Sleepovers for teenagers of opposite sexes? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 14 Old 04-19-2014, 08:43 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I'm not sure whether to put this in parenting or blended families, but I wanted to get a lot of opinions here, so I'm putting it in parenting.  Besides, once I marry my fiance, and adopt his children, she WILL be my child.
 

My oldest stepdaughter is 13.  She has a boyfriend.  He's also 13.  My fiance's Wife and Mother of his children died almost 4 years ago.  They're a very religious family- strong faith in God- but also a really laid back about certain other things, such as R rated movies, etc.  My fiance thinks hey can "handle it", because they know right from wrong from church, from their Grandparents (retired missionaries), etc.  My fiance is unbelievably naive about certain things, such as there have been times when I've had to point out to him that either of his daughters (ages 13 and 6) are dressed really inappropriate, either by being overly exposed (think, skirts barely covering the bum for either) or plain our dressing like a 20 year old (think, heavy makeup, low cut, tight shirt, extremely padded bra, super high heels on the 13 year old).  I don't think he's capable of seeing his daughters as potentially sexual objects (I get it- they're his babies), but he also doesn't get it that other people will and probably do, at least in the older girl's case.  Anyways...

 

So there was an Easter Egg Hunt today, two different ones, during two different times and the same place.  The morning one was 5 and under, so my little one ran with his 3 year old twin cousins.  I skipped the afternoon one because my little one was too young, but my sister went with her two oldest- ages 6 and 13, and my fiance went with his three- ages 6, 10 and 13, and the 13 year old's boyfriend.  My sister told me after that my fiance's 13 year old and her boyfriend were holding hands and cuddling up the whole time.  This bothered me, but I chose not to talk to my fiance about it, because even though I personally feel they're moving too fast, since every weekend, they pick up this 13 year old boy first thing Saturday morning, drop him at his house late at night, and then pick him up first thing Sunday morning and keep him until bedtime.  Every weekend for the last 2-3 months.  She thinks of him as her soul mate and plans on marrying him someday.  She also has never been in a "serious" relationship before, so everything's bigger and better and shinier than it actually is- there's never been a relationship between two people ever before this special, yada, yada, yada.  I was a teenage girl once- that's enough of a "reason" to let things happen.

 

And now I was just online with my fiance and he casually mentioned that he dropped the girls off at Granny's house (their maternal Grandmother) and, oh, by the way, the boyfriend's sleeping over there, too.  He thinks that, just because her (sleeping) Grandmother will be there, nothing will happen.  He thinks that, just because her younger sister will be there, nothing will happen.  Likely, nothing will happen.  But... I'm really uncomfortable because the 13 year old gets what she wants and if Dad says yes once, then this will be how EVERY weekend goes until something does happen.  And, I'm really uncomfortable because something's weird about the 6 year old- several instances of her acting inappropriately in front of and towards the opposite sex, and with everything, if her older sister does it at, say, 13, she'll be doing it at 9 or 10- if this doesn't turn into a major problem with the older one, give it a couple years and it definitely will with the younger one.

 

Please, either tell me I'm crazy, it's perfectly fine for members of the opposite sex to have sleepovers when they're barely teens, or tell me that even if my fiance doesn't agree, yeah, I'm not crazy, this is nuts, there's just too much temptation involved.

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I pray for the day Family Court recognizes that CHILDREN have rights, parents only have PRIVILEGES.  Only then, will I know my child is safe.
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#2 of 14 Old 04-20-2014, 12:38 PM
 
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Not all teens have sex. There are those who just want to wait, or who do have strong religious ideas so wait for that reason, or whatever else. 

So... It's possible that they won't be sexually active even at a sleepover. Maybe your fiance just has that amazingly close a relationship with his daughter that she honestly says she won't want to have sex with this guy. Maybe this guy is just the most perfect guy ever and would never pressure her (intentionally or not) into something she wouldn't have wanted to do. Your fiance certainly thinks so. He may be right, it does happen.

 

There is a risk, though. But the risk is there whether they have the sleepover or not. If your kid really wants to have sex, you can't really do anything to stop it short of locking them in their room for the rest of their life. There's nothing fantastically wrong with pre-teens being sexually active, as long as they do it safely. I don't really know if they're ready, but whether they're ready or not, they still do it. At the same time, that doesn't mean you should encourage it or go out of your way to facilitate it- which, yeah, I do think that your fiance is doing.

 

If they are going to have sex, I really hope those two kids know about things like condoms and have access to them. I think everyone would prefer that your fiance not get a harsh dose of reality in the form of a pregnant pre-teen daughter.


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#3 of 14 Old 04-20-2014, 02:23 PM
 
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That's a tough situation. As far as the dressing goes that may be a big up hill battle for you with the oldest if daddy thinks it's been ok the last few years. I myself dress conservative and always have. I can't imagine letting my daughter leave the house dressed like you mentioned above. Maybe in need of a wardrobe change;)

As for the boy, like stated above not all teens have sex. I use to argue this point with my parents. In high school my friends had boy/girl sleep overs. I didn't tell my parents because I knew they would not approve but I also knew that I wasn't going to be "naughty". If kids want to have sex they will find a way and doesn't have to include a bed or car or even night time..... I think a family talk about sex and safety would be a good idea even if it is just you and the girls. You could talk also about waiting too but I think what is most important is them knowing how to be safe. Also my own recommendation is to try not to push birth control on them. My mom did that because she"knew" I was having sex (which I wasn't) and it really ticked me off that she wouldn't believe me.

Much luck to ya!!!!
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#4 of 14 Old 04-21-2014, 07:32 AM
 
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Originally Posted by kblackstone444 View Post
 

I'm not sure whether to put this in parenting or blended families, but I wanted to get a lot of opinions here, so I'm putting it in parenting.  Besides, once I marry my fiance, and adopt his children, she WILL be my child.
 

My oldest stepdaughter is 13.  She has a boyfriend.  He's also 13.  My fiance's Wife and Mother of his children died almost 4 years ago.  They're a very religious family- strong faith in God- but also a really laid back about certain other things, such as R rated movies, etc.  My fiance thinks hey can "handle it", because they know right from wrong from church, from their Grandparents (retired missionaries), etc.  My fiance is unbelievably naive about certain things, such as there have been times when I've had to point out to him that either of his daughters (ages 13 and 6) are dressed really inappropriate, either by being overly exposed (think, skirts barely covering the bum for either) or plain our dressing like a 20 year old (think, heavy makeup, low cut, tight shirt, extremely padded bra, super high heels on the 13 year old).  I don't think he's capable of seeing his daughters as potentially sexual objects (I get it- they're his babies), but he also doesn't get it that other people will and probably do, at least in the older girl's case.  Anyways...

 

So there was an Easter Egg Hunt today, two different ones, during two different times and the same place.  The morning one was 5 and under, so my little one ran with his 3 year old twin cousins.  I skipped the afternoon one because my little one was too young, but my sister went with her two oldest- ages 6 and 13, and my fiance went with his three- ages 6, 10 and 13, and the 13 year old's boyfriend.  My sister told me after that my fiance's 13 year old and her boyfriend were holding hands and cuddling up the whole time.  This bothered me, but I chose not to talk to my fiance about it, because even though I personally feel they're moving too fast, since every weekend, they pick up this 13 year old boy first thing Saturday morning, drop him at his house late at night, and then pick him up first thing Sunday morning and keep him until bedtime.  Every weekend for the last 2-3 months.  She thinks of him as her soul mate and plans on marrying him someday.  She also has never been in a "serious" relationship before, so everything's bigger and better and shinier than it actually is- there's never been a relationship between two people ever before this special, yada, yada, yada.  I was a teenage girl once- that's enough of a "reason" to let things happen.

 

And now I was just online with my fiance and he casually mentioned that he dropped the girls off at Granny's house (their maternal Grandmother) and, oh, by the way, the boyfriend's sleeping over there, too.  He thinks that, just because her (sleeping) Grandmother will be there, nothing will happen.  He thinks that, just because her younger sister will be there, nothing will happen.  Likely, nothing will happen.  But... I'm really uncomfortable because the 13 year old gets what she wants and if Dad says yes once, then this will be how EVERY weekend goes until something does happen.  And, I'm really uncomfortable because something's weird about the 6 year old- several instances of her acting inappropriately in front of and towards the opposite sex, and with everything, if her older sister does it at, say, 13, she'll be doing it at 9 or 10- if this doesn't turn into a major problem with the older one, give it a couple years and it definitely will with the younger one.

 

Please, either tell me I'm crazy, it's perfectly fine for members of the opposite sex to have sleepovers when they're barely teens, or tell me that even if my fiance doesn't agree, yeah, I'm not crazy, this is nuts, there's just too much temptation involved.

 

How long have you been involved with your fiancé?

 

Legally, after you marry, she may be your child.  But, you will not be her Mom.  Not to her, anyway.  She is old enough to remember her mom and for you to start pushing your beliefs and standards on her is asking for trouble.  Trouble between you and the girl and between you and her Dad.

 

I think this girl is acting out because her Mom died and Dad is giving in because he feels she has gone through enough crap and "deserves" to have whatever she wants.  The same goes for the younger child.  It sounds like for 4 years, there hasn't been a woman in their lives that the girls respect and has some influence with them (not "over" them, with them). 

 

I see a tough road ahead for you and your intended, as you each have different views on parenting.  You really need to talk about this.  Will you be having pre-marriage counseling?

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#5 of 14 Old 04-21-2014, 08:02 AM
 
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I agree about not pushing birth control, but make it readily available. If we have a kid whose about the age to start having a period and does NOT want to talk about it, my plan is to put a box of tampons and pads. Just leave it at " it's fine if you aren't, these are just here in case you ever want to. It's my job to help keep you safe.".

If her dad doesn't want to make birth control/safe sex stuff available AND wants that... yeesh. I don't care if that girl stays celibate all her life, he's still taking a risk. If you're going to make it that easy for a kid to have sex if she wants to, at least give her the tools to do so safely.
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How long have you been involved with your fiancé?

Legally, after you marry, she may be your child.  But, you will not be her Mom.  Not to her, anyway.  She is old enough to remember her mom and for you to start pushing your beliefs and standards on her is asking for trouble.  Trouble between you and the girl and between you and her Dad.

I think this girl is acting out because her Mom died and Dad is giving in because he feels she has gone through enough crap and "deserves" to have whatever she wants.  The same goes for the younger child.  It sounds like for 4 years, there hasn't been a woman in their lives that the girls respect and has some influence with them (not "over" them, with them). 

I see a tough road ahead for you and your intended, as you each have different views on parenting.  You really need to talk about this.  Will you be having pre-marriage counseling?

If I'm remembering correctly, this is the same guy that lets his 6yo get away with murder- likely for the same reason. I believe they started pre-marital counseling over that.

I don't know if the girl is acting out. It sounds like fairly normal pre-teen behavior to have a boyfriend and be clingy and gush about how you two are soulmates and gonna get married and be together forever. Maybe the clothing, but even that could very well be just copying what her friends/favorite celebs do, and her dad never objecting to it. I don't agree with the sleepover idea, but I'm not even sure whose idea it was.

That's a good point, though, even if she's not "acting out", she IS pushing boundaries. Kids do this in part to get freedom, but also to establish that the boundaries actually are there. Constantly pushing against boundaries and never meeting them isn't good for kids. It's really bad for his 6 yo, but it's still not good for a 13 yo. Here's an article on why permissive parenting is bad: http://www.ahaparenting.com/parenting-tools/positive-discipline/permissive-parenting

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#6 of 14 Old 04-21-2014, 08:21 AM - Thread Starter
 
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How long have you been involved with your fiancé?

 

We've been together a little over two years.  And yes, there is couples counseling.

 

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If I'm remembering correctly, this is the same guy that lets his 6yo get away with murder- likely for the same reason. I believe they started pre-marital counseling over that.

 Yes, you're remembering correctly.  They're "been through enough", etc.


I pray for the day Family Court recognizes that CHILDREN have rights, parents only have PRIVILEGES.  Only then, will I know my child is safe.
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#7 of 14 Old 04-21-2014, 08:31 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I see a tough road ahead for you and your intended, as you each have different views on parenting.

 

We don't have different views on parenting when it comes to co-ed sleepovers, or even the girls clothing or makeup, he just doesn't like to be the bad guy, apparently.

 

We went out to dinner with his parents for Easter, so we didn't get much chance to talk in depth (his Mother would kill him if she knew what he allowed), and I didn't want to ruin Easter dinner for everybody- we had 14 people- but he actually said that he hates the idea, doesn't want her to have another sleepover, didn't want to say yes to the first one, etc.  He all-out told me that he wanted ME to talk to her about it because I'm a girl and I understand these things.  I flat-out told him no, I'm NOT gonna be the bad guy- he's the parent, it's his job to say no, besides, he used to be a teenage boy, so he knows how that works.  I did privately talk to the 13 year old, but I'm certainly not gonna tell him that- I was pretty offended by being told that I could tell her no after he said yes.  I'll be gone before I'm set up to be, "Sorry kids, I know I let you do it, but STEPMOTHER says you can't."  We had such a busy day yesterday, and then everybody crashed early when we got home, now I'm gonna watch the 6 year old while my fiance goes on a 3 day trip (and no couples counseling this week!), so I'm not sure how the next couple days will play out.


I pray for the day Family Court recognizes that CHILDREN have rights, parents only have PRIVILEGES.  Only then, will I know my child is safe.
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#8 of 14 Old 04-21-2014, 08:34 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I don't know if the girl is acting out. It sounds like fairly normal pre-teen behavior to have a boyfriend and be clingy and gush about how you two are soulmates and gonna get married and be together forever. Maybe the clothing, but even that could very well be just copying what her friends/favorite celebs do, and her dad never objecting to it. I don't agree with the sleepover idea, but I'm not even sure whose idea it was.

That's a good point, though, even if she's not "acting out", she IS pushing boundaries. Kids do this in part to get freedom, but also to establish that the boundaries actually are there. Constantly pushing against boundaries and never meeting them isn't good for kids. It's really bad for his 6 yo, but it's still not good for a 13 yo. Here's an article on why permissive parenting is bad: http://www.ahaparenting.com/parenting-tools/positive-discipline/permissive-parenting

 

The 13 year old has actually told me on several occasions that she WANTS rules and boundaries and she just wishes her father would give her some once in a while, so she knows he cares.  (I've told him this, he thinks I'm wrong because she makes a fuss- he doesn't see that she pushes harder to see if he'll push harder.)  Her judgement is really clouded right now because she's in looooooooooooooooooove, but for the most part, she has a pretty good head on her shoulders and she does know what's what.


I pray for the day Family Court recognizes that CHILDREN have rights, parents only have PRIVILEGES.  Only then, will I know my child is safe.
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#9 of 14 Old 04-27-2014, 07:33 AM
 
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Unfortunately I do think that you and your fiancé have different expectations for the 13 year olds behavior and I really think you need to discuss this long and hard before getting married.  On the other hand, 13 year olds are caught in a time warp between being little kids and teenagers trying to find their way to adulthood.  Although at 13 we may not be prepared for our kids to be in a serious relationship, it does happen.  My 13 yr old is in love with her boyfriend of 9 months and all we can do is support them, guide them, talk to them and let them know we love them and are there for them.  Good luck.

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Just reading your first post, i think you  are overreacting a little bit. These kids have been raised a certain way by the sounds of it,  and the dad  lets them trust their own judgement. My own parents were like this, and thats all i know-freedom. Both my sisters  dressed is flirty/fashionable/however you want to put it,  at young ages, but so did many of their friends. I didnt, because that wasnt me. So what, we had different personalities. I would have been mortified to hear they couldnt dress a certain way because either mom or dad thought they were being too 'sexual'.  I personally think they should be allowed to dress how they want and to use their own judgment and sense of comfort.

 

Dont expect their dad to agree with you on certain parenting issues, and remember that he has at least 13years of experience, and is probably not an idiot, so give him some credit.

 

The way the 13yo is behaving is perfectly age appropriate, and all younger siblings  under any circumstances mature a little faster because of exposure/trying to keep up.  That doesnt mean that the 6yo is going to  become sexually active at 9.  That doesnt follow at all. If anything, she might leave it till later because she has nothing to prove, and has less curiosity. In  any case, is the 13 yo supposed to wait until her 6yo sister is 18 before she has a relationship?

 

Those are just my initial thoughts.

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#11 of 14 Old 05-01-2014, 02:14 PM
 
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The 13 year old has actually told me on several occasions that she WANTS rules and boundaries and she just wishes her father would give her some once in a while, so she knows he cares.  (I've told him this, he thinks I'm wrong because she makes a fuss- he doesn't see that she pushes harder to see if he'll push harder.)  Her judgement is really clouded right now because she's in looooooooooooooooooove, but for the most part, she has a pretty good head on her shoulders and she does know what's what.

Bolded mine.

This is something to consider. If the girl actually wants more boundaries, then you could talk about this with the dad, or facilitate  the two of them. My own sister was like this-she always wanted  stricter  boundaries but my other sister and I loved determining our own boundaries. I think its a matter of personality. If the girl needs more boundaries,  then she should have them.  Good parenting is being responsive to your child's needs.

As for sleepovers, i would want to  talk to her about all of the implications. If anything is going to happen, better that its done in a safe  and trusting environment, with full communication as the norm. On the other hand, maybe nothing will happen.  Sex isnt everything.

 

Also, you are marrying him,  but he is still the father. I am no expert on blended families,  but  I dont  think your marrying him suddenly gives you authority over his children. You have a right to an opinion , but that is all.  I say that as a single mother. If i were to marry someday, i do not see that as giving over parental rights to the other party, nor to feel obligated to take advice i disagree with.

 

Also, sometimes 'permissive' parenting is in the eyes of the beholder. I love Laura Markham of Aha parenting, but letting a 13yo decide how they dress or have a boyfriend sleep over isnt necessarily permissive parenting. Boundaries  are something that looks different in every family.

 

I agree that you need to talk this over with your fiance, but i see you said you and he  have similar parenting philosophies, so that is an excellent start.

 

ps. i see that the sleepover is  not at your home.  Personally, at that age i would want the sleepover at my place, so i could keep an eye on the situation, and be there to counsel or support whatever the circumstances, not the guys grandmother, who i dont  even know....

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#12 of 14 Old 05-09-2014, 12:22 PM
 
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ps. i see that the sleepover is  not at your home.  Personally, at that age i would want the sleepover at my place, so i could keep an eye on the situation, and be there to counsel or support whatever the circumstances, not the guys grandmother, who i dont  even know....

I'm one of those that does not think teen sex is such a bad thing as long as they are being safe and responsible.  With my teens I prefer the sleepovers at our house, which allows me to be there for them.  If teens want to have sex they will find a place to do it and I've always believed that it's much safer at home.  JMO.

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#13 of 14 Old 05-09-2014, 02:34 PM
 
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Agreed.

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#14 of 14 Old 05-11-2014, 06:31 AM
 
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.

 

The way the 13yo is behaving is perfectly age appropriate, and all younger siblings  under any circumstances mature a little faster because of exposure/trying to keep up.  That doesnt mean that the 6yo is going to  become sexually active at 9.  That doesnt follow at all. If anything, she might leave it till later because she has nothing to prove, and has less curiosity. In  any case, is the 13 yo supposed to wait until her 6yo sister is 18 before she has a relationship?

 

Those are just my initial thoughts.

In my situation my youngest is 13 also and I do think she has matured faster than my other two like you said because of the exposure to it.  She is far more mature at 13 than my other two were and it's just a product of her environment and what she sees going on around her.  I'm fine with it and I know each child is different and they all mature at different stages. 

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