Child safety is a top priority when you’re a parent. We get that. We also get that your child’s first sleepover can be a scary thing. Knowing the right questions to ask the parents of your child’s friend can help set your mind at ease, as well as having conversations with your child about the night.
- Get the parent’s contact information. While this may seem like an obvious first step, make sure you get the contact information for all adults that will be present in the house during the sleepover in case of an emergency or one parent has to step out of the house for an errand.
- Tell the parent’s you’ve talked to your child about appropriate touches. Have the conversation with your child about what’s appropriate and what’s not appropriate to avoid any unwanted touches during the sleepover. Letting the other parent know you’ve had this conversation with your child can make both parties feel more comfortable with the overnight stay.
- Leave the door open. Check up with your child every once in a while to monitor behavior and ensure that everyone is getting along well. By keeping the doors to rooms open during sleepovers, you can monitor easily and keep children safe.
- If your child is old enough to own a cellphone, talk with them about how to get out of uncomfortable or unwanted situations. If your child is feeling unsafe, uncomfortable or doesn’t want to be in the house anymore, talk with them about a place they can wait outside for you and to call you. Your child should never feel forced to stay in a situation they are uncomfortable with. If you have a younger child, make sure they have your number so they can get in contact with you via their friend’s home phone.
- Choose a time that isn’t too early. Though there usually is no set schedule to overnight stays, it’s best to begin the sleepover at a reasonable time near dinner if they’re eating there, or plenty of time after to allow for a clean-up if no dinner will be served. Have activities the kids can do for an idea to keep it clean, appropriate and fun.
- Make sure there aren’t two different slumber parties happening at once. If your daughter is hosting a slumber party, don’t allow your son to have one concurrently. This ensures the safety of the children involved with the sleepover and creates less room for sexual abuse to occur.
- Ask your child if they’re comfortable with spending the night. Never assume that your child is comfortable with the arrangement. You should never plan an over night stay without making sure your child is comfortable with he friend. The next day, you should ask your child what they liked and what they didn’t like so you can gauge their comfort level over night.
Following these safety tips will allow your child to have a safe and fun time with their friends overnight. Be informed and provide a safe, loving environment for children to keep them safe while they make memories.