“There is no particular age at which you should or should not let your children go on a sleepover. The answer depends on the parents’ personal judgment and what they and their children are comfortable with. What should be very clear is that, if a child decides to go to a sleepover, it has to be on his or her own initiative, not at the suggestion of the parents,” emphasizes Alexandra Sabal, a psychologist at our clinic, who provides some guidelines to resolve any doubts parents may have.
Recommendations to consider before making a decision:
- Find out what the child is excited about. The little one should be motivated by something special connected to the sleepover. Before granting permission, you can sit down and talk, so you know the reasons why he wants to go and why it would be important for him to be able to attend this gathering.
- You can arrange a sleepover at home beforehand. Parents can have a sleepover with their child in the backyard or living room. This way, they can find out if he/she will not be uncomfortable sleeping out of his/her room or in advance to resolve any doubts or insecurities that the child may have.
- Observe their routine and independence. It should be noted that it will be essential for the child to be independent in his/her daily routine in order to be able to sleep away from home.
- Sleeping at a relative’s house. A good and reliable start could be to let your child sleep at the home of a cousin or friend you trust. This way, he/she will have previous experience and will be able to know whether or not he/she likes the idea of attending a group sleepover.
- Give your child the confidence to communicate his/her emotions: The child should be aware and fully confident that, if something bothers him or does not make him/her feel comfortable, he/she can call his/her parents at any time to talk to them.
- Before making the decision to allow your child to sleep away from home, it will be of vital importance to remind them that no one should touch or look at their private parts because despite having coordinated with the owners of the house, we do not know if the family may have guests. Therefore, we must emphasize that no one can force them to do anything.
- It will be important for parents to have a secure attachment with their children, a transparent and sincere relationship with them, allowing the children to communicate any type of situation that may make them uncomfortable.
- A sleepover can add experiences, and learning and create valuable memories for your children, you just have to analyze the situation well and make sure it will be a pleasant experience for them.
Psychologist at Clínica Ricardo Palma