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Some parents are fine with sleepovers while others aren’t.
Sleeping over at a friend’s house can be one of the most fun ways that your child spends a night. They may come home and tell you that they want to live at their friend’s house after spending the night there (especially if the parents are a little bit more relaxed than you are). If you’re not comfortable letting your child sleep somewhere else for the night, then make sure they know why.
There are legitimate reasons why you might not feel comfortable letting your child sleep over somewhere else. Namely, if you don’t know the other family or parents very well, then you simply don’t know who your child will be left alone with at home or what situations that they may find themselves in. We’d highly recommend that you be very careful about letting your child sleep over at someone’s house who you don’t know.
Get to know the parent’s and family of the other child. Go to their home and see where your child will be staying. Make sure you understand any risks or areas of danger that your child may encounter, and make sure that they know how to contact you at any hour of the day in case of an emergency. Your child’s safety should always be number one priority when you’re considering sleepovers.
Beyond that, sleepovers can be an awesome time for your child to relax and have a good time. You should make sure that you let other kids come to your home and sleepover as well - get to know the parents and make sure they’re comfortable as well. Let your child stay up later than they normally would as long as they’re not bothering other family members in the home - it’s a special night for them.
While many parents may be wary about cross gender sleepovers, it’s probably just parents that are really worried about it. Kids under the age of 10 are simply friends - sure they may think the other person is cute and like them, but there’s not really any reason that you need to worry about them doing things that they shouldn’t be - boys will explore with boys and girls with girls so cross gender really makes no difference.
Ultimately, your child will let you know if they’re not comfortable sleeping over at a friend’s house that is of a different gender. Gender should not be a deciding factor in sleepovers. If there are multiple kids, all the better. They will have other people close by watching and seeing what’s going on. If your child wants to do things you don’t want them to at their age, they’ll do them outside of a sleepover.
If you’re hosting a sleepover, make sure that you have food for dinner and breakfast. Doesn’t have to be anything fancy, but try to have some healthy snacks as well. We’ve found that kids are far more likely to eat vegetables when there are other kids around and that’s what’s served. There’s no reason you have to serve junk for dinner, although it may be fun every now and then to do so.
Sleepovers can be a fun way for your child to spend a night. Get to know the parents of where they’ll be at, and let them have a good time.