situation if needed. Does your child feel mature enough to handle these situations? Are you prepared to be respectful, non-judgemental, and empathic toward your kids if you’re asked to come to get them?

Communication Surrounding Sleepovers

Communication is key in handling sleepovers!

If you have to say no to a sleepover, be honest with your kids to whatever extent your child can understand or needs to know. Be prepared to have the tough conversations with your kids if they are broken-hearted because you must tell them no they cannot attend a particular sleepover. Be sure to remind your kids that they can use you as an excuse for not being able to go to a sleepover if needed.

For our family, we chose to host sleepovers more often than attend sleepovers at another home. I knew I wouldn’t get much sleep and I’d be on the couch all night near where the kids were to monitor what was going on. I welcomed any parents to come over or call to ask questions.

Open and honest communication is the foundation you’re trying to build with your kids. Create a safe and transparent environment where your kids and their friends can express how they feel, what has happened, or what their concerns are. They need to know that they can trust you!

Pray about what is best for your kids and your family. There is no one right or wrong way to handle sleepovers!

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Hosting Sleepovers - ETB #158