Sleepovers: Yay or Nay?

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Children are incredibly open to making new friends. So it should come as no surprise when they immediately befriend the new kid in town. At some point, you can expect that your child will ask to either host a sleepover, or spend the night at said friend's house. While it's never usually a concern to have a sleepover at your house, many people feel differently about letting their kids spend the night away from home, especially if they don't know the parents.

In this case, you have a few options. You can do a Google search on the mom and dad to see if anything suspicious pops up, or you can choose to lookup someone's criminal record for a more in-depth profile. If nothing pops up, it's worth letting your child spend the night for many reasons.

It Promotes Social Well-Being

There's no doubt that letting your children play with others helps to promote social well-being. It teaches them valuable lessons about sharing, getting along with others and generally shapes a child on what's acceptable behavior around others. Even if there are personality clashes, it helps your child to see that not everyone out there is going to have the same mindset and it introduces diversity into their lives.

It Cuts Down on Device Usage

Back in the 1980s and 1990s before the huge technological boom that put devices in all of our hands, it wasn't uncommon to see groups of children playing together outside in an open space, or riding bikes together. Today, though, we live in a different society, one where children communicate with each other online using social media or via text instead of knocking on doors and picking up the phone. Letting your child spend the night at a friend's house reintroduces the idea of social behavior and at the very least, gets them off of the devices (hopefully) and lets them enjoy face-to-face interaction. Less time on the device means less privacy issues to worry about.

It Gives you a Break

Let's face it, spending time with our kids is a blessing, but at times it can be trying. This is especially true through the teenage years when their hormones start to rage out of control. A nice break here and there can do wonders for the soul, even if you have other children at home. Not only is it good for you, but it's also beneficial for your child as well. They get a little bit of freedom to explore life outside the home, and it's a good testament to developing trust.

Of course, if you feel like something is off, it's important to trust your instincts. Your gut feeling is a far better decision maker than a Google search, and it wouldn't set off alarm bells for no reason at all. If you're not comfortable with letting your child spend the night with their new friend, take the time to get to know their parents and be a bit social yourself. In time, you may find that you were just overprotective, or you may find that there's a valid reason for your unwillingness. Either way, keep your child in the loop, so they don't think you're just unfair, and to smooth things over on the home front, invite their friend to stay at your house instead.

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