If I can steal a quote from the Gladiator movie, “Are you not entertained?” Having a sleepover for boys is not that difficult to concoct. Of course there is some planning that needs to be factored in, but when it comes to boys; simple is best. Think of it as the juvenile version of guys hanging at the bar. When I’m at the bar with my buddies, we have food, TV, drinks and our mobile devices. A sleepover does not need much more than that, but there are five things parents can do to take your son’s sleepover to the next level.
Give Them Space. Boys need space. Girls might be able to congregate in a small area, but not boys. Boys need to move around because they have a lot of energy. As a parent, if you don’t have a big house or a big yard, then make arrangements to take the boys to a location where they move around more freely. Dave & Busters, Sky Zone or a recreation pool are excellent ideas for a sleepover; especially if it is your son’s first one. If your space is limited, then keep the sleepover to a minimum amount of boys.
Have Plenty of Food and Beverages. Once you determine how many boys you will be hosting and you settle in on food and beverages; buy more. I recently had a sleepover for a total of 5 12 and 13-year old boys (one was 11) and they went through 12 cans of lemonade, 12 bottles of Gatorade, 5 pizzas and quite a few individual variety bags of chips and Fruit Gushers. Boys are going to eat and drink and then eat and drink again. You do not want to find yourself in a situation where you run out of food and beverages. Also, allow them to get the food and drinks on their own. It makes the boys feel more comfortable and it takes the parents out of the equation.
Keep Them Entertained. Find ways to keep the boys entertained. Parents should find out the interests of all the kids via your son or the parents of the boys that are attending the sleepover. Trying to arrange games or activities are useless if you don’t know what they like. Personally, I wouldn’t travel down the road of all togetherness because tweens and teens want to make their own decisions. So provide them with the house WiFi or a video game console and allow the kids to bring games of their choosing. In my situation, all of the boys were on the same baseball team, so they played MLB The Show ‘18 on the PlayStation 4. In addition, I put the baseball game on all of the TVs in the basement so they could watch the game at their leisure.
Don’t Be a Helicopter. When it comes to keeping an eye on the boys be a jet, not a helicopter. You want to make sure the boys are not being reckless or getting into things, but you do not have to act as a chopper and hover over them like they are in a getaway car during a police chase. It is okay to check on them, but be discreet. Walk pass them and don’t make eye contact. Don’t ask questions every time you walk by them. Get in and out of their space like a Boeing 747. In addition, if you hear something out of the ordinary ask them who’s winning the game instead of trying to figure out who's at fault.
Make a Splash. If it is in the budget, do something awesome for the boys. If you have a good group of boys then do something memorable; especially if it is your son’s inaugural sleepover. As I stated, you can take them to Dave and Busters or an establishment along those lines. Don’t be afraid to ask the parents to chip in if the activity is a little costly. Since all of the boys that came to my son’s sleepover are huge baseball fans, I decided to take them to the Washington Nationals game. It turned out to be a great idea and the boys had a great time.
The idea of a sleepover is to make your son feel like a rock star amongst his friends. First impressions are everything and if you follow these five tips, there will be more sleepovers to come, whether you want them or not.