parenting

Sleepovers: How Your Child Will Benefit from a Night Away

parentingages and stages

Our daughter was at a sleepover as my husband and I snuggled into bed and looked at the clock. The giant, red numbers boasted 10:45 pm. “She did it,” I squealed. “She did it,” he nodded. Ring, ring, ring. “And maybe not."

The telephone signaled another late night pick-up, and alerted us that our nine-year-old daughter changed her mind about sleeping over at a friend’s house, again.

As I grabbed my keys and tossed on shoes, I weighed the value of her attempting to spend the night with friends. However, after six late night pick-ups, I discovered  extra effort on our end was indeed worth the hassle. Why? Because even better than a kid-free night, is the confidence I saw blossom when our daughter made it through her first successful sleepover.

How Your Child Will Benefit from a Night Away

Check out these five benefits of having your child spend the night at a trusted friend’s house:

Enhance Self-Esteem

Completing a challenging activity without the help of mom and dad can be daunting, but it can also be exciting. As children successfully stretch and gain independence, they are more likely to feel good about themselves and that feel-good-attitude seeps into other areas of their lives.

Experience New Activities

What do Mickey Mouse shaped pancakes, trampolines, tree forts, and impromptu dog shows all have in common? These are activities that don’t happen at our house. We don't have a tree fort or a trampoline, and I've never thought about dressing up our naughty dog and parading him around the neighborhood, but wow, big time fun.

See How Others Live

We have two children, a three-year-old and a nine-year-old. However, my daughter’s best friend has two teenage siblings. An overnight at the best friend's house means a front row peek at life in a few years. The best friend's siblings tease, love, and create random nicknames for our daughter. They sleep late, chat about homework, and allow our nine-year-old to experience the positive influence of older children.

Make Memories

Summer months used to signal camping, but as our family grew, the frequency of our camping trips shrank. That's why when the neighbor kids pitched a tent in their backyard, started painting rocks, and declared an Indian sleepover, I knew the experience would be more than a fun time. It would be a memory our daughter carried long after the sleeping bags were rolled up.

Create a Life Outside the Circle of Family

Yes, yes, we all know the importance of family, but at some point, your child will start building a life outside the walls of your house. Spending the night at trusted friends’ homes is one way to establish another community of people who love and support your child.

 

 

 

What are some positives you have seen from allowing your child to spend the night at a friend's house?

Feature photo courtesy of Flickr.

Can one beyond blessed family move from addicted to themselves to devoted to others? The author of this post shares honestly at Amy L. Sullivan about her family’s attempt to become less me, me, me focused and more others centered. Amy writes for print and online publications and is also writing a nonfiction book about serving others.

 

 

 

 

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