"Can I go to a sleepover with my friends?"
When you're likley to hear it: second or third grade (age 7–8)
START WITH A HALF SLEEPOVER
Take your child to her friend's house in her pajamas at dinnertime and pick her up just before bedtime. Or have the sleepover at your house to see if she can fall asleep with friends in her room.
DO YOUR RESEARCH
Once you think the time is right for a sleepover elsewhere, get all contact information for the friend's parents, and make sure they have all your numbers. Ask the parents safety questions: Who else will be present? Will the kids have Internet access? Will the kids be swimming? Are there any guns in the house?
MAKE HER FEEL SECURE
Even the most self-assured kid can get homesick. Let her know you can pick her up at any point if she gets cold feet or is having a bad time.