Miss Frugal has always loved a good sleepover with her friends and over the years we’ve had a lot of them!
Sleepovers are very different to what they used to be now that she’s 13 (and a half ;-)) because the kids are sensible enough to know that whatever they’re doing, they need to do it quietly because Miss Frugal understands now that if they’re not quiet, then I will hear them and next time she asks for a sleepover, I’ll say no!
It’s much easier for a teenager to understand the need to be quiet but it’s not so easy to expect younger children to simply go to bed when they’re told and stay there quietly. And to be fair, I never expected the younger Miss Frugal and her friends to simply go to bed and be quiet because to them, a sleepover was all about staying up later than they usually would be allowed to or trying to stay up until Midnight so they could have a Midnight feast.
Even so, the late nights, noise long after bedtime and grouchy tired children the next day used to drive me mad, so I started getting cleverer when we had sleepover guests.
For starters, sweets and sugary drinks were banned and replaced with fruit kebabs and milky hot chocolate. Next up, I made sure that we always did something to tire them out not too long before bedtime – a trip to the park or the beach to run off all of their energy helped make sure that they were pretty much ready for bed when bedtime rolled around.
But it was while we were out that the super sneakiness happened and because I’m nice, I’m going to share my sleepover tip with you….
Mr Frugal would go around the house and move the clocks forward by an hour, sometimes even an hour and a half (although an hour and a half is harder to get away with).
So when we got back from the park or the beach, the kids would think it was an hour closer to bedtime and would go upstairs and put on their pyjamas ready for bed. We’d usually give them till about 9pm (real time) to do their usual giggling and messing about and then go in and explain to them that it was 10’o’clock (pretend time) and that it was time to settle down.
It’s much easier to settle them when they think it’s later than it is and whenever we did this, we never had anyone awake after 10pm (real time) but they thought they’d stayed up super late.
Obviously my little sleepover tip only works up until the age that kids have a phone or a tablet although I guess if you’re super clever you could reset those too. 😉
I could, of course, have just told the kids off when they were noisy and expected them to settle without my little cheat but this way, they get to enjoy the sleepover more because they think they’ve stayed up late as a treat.
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Image credit: Shutterstock, Oksancia