Social Question

jca's avatar

In your house, would it be ok for your teenage son or daughter to have their boyfriend or girlfriend sleep over, and if so, what rules (if any) would there be, and what is the youngest age you would allow this?

Asked by jca (35989points) February 26th, 2012

A friend of mine has a 16 year old son who visits his girlfriend (a few hours away by train) and the girlfriend’s mother lets him sleep over in the same bed. We were discussing it (my friend and I) and we were saying we’re surprised the mom is so accepting of having the son sleep in the same bed as her 16 year old daughter.

I have heard parents say that kids are going to “do it” anyway, so they may as well be at home where it’s safe and secure. Thinking about this got me thinking. I have a daughter who is about 12 years away from this issue, but it made me curious about other Flutherites’ opinions on this topic.

Would you let your teenage son or daughter have their boyfriend or girlfriend sleep over at your house? If you did allow this, would you have any rules about it (ok to sleep in same bed, or woulds it have to be a different bed, or on a different floor?)? If you did allow this or found this acceptable, what is the youngest age you would allow this? 13? 14? 16? 18? 20? Some other age? or would you never allow this to occur under your roof?

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35 Answers

Imadethisupwithnoforethought's avatar

Girlfriend on different floor rule with my boys, probably till 21.

My daughter, boyfriend on different floor or nearby motel, until marriage or 35.

ragingloli's avatar

Sure. Rules would be:
No fighting.
No vandalism.
No pillaging the refrigerator.
Be quiet.
No sex unless the girl’s/boy’s parents are fine with it. Otherwise it will just result in unnecessary hassle, legal and otherwise.
Be quiet.

Why different rules for daughter/son? Kind of a double standard.

cookieman's avatar


Exception: It’s a safety issue such as bad weather or he/she has been drinking – but they’ll be in sepereate rooms.

Imadethisupwithnoforethought's avatar

@ragingloli my boys are great, but objectively, nobody is ever gonna be good enough for my daughter.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

It would absolutely be okay. Contraception would have to be involved as well as a conversation. As long as I don’t hear ‘em, I don’t care what they’re doing.

creative1's avatar

NOPE but there would be definate talk of contraception at an early age no matter if I am the parent of the daughter of son.

JLeslie's avatar

I don’t have kids so I can only hypothesize how I would feel. I probably would allow it if I knew they were already having sex. I slept over my boyfriends house when I was 16. I was a senior in high school I think? Maybe end of eleventh grade I was already doing it. I was safe, his parents were there, or we were over his brothers. It’s a hell of a lot better than the house parties most of my friends were at getting drunk, sometimes having random sex, and then having the cops break everything up by midnight. But, then I guess there were others not having sex doing homework, everything is relative.

And, I had sex almost every day after school with my boyfriend, so sleeping over was a nothing really. My dad was against me sleeping over, because he thought people would think I was a slut. Nice.

keobooks's avatar

I wouldn’t allow it except for extenuating circumstances. And there would be chaperones. I think it’s one thing to understand as a parent that kids are going to sneak around and may have sex. It’s another thing to allow it to happen on your watch.

I don’t subscribe to the “They’re going to do it anyway, so you might as well supervise it.”

JLeslie's avatar

@keobooks If they are at your house sleeping over aren’t they chaperoned? You’re there. Or, in the OP’s example the mother is there.

Ponderer983's avatar

Hell to the F-ing No! My parents would have never allowed it, and if I was a parent, I would not be allowing it either. They could sleep under the same roof, but nowhere near each other. Certainly not in the same room. Doors would have to be left open. My parents also never allowed me to have any guy I was dating sleep over no matter how old I was. Now, would I do that? I don’t know. But definitely after 18 years old, maybe after college.

cookieman's avatar

Hey, @chyna is crafting a response. I was just thinking about her.

keobooks's avatar

@JLeslie – I meant it in the old fashioned way. Chaperone—making sure that nobody sneaks from room to room. Just because you are there in the house does NOT mean that you are chaperoning.

chyna's avatar

I totally agree with @keobooks. It’s one thing to know your children are having sex, but to “encourage” it by allowing it to go on in your home is another thing. I honestly think 16 years old is too young for a child to have sex and be able to handle any consequences that might arise from it including being used only for sex or getting pregnant or a disease.

JLeslie's avatar

As a side note, I would not let teenagers drink in my house, especially other people’s children. I know that was not asked, but I mention it because it is not that I am subscribing to they’re going to do it anyway across the board. In fact, I rather my kids not drink period if I had children, so I am not too keen on “they will do it anyway” for the circumstance of getting drunk. But, if they are already having sex, I am not going to forbid sex for my child at the age of 16. If they are getting drunk at 16 I am going to forbid it, it would be against my rules, even though I realize they might drink sometimes.

john65pennington's avatar

Negative on the spending the night, either way.

No spending the night at all. They can do this after they are married.

Aethelwine's avatar

There are times when it is much safer to let the boyfriend or girlfriend stay the night at your house instead of letting them drive home or travel home alone, late at night. It doesn’t happen often, but yes, I would allow it and have. My parents have also allowed it when I was 17. The worst that happened with me was cuddling and accidentally falling asleep in the same bed as my boyfriend.

More than likely the kids will just end up cuddling. If they’re going to have sex, they’re going to have sex. A sleepover once or twice in a year is not encouraging them to have sex. They will find a way without the occasional sleepover.

marinelife's avatar

Not until college age.

Judi's avatar

Heck no!

Soubresaut's avatar

I definitely do not have kids, and do not have an answer to this question.
But it reminded me of a special I saw on TV, with my entire family, a while ago. I thought it was a Lisa Liang’s “Our America” episode, but I can’t find it. It may have been a different special around the same time I saw a few Our America’s, and so I’m blending the two in my mind, but anyway…

It was comparing the social perception of teenage sex in the USA and _______ [it was a specific city in a European country, I can see the locations they filmed, but I don’t want to try to name and get it wrong, and I think they said this was a common view in many European countries?].

Where, in the USA (as a vauge whole, the special was more precise on various locations) it’s a taboo concept, of teenagers having sex, and so the idea of the parents allowing it is mostly beyond foreign. But, in ______ and elsewhere with a similar mentality, that sort of intimacy is seen as completely natural, and the parents in a way sharing that with their teens. Where they have open discussions about it, and no one finds it weird for everyone to know what the teenage couple is doing in the room. It’s so much more open; the parents and the teens both want the kids to have sex, if the teens are in relationships where they’re ready for that kind of intimacy. Both the parents and teens want to talk about it with each other, the parents helping guide, the teens taking the guidance. A family in ________ was interviewed, the mother actually a US citizen who moved to ________ after marriage, and she said that it took some getting use to, but now, having such open discussions with her son, ‘felt like the most natural thing in the world.’ That she wouldn’t want to go back to the way it was before, that she likes being able to talk about it with her son, make sure he’s being safe, make sure it’s meaningful, etc.

They also interviewed kids on the street, about what they’re reaction would be if they found a guy/girl with a condom. In both cases, the teens thought the reaction was a no brainer. In the USA, everyone went, ‘well, that they’re a slut.’ In ________, everyone went, ’...and?’ and ‘so what? I do too, everyone should’ and one girl actually went into her wallet and pulled it out, and waved it around in front of the camera laughing that it was being made into such a big deal. The teens in ______ would be concerned if the scenario-teen was sexually active and not carrying around a condom.

Anyway, there was more in the special, and it was more precise/in-depth, but those were two things that jumped out.

There was some statistic about teens in both countries being just as sexually active as the other, (as in, some very, some somewhat, some not, in both places) but teens in USA having a much higher chance of catching STIs and having pregnancies.

whitenoise's avatar

I would likely allow it, if I had the feeling the relationship between them would be balanced and I knew the girl’s parents are OK with it.

In any way do I not want to stigmatize sex as anything that needs to be sneaky and is a vile thing if you’re not married. The sleeping over bit isn’t the crucial part, I feel.

The more important part is to try to teach my boys to be able to develop a balanced, respectful relationship with their partner, in times where, for instance the videoclips on TV show totally different role models.

(I have boys and am assuming they’ll bring home a girlfriend :-) )

Bellatrix's avatar

If they have both reached the age of consent and they are sexually involved I don’t think pretending otherwise would be useful to my relationship with my child. I would rather have an honest conversation with my son or daughters, set down some house rules about respectful behaviour and ensure contraception was available and being used. I wouldn’t be going out of my way to encourage it, but if a situation arose where a girl/boy was going to sleep over I would prefer to be realistic about what might happen.

I should say my son still quotes the time when he was 16 and I bought some condoms and left them on his bed. It was a ‘just in case’ thing. When I saw him he said thanks and I said “and make sure you use them!” Never live that one down. He says he is doing as I instructed…

filmfann's avatar

My son, who is 24, spends most nights at his girlfriends house.
I have asked him not to have his girlfriend spend the night here when we are in town.
It doesn’t matter to me when we are away.

XOIIO's avatar

You know what happens in the bedroom right? Hell no!

And I’m never gonna have kids, but still

Jeruba's avatar

We’re mostly past that stage now, but I would have said:
• Age minimum 18 for both, and really not too keen on it before their twenties.
• They must be in a long-term relationship; privilege doesn’t extend to casual drop-ins. It follows that we (the young man’s parents) must know the young woman.
• We must be asked and must give our consent at each specific occasion. No surprises, no unexpected meetings with unannounced visitors in the morning or the middle of the night, and no presumption of privileges not granted. Discourtesy or abuse of the privilege ends it.
• No sneaking around. She comes and goes by the front door, and we know when she arrives.
• Respect for the household and its other members is mandatory.
• Host is to look after the needs of the guest.
• We’d like to know when the guest is leaving (or has left).

Before a particular guest was afforded the privilege, there was a 1:00 a.m. curfew on visitors, and only occasionally was that hour extended, by special request and permission. We would also have seen the young woman plenty of times at our dinnertable, included her in family occasions, etc., and come to feel comfortable having her in the house.

After some point in a long-term relationship when they were older, they pretty much had carte blanche. But it was earned and waited for; it did not come automatically.

beccagolling's avatar

I am almost 18 years old. And my parents are really cool with having my bf over for the night. No we do not sleep in the same bed. He sleeps by the couch and I sleep on it. So we are in the same room. We started having sleep overs when I was only 15. He is two years older than me. If I was a parent I would probaby let my daughter have her bf over as well. If I knew the guy well enough that is.

ucme's avatar

My son just turned 16 today & his girlfriend of just over a year will be sleeping over ours this coming weekend. The conversation has exhaustively took place regarding contraception & whole dose of common sense & all parties are entirely satisfied with this arrangement, so long as they keep the noise levels down of course.

Incoherency_'s avatar

It would be okay as long as their SO is at least 40. That way there will always be mature adult supervision in the bedroom. ;-]

augustlan's avatar

I’m not absolutely sure how I feel about this. My mother allowed my boyfriends to spend the night, in my bed, any old time. She allowed me to do pretty much any damn thing I wanted, though, often to my detriment. I am definitely not the same kind of parent. BUT. I’m pretty sure I’d be ok with it if one of my girls was in a long-term relationship, and there was a reason for the boyfriend to spend the night. I’d likely have him sleep on the couch, though. Probably at 18, they could sleep together in a bed. Now, I don’t think their father would feel the same way, so that might be an issue. Even though we’re divorced, we parent very cooperatively, and try to have the same rules in both houses.

whitecarnations's avatar

I’m going to preach this to my son. One life, one wife and hard strife. If he has her over and she ends up pregnant, I’ll make damn sure he takes care of his responsibilities.

rooeytoo's avatar

I can’t imagine wanting to have sex in my parents house!

Based on this I am going to agree with @jonsblond, seems realistic and acceptable to all parties.

poisonedantidote's avatar

After the age of 16 I would be ok with it, so long as they let me watch.

JLeslie's avatar

@Incoherency_ Even as a joke, I assume you are being sarcastic, I find that disturbing.

newtscamander's avatar

I’m 17 and my mother is okay with my boyfriend staying over. No rules, except for the unspoken one that we keep out of each others way. Since she has her boyfriend in our apartment, she’s fine with mine there also.

downtide's avatar

I allowed my daughter to invite her boyfriend over when she was 18, and allowed them to share a bed, I just made sure both of them were properly educated on the use of condoms.

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