When your child is excited about a sleepover invitation, ask her the following questions before granting permission:
"Do I know the parents?"
It's not unusual for children to get a sleepover invitation from the friend of a friend. Meet the family, and invite the child to your house prior to the sleepover.
"Will a parent be there?"
Some parents may leave a teenage brother and his friends in charge of a tween girl sleepover. Find out who will be present. Walk your child to the door, and if a parent is not there, don't hesitate to take your child home.
"Are activities planned?"
Overnight is a long time for tweens to be together without structure. Scheduled events help prevent mischief.
"How many children are invited?"
Safety could be a concern if a sleepover has 30 tweens and only one parent. The adult/child ratio needs to be reasonable.
"Do you know that I will be available?"
Make sure your child knows she can call you if she is ready to come home anytime during the night.
This article originally appeared in the March/April, 2011 issue of Thriving Family magazine. Copyright © 2011 by Candy Arrington. Used by permission. ThrivingFamily.com.
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