Successful sleepovers

How to ensure your teen's sleepover is fun — for the kids and for you

Q: I allowed my 14-year-old son to invite five friends to a sleepover in the basement, on the condition that they keep things relatively quiet and actually get some sleep. But they were still awake — and noisy — at 4:30 a.m. How could I handle this better next time?

A: Six teenagers determined to have fun and stay awake can be amazingly successful, as you have discovered. I’m guessing that the noise was the bigger problem because it also kept you awake.

Building some physical activity into the evening might help tire them out. So plan to take them in-line skating, bowling or indoor rock climbing, then offer a good meal. Later, you can help them settle down by suggesting some quieter fun activities, such as watching videos or playing board games.

Bottom line, though, a sleepover for kids is rarely about sleep — so relax and try to go with the flow.