Should Parents allow Teenage Sleepovers?

I am the mom of a teenage son. He’s almost fifteen and in the last six months gained a girlfriend that he is very serious about. In fact both of them are quite serious in their feelings of one another, as most young adults are when love is in bloom and everything is new and exciting, and there is no form of responsibilities to worry about.  As time goes on the question of course will come. Can he/she have a sleepover?  I knew the question was coming. What I didn’t know was how I felt about the whole thing.  Should Parents allow Teenage Sleepovers?  Well there is tons of controversy over the topic, and no shortage of opinions on the matter.

Wow, are parents so naive these days to think that if their teenager is already sexually active that allowing it to occur in their house will somehow make it better? First of all, if your teenager is already sexually active, you’ve already failed as a parent. –  source steptalk.org

My son has his girlfriend spend the night at our house, and trust me when I say this decision was not one hubs and I took lightly when discussing it with one another, and her parents. That was the first step in understanding this relationship between the kids. Communication with the (other child’s) parents. And yes I say child, because although they are in their teens, they are still kids, learning and growing, exploring and mistakes can be made.  So it was important to us we establish a great adult relationship with her parents, talk about this openly on how each of us felt about the kids relationship so trust could be built for both families involved.

Reality Check

My son’s girlfriend lives in another city. She comes into town to go to the same school as him, and then her dad picks her up after school. The kids are more like best friends than anything (my son and his girl friend) however that doesn’t mean boundaries aren’t set, open communication is a MUST and feelings need to be respected.

I had loving parents who had rules, and yet I still lied to them about where I was going, what I was doing. I wasn’t a bad kid, I just felt as a teen I could do what I wanted. It wasn’t even that I was trying to be disrespectful or go against my parents. I just wanted to have fun…

When K spends the night here at our house she sleeps in my room and my son sleeps in his room, with one parent between them in his room (hubby) and mom (me) with her ears and eyes peeled every moment. In fact I don’t think I’ve slept since we made the decision to allow her to sleepover. But the bottom line is — it all boils down to trust, respect, communication and education.

Sex is no joke

We’ve sat down with the kids and had open talks about sex, using protection. It doesn’t mean we are condoning them having sex. I feel as a mother it’s my job to educate my son, teach him right from wrong, to respect his girlfriend’s feelings, and to understand that having sex although is fun — comes with responsibilities that are way more complicated than just having babies.

Is it wrong I trust my son?

JJ is a good kid. He gets honor roll at school. He is very involved in the community and hockey, and has goals and dreams for that. But he also loves (I can see it) his girlfriend very much. Watching him be attentive, caring with her, respectful toward her. Gives me hope that maybe I’m doing some things right. It’s important to me that I:

  • I have tried to Instill self-confidence and a sense of self-worth in my son
  • Teach him to respect himself, and his girlfriend and others. (I’ve taught him ‘no’ means ‘no’ at anytime and to respect that no matter what.
  • I’ve taught him about safe sex, being open to answering any of his questions which he comes to me with. We always talk, each day about how he is feeling about things, what he thinks and that there are consequences to all his actions in life.
  • I’ve shared my opinions on sex. Sex is not taboo in my house. It’s not a dirty secret. It’s not rude or nasty. He is free to form his own opinions and make his own decisions.
  • Set up a source of listeners on the subject of teen sex, sleepovers, safe sex not just with myself but others (ie: grandparents, dad, uncles and aunts) people he can trust if he doesn’t want to talk to me. Everyone is on board because we all care about these kids.
  • Ensured that there is easy ways to get condoms and other forms of birth control if he needs them. I’m not going bury my head in the sand and just pray it doesn’t happen. It doesn’t mean I’m condoning it. I’m just making sure the options are there because the reality is unless I chain him to his bed, his decisions are going to be just that. HIS! 

I trust my kid. That’s all I can do. I trust I’ve raised him right to make the right decisions. I trust that the open communication will give him pause to think before doing, and that he will wait for the time that is right for him before having sex. And trust that if mistakes DO HAPPEN, and they do in life. We will work it out together because we’ve built a foundation of trust, love, communication and respect.

Isn’t that all a parent can do?

6 thoughts on “Should Parents allow Teenage Sleepovers?”

  1. What I would say is that parents are not given enough credit for their decisions. Governments believe they can legislate for everything. It is never easy to deal with these situations. We are from a more conservative era and we may not even understand the request. But we have to place ourselves in our children’s place and see if we can be accommodating.

    1. Very valid points and you are right. Just because something was done one way years ago, doesn’t mean it works today or even with a particular kid.

  2. Your son is the kind of boy I would like my teen daughter to meet. She seems to only come in contact with ones that have a one-track mind, unfortunately. Bravo to you, Jodi for teaching your son to be respectful! I am hoping to have the same success with my son when he gets to that stage.

    1. It’s scary Pam, I am blessed to have boys. I mean I couldn’t imagine having a girl, along with self confidence issues, you are dealing with boys who yes as you say have a one track mind. It’s difficult to hear these teen boys talk about girls like they are a piece of meat. Thanks for the comments, I try hard to do my best. It’s no fun though, I hate this part of parenting.

    2. She’s had a couple of encounters with boys that have made her uncomfortable, and now she has no interest in them at all. She’s happy hanging out with her friends, which I am sure will eventually lead to groups of boys and girls hanging out together. I’m perfectly fine with her staying away from boys from now. I may be old(ish) but, I’ve certainly not forgotten what high school was all about.

    3. No and that’s the hard part isn’t it. We don’t forget do we, and high school was no fun. That’s good for your daughter and you know it comes eventually.

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