Parenting: When your Teenager asks for their Girlfriend/boyfriend to stay the night. What do you do when your teen wants to have their Girlfriend/boyfriend spend the night in your house?
Growing up as a teenager, me and my two sisters were not allowed to have boys stay the night. We all found this a pretty old fashioned rule and we never really understood it back then. Now I have a teenager myself I can understand why my father had this rule, obviously he was going to be protective of his daughters.
I have a teenage son who has just turned 18, time has flown so quickly, it feels like one minute he was sitting on my knee giving me a cuddle and now he is asking for his girlfriend to stay overnight.
What type of parent am I?
When my son who was at the time 17 years old asked if his girlfriend could stay the night, I will admit I was a little unprepared for the question.Of course I was not overjoyed by the thought of my son having a girl staying the night and especially not in the same room! Unfortunately, as I do not have a spare room in my house I did not have the luxury of giving his girlfriend a room of her own for the night.
I am also a realist and realise that whatever parents ban, most teenagers will think of ways to get around them and normally succeed.
My conscience however did struggle with the fact that If I am aware of them sharing the same room am I actually condoning this new stage of their relationship. If I made my son sleep on the sofa and his girlfriend have his room, I would be kidding myself if I thought some sneaking about would not be going on in the middle of the night. I had to ask myself, if putting them in separate rooms and pretending that they would stay in separate rooms, would this make me feel better about the situation, does allowing them to sleep in the same room and even the same bed make it feel more wrong than the alternative, ignorance ? to be honest yes, a little bit.
I was and still feel quite shocked at how liberal and understanding I have behaved and dealt with this situation. At the beginning I wanted to scream out “Noooo you can not have your girlfriend stay over”,this partly due to the thought of losing him to another after all he is my little boy still!
Why I agreed
There was two main reasons why I agreed to my son having his girlfriend stay over and the main reason was because she lived just over an hour away.To arrive here in the morning and only spend a few hours at our house, before she would be setting off again seemed silly because they would not get much time together.
To be honest if your son or daughter really wanted to get up to anything they would and it can happen anywhere and at anytime of the day.
My second reason is due to the fact I was a very young mum and by the age he is now I already had a baby so I am not really in the best place to judge or preach and he is so much more mature and level headed than I was at 18.
I think it is such a hard thing to plan in advance as you can not pre-plan when it will happen or just what your reaction will be.
You may well be a really relaxed parent around rules and take it in your stride or it may just be something you struggle far too much to cope with and just cannot allow it to happen in your home.
Whatever you decided just keep your cool and stay open minded. Parents and teens will most likely be very embarrassed approaching the subject, just keep your line of communication open and you won’t go far wrong.
Remember there is no right or wrong answer or decision, it is a family issue, you may be happy for their boyfriend/girlfriend to stay over or you might find a happy medium giving them separate bedrooms.
Have you had experience of your son or daughter wanting their girlfriend or boyfriend to stay the night?
Please share your experiences to help other parents who might be struggling and could use advice from other parents who have already gone through this.