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Co-ed sleepovers?

post #1 of 99
Thread Starter 
Our son is 14 years 9 months. He is friends with this girl (just friends for now, but after the conversation this morning, that could change). He wants her to spend the night. I said no. It would have been him in his room, her in the living room - different floors with our room right next to his. However, he did have a point that I am trying to figure out how to approach. I trust him a lot, we have a very good relationship and he's very open and honest. I told him last week that I trust him x 1000 (in our house, we have a weird thing where the higher the multiplied number, the more we feel that way). Anyway, I told him that I trust him x 1000 and I don't want him doing anything to betray that trust. So he brings up a valid point, I trust him that much, but don't trust the sleepover. I got out of it this time for a different reason, but I have to figure out how to address this. I know that if I said she could spend the night, but bedtime was at 1:00 and they were not going to be together while we were sleeping, he would be okay with that. I just don't like the idea of a co-ed sleepover.

On top of all this, he's not our actual son. We have POA over him. He's a really good child and we adore him, but we are not the ones that raised him - so everything that we are going through with him is new territory for us. I just want to not break our very trusting relationship. Any advice from more experienced parents?
post #2 of 99
If you're not comfortable with it, I think that it's ok to say no. I don't think that setting a boundary will break your trusting relationship.

What is it you're uncomfortable with? Do you know the girl and her parents?
post #3 of 99
Thread Starter 
I have met the girl and her grandparents, who she is with a lot. He would absolutely not spend the night at a girl's house. I can't trust that they would do things the same way that I would.

Uncomfortable about? As I told him: "We don't need any babies in this family." lol.
post #4 of 99
No way...what is the possible benefit?
post #5 of 99
I don't have any experience with this as my oldest is only 12, so my opinion may not carry much weight for you. I certainly would not allow it. They can spend time together until midnight (or whatever) and then I would drive her home. Although I'm not sure why they would even need to do that. I would be more comfortable with it if they were spending time in a group with other teens.

As far as trust goes, this is your house and you make the rules. period.
post #6 of 99
No way would I allow it. If they are really going to "sleep" when it's time to sleep, then she can be taken home at bedtime and brought back early in the morning for breakfast. They will not have missed anything if the true intention is a platonic sleepover.

ETA: My dd is only ~9, so this is not coming from an experienced parent, but a former teen. I had friends that I spent the night with that had brothers. Even when you don't have the least romantic thought about a member of the opposite sex, the temptation is sometimes just the opportunity itself. I never did anything terribly bad, but had a lot of makeout sessions with older brothers just to learn how to kiss.
post #7 of 99
Quote:
Originally Posted by velochic View Post
I had friends that I spent the night with that had brothers. Even when you don't have the least romantic thought about a member of the opposite sex, the temptation is sometimes just the opportunity itself. I never did anything terribly bad, but had a lot of makeout sessions with older brothers just to learn how to kiss.

I think this is important....
post #8 of 99
It's not just about trusting him, it's protecting the girls reputation. I know they are buddies but if it gets out that she spent the night at a boys house, no matter how innocent it really is, people will talk. It's old-fashioned, I know but our society still has it's sexist moments. She'll be painted in the negative, not him. If he's her friend, he's not going to want that for her. It's as good a time as any to introduce him to chivalry.

My DD's best and closest friends have always been boys but she's never asked for a sleepover with them and it's not something we would allow. It's not that we don't trust her. It's not even that we don't trust the boys (she has fanatstic taste in friends.) We just don't feel she needs to protect her reputation from others who would love to speculate. Rumours are nasty and they hurt no matter how strong you are. Frankly, a sleep-over just isn't worth it. Let the girl stay late. Let her come back for breakfast and spend the day with the family. Draw the line at a sleep-over.
post #9 of 99
the most fun i ever had as a 14 year old was a coed sleepover, there were 5 us, two boys and three girls. seriously nothing happened. girls in one room boys in the other. we did it 2 or maybe even 3 times.
post #10 of 99
I believe that there is a thread here somewhere about co-ed sleepovers. It seemed many folks didn't have a problem with the experience and talked a lot about parties where everyone sort of crashed together. I wouldn't want this at 14 though. I think it's too much.
post #11 of 99
Quote:
the most fun i ever had as a 14 year old was a coed sleepover, there were 5 us, two boys and three girls. seriously nothing happened. girls in one room boys in the other. we did it 2 or maybe even 3 times.
A group co-ed sleepover is different than one girl spending the night at one boys house though. My DD has not done one but we might allow a group sleepover in certain circumstances.... like with her theatre friends and adult supervision we trusted. We have a close family friend who has no real family in town. When mom and dad have to go away for something the girls stay with us even though the 10-year-olds are friends (my DS their DD.) It's different when big sister is staying too and they are technically staying "with" my DD. I wouldn't just have the 10-year-old girl over though.
post #12 of 99
As the mother of girl of the same age...no, I would not allow it. Not here and not at his house either.

Quote:
Uncomfortable about? As I told him: "We don't need any babies in this family." lol
IMHO, this clearly indicates that you do NOT trust the two of them, despite your words to the contrary. You do not trust that they will not engage in sexual activity.

But you know what, I think that's ok. There are some situations protection is more important than trust. This is one of them. I had my teen, AS a teen. Teens can't even always trust THEMSELVES, so I think it's perfectly ok for the parents to not trust them on occasion. You can trust their intentions without trusting the ability to stick to them.

Quote:
It's not just about trusting him, it's protecting the girls reputation. I know they are buddies but if it gets out that she spent the night at a boys house, no matter how innocent it really is, people will talk. It's old-fashioned, I know but our society still has it's sexist moments. She'll be painted in the negative, not him
While I agree that people will talk, the talk, at least among the other teens, is most likely I think to just be that they had sex. I don't think either will be painted in a negative light in the least. It was my experience that for the most part, losing your virginity, whether you are male OR female, is considered cool, not negative.
post #13 of 99
Quote:
While I agree that people will talk, the talk, at least among the other teens, is most likely I think to just be that they had sex. I don't think either will be painted in a negative light in the least. It was my experience that for the most part, losing your virginity, whether you are male OR female, is considered cool, not negative.
We'll have to disagree. Not only did I face a similar situation when I was a teen (spent the night at a girlfriend's and her brother a year older made up some stories... life was HELL for me for many months while he was branded a hero) but we know a couple girls currently who've had issues. When rumours started that they were sexually active, other boys started becoming forward with them verbally and physically harrassing them in the halls (grabbing, rubbing up against, ect.) I suppose you could say they were "cool" and that's why they started getting this extra attention but it was totally unwelcome. Why invite this sort of gossip by providing facts that make it plausible?
post #14 of 99
If there were a reason for it, like she was going on a camping trip with your family early early the next day, or her parents are out of the country on an emergency, or whatever, then that would be one thing. But just for fun? Volunteer to drive her home at whatever time.

I don't think it matters whether he's technically your kid or not. It's your house. You're parenting him. Go with your gut.
post #15 of 99
I forgot to mention... my niece had platonic sleepovers when she was about that age (15 actually) with "guy" friends. I told my sister what foolishness it was, but she didn't listen because she "100% trusted" her dd. That dd ended up pregnant a few months later and is now, 10 years later, single, with 3 out-of-wedlock accidental kids all before 18 (one set of twins), on welfare and still living at home. If parents think it's all above board, I have a bridge for sale...

(Yes, I'll admit that my personal experiences are heavily swaying my thoughts on this... however, all we have to go on are our pasts.)
post #16 of 99
Even the most trust worthy wonderful kids give in to hormones.

I cant imagine what they cant do during normal waking hours that they would need a sleep over.

If she had been a life long childhood friend visiting from out of town it would be one thing.

The Mom of 3 teens 2 boys and a girl I would say NO
post #17 of 99
Nope, no way. You have to go away to college to do that.
post #18 of 99
If there were an emergancy and she needed a place to stay -- her parents were in a car crash or something -- then of course it would be fine.

But just for fun? no.

I'd explain it to him this way...
When a man (which he is biologically at this point) asks a woman to spend the night, it's usually about sex. They aren't 8 years old. It just isn't appropriate. To keep things clear with women, it's really best to NOT ask them to spend the night unless and until he is in a romantic relationship and ready for sex, and living someplace besides your house.

I'd approach it with him about being clear with women, who are friends or more than friends, about what is going on between them. Things can get blurred very easily, and some women get their feelings hurt easily. Avoiding asking women to spend the night steers clear of a whole bunch of potential problems for him.
post #19 of 99
I have--very cautiously--because the friends lived in another state.

I have also allowed my dd to sleep at her boyfriend's mom's house under her supervision. He was there also. They live an hour away which to us is a very long trip normally made once a couple months at most.

I did not allow her to share a tent with him at a music festivals with both families also in attendance.

We have also had a different family host the friend when I wasn't comfortable with out of state friends sleeping over.

My dd is part of a regional Quaker youth group that has weekend retreats (supervised coed sleepovers!) once per month and has made strong friendships there. She has many boy friends and many girl friends and practice with healthy relationships in a coed environment for the past four years in this group.

My dd is now 16yo. I don't want my fear of sex to be the main shaping force in my dd's social life. We are in communication about it. I also give her some privacy. Sex is not forbidden even though my personal preference is that she wait and I do not encourage it. Sneaking is more "forbidden" than sex is AFAIC and ultimately parents don't usually have the option of having neither one happen. I really don't control dd's choices in many areas and I do prefer that she be making those choices in friendly supervised environments (close to me!) rather than having to escape controlling adults to have any ability to take risks and make independent choices.

Ultimately, it's not my body--it's hers--I've taught her what I can and continue to share what I know and she's the one who gets to make the decisions about sex. But two years ago was a totally different reality. She has experienced a lot since then and I've been a witness to what she's been through and that guides me.
post #20 of 99
Thread Starter 
Thanks for all the feedback! I feel better about telling him no now. I like the part about trusting his intentions but not the hormones. I think that will be a good approach.
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