Staying for children: 6 reasons why it's so good
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It is a question that concerns many parents, let them stay over?
Staying can promote the development of social skills, self-confidence and independence. It can also strengthen the bond between parent and child, but it also depends on the child.
Let's take a look at whether sleepovers are good or bad for kids and how best to go about it.
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Why staying over is good for the development of certain skills
As a child, it can sometimes be difficult to sleep anywhere but at home. But if your child still thinks it's time to stay somewhere else, it gives a huge boost to their self-confidence. For example, my son overcame his fear of the dark during a sleepover with his boyfriend. In addition, staying over contributes to the development of social skills. It teaches your child to find what they like and to stay calm in a new environment. In addition, it learns to deal with disappointments and setbacks, which makes it grow faster.
Staying overnight strengthens the bond between parent and child
In addition, staying over is also good for the bond between parent and child. It gives parents the opportunity to take some time for themselves and let go of control. Of course, this also applies to the children themselves. They play intensively with each other and are completely themselves. This strengthens the bond between parent and child.
Staying offers suitable leisure activities within a fixed structure
Staying can also be seen as a suitable leisure activity within a fixed structure. It offers space for relaxation and fun activities, both individually and collectively. It is a big challenge to find your own limits and to be patient with others. If your child gets into a conflict, it will try to solve it on its own. As a mother, it is important to help your child, but also to ignore it if it can find the solution on its own. This teaches your child to find their own limits and to be strong.
Staying gives parents the opportunity to take a breather
In addition, staying over offers parents the opportunity to catch their breath. It gives parents the space to relax and recharge for the care of their children. It ensures that parents do not have to worry and can enjoy their own free time. It is important to deny that sometimes parents want to be without children for a weekend. This is not bad at all and can be good for the relationship between parent and child.
Staying over prevents overload by temporarily taking over care
Finally, staying over can also prevent parents from becoming overloaded. Taking over the care of the child temporarily can ensure that parents can take a breather and recharge themselves. It ensures that parents are not overburdened and that the child receives the care it deserves. It is important to look for suitable accommodation that suits the child and where it feels comfortable. This way the child can stay with pleasure and it is a relief for both the child and the parents.
Letting your child sleep over: why it's good for development
Having your child stay somewhere can take some effort at least in the beginning, but it is a situation that can benefit your child a lot. By regularly sleeping elsewhere, your child learns to get used to new situations and to deal with changes. In addition, it can contribute to the development of a number of indispensable skills, such as:
- Independence: By being without you and taking care of themselves, your child learns to be independent and take responsibility.
- Social skills: By interacting with other children and adults, your child will learn to communicate, cooperate and resolve conflicts.
- Self-confidence: By experiencing new situations and facing challenges, your child will learn to be self-confident and trust themselves.
Practical matters for lodging
If your child is going to stay somewhere else for the first time, it is important to make agreements with your child and to arrange practical matters. Below you will find a number of tips:
- Together with your child, pack a guest bag with things your child needs, such as clothes, pajamas, a toothbrush and a cuddly toy.
- Agree in advance how long your child will stay somewhere and what will happen. For example, explain that your child is going to stay with grandparents and that you will pick him or her up the next day.
- Make agreements with the guest address about, for example, bedtimes, food and drinks and any details.
- Take the time to say goodbye to your child and indicate that you miss him or her, but that you have faith that it will work out.
- Discuss with your child what he or she can do when homesickness sets in. For example, keep a hug from home with him or call you.
Some children find it difficult
Not all children find it easy to stay somewhere else. Some children need more time to get used to new situations and may suffer from homesickness. It is important to understand this and to support your child. Give your child a push, but don't force it. If it really doesn't work out, there are always alternatives to staying out, such as a day out together or a sleepover at friends' house.
Benefit elsewhere in life
By letting your child stay somewhere else, he or she not only learns to get used to new situations and deal with changes, but also to be independent and to take responsibility. These are skills that your child can put to good use elsewhere in life. In addition, staying with grandparents or friends can create a valuable bond between generations and friends. So it is definitely worth letting your child sleep over from time to time. As the saying goes: “Well begun is half done”.
From what age can children stay?
It is a question that some parents ask themselves: from what age can my child stay somewhere else? The answer is that it varies from child to child. Some parents feel perfectly ready to have their child stay somewhere else after just a few months, while others prefer to wait until their child is a bit older.
In general, it is easier to have your child stay somewhere else if it is in a familiar environment. If your child is used to sleeping in his own bed and being held and fed, it can sometimes be difficult to put him in another bed. Some children find it super fun to sleep somewhere else and see it as an adventure.
Toddlers and preschoolers
The tipping point is often somewhere between toddlers and toddler years. From this age, the child's need to be in a familiar environment shifts to discovering new things and having new experiences.
The first time
It is important to prepare well for your first stay. For example, choose a familiar neighborhood or a well-known person such as an aunt or good friend. It can also help to build up the overnight stay slowly, for example, first away for a few hours and then overnight.
It can be difficult for some parents to cross the threshold and leave their child somewhere else. It is important to remember that your child is in good hands and that it is good for the development of your child to gain new experiences.
Your toddler is going to sleepover: why that's good and how to go about it
Staying with family or friends can be very good for your toddler's development. During a sleepover, your child learns to be without you and to adapt to a new environment. Moreover, it is great fun for your toddler to play with other children and eat well.
How do you prepare your toddler for sleepover?
It is wise to let your toddler get used to the idea of staying over first. Explain why it's fun and what will happen. Answer any questions your toddler has and, of course, tell them when you'll be back to pick them up. Keep in mind that your toddler probably has little sense of time, so it's important to keep it simple.
How do you prevent your toddler from becoming nervous or insecure?
To prevent your toddler from becoming nervous or insecure, it is important to remain calm and exude self-confidence. Explain that it is nice to go to sleepover and that your toddler will do many fun things there. Give your toddler a hug and make sure he brings his favorite stuffed animal or blanket. This can help him to himself safe and and feel familiar.
What else should you take into account?
If your toddler is going to stay over, it is important to make arrangements with the host parents. For example, discuss what your toddler can and cannot eat and drink and what time he goes to bed. Also make sure that your toddler brings his favorite stuffed toy or blanket and that he knows where his things are. When your toddler is back home, ask how it was and what he's been up to. This way you can enjoy the nice sleepover together.
Prepare your child for a sleepover
As a parent, you naturally want your child to have a good time while staying over and that they feel comfortable. By preparing your child well, you can ensure that they know what is going to happen and are therefore less nervous or insecure. Moreover, good preparation can ensure that your child wants to stay again later.
How do you prepare your child?
- Calmly explain to your child what is going to happen and what is related to it.
- If your child is nervous, try to understand why. Maybe it's afraid of missing out or feels insecure about sleeping with someone else.
- If your child has never stayed over before, it may help to let them sleep with a friend for the first night. This way it can get used to the idea of sleeping somewhere else.
- When your child returns from a sleepover, ask how it was and what they liked. If your child hated it, try to find out why and discuss what could be done differently next time.
- If your child is whining about having to sleepover, try to figure out why. Maybe it's afraid of missing out or feels insecure about sleeping with someone else.
- If your child shows reluctance to sleepover, try to be honest about why it's important and what the benefits are. Explain that it is good for the development of social skills and that it can be fun to discover new things.
- Agree on times, such as when your child should go to sleep and when breakfast is. This way your child knows where it stands.
- Let your child bring something familiar, such as a stuffed toy or a book. This can help you feel comfortable.
- If your child finds it difficult to say goodbye, let them know that you are always there for them and that you will come back to pick them up.
How can your child enjoy staying over?
- Let your child decide for himself what he wants to do while staying over. Maybe it wants to go to the playground or eat a popsicle.
- If there are other children to play with, let your child discover how to connect.
- If your child finds it difficult to go to sleep, let them lie quietly for a while and read a book or a play a game (here are the best games for a sleepover!). That way it can relax.
- If your child likes to chain, indicate what is and is not allowed. This way you prevent things from getting out of hand.
- Let your child enjoy staying over and give it the space to discover new things. Maybe there is a carousel nearby or you can bake pancakes together.
As a parent, how can you deal with the feeling of loss?
As a parent, it's normal to feel a little miserable when your child goes to sleepover. But remember that it is for your child's sake and that it is good for his or her development. Here are some tips:
- Plan something fun for yourself, such as a night out with your partner or a good friend.
- If you find it difficult to let go of your child, remember that it is good for his or her development to be without you from time to time.
- When your child is away, try not to worry too much and enjoy time to yourself.
- When your child comes back, let them tell about their adventures and enjoy the stories together.
What if your child does not want to stay?
Some kids just don't want to stay over and that's okay too. You can't force a child to stay at home any more than you can force a child to stay at home. If your child refuses to stay, try to find out why and discuss what can be done differently next time. Maybe your child can first sleep with a boyfriend or girlfriend before staying with an adult. The most important thing is that your child feels safe and secure.
6 reasons why it's good to let your child stay over
If your child goes to stay with grandpa and grandma, uncles and aunts or other loved ones, it will receive extra attention and will feel familiar with well-known people. This can be very nice for your child and it can handle new situations better. In addition, grandparents or other family members can often be more flexible with customs and rules, which can also be very nice for your child.
Children learn how to interact with others
If your child goes to stay with friends, it can learn how to interact with others. For example, it learns to take others into account and to play together. This can be a good follow-up to the social skills your child needs to learn at school.
Children learn to adapt to new situations
If your child is always a stay-at-home child, it can be difficult to adapt to new situations. By staying overnight, your child learns to adapt to a new environment and new people. This can boost your child's self-confidence and make them feel able to handle new situations.
Children get a boost in self-confidence
If your child finds something difficult, such as sleeping over, and eventually does it, it can give a boost in self-confidence. The feeling that you have conquered something can be very nice and help your child to face new challenges in the future.
Children enjoy a pleasant evening together
If your child is going to stay with friends, it can enjoy a pleasant evening together. Playing, eating and sleeping together creates a fun and cozy atmosphere. This can be very nice for your child and give the feeling that it can enjoy together with others.
Parents get time for themselves
When your child goes to sleepover, parents have time for themselves. This can be very nice to recharge and have time for other things. Moreover, parents can be proud of their child and give compliments when things have gone well. Picking up your child after a sleepover can be a nice moment where you look back on a successful time together.
So, if your child is thrilled to go to sleepover, definitely give it a shot! It can be very nice for your child to gain new experiences and to grow in self-confidence and social skills. And of course it is also nice for parents to have some time for themselves. Prepare your child well and give it time to get used to the new situation. And if there is panic or fear, be reassuring and give your child time to adjust.
If staying over doesn't work: tips for parents
Some children find staying with grandparents or friends exciting and feel lonely if they do not see their parents. Your baby may start to cry or get homesick. In that case it is important to show that you understand the situation. Reassure your child and explain that it is only temporary. Make clear agreements about when you will pick him or her up again and stick to it. Give your child a hug and let him or her know that you miss him or her, but that you are confident that it will be ok.
If your child is used to lying in bed with you or being breastfed before going to sleep, it can be difficult to disconnect these sleep associations. It is therefore best to do this well in advance of your stay. For example, slowly phase out breastfeeding and let your child get used to sleeping in his or her own bed. This way, staying over feels less threatening and your child will feel safer.
Discussion and planning
If staying over is not possible, it is important to consult with the people with whom your child is staying. Make clear agreements about how your child feels and what your child needs to feel safe. Also ask if your child will have his or her own bedroom and if there is anything you can do to make staying over easier. Always plan the stay in advance, so that your child knows what is going to happen and can prepare for it.
Gift and guest suitcase
To make staying over more fun, you can give your child a present and have a suitcase packed. This way, staying over feels like a pleasant experience and your child will get homesick less quickly. Let your child choose what he or she wants to put in the suitcase and make sure it contains enough familiar things, such as a cuddly toy or a favorite book. Also hang a clothesline in the bedroom, so that your child can hang his or her clothes and see how many days he or she still has to stay.
Experts and regular lodging
According to experts, it works better to stay regularly, so that your child can get used to the new environment and feel comfortable with the people with whom he or she is staying. If staying over does not work, it is important to look at the reason why it is not working and to respond to this. Maybe your child needs more loving attention or you need to reduce the sleep associations even more. When in doubt, always refer to a parenting desk for extra help and advice.
Other ways to give your child a good time without sleeping out
Not every child likes to sleep over. It may be that your child is still too young, or that it is just not in his or her character. Fortunately, there are plenty of other ways to give your child a good time.
Host a sleepover at home
If your child likes to sleep over, but doesn't want to sleep with someone else, you can also organize a sleepover at home. Invite a few friends and make it a fun evening. Provide fun activities such as watching a movie or playing games. This way your child can feel a bit like he or she is staying out.
Plan a weekend getaway
If your child is still too young to spend the night, but you do need some extra time for yourself, you can also plan a weekend away. Find a spot close to home so you don't have to drive far. A cottage on a holiday park can be a good option. This way you can do fun activities with your child, but you still have the feeling that you are away from it all.
Ask a sitter
If your child is still too young to sleep over, but you do need some time for yourself, you can also ask a babysitter. For example, you can have a night out with your partner or friends. Make sure you choose a sitter you trust so you can leave with peace of mind.
Let your child sleep with grandpa and grandma for a night
If your child likes to sleep over, but does not want to sleep with friends or girlfriends, you can also consider letting him or her sleep with grandpa and grandma for a night. This way your child can get used to the idea of staying overnight, but he or she is still in a familiar environment.
Make it a party
If your child doesn't want to stay out, but you do need some time for yourself, you can also have a party at home. Explain to your child that he or she can sleep in your bed for a night, or make a cozy bed on the floor. This way your child can still have the feeling that he or she is staying out, but in his or her own familiar environment.
Other forms of relaxation
If your child doesn't want to sleep over, but you do need some time for yourself, you can also look for other forms of relaxation. Consider, for example, a massage or a yoga class. This way you can relax completely, without having to leave your child behind.
It is important to take a good look at the options and consider whether it suits your child. As you've read, it's a great way to encourage their development, as long as you give them room to experiment.
I hope you now have a better idea of the benefits of lodging and how best to approach it.
Always something to do for the holidays or rainy day?
Play Choice now has the ultimate activity book collection, with over 60 pages of fun coloring pages and educational puzzles.
Joost Nusselder, the founder of Speelkeuze.nl is a content marketer, father and loves trying out new toys. As a child he came into contact with everything related to games when his mother started the Tinnen Soldaat in Ede. Now he and his team create helpful blog articles to help loyal readers with fun play ideas.