Before the Party Review Sleepover Rules

If your tween is throwing a sleepover party here are a few ground rules

Sleepover rules should be established before the first guest arrives.
Rules will keep your tween's sleepover safe and fun for everyone. Photo: racom,

Sleepovers are extremely popular with the tween crowd, for both boys and girls. While sleepover parties can be plenty of fun, it's best to review sleepover rules before the party begins. If your child has a sleepover party planned for a birthday, or for the upcoming weekend, be sure to discuss the party rules ahead of time, and be prepared for a little pushback from your tween. Just remember rules are there for a reason, and that reason is everyone's safety and well being.

Party Rules for Sleepovers

  • How Many to Invite: One of the most important rules to discuss is how many children should be allowed. Your child may want to invite the entire class, but you may only be interested in hosting five or six friends. Be sure you and your tween are in agreement before any invites are extended.
  • What's Off Limits?: Before the guests arrive, make sure your child knows what rooms are off limits to the guests. If you don't want party-goers to pop into your bedroom, or the home office, be sure to say so. Also, it's a good idea to discuss what snacks, drinks or other munchies are available for the party, and which ones are not. If the children will spend time outdoors, make sure they know where they are allowed to go.
  • When are Lights Out?: You may not want to set a pre-determined bedtime for the sleepover, but you might want to give the children an idea of when you want them to quiet down, turn off the lights and slip into their sleeping bags. This also should be discussed with your child ahead of time. If your child and his or her friends will be playing music or dancing, remember to consider your neighbors or other members of the home. Remind your child to be aware of neighbors and the noise level of the party.
    • How to Handle Fights: Sleepovers are supposed to be fun, but if you put a group of preteens together in a room, it's only a matter of time before a disagreement pops up. Most disagreements are short lived and don't require any adult intervention. But if a argument breaks out you'll need to plan. How will arguments or other disagreements be handled? Will you, as the parent, resolve them? Or will your child try first? Of course, bullying should never be tolerated, so be sure you keep an eye on the guests and check-in every now and then to make sure that inappropriate social behavior isn't ruining the party for one of your guests.
      • Will Siblings be Included?: If there are other children living in the home, it's necessary to discuss whether or not siblings will be included at the party, and if so, how. Younger siblings might be allowed to participate in some of the activities, but if they do make sure you give the older children a little time alone. An older sibling might be welcome by the guests, and might even be in a position to help you manage the kids. Of course, if a sibling will present challenges by attending the party, it might be wise to find alternative activities for him or her.
      • What Movies will be Allowed?: If your child is planning on showing a movie or two at the party, discuss which ones in advance. Keep in mind that not all tweens are permitted by their parents to watch potentially sensitive movies, so you might want to check with them if you think there might be a problem. Also, horror movies can frighten children, so again, be sensitive to the needs of your guests.
      • Discuss Clean Up: Parties are fun, but they can also make quite a mess. Be sure your child knows that in the morning, he and his guests will be asked to help put your home back together again. You might consider feeding the group breakfast, followed by a clean-up contest. Just divide the group in two, give each team a list of tasks and see who finishes first.

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