Dear Dish-it: Scared of Sleepovers
One of my BFFs is having a hotel party/sleepover. I am totally scared! I've been to a hotel party already but that was in Grade 3 and I’m going into Grade 8 now! I don’t know what I am scared of…please help!
You’re definitely not alone. I used to be scared of sleepovers, too. I’d get homesick from across the street, and I had tons of trouble sleeping in any place that wasn’t my own room.
What helped me get over my fear was starting small (from guest rooms and up), bringing a few of my favorite belongings to make a strange bed seem more like home and keeping busy with my friends so my mind wasn’t on the distance.
The best way to get over any fear is to confront it. It’s important to get over this fear now rather than later so you don’t miss out on fun opportunities. While you may not get over your fear overnight, you CAN and WILL get over it with time.
Start by sleeping over at a friend’s house in your own neighborhood, and let her (and her parents) know upfront that you may get a little homesick. Fill your own mom and dad in, too, so they’ll be ready in case you call them to come and pick you up.
From there, make a plan. Plan where you’ll sleep and choose some things from home that’ll help you drift off. For example, bringing your own pillow and teddy bear can totally help. Ask your parents if you can call them if you don’t feel so great; just knowing you have something to fall back on will calm those nerves. Then get ready to have a really fun night.
When you’re at your friend’s place make a point to stay busy and distracted. Watch movies, play games, make a fun snack or do crafts. Physical activity is also a great distraction, so why not have a dance off?! Exercise helps make you tired and sleep will come easier. By keeping busy, not only will you keep your mind off of home, but you’ll set yourself up for catching some zzzs.
Remember, you ARE going to be safe staying at your friend’s house. Nothing will happen to you and you’ll be OK. It’s all about getting through that first night away from home. From there, branch out a little more. Maybe try a friend who lives farther away. Maybe this summer if you’re invited to stay with a relative or friend at the beach or out of town, take a chance and go for it, knowing your parents are always around if you need to call them.