If you really don’t like the idea of your child going to sleepovers at other family members or friends homes, then you might like to consider suggesting a ‘sleepunder’ next time instead.
There are many reasons why parents are against sleepovers and often there are many risks associated with them. Especially if you don’t know the other family very well, or are unfamiliar with their parenting style. For parents with the no sleepover rule, then you might be happy with the alternative to sleepovers. It’s called a sleepunder.
A sleepunder is actually a sleepover… but without the sleeping-over part.
Kids still get to enjoy all the benefits of a sleepover like, playing games, eating junk food, watching movies, wearing their pyjamas, pillow fights and spooky stories while still staying up late-ish.
But then parents can pick their kids up at an agreed time and they get to go home to the safety of their own beds to sleep.
Some families will even organise to bring their kids back early the next morning so they can enjoy more fun like making breakfast together in their pj’s.
Pattie Fitzgerald, founder of Safely Ever After, Inc., explains why sleepunders can be a good alternative for sleepovers.
“Parents start winding down and leave kids to their own devices (literally and figuratively), there is less supervision overall because a sleepover usually takes place on weekends when parents may be worn out from a busy week, and if there are older siblings at that sleepover, sometimes it’s easy for them to ‘convince’ the younger ones to something inappropriate. Younger kids may be impressed with the older sibs in that household and be eager to comply with things the older kids might think are ‘funny.’
PLUS as we know lots of kids do prefer sleeping in their own beds at night, because it can feel scary being in an unfamiliar household in the dark once the lights go out.
That’s where sleepunders still have all the fun of sleepovers, but allow kids to return to the familiar setting of their own homes for bedtime.
“Sleepunders (which are basically a nighttime playdate) include all the fun components that kids like in a ‘sleepover’ but they’re over at 8:00 or 9:00 pm before things get too ‘loosey-goosey’ or nonchalant for everyone.” says Ms Fitzgerald.
Stick to your decision
Don’t let the kids gang up on you once they are all there and try to convince you to let them stay the night.
If your child is heading off to a sleepunder at a friends make sure they are all ready in their PJ’s and you have discussed the agreed time you will be collecting them.
Let them know that if at any time they decide they want to come home they just have to let the host know or send you a message if they have their own device. A safe word is often handy to have so they just have to send a short text with a single word and you know you need to go and collect them.
Check out these 10 reasons your kids need their cousins growing up
These healthy snacks are sure to make the kids excited about their next ‘sleepunder’ with friends or family.