They grow up so fast and the next thing you know they are bringing home boyfriends and girlfriends. And they ask if they can sleepover. Yikes. They’re supposed to be kids, right? Not sexual beings. And even though we all went through that stage, somehow it’s different when it comes to your children. They will always be your “kid” in your mind no matter how old they are.
So what do you say when they ask for permission to have a boyfriend or girlfriend stay over?
“The Talk” was given to both of mine ages ago and they’ve been schooled in the importance of practicing safe sex all while I begged them not to make me a grandmother. I am so not ready for that.
Even their doctors have kicked me out of the room at annual check ups to also have “The Talk.” I would have so liked to be a fly on the wall.
And who knows what they are up to when they are away at college? We load them up with information, birth control, condoms and whatever and then can only hope we’ve engrained common sense and good judgment into their still growing brains.
What should a parent do?
Rossana Wyatt said, “I am not at that stage yet. But we talk to Alex about sex and relationships all the time- it seems like so many teens are “hooking” up around here. Sad really, they are so young. I know the time will come, and I hope that it is with a boy that really cares for her. As for sleepovers, when they are away at school, you know it is happening. If they want a sleepover, they can have one-however, it will be in separate bedrooms. I would hope that both have enough respect for us that there would be no sneaking into beds during the night. Maybe I am being naive, but that is how we did it and there was never a problem.”
“It’s interesting to navigate the boyfriend/girlfriend sleepovers these days,” said Mara Shapiro. “Some parents are quite permissive, taking the BF or GF away with them on family vacations when their teens are as young as 15 or 16, while others don’t condone any kind of overnights at all. I’m not completely ok with my teenagers having their significant others sleeping over at my house, nor would I take a highschooler’s boyfriend or girlfriend away on vacation with us. I just don’t think it’s right. They are too young for that kind of commitment. However, I’m really torn about the college age kids and sleepovers. Maybe I’m like an ostrich, and have my head in the sand, but while I know these kids are most likely sexually active, I don’t really want it thrown in my face. Of course, things do change when they go off to university. Living on their own, they get used to doing what they want, when they want. When they come home, do the rules change? All I can say is that I’m lucky my daughter even asked my opinion on whether I would think it would be ok for her to sleep at her boyfriend’s. That means that she values what I think, and that we have imparted some kind of moral compass in her.
So, this is what I say. When my kids are in high school, I am completely not ok with overnights. I just think they are too young for such grownup behavior. But, once they are in college, things do change. So, this is the conversation I had with my daughter. She asked me what I thought if she wanted to sleep over at a boys house or cottage. My answer was, ‘If he’s your boyfriend, I think it’s ok. If he’s not your boyfriend, I think it’s kinda slutty to be sleeping at random guys’ houses.’ And I would say the same to my son. There has to be a distinction drawn between random hookups and one night stands and a steady, committed relationship. Those are the values I want to impart-that when you’re committed, the intimacy is ok, but if you’re not, think about what you’re doing, and if you want to be doing it.
Also, she doesn’t ask to have her boyfriend stay at our house because she feels it would be awkward to have him upstairs in her room. I totally agree. I’m not ready to have that in my face. From what I understand, the boyfriend has a room in the basement, so that awkwardness isn’t there. Sure, I’m in a bit of denial, in case you’re wondering.”
What will you do when all new meaning to “sleepover” comes to your house?