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Sleepovers & Pajama Parties Thursday, July 15th, 2010

ldh3 Sleepovers & Pajama PartiesThese days, you have to be even more careful as a parent and be concerned about where to send your child.  Gone are the days when you can send your child to fun childhood pastimes like sleepovers and pajama parties without giving it a thought.  With the onset of child predators, the idea of allowing your child to sleep over at a friend’s house is not as simple as it used to be.  Before giving permission, you should consider it carefully and look at some of the issues highlighted here.

A good rule of thumb is not to send a child under 13 years to a sleepover.  Wait until they are older and more aware and are able to help themselves in case of an emergency.  Also, you really don’t know how someone else might treat your child, as lifestyles differ; people have different ideas of how children are to be raised and it is likely an older child might not be too hurt by the disparity.

Ensure that you get to know the parents of your child’s friend. While it is not possible to know someone as well as you’d like, chances are if you interact on a regular basis you will get a good idea of how they treat their children.  If you have a feeling or inclination that something might not be quite right with them, then do not send you your child to sleep over.  Look at how they interact with their own child; do they give them emotional support?  It’s things like that which will give an indication of the type of parent that they are.

Visit the friend’s home and see where the sleepover will be held.  You can never be too careful and must always think of how best to protect your child. If you decide to let your child sleep over, let them understand that they are to call you at the first sign of anything that might seem unsuitable or that they are not comfortable with.

If your child really wants to have a sleepover and you don’t want to send them,  why not host one yourself?  You will be able to set your own ground rules.  In addition, you will be able to keep an eye on things and ensure that there is no inappropriate behavior.  You can also suggest some fun things to do, such as watching a movie or playing games;  just make sure you have lots of food.

While you do not want to deprive your child of fun by enjoying a sleepover or pajama party with friends, it’s good to be careful.  Only do so if you are comfortable with the idea.  If your child is unhappy explain to them why you do not wish to send them.  Let them know it is because of your love and concern for their welfare.  If it is possible for you to host a party or sleepover yourself then do so, and at least your child will be happy about that.

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