The First Sleepover

Amy had her first sleep over this week. Sleepovers have been a topic of conversation in the March Household for some time and I have always been a bit hesitant.  I know how apprehensive Amy can get when she can’t sleep and was concerned how she would manage if she didn’t have anyone she felt she could call upon.  I worry that this would put pressure on her friendships or increase her anxiety levels.  I was aware that we would be best off having one of her friends over to stay first but if I’m honest, I really didn’t want to.  The thought of extra children for an extended period of time is not my idea of fun.  And then Josie would also want a friend over and she is not very accepting of her position of youngest sibling or the idea of waiting till she is older for anything!

The issue was forced when one of Amy’s friends invited her for a sleepover for her birthday. After discussion with Mr March, we decided that we had to give it a go.  We felt that Amy would be very upset if she couldn’t go, and, as this friend seems to have a positive impact on Amy, we didn’t want this to affect their friendship.

We talked with Amy about what might be difficult about sleeping at a friend’s house. Her biggest concern was that she would wake up before the rest of the household, so she decided to take some books to read to occupy her and help her keep calm.  We made sure she had all the things she’d need including her favourite teddy bear, hair brush (she has become quite particular about her hair) and a selection of clothes for the morning.  She was still very anxious however and we had a day of giddy behaviour and arguments.  With some trepidation, we waved her off.

The next morning seemed to really drag as we waited for her to come home. She came in and gave me a massive cuddle, then, as soon as I closed the door, she burst into sobs.  She was upset that they had slept on the sofas in the lounge and I recalled how she remembers being dropped off by her birth mum with family and made to sleep on their sofas.  So I held her and told her I understood that she must have felt so sad and scared and we talked about why.  I could have kicked myself for not asking where they were going to sleep!

Amy also told me they hadn’t slept all night (though I think this was an exaggeration)! I asked her what she had enjoyed about the sleep over and she enjoyed being at her friend’s house, playing with her friend and her baby brother, doing her nails and a whole host of other things. ‘So would you go again?’ I asked. ‘Oh yes’ said Amy.  She then did something she has only done a couple of times in her 3 years with us.  She went to bed for a nap!

That evening we were still discussing whether we had done the right thing and in the end we realised that there are going to be lots of occasions in life that Amy is going to find difficult. And as much as we want to, we can’t protect her from all of them.  What we need to do is prepare her to manage when life becomes more stressful and help her develop ways to cope.

 

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13 thoughts on “The First Sleepover

  1. It’s great that you encourage your daughter to try new things, like sleepovers, even if it makes her nervous. She may have had a few difficulties, but she also had a great time with her friends.

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  2. Aww the first sleepover is always the most worrying. My eldest is now 12 and sleeps out all the time now, or even worse….his friends all sleep over here!!! I used to worry about it where as I then realised it was the ideal opportunity for a date night with my husband!! Glad she enjoyed it! #fortheloveofBLOG

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  3. That must have been so heart breaking for you, but I do think you did the right thing in letting her go and every experience she has that brings back a bad memory may help her to cope with those bad memories and maybe learn to associate them with a good memory like nail painting and having fun. We can only try to forward think for our children, but sometimes we miss things.

    Amy’s experience couldn’t have too bad to want to go and do it all again!

    xx

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  4. My daughter recently had her first sleepover too, she can get anxious about things too. It’s interesting you say that you have argumentative days when she is worried about something, I’ve noticed that too in our house, do you have any techniques for dealing with it? I’m so glad your little girl had a nice time but bless her that she had a bad memory jogged by it.

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    1. Hi, yes we often have lots of arguments and then I suddenly realise that she’s actually worried about something and this is her attempt to control how she is feeling. The trick with her is to side step the argument and actually tackle the problem. Also doing something more quiet like reading or colouring that seems to help calm her. I was recommended a book called creating loving attachments by Daniel Hughes and Kim Golding and this has been a really big help. Hope your daughter enjoyed her sleep over too.

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  5. Aw what a lovely glimpse into your life. I’m glad Amy still wants to have another sleep over even though she slept on the couches! I would try not to feel guilty (although I know how hard that is) about Amy sleeping on the couch, even though it triggered a sad memory for her it’s probably a good thing to face and conquer. : ) Very lovely post and I look forward to reading more. : ) Thanks so much for linking up with #StayClassy!

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    1. Thank you, I’m glad she went, it’s always easy to look back and wish you’d done things differently but she coped well and I think she got some confidence from going

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  6. This took me back to when I used for go for sleepovers at friend’s houses, I used to love them but part of me used to hate the long nights as I would feel so tired. It must be a big decision as a parent to decide when is the best time to let your child go for a sleepover, but you did the right thing talking it through with Amy at first. There will always be times that you need to manage their stresses, and it sound like you are doing a brilliant job taking the time to talk issues through and making them feel comfortable and confident. Thanks so much for joining at #fortheloveofBLOG, we hope you come back next week. Claire x

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