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Teen Sex - Accepting or Encouraging? - Page 2

post #21 of 127
Quote:
Originally Posted by choli View Post



 


True. But it means that when parents DO allow it, there is less likelihood of an unwanted pregnancy or std.

 

So, I guess it's a trade off between the what is best for the teen - avoiding pregnancy and stds - or what is best for the parent - avoiding the discomfort of accepting that your teen is having sex.
 

 


How exactly is there less likelihood of an unplanned pregnancy or STD if parents allow their kids to have sex at home?  There's a lot of variables there, so I'm curious.

 

We are not in this stage, but I do wonder, reading these posts, if folks feel that their children should have a right to expect that their parents will give them time, accommodations, and privacy to have sex with their boyfriends/girlfriends at home?  I personally would never have expected this of my parents, nor do I think I would have wanted it.    I have a good relationship with my parents, no shaming, etc.  To me, this was part of growing up and moving on....getting out of the house and having privacy to conduct certain parts of my life, including my relationships, by myself.  Maybe my boundaries are different.

 

I also don't think that it's a huge deal for kids to have to be a little more creative or determined if they absolutely  want to have sex together.    Maybe it adds to the "think twice about it" idea.  I'm sure I'll get flak for saying so, but am I missing something?

post #22 of 127

I think there's a big difference between accepting that a teen will have sex, and approving of it.  I accept that my 15 year old my choose to have sex before she graduates high school.  We have had discussions,  she certainly knows the mechanics and the risks and so on, and accept that she may very well decide to have sex anyway.

 

But that doesn't mean I have to approve of it.  That doesn't mean that I teach that sex is shameful or wrong or anything like that.  I am trying to teach her that the risks are not worth the benefits at this time and that I don't think it's a risk she should be taking right now.  And I feel that providing location and opportunity says that the risk is ok to take now. 

 

To me, it's like an adult child smoking.  I don't like smoke, I don't want it in my house.  So, once my kids are adults, if they decide to smoke, they aren't allowed to do it in my house.  That doesn't mean that I am ashamed of them or anything like that, I just don't approve of them smoking and I don't want it in my house.

post #23 of 127


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by karne View Post

How exactly is there less likelihood of an unplanned pregnancy or STD if parents allow their kids to have sex at home?  There's a lot of variables there, so I'm curious.


In conversations with my kids and books we have at home, my DD have been introduced the range of options for birthcontrol. We've had talks about sex and how to make decisions about sex. We talked about which forms of birthcontrol are available over the counter and which ones require a trip to the doctor and a prescription. I've made it very clear to the that I have their insurance cards and prescription cards, and if, at any point in the future, they want to use a prescription form of birth control, they can just say so and I'll help them arrange it. I've also pointed out where condoms  are sold (in stores we go to all the time) and how very inexpensive they are, and how they require no pre-planning or chats with anyone else.

 

I think that because of my frank conversations with my kids and the information and acceptance they have, they will be more likely to use protection than they might other wise.

 

I think that a kid who knows his/her parents will FREAK OUT if they find out they are having sex, will be less likely to get birthcontrol in the first place because of the shame factor, may have trouble getting the type of BC they prefer because of cost/access to doctor/etc., and may have trouble having the BC with them because they are spending a lot of energy hiding it (owning BC is a huge offense in some families).
 

I also think that kids that are raised in an atmosphere of trust and acceptance on this issue will feel less shame, and there fore be able to speak up for themselves better, buy BC for themselves, etc.

post #24 of 127

Well, I dont have a teen, but I have two teen sisters and I wanted to share an experience that I had growing up with you. My best friend's mother always allowed coed sleepovers and she (grr...this is happening AGAIN. I cant turn off italics) is the only person that I was friends with in high school that married their high school sweetheart. Her parents always loved her bf and were super supportative of their relationship and now BFF's mom has a super happy daughter and a loving, wonderful son in law, whom she gets along with wonderfully. She is the ONLY one of my friends mom's from high school who has this relationship with her daughter or her son in law. It seems like its just one more way to allow your daughter to be honest about who she is, which I think is very important, especially in her own house.

 

My sisters and I have always had to lie about our relationships to our parents. In fact, because my mother was so opposed to me having sex before marriage, DH and I went to great lengths to hide the fact that we lived together for SIX YEARS before we were married.

post #25 of 127

My mom always told me that when I decide to have sex, it is definitely MY decision.  She refused to buy me a purity ring when I went through a phase of never wanting to have sex before marriage because she didn't want to be part of such a strict rule about sex for me.  Sure, she'd have liked if I waited but she was more concerned with me being true to myself, and SAFE once I decided to have sex.

 

As a teen, I had to work on weekends but my family always went up to the land they own for camping and hunting (my family processes all their own meat.)  She knew I'd have my boyfriend over.  She never SAID so in so many words nor did she ever approve of it, but it was always a 'I know its happening and there isn't anything I can do about it so lets not talk about it since I know you are safe' kind of thing.  When I was 17, she had left banana bread for me and my then boyfriend.  Banana bread is a breakfast food in my family so it was pretty obvious the intentions hehe.

 

With that said though, I wasn't allowed co ed sleep overs unless the boys were in a separate room.  In fact, I only had one on prom night.  Boys slept on couches upstairs and the girls slept on a futon downstairs.  I also had a boyfriend come along on a camping trip... he had to sleep in a tent with my brother rather than me.  Yes, my mom knew I was having sex and accepted it as fact.  She was happy to know I was safe and liked the guys I dated (including the ones I didn't have sex with.)  However she wasn't interested in hosting sleep overs.

 

honestly, had she allowed them to sleep over, there is no way I could have had sex.  It would have freaked me out for her to possibly hear us.  Hell, I'm married with a kid and it STILL freaks me out when we stay at her place... and I know she's cool about sex!  But, I'm pretty private about it.  I can talk about it with my friends in great detail but I prefer no one but my husband to know when we actually have sex or to hear us during.

 

I don't think it is wrong to allow the sleepover.  They might not want to have sex with you in the house and prefer the house to themselves for full privacy like I did.  Or maybe they feel really respected that you understand their relationship is a serious one and not just a silly fling.  Maybe they tell their friends 'ha, my mom actually LETS me have him sleep over so we can have sex!  Does she not KNOW?!' but i'm guessing its more of a normal 'well, we've been together, we're serious, we've been having sex for a while so why wouldn't we be able to share a room?' kind of a deal.

 

I don't know that i'd do it... I can see myself more like my mom... not disproving of sex, but not interested in boys sleeping over either but I can definitely understand why parents might be okay with it.  I think the initial reaction is worse than the situation actually is.

post #26 of 127

See, you say you don't teach it as shameful or wrong, but I would inclined to disagree. You directly compare something that is a fun, healthy, intimate way to express love (sex) with something dirty that kills you and has no benefits (smoking).

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by happysmileylady View Post

I think there's a big difference between accepting that a teen will have sex, and approving of it.  I accept that my 15 year old my choose to have sex before she graduates high school.  We have had discussions,  she certainly knows the mechanics and the risks and so on, and accept that she may very well decide to have sex anyway.

 

But that doesn't mean I have to approve of it.  That doesn't mean that I teach that sex is shameful or wrong or anything like that.  I am trying to teach her that the risks are not worth the benefits at this time and that I don't think it's a risk she should be taking right now.  And I feel that providing location and opportunity says that the risk is ok to take now. 

 

To me, it's like an adult child smoking.  I don't like smoke, I don't want it in my house.  So, once my kids are adults, if they decide to smoke, they aren't allowed to do it in my house.  That doesn't mean that I am ashamed of them or anything like that, I just don't approve of them smoking and I don't want it in my house.



 

post #27 of 127
Quote:
Originally Posted by Linda on the move View Post


 


In conversations with my kids and books we have at home, my DD have been introduced the range of options for birthcontrol. We've had talks about sex and how to make decisions about sex. We talked about which forms of birthcontrol are available over the counter and which ones require a trip to the doctor and a prescription. I've made it very clear to the that I have their insurance cards and prescription cards, and if, at any point in the future, they want to use a prescription form of birth control, they can just say so and I'll help them arrange it. I've also pointed out where condoms  are sold (in stores we go to all the time) and how very inexpensive they are, and how they require no pre-planning or chats with anyone else.

 

I think that because of my frank conversations with my kids and the information and acceptance they have, they will be more likely to use protection than they might other wise.

 

I think that a kid who knows his/her parents will FREAK OUT if they find out they are having sex, will be less likely to get birthcontrol in the first place because of the shame factor, may have trouble getting the type of BC they prefer because of cost/access to doctor/etc., and may have trouble having the BC with them because they are spending a lot of energy hiding it (owning BC is a huge offense in some families).
 

I also think that kids that are raised in an atmosphere of trust and acceptance on this issue will feel less shame, and there fore be able to speak up for themselves better, buy BC for themselves, etc.

I get it.  I have the same conversation and same attitude w/my dd, and I will with my ds as well.  I haven't come down on which side I am yet on this issue-we aren't there yet, and I have learned that what I think at one point can change based upon real life circumstances, so I'll leave it at that.

 

But, I don't know how providing space, time and privacy for teens to have sex at home decreases STD's or unplanned pregnancy.    I guess you could assume that at home a teen would have access to birth control that wasn't something along the lines of a birth control pill, and would always have a ready supply of condoms to reduce chances of STD infection.  Is this the thinking?  It seems like there's more to the issue of unplanned preganacy and STD's than this.

 

FWIW, neither I or my DH had parents who encouraged their kids to have sex at home.  You're talking big, Catholic families here.  We have very, very good relationships with our parents, so do our siblings, so I don't think that their expectations for their home, or kids, really impacted that. None of were saints either.  I believe it's very possible to be open, frank, supportive, not freak out about your kid's sexuality, and still not feel quite OK with opening your home for the explicit purpose of making space for your kids to have sex.  

 

I don't think that because one chooses not to create a welcoming environment in their home for their teens to have sex, it follows that you are freaking out about your kids deciding to become sexually active.  Like a pp said, your teen could choose to do lots of things-smoke, drink, take drugs, that are ultimately their choice, and their responsibility.  It doesn't follow that a loving, involved, realistic parent then chooses to welcome that in their home.
 

 


Edited by karne - 4/7/11 at 7:26am
post #28 of 127

I was raised by my father and I was allowed to have a boyfriend sleep over.

Kind of hilariously, but we never had sex while he slept over because I didn't want to gross my dad out or make him uncomfortable if he heard anything, ha!

My dad was fully accepting of my blossoming sexuality... when that boyfriend and I broke up a year or so later, my dad was there to comfort me and help me through it. I feel like the way he handled that situation start to finish, so to speak, was flawless. He validated that my relationship, even though I was a teenager, had deep meaning and importance to me. He didn't trivialize it when I was in the throes of the relationship, and thus during the trauma of break-up, he didn't trivialize the pain and hurt I was experiencing.

In hindsight I've laughed with my dad over that relationship, "puppy love". His way of describing it was that he knew as an adult with years more experience then I'd have, that that relationship was a drop in a bucket compared to what was to come, but for me in those very moments, that was what was most real and powerful, and that it would have been disrespectful for him to not validate that. That's not to say that he HAD to allow sleep-overs. I think it was his way of validating the "seriousness" of the relationship for me.

I'm not sure one way or another what I'll do in that situation. I think there are legitimate pros and cons to each side/option.. and ultimately all we can do is try to make the right decision for our family and ourselves. I think if having teenage sleepovers of this nature is going to make a parent super uncomfortable and unhappy (i.e. if they have to force themselves to not object) that may actually be bad in the long run- it could cause resentment issues from the parent towards their child's partner and that's never a good thing.

 

post #29 of 127

Ok, seriously, I took smoking as the first thing I could think of right off the top of my head that I don't approve of.  And actually, I have never actually compared smoking and sex to my child.  It was just an example I used here to illustrate a point.

Quote:
Originally Posted by KaylaBeanie View Post

See, you say you don't teach it as shameful or wrong, but I would inclined to disagree. You directly compare something that is a fun, healthy, intimate way to express love (sex) with something dirty that kills you and has no benefits (smoking).

 



 


The way I have actually discussed it with her?  From the standpoint of the experiences we have both had.  As in "our life was not easy those first few years.  Do you really want to take the risk of ending up in the same situation?"  And before we talk about protection making that risk less, she was conceived while using protection.  And she knows that. 

post #30 of 127
Quote:
Originally Posted by Adaline'sMama View Post

Well, I dont have a teen, but I have two teen sisters and I wanted to share an experience that I had growing up with you. My best friend's mother always allowed coed sleepovers and she (grr...this is happening AGAIN. I cant turn off italics) is the only person that I was friends with in high school that married their high school sweetheart. Her parents always loved her bf and were super supportative of their relationship and now BFF's mom has a super happy daughter and a loving, wonderful son in law, whom she gets along with wonderfully. She is the ONLY one of my friends mom's from high school who has this relationship with her daughter or her son in law. It seems like its just one more way to allow your daughter to be honest about who she is, which I think is very important, especially in her own house.

 

I can understand this story.  While our BF's were not allowed to sleep over, my parents were very open with us about sex, and we were open with them.  I only ever had ONE boyfriend, whom I dated for 7 years and then married.  He was my only sexual partner.  My sister dated her husband 10 yrs before marrying him, he was her only sexual partner.  And the same can be said about my younger sister.  We are all still with our BF's (now husbands) from H.S.  I think because our parents made us feel comfortable about our sexuality, we didn't have to go around sleeping with tons of guys at a young age, and found our one true loves quite early in life.  I feel fortunate for this.

 

My parents were teen parents.  They saw being open as a way to prevent us from getting pregnant young like they did.  While they knew that we would be having sex with our boyfriends, our boyfriends were not allowed to sleep over.  I personally wouldn't want to have sex as a teen with my BF knowing my parents were in the next room, or somewhere in the house.  Even now, as a married adult with kids of my own, if I have an over night guest, I feel weird having sex with my DH.  My BF did not spend the night at my house until I was in college, and he had to move an hour away.  We would see each other on the weekends, and he would sleep with me at my Dad's house.  However, my Dad was usually at his GF's house, so it didn't bother either of us that my BF was there for the night.

 

When my children are teenagers, I will not allow their GF's to sleep over or allow them to sleep at a GF's home (I only have boys right now).  While I am assuming they are going to have sex as a teen, I do not believe they need to be doing it at my home, while I am there.  They are under age and I find it inappropriate to have a GF/BF sleep over.  Why would they need to anyways?  If they go to the same school, they'll live in the same town, and the GF/BF can just go sleep at their own home, with his/her parents.  Unless it is a long distance thing, there's no need for them to be playing house, while I'm at home.  I'm going to assume though, that they may have sex in my home when I'm not there, and I guess that's okay as I would trust my son or daughter to be safe.

post #31 of 127

Im not there yet but I really cant see myself allowing my teenage children having SO's sleeping in the same bed with them at my house. something about it just seems so disrespectful to me.  X and I weren't even allowed to sleep at his parents house until we were married and we were living together and PG at the time. 

post #32 of 127


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by karne View Post


I don't think that because one chooses not to create a welcoming environment in their home for their teens to have sex, it follows that you are freaking out about your kids deciding to become sexually active.  Like a pp said, your teen could choose to do lots of things-smoke, drink, take drugs, that are ultimately their choice, and their responsibility.  It doesn't follow that a loving, involved, realistic parent then chooses to welcome that in their home.
 

 


Is your home a welcoming place for birthcontrol?  I think requiring teens to be secretive makes it more difficult for them to be responsible.

 

I think if we truly want our teens to be responsible, they need to know that if we find "evidence" they are sexually active, that's it's no big deal. To me, that requires a certain level of honesty. I'm not convinced it's possible to teach teens they we are fine with them using birthcontrol while also teaching them that they had better keep their sex life a secret from us.

 

I think the message that a lot of teens end up with from their parents is "whatever you do, don't let me catch you with condemns." It's no wonder so many of them end up pregnant or with STDs.

 

And the freaking out issue is really in the mind of the teen -- based on what they parent says and how the parents acts, our teens evaluate how freaked out we would be over certain things and make choices based on how they think we would respond. If in the parents mind, finding birthcontrol is in the same category as finding drugs, I think it's possible the teen would skip the BC and cross their fingers, and we all know how effective hope is as a form of BC.

 

post #33 of 127
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sharlla View Post

Im not there yet but I really cant see myself allowing my teenage children having SO's sleeping in the same bed with them at my house. something about it just seems so disrespectful to me.  X and I weren't even allowed to sleep at his parents house until we were married and we were living together and PG at the time. 


But WHY is it disrespectful? Is it disrespectful when you and your partner have sex in the house where your children live? What exactly is disrespectful to you when somebody else who also lives in the family home has sex?
 

 

post #34 of 127



 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Linda on the move View Post


 


Is your home a welcoming place for birthcontrol?  I think requiring teens to be secretive makes it more difficult for them to be responsible.

 

I think if we truly want our teens to be responsible, they need to know that if we find "evidence" they are sexually active, that's it's no big deal. To me, that requires a certain level of honesty. I'm not convinced it's possible to teach teens they we are fine with them using birthcontrol while also teaching them that they had better keep their sex life a secret from us.

 

I think the message that a lot of teens end up with from their parents is "whatever you do, don't let me catch you with condemns." It's no wonder so many of them end up pregnant or with STDs.

 

And the freaking out issue is really in the mind of the teen -- based on what they parent says and how the parents acts, our teens evaluate how freaked out we would be over certain things and make choices based on how they think we would respond. If in the parents mind, finding birthcontrol is in the same category as finding drugs, I think it's possible the teen would skip the BC and cross their fingers, and we all know how effective hope is as a form of BC.

 


Indeed. I remember how my mother freaked out when she found my birth control pills when I was 23 and on a visit home for the weekend. She felt perfectly comfortable searching my handbag for them, too, as she felt it was her right as a parent.

 

It strikes me that I read so much on MDC about child led learning, child led potty training, child led weaning, but when that child is growing up, child led exploration of their sexuality is a big no-no. Funny, that...

post #35 of 127
Quote:
Originally Posted by choli View Post

 

It strikes me that I read so much on MDC about child led learning, child led potty training, child led weaning, but when that child is growing up, child led exploration of their sexuality is a big no-no. Funny, that...



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post #36 of 127


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Linda on the move View Post


 


Is your home a welcoming place for birthcontrol?  I think requiring teens to be secretive makes it more difficult for them to be responsible.

 

I think if we truly want our teens to be responsible, they need to know that if we find "evidence" they are sexually active, that's it's no big deal. To me, that requires a certain level of honesty. I'm not convinced it's possible to teach teens they we are fine with them using birthcontrol while also teaching them that they had better keep their sex life a secret from us.

 

I think the message that a lot of teens end up with from their parents is "whatever you do, don't let me catch you with condemns." It's no wonder so many of them end up pregnant or with STDs.

 

And the freaking out issue is really in the mind of the teen -- based on what they parent says and how the parents acts, our teens evaluate how freaked out we would be over certain things and make choices based on how they think we would respond. If in the parents mind, finding birthcontrol is in the same category as finding drugs, I think it's possible the teen would skip the BC and cross their fingers, and we all know how effective hope is as a form of BC.

 

 

Did I not say that I agreed with, and practiced the open dialog, commitment to assisting w/birth control, etc. as you referenced in your post?  How would that lead to questioning whether my home was a welcoming place for birth control?   Perhaps this isn't your intent, but I find the question and lecturing tone offensive. I'm not a new poster to this forum.  I'm generally there with most of what goes on here, so I don't get the negative attitude.  Like I said in my post, we're not there yet. I'm just mulling things over, and trying to work out some of the ideas I'm challenged with here.  

 

 Too bad there can't be dialog and folks need to resort to lecturing and snarky comments about not supporting child led learning if you dare to question this issue.  Way to shut down conversation.  Is this the model of respectful behavior that we all seem so committed to have with our kids?

 

 

post #37 of 127

I also don't have teens yet, but I do think there is a difference in allowing child led learning ect. and keep your child safe. I do think that there are dangers when kids start having sex. There is STD's, pregnancies, and emotional consequences that can effect their lives greatly. I don't think that a child is equipped to handle all of that. Yes you should be open about it all, and have open conversations about these dangers and how to avoid them(like having access to different forms of bc), but that doesn't mean that I would facillitate and endorse them doing something that is too dangerous or risky for them at that time in their lives. They need to be focusing on education and preparing for their lives as adults at that point. Once they are 18 and adults they can do whatever they want, and I hope that I can provide them with the proper knowledge on how to go about their adult sex lives safely. 

 

Just like I wouldn't facilitate and endorse child led experimenting with drugs or alcohol I wouldn't do that for sex either. Some things are meant for adults, and I do not believe that children(teens) are at the point where they can have that kind of adult relationship rationally.

I did have sex when I was 16, and it was with my husband(then boyfriend). I got my own birth control pills, and until then we used condoms. I asked my mom to get me on bc, but she wouldn't because she said I shouldn't be having sex. I just went to planned parenthood and got it though. I was very immature, and not emotionally ready for sex. I don't regret it at all because we stayed together, and everything worked out fine. I don't believe that we were ready though, and it effected me emotionally and it effected my life forever. It all worked out, but I was lucky. If that relationship had gone a different direction I would have likely regretted it.

post #38 of 127

 

Quote:

It strikes me that I read so much on MDC about child led learning, child led potty training, child led weaning, but when that child is growing up, child led exploration of their sexuality is a big no-no. Funny, that...

When we are talking about child led potty learning, an accident means poop on the floor.  When we are talking about child led education, a mistake means that the child learns to read a little later than average.

 

With child led sexuality a mistake means that ANOTHER LIFE can be brought into the world, or that the child exploring could contract a life ending disease.  The risks of a child exploring her sexuality simply don't compare to the risks of child lead weaning or child led potty training. 

 

The fact is that at 15, 16, even going into 17, my child is still....a child.  Yes she's a teen, not a 2 year old needing guidance on crossing the street.  But, just like she needed that guidance at 2 on how to make decisions about crossing the street, at 15, she still needs guidance on how to make decisions about sex.  And I am going to provide that guidance, which includes not approving of sex before at the very least high school graduation. 

post #39 of 127
Quote:
Originally Posted by love4bob View Post

I also don't have teens yet, but I do think there is a difference in allowing child led learning ect. and keep your child safe. I do think that there are dangers when kids start having sex. There is STD's, pregnancies, and emotional consequences that can effect their lives greatly. I don't think that a child is equipped to handle all of that. Yes you should be open about it all, and have open conversations about these dangers and how to avoid them(like having access to different forms of bc), but that doesn't mean that I would facillitate and endorse them doing something that is too dangerous or risky for them at that time in their lives. They need to be focusing on education and preparing for their lives as adults at that point. Once they are 18 and adults they can do whatever they want, and I hope that I can provide them with the proper knowledge on how to go about their adult sex lives safely. 

 

Just like I wouldn't facilitate and endorse child led experimenting with drugs or alcohol I wouldn't do that for sex either. Some things are meant for adults, and I do not believe that children(teens) are at the point where they can have that kind of adult relationship rationally.

I did have sex when I was 16, and it was with my husband(then boyfriend). I got my own birth control pills, and until then we used condoms. I asked my mom to get me on bc, but she wouldn't because she said I shouldn't be having sex. I just went to planned parenthood and got it though. I was very immature, and not emotionally ready for sex. I don't regret it at all because we stayed together, and everything worked out fine. I don't believe that we were ready though, and it effected me emotionally and it effected my life forever. It all worked out, but I was lucky. If that relationship had gone a different direction I would have likely regretted it.


I DO have teens, and I think that is why I have a different perspective from yours. When our children are small, it is hard for us to imagine what it is like for them to grow up. My DDs are not children, they are young women, and are perfectly capable of making decisions about their own sexuality. They can even do so while concentrating on their education and preparing for adult life. Exploring their sexuality IS preparing for adult life. They are informed about safe sex.I certainly have never tried to make then view sex as dangerous and risky - they know how to mitigate the risks. Being sexually active does not mean that they lose focus on other important things, it is just a small part of life.

 


 

 

post #40 of 127
I think it really depends on the situation, the maturity of the teens, the relationship, their age, and how educated they are wrt the risks, other kids in the house, true level of privacy, etc.

I know there is sex going on in my basement . However, this is an exclusive relationship of almost a year, both kids are over 18, and I know at least my kids has been very well educated. BUT...gf does not sleep over unless it is a group slumber party type thing. My ds does not sleep at her house. Maybe I will change my mind on that when they're in their 20's...but for now she needs to go home. But funny thing is, we've never been asked to host her overnight (bad weather or something we certainly would). Nor has ds asked to stay at her house. Just hasn't come up.
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