Though you are excited your friend is coming to your house for a sleepover, he may be expressing concern that he is a little nervous. Even if your friend hasn't said as much, you are sensitive to the fact that many adolescents and teens feel homesick easily. Fortunately, a few courteous gestures can make him feel right at home.
A Piece of Home
Encourage your friend to tuck items inside her sleepover bag that remind her of her home environment to feel comfortable. Ask her what things can help her feel connected to home even though she is not there, suggests licensed family and marriage therapist Susan Stiffelman in her Huffington Post article, "10 Ways To Help a Child Warm Up to Sleepovers." Perhaps she can bring along a picture of her beloved dog to look at or her favorite stuffed animal. Instead of using your own linens, tell her to bring along her favorite sleeved blanket or pillow to feel like she is home.
What I Like, What You Like
Though it is your home, let your friend have comfort in knowing that you still care about what he would like to do as part of your sleepover agenda. Incorporate some of his suggested activities. Keeping a balance that allows both people to feel equal is essential in maintaining a friendship, writes psychologist Marie Hartwell-Walker in her Psych Central article, "The Care and Maintenance of Friendship." Perhaps he can bring along a favorite video game you both can play or a favorite movie to watch. Or, maybe you both can complete a science experiment or recipe he suggests.
What Can I Serve You?
You do not want your friend to feel uncomfortable if you serve something she is unable to eat. It is important for a host to find out a guest's dietary restrictions in advance, according to national etiquette expert Diane Gottsman in her Huffington Post article, "Ask the Etiquette Expert: How Can I Be the Perfect Holiday Houseguest?" For example, if your friend is a strict vegetarian, incorporate some foods she can eat in your menu such as veggie burgers and fruit salad. Perhaps your friend mentions she is allergic to dairy;find a recipe for a dairy-free pizza to make.
Let Me Show You Around
Invite your friend over for a few daytime visits before the actual sleepover. Having a trial run can ease someone into spending time away from home and give him a feel of the place, asserts the Teens Health article, "Homesickness." For a friend who has never been to your house before, take the opportunity to show him around your home, explain any house rules and answer any of his questions. Hopefully, he will feel more at ease and comfortable on the day of your sleepover.
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