Some parents see this as similar to allowing their teens to drink at home. Others think it would encourage sex to happen earlier than it should.
In a recent article on Daily Life, Joanne Fedler discusses the question of whether parents should allow their teens to have their boyfriend or girlfriend sleep over. Fedler says,
For most of us, the thought of our kids’ sexuality is as squirm-inducing as that of our parents’. But parenting teens makes this an inevitable confrontation. Teenagers are bristling with hormones, sexually curious and understandably reaching for the cherry that’s dangled in front of them in every music video, MA-rated movie and fashion magazine, not to mention every easily accessed online porn site.
But does the ease with which teens can access porn, or how sexualized the media and entertainment industries have become, mean that parents should just “give in” and allow their teens to have sex in their home? Some of the parents Fedler spoke to use the argument that “they’re going to do it anyway … better here than somewhere that’s not safe.” While others assert that although their teens may end up having sex away from home, they are not going to make it “easier” for them by providing a bed for it to happen in.
Dr. Michael Carr-Gregg, a Psychologist asserts that there is no “one size fits all” answer to this question. It’s more about individual teens and the relationship they have with their parents. He points out that, “A unique characteristic of an adolescent brain is an inability to predict the consequences of one’s actions. Add into the mix an 800 per cent increase in testosterone in boys, poor impulse control, peer pressure and a desire to rebel and it’s a volatile cocktail,” so if parents do decide to allow their teens to have these “sleep-overs” they should be supervised closely. But as Fedler points out, “parents fall asleep, eventually.”
And Fedler is right. No matter how hard parents try, they can’t be with their teens, monitoring and supervising 100% of the time. And like so many other obstacles parents will face while navigating the difficult road that is raising teenagers, whether or not you allow your teen to have sleepovers with their boyfriend or girlfriend is a decision that has to be made on an individual basis.Fedler says,
Like most parenting issues, the matter of whether teen sleepovers are appropriate is personal and rests in our personal values. The best we can do is set boundaries, keep conversations going and hope like hell that we’ve prepared our teenagers to make good decisions.
What do you think?
Should parents allow their teens to have sleepovers with their boyfriend or girlfriend?
Do you think that allowing your teen to sleep over with a boyfriend or girlfriend encourages them to have sex?
Do you agree that, since they are “going to do it anyway,” that it would be better for teens to have sex in the controlled environment of their parent’s home?