How to Beat Homesickness at a Sleepover

Four Methods:Easing into sleepoversBringing comforts with youStaying upbeatCoping during the sleepover

You're at a sleepover or someplace away from your parents, and a wave of sadness comes over you. Welcome to the feeling of homesickness. Learn how to recover from homesickness and how to make it stop.

Method 1
Easing into sleepovers

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    Ask your parents to speak to the other parents. Letting them know that you are new to sleepovers and may not make it through the night will give them a chance to coordinate a plan should that happen. (You shouldn't lie about it. Parents will see through that so it is just easier to have a plan upfront.) Knowing you aren't stuck and that there is a Plan B should help you relax. The other parents will also know to look out for you and may even ask if you'd like to go home before everyone turns in for bed. It's better to tell them upfront than to wake the whole house to leave at 3 AM.
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    Try a few trial runs of being at that friends house at night. Have your parents pick you up before or after bedtime.
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    Wait before you're more experienced with sleeping away from home. You may wish to get used to sleeping away from home by spending the night at a grandparents', aunt/uncle's, or friend's house where you know you're with family. It's usually easier if you know the parents and other kids at the house too.

Method 2
Bringing comforts with you

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    Make sure you have everything you need plus something from home like a pillow, blanket, or stuffed animal, when you are going to a sleepover. It will also help if your parents are at the door or place where you are being dropped off for the night. Ask if they could come up to the door with you so that you can say goodnight.
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    Pack enough so your host isn't having to wash something for you, or you don't have to borrow anything. If you are staying with friends while your parents are out of town, if there are events planned such as church or a school function, you will be more comfortable having your own clothes.
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    Make sure you look carefully over the list of things to bring if you are at camp. Don't bring a lot of toys but you should bring things that make you comfortable.

Method 3
Staying upbeat

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    Don't mope around. Have fun! It helps a lot when you get to the sleepover.
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    Try not to think about home when it is time to go to bed. Most likely, you will be tired anyway, and won't have the energy to think! Also, try not to think about home much during the sleepover, and if you find yourself really missing home, you could always just call home and ask to come home. You may not be quite ready for a sleepover yet.
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    Keep an open mind. Every house runs a little differently and your friends routine may be different. This can be chores before bedtime, helping with siblings in the morning before school or going to church or other function. Ask about their schedule before so you can pack for it.
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    Just remember, you will see your parent/guardian soon! Try to forget that they aren't there. Imagine they are in the next room, and they move out of the room when you go in there.

Method 4
Coping during the sleepover

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    Try turning the TV on with low volume so you don't wake the host, if you honestly can't get to sleep, and are really homesick.
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    Tell the host, and ask if you can call home if you can't get over your homesickness. This step could be embarrassing, so it is alright to say you don't feel good. It always feels good to talk to a parent once or twice before the sleepover settles down.
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    If you can just try to push through, making it through the night will give you the feeling that you can do it, and may cure your homesickness.
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    Remember to pick up after yourself and don't scream and yell. Be very polite and offer to help out when you can. If you do, the parents will appreciate your politeness and you will be welcomed back.
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    Focus on what you're going to do the next day. Don't think that you're not going to sleep. Focus on tomorrow instead.


  • If you are really homesick, then here's what to do. At the sleepover have a lot of fun, get really tired and sleepy. If your homesick you'll be too tired to think about it. Then in the morning you will feel great!
  • Bring personal items to the house you are staying at so it isn't like you are a million miles away.
  • Don't always be thinking of your pets, siblings, parents, or house.
  • If you get very homesick, ask your parents and your friends' parents if you can be picked up early the next morning (but not too early).
  • Pay close attention to any packing list provided. This will give you an idea about what things from home you can bring and what is necessary to be comfortable.
  • Bring clothes, a book or two and other necessities. Don't bring a lot of toys.
  • Make sure you pack enough linens for camp. Not sleeping comfortably makes it tough at night. Make sure if you need linens you pack fitted and flat sheets, regular size pillow(s), pillow cases, mattress pad (so you aren't on top of the noisy plastic one) a light blanket and a regular blanket. Camp sleeping can sometimes get very cold at night.
  • Camp can be tough enough. If this is your first time, talk to someone who has been before and have your parents talk to theirs.
  • Have fun!
  • It helps if you think of yourself as a hero doing a mission.
  • If this is your first trip at camp, see if your parents will let you take a blanket from their bed.
  • If you are shy, you can change in the rest room. Make sure you bring nightclothes that you can wear around other people and outside should there be a fire alarm activation and or fire drill. You aren't at home so something that has tops and bottoms is more appropriate. You can also bring a robe.
  • If you have a iPod, phone, laptop etc, set your background as a picture that makes you very happy & calming, but not one that will make your homesickness worse. Try a beautiful sunset or an ocean with dolphins coming out of the waves Or even watch a calming movie.
  • Try listening to soothing music, whether it is a soft song or the sounds of nature.
  • Make sure you are at a sleepover with quite good friends who can support you if you do get really bad homesickness.
  • Watch a movie and try to fall asleep.
  • Talk to one of the other kids there about it. They may be able to comfort you or understand how you feel. They may feel the same way at other sleepovers!
  • If you can not stop thinking about home you can call or text your family or guardians goodnight.


  • Don't misbehave. When you are older those parents will remember what a good guest you were. Even if that means having to go home for being homesick.
  • Don't leave and walk home without telling someone.
  • Don't lie about being sick or some other emergency to go home.

Things You'll Need

  • Something from home that will make you feel better.
  • Appropriate clothing for daytime and to sleep in.
  • If you are going to camp, read the packing list to see what is needed and go over it with your parents.
  • If a packing list says "Bring your own linens" you should bring a bag with sheets, pillows, pillow cases, mattress pad, a comfortable blanket (bring something heavier or another lightweight blanket if you tend to get cold at night or bring sweats or something warmer to sleep in.) Don't forget, linens also means towels (at least 2 bath towels for the week if you are careful about hanging them up to dry—bring more if you're not), washed clothes and 2 beach towels (see towel rule above) if there are water activities planned. If you are going to be in the water a lot, bring more towels and more changes of clothes.

Article Info

Categories: Sleep Overs