A sleepover at grandma and grandpa’s house is often the first sleepover your grandchildren will experience. This is an exciting step in their lives and you have probably been waiting for the moment you get to host them! Their first sleepover is a perfect time to spoil them, but it may also come with some tears as it will be their first night without mom and dad.
Knowing how to help your grandchildren transition to being away from home and how to stock your house with kid-friendly items will ease anxiety and help everyone enjoy the sleepover. To make this night special and fun, here is a guide to help you prepare.
Rest up– Be mentally and physically prepared. Being well rested will ensure you are ready for the energy that your grandchildren will bring to your home.
Avoid frenzy– Drop-off and pick-up can be one of the stressful points of the adventure. Being punctual and having the kids prepared will reduce rushing and last-minute forgetfulness on everyone’s part.
Start slow– a short overnight might be best for a child who is apprehensive. Try spending a long day together before a sleepover date to show them you can be a primary care giver.
Be positive– Set the stage with enthusiasm and positivity. Divert away from the person or thing they might be missing. Avoid phrases like “Mommy misses you so much” which will elevate the anxiety.
Ease into fun– Don’t rush right into a stimulating activity. Start with baking cookies, or playing board games.
Stock up– Keep a few items on hand such as spare underwear and their favorite toothpaste. They will feel more at home if they can have some of their own belongings there. Keep a duplicate of their favorite games and some stuffed animals or dolls to keep them comfortable.
Stay in touch– Reassure them of their parent’s continued presence with scheduled calls to offer support, while also keeping well-wishing parents at bay.
Focus on them– Resist the urge to ask them to relay messages to their parents. Focus on them and spending time together.
Nightmares– Before the sleepover discuss with their parents about nightmares, bedwetting, or sleep issues. This way you will be prepared and have a plan on how to deal with the situation should it occur.
Allow for downtime– Plan a period of rest for you and your grandchildren to recharge during the day of activities. Respect their need for personal space or alone time.
A successful sleepover will bring them back time and again. Don’t be surprised if your grandchildren aren’t ready to go home as the weekend draws to a close! Your efforts to host a wonderful sleepover are sure to create lifelong memories you and your grandchildren will cherish forever.