My Son's First Sleepover with Friends8:34 AM
I knew my son was entering a new phase in his life when he asked our permission for him to sleepover in a friend's house together with another friend. I did not take what he said very seriously at first as I wasn't sure if his friend asked the permission of his parents to have a sleepover in their home. When we brought our son to his friend's home for their usual computer play, I was actually surprised to hear his friend's father say that we had nothing to worry about as my son would be safe in their home for the overnight stay.
Only in hearing this straight from the father of my son's friend did I realize that they were serious in their sleepover plans. So what does a mother like me do? Simple, get my son's "overnight" things and hope and pray we'd all go through this "first" with a good night's sleep.
So what is the fuss all about? My son is 12 years old and has never been away from us apart from school time. This is actually the third time that he is not sleeping in our home but this is the first time he is spending it with his friends. The other two were camping activities in school and were requirements that cannot be avoided.
Parents can make this part of their children's transition from childhood to adolescence easier for themselves and their children by observing certain practical parental measures:
Know your children's friends.
Nothing can be more uncomfortable than letting your child spend the night with friends whose character you know nothing about.
If possible, know the parents of your child's friend as well.
Making an effort to get to know at least the parents of your child's closest friends can provide the advantage of peace of mind, knowing that your son and his friends will be under responsible guardianship.
Bring and fetch your child.
Bringing and fetching a child to and from the designated place more or less provide parents their needed assurance that everything is in reasonable order.
Relax and savor the fact that your child is growing up.
Every parent can help their children grow up in a healthy way by allowing them a certain degree of freedom in discovering themselves.
I am having mixed feeling about this first sleepover of my son. Anxious because I cannot seem to get over the fact that he is no longer my baby and happy because he appears to be choosing the right friends to go with. The process of letting go is really something parents have to go through as gracefully as possible.
That said, I am happy that my son is very happy spending time with his friends now. It is quite seldom that he gets to enjoy something like this. When I brought my son his "overnight" things, I was expecting him to go back inside the house at once as excited as he is. I was pleasantly surprised when he excused himself from his friends as he wanted to say goodnight to his father who was waiting in the car. I realized that my son's first sleepover with friends is nothing to be afraid of as he appears to have learned well so far. He also gave me two words to warm my heart before I left. He said "Thanks, Mama..." and hugged me.