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Give your kids the confidence they need to enjoy sleepover season

Give your kids the confidence they need to enjoy sleepover season

(ARA)- Warmer weather is here, which means it's time to unroll the sleeping bags and get your kids ready for sleepovers. According to a new survey conducted by GOODNITES(R) Brand, summer is the most popular time of year to participate in sleepovers, with almost three-quarters of kids attending the most sleepovers during the summer months.
Despite their popularity, summertime sleepovers can be challenging for both kids and parents. Common jitters such as missing Mom and Dad or being afraid of the dark can make kids think twice about sleepovers, while hosting one can be an overwhelming experience for parents.
"There's no doubt that sleepovers are a rite of passage for kids, but that doesn't mean they're always easy," says child development expert Penny Warner, author of Slumber Parties--25 Fun-Filled Party Themes. "With the right amount of planning and preparation, sleepovers can be great fun for kids and stress-free for parents."
Warner says it's never too early to plan for your child's next sleepover, and she offers the following tips to help moms prepare their kids to enjoy sleepovers whether they're spending the night at grandma's, overnight camp or a friend's house.
* Make sure your child is ready to attend. Consider factors such as whether your child sleeps through the night, handles the bedtime routine on his or her own, and shows signs of independence.
* Prepare your child for the sleepover. Pack his or her overnight bag with the essentials (toothbrush, sleeping bag, etc.) and a few familiar items, such as your child's favorite pillow or stuffed animal, that will make him or her feel at home, even while at someone else's house.
* Ease your child's fear of the dark. Pack a nightlight or flashlight in his or her overnight bag to prevent your child from waking up scared in an unfamiliar home.
* Reduce your child's chance of an embarrassing moment. Sleepovers have plenty of potential not only for fun but also for embarrassment. For example, if your child experiences bedwetting, let him or her know that it's not his or her fault and that he or she is not alone--literally millions of kids go through the same thing. Pack his or her overnight bag together and include GOODNITES(R) disposable underpants. They have underwear-like prints and aren't visible under pajamas, which will give your child the confidence to have fun during the evening and to fall asleep with assurance that a dry morning awaits.
Parents who will be hosting a sleepover also have their work cut out for them. Warner has been helping parents plan sleepovers for more than 15 years and has plenty of ideas in the "sleeping bag."
* Choose a theme for the sleepover. Get your child started with suggestions such as Miracle Makeover, Cartoons and Comic Books, or Karaoke Celebration.
* Create unique invitations. Gather fun art supplies, such as glitter, markers, gel pens and construction paper, and get creative with your child. Design invitations in the shape of a pillow or sleeping bag, or tailor the invitations according to the theme.
* Develop a list of rules with your child to ensure the sleepover goes smoothly.
* Decide on the party parameters. Keep the sleepover hours as short as possible. Arrange for the guests to arrive after dinner and to be picked up at a set time the next morning.
* Welcome the guests. Be sure the children feel comfortable in your home, and let them know they can talk to you in private if they feel homesick, experience bedwetting, or have trouble falling asleep.
* Connect with the parents. Talk with the parents of your child's guests so that you are aware of any dietary restrictions, bedtime routines or other issues. This is also a good time to exchange contact information in case of an emergency and to discuss special rules, such as no PG-13 movies.
* Plan plenty of activities. Keeping the kids entertained throughout the night is crucial--if they're busy and having fun, they'll be less likely to miss their parents and own bed. Scavenger hunts and crafts, such as decorating T-shirts, are great for children of all ages.
* Don't forget sleepover traditions. Suggest some familiar favorites, such as a pillow fight or watching videos.
* Create a sleeping space. Set up a comfortable sleeping area for the slumber party--try arranging the sleeping bags in a starburst shape with heads at the center and feet at the outer edge.
* Let the kids stay up late at night. They can always catch up on sleep the following day, and half the fun of sleepovers is seeing who can stay up the latest.
Visit goodnites.com for more sleepover tips, advice and information. At goodnites.com parents can connect with doctors and other parents at the GOODNITES(R) Good Morning Club(TM).

Courtesy of ARA Content

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