No doubt about it: most girls love sleepovers. They are the “ultimate party” in many young minds. They love to host them and they love to attend. But as a parent, the whole idea may make you cringe. Fortunately, your girls’ slumber party doesn’t have to be a nightmare.There are some simple steps to consider to help ward of a host of potential problems.
The first factor to consider is the age of the guests. Age is very important in planning a successful slumber party because younger girls are more likely to get homesick than older ones. If you have doubts about the age, it’s probably not time yet. A good age to start, in our opinion, might be around 10.
Next, let’s talk numbers. How many girls are invited? Less is more when it comes to pajama parties. It may be nice to have twelve girls at a birthday party, but they all go home in a few hours. All night is a long time, so it’s best to keep your party small and manageable. Too many girls can mean cliques, and someone invariably gets excluded. It’s also harder to settle down more girls when it’s time to go to sleep, and there’s more chance of someone getting upset. We suggest around four guests, tops.
Another factor to consider is, how well do the girls know each other? Inviting several girls who know and like each other is a great idea, but if there’s a straggler in the bunch–maybe someone who is friends with the hostess but doesn’t know anyone else–that’s inviting trouble. Remember, your daughter will have to pay attention to all her guests, and will not be able to pay too much attention to the newcomer.
Girls who are comfortable with other will be more likely to enjoy having a sleepover.
What to do if guests get homesick can be a dilemma. Making a plan ahead of time is a great idea. Make sure you are comfortable enough with their parents that you can discuss in advance what to do if their daughter gets upset. If she feels uncertain, maybe she can come to the party for a while then go home, or she can come prepared to stay, but have the option. We’ve done this with our daughter a few times, when she either didn’t know the other girls very well, or was just not sure about sleeping away from home in an unfamiliar environment. This way, she got to go to the party but didn’t feel uncomfortable about sleeping over.
Another spoiler can be other siblings. It’s important to let them spend some time with the “big girls,” but those same big girls need time to themselves. After all, it’s their party. Planning something to keep the little ones happy will be much appreciated by your older daughter. You can make it something you enjoy, too, like a movie.
Pajama parties can be fun for all involved. If you’ve avoided these common mistakes, you’re already on the road to a successful party. Enjoy your girls!