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jca2's avatar

As a parent, or if you were a parent, would you let your teenage son or daughter spend overnights at their boyfriend or girlfriend's house?

Asked by jca2 (3129points) 1 month ago

If you were a parent, would you let your teenage son or daughter spend overnights at their boyfriend or girlfriend’s house?

My daughter is 11 now, so this is not yet even a thought but I’m sure it will come up one day in the future.

As a teen, I couldn’t and wouldn’t dream of even asking for such a thing because my parents would have gone off at the mere suggestion. My sister, who came 18 years after I did, had the same experience. I could stay out late (to the middle of the night) but not stay out all night, even after age 18 while still living in my parents’ house. They used to say “when you’re living under our roof, you go by our rules.”

I had friends that said “once you’re 18 you can do what you want.” That wasn’t the case in my house.

I had friends that could stay out all night and could have their boyfriends at their houses overnight. My cousin’s son, who is a boarding school student in England, spends weekends at his girlfriend’s house, which sounds very nice and is probably a lot of fun (in a multitude of ways) for both of them.

Some parents say that since kids will fool around anyway, they may as well do it in a safe and secure environment. I can see that logic for sure. I don’t know if I will feel that way when my daughter is old enough, though. I guess time will tell.

I can see both sides of this argument. What is your opinion?? What was your experience when you were young? Did your parents let you stay overnight at your boyfriend/girlfriend’s house or could you have them overnight at your house?

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26 Answers

canidmajor's avatar

You ask this a lot (see “Related” ——->). ;-)

It never seemed to come up when my daughter was a teen, so I dodged whatever bullets of judgement would have been shot off by friends and family.

As a general rule, though, I didn’t let her spend the night with families that I didn’t know pretty well. Sometimes she was mildly annoyed by that, but it never became a problem for us. I taught her how to behave responsibly, I assumed that she would.

Mostly it would depend on the teen. Mine was a very reliable person, but my nephew (whom I adore, by the way), was not someone who ever thought things through and had to be monitored. Now, he’s an outstanding husband and father.

If your daughter is at all like mine, you’ll have an easier time with things like this. Good luck!

ANef_is_Enuf's avatar

We were allowed to have boys stay the night at our house (and, yes, we had sex) but my sisters and I grew up with very healthy and responsible attitudes toward sex. I would probably go the same route with my child, if I had one. I think open, honest and educated is the right way to do it.

RedDeerGuy1's avatar

If I had children, I would make sure that they are on the pill, and/or know the birds and the bees, as well as access to birth control. I would have them chaperoned 24/7.

seawulf575's avatar

I guess it depends on how old the child is and how responsible. It would also depend on the boy/girl friend. My personal feeling was that I did not want them at my house…I just didn’t want that extra burden. Boys could have boys spend the night and girls, girls. But for a boy to have his girlfriend or girl the boyfriend….no. That really has nothing to do with being a prude or believing the kids wouldn’t find some way to have sex. I just didn’t want to make it that much easier for them. Also, if one of my kids wanted to spend the night with a friend of the opposite sex, I would be hesitant and would definitely call the other parents to talk it over with them.

janbb's avatar

It would depend on the age and the kids. I guess 17 or after I would probably say it was ok. Not necessarily having them sleep in the same room but knowing that sex was probably happening. I had a serious boyfriend from summer camp when I was 17 to 20 and we lived a few hours apart. We would visit and stay at each other’s houses on weekends.

My sons had local girlfriends mainly when they were teenagers so it wasn’t really an issue with them. We did talk about sex and responsibility with them as they grew.

kritiper's avatar

No, not if they’re under the age of 18.

zenvelo's avatar

In general, I wouldn’t allow it. But it did come up when my daughter was a teen, and I did allow it because of the circumstances.

My daughter has known a boy (Shaan) since they were toddlers at the same Montessori pre-school. They were close friends all through elementary school, and his mother adores my daughter as the daughter she never had.

When my daughter was a junior in high school, Shaan’s family had a New Years Eve party, and the kids were allowed to invite three or four friends each. Shaan’s mother called to ask if my daughter could sleep over, because there would be about ten kids sleeping over, all in one big room, and a lot of parents around too. I said it was okay.

Cupcake's avatar

I think I let my son have a sleepover with girls, but he was the one boy in a group of friends and there were not romantic or sexual feelings involved. As I recall, there were a number of people (who I knew and trusted) who were present and I was not concerned. I thought it funny, actually, that I would allow him a sleepover with girls in high school and feel so comfortable with it.

My son and I were (still are) very close and communicate very well… bordering on him telling me too much.

In general, it is not something I would permit. But given certain circumstances, I would allow.

Pied_Pfeffer's avatar

My feeling is that children should be educated on genders, body changes, sex education, discussions on molesters, and laws of the area that may include statutory rape and gender.

No matter how someone feels about any of these topics, if they want to be a good parent, their child/children should be brought up in an environment where these topics are available for discussion in an open way.

My sister is a fifth-grade teacher in a public US school. They are your daughter’s age. My sister has been alerted that two of her students were pregnant. Two 11 year-old girls. One had the baby, the other had an abortion. This should not be happening.

Demosthenes's avatar

No, I probably would not allow that. I can’t speak from example because I did not have a boyfriend until I was already 18 and out of the house. I would certainly be open with my kids about sex and relationships, but I don’t look highly on teenage relationships (and that may be part of why I avoided them myself) and I don’t think I would go as far as to let my kids stay at their partner’s house.

josie's avatar

Sounds like it would make things more complicated than they have to be. Seems to me raising kids is tough enough without trying to make it more complicated. Better to keep it pretty simple.

stanleybmanly's avatar

This is one of those questions with too many unknowns, even for you as a parent. An awful lot will of course depend on the job you did in rearing your child, but you’re asking us to predict the hypothetical behavior of a hormone laden teenager interacting with another hormone driven kid under circumstances which you can neither anticipate with any certainty nor reasonably control. Too much depends on the dispositions of the kids, the circumstances and depth of their involvement and so many other factors, that in the end, the best you can do is be ready for it when it comes.

Patty_Melt's avatar

I thought I would not allow it, but my daughter came along at a time in my life when my health was not good, and would slowly decline as she grew older. This put a different spin on things.

At three, she learned 911, and what to do if mommy can’t “wake up”.
From there she had to mature in ways average children don’t. As I look back, I feel I did things right.
At five I taught her about the cycles women have. She didn’t ask how fertilization took place, and I was glad I didn’t have to answer that
As time went by, she asked questions; gender identity and why a kid at school is being treated badly, how old can girls get pregnant, self mutilation (yes, this can play a part in the sexuality issues), and self gratification.
I told her masturbation was a good way to relieve some of the sexual tension, and it doesn’t get a woman pregnant. We talked about social stigmas.

When she was eleven, she had a little fellow who would race home from school with her. I found out later that he was sneaking through the woods sometimes to meet with her behind my house. That was when she told me he got handsy, and she didn’t know how to react. I answered slap him, and come tell me. Then I calmed down, and told her she didn’t need to slap him, so long as she tells him no, and he quits.
From then until fourteen, the boy topics were mostly who’s crushing and some girl just found out bf dating other girls.
Then she tells me she met a boy in theater class and he kissed her, and now he is her bf.
From there to here, a lot happened.
She is seventeen now, a senior in hs, and she has been living with him almost a year.
She cut off all communication with me for a while. I was worried sick, but I had called the police once, and it was bogus. She came home before they could find her.
I was actually relieved when the school nurse called to ask if she could give my daughter some ibuprofen. During all this, my head was in a strange place, due to a medication mix which has been since resolved.

My whole point to this long story is because when the subject comes up, if ever, there can be a whole bunch of other things going on at the same time.
There is no one right answer. You HAVE to pick what is right for your particular situation.
The one best piece of advice you can get is already made a few times in this thread. Keep judgements in check, and communication is a must.

I understand how you feel, now that your little sweetie is eleven. It feels like you are walking through a maze with her, and somewhere in there lurks a dragon which could attack you both. You love her, and you want a map of the maze.
There is no map, and the dragon is located in different corners for each of us.
Continue to love her, and let her feel reassured, through your behavior, that she can turn to you for what she needs.

janbb's avatar

@Patty_Melt Wonderful answer! And exactly. The dragons come thick and fast and you don’t know what form they will take so you just have to set the stage for good communication.

stanleybmanly's avatar

Brilliantly done ms melt! All of us are at the mercy of fate on this one. You do your best to avoid being smacked by the bus, and one crashes through the bedroom wall to nail you in your sleep. We have some friends with a beautiful daughter, and they would fret like hell about all the attention she was receiving from boys. It appeared that this had developed into the primary fear of their adult lives until—one day in her 16th year, she stood in front of them an announced—that she planned to enter a convent! They would have been happier had she said she was pregnant.

Hawaii_Jake's avatar

Sex is a delightful part of life. I see absolutely nothing wrong with allowing teenagers to explore sex and to be able to talk about it with a parent or a therapist/trusted adult as they choose. I would make sure the topic of birth control was approached as easily and non-judgmentally as possible and make sure that it was easily accessible.

As it was, I discussed sex with my children. I made sure they knew I had no qualms about whether they participated or waited. We talked about safety and STIs. We talked about birth control. Looking back, I would talk more about consent.

@Patty_Melt Thank you.

gorillapaws's avatar

If I had a daughter, her boyfriend would be welcome to stay over. He could sleep chained to the floor, right next to my bed…

Yellowdog's avatar

Sounds kinky

ucme's avatar

My son, now 23 & daughter, 19, have both had the experience & well…sex is all part of growing into a young adult.

KNOWITALL's avatar

My mom did, once or twice, and just friends, nothing risky. As a childfree couple we wont have to make that call, but I’d say no.

JLeslie's avatar

Depends on the kid.

If they had been dating a long time, at least 6 months, and were 16 or older, probably yes, as long as the other parents were ok with it.

I was safer at my boyfriend’s house than the crazy parties going on where I lived (remember the Kavanaugh hearings, that’s where I grew up).

Some nights we were very tired, and then driving tired to get home by curfew. It wasn’t very safe.

I was having sex anyway with my steady boyfriend and I didn’t drink or do drugs.

Inspired_2write's avatar

Definitely not!
But I would explain as to why to the teenager.
That feelings may get out of control and one must realize that you have to consider the consequences that could happen.
If the teenager was old enough , I would have her on birth control and explain about other diseases that can happen and that some of these are life altering.
Whether an ill timed pregnancy,Syphilis ,HIV,or other.
That even if they marry young there is a 50/50 chance of divorce and abuse in some cases due to the stress on the marriage economically etc
All of the above I would explain, telling her that its her choice, but to realize the consequences too.
I would stress that I would NOT knowingly give my consent to my young daughter to be placed in a situation as described in your question.
It is the responsibility of the adult Parent to make sure that they protect their children until they become an adult capable of making their own decisions and control of their own life goals.

Patty_Melt's avatar

@Inspired_2write, my kid is seventeen. She is a high school senior. She has top grades. She started her senior year needing only one more class to meet the requirements to graduate. She has a full time job. She is enrolled to start college this fall. She is living with her bf.
I wonder what I would be protecting her from if I had cops drag her home to live with me.
Her bf is supportive of her. I like to think she looked for that in a bf, because she was used to having someone supportive in her life.

filmfann's avatar

No. Just No.

majorbacon's avatar

I’ve always had a very open relationship with my 3 daughters. When it was time for them to have intercourse they came to me first to let me know. We would then discuss what the best type of contraception would be for them. We would also talk about where it would happen. I preferred to know they were safe. So after they had developed a strong relationship with the guy /girl and were using contraception they could spend a occasional night with them. So far only 1 has opted to stay with the bf at my place. But all 3 are well adjusted, and so far no grand kids. I told them wait til I’m 50 at least.

Inspired_2write's avatar

@Patty_Melt
“I wonder what I would be protecting her from if I had cops drag her home to live with me. ”

That is in the extreme and would not be required “if” the daughter has been armed with information on pros and cons and consequences, however I would still not allow my daughter to bring a boyfriend over under my roof overnight nor agree to her doing that elsewhere unless she was living on her own.

At 17 years of age is still underage in standards of what an adult age is.

My feeling is that if one spends a lot of time just picking out the right products that they would
eventually throw away, that in life they would spend more time living their life independently

first before settling down at such a young age otherwise in the far future they may regret

marrying at an early age or in some cases its right for them, but in the end its their decision

when they are on their own and an adult.

This is subjective to cultures and environments and the norm for areas.

My daughters are older now and had concentrated on their careers and lived independently first , dating others and later marrying.

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