Co-ed sleepovers? - Mothering Forums

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Old 11-08-2010, 11:01 AM - Thread Starter
 
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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?
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Old 11-08-2010, 11:08 AM
 
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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?

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Old 11-08-2010, 11:19 AM - Thread Starter
 
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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.
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Old 11-08-2010, 11:27 AM
 
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No way...what is the possible benefit?

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Old 11-08-2010, 11:49 AM
 
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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.
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Old 11-08-2010, 11:59 AM
 
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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.
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Old 11-08-2010, 01:24 PM
 
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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....

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Old 11-08-2010, 01:52 PM
 
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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.

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Old 11-08-2010, 02:32 PM
 
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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.

  

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Old 11-08-2010, 02:35 PM
 
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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.
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Old 11-08-2010, 03:09 PM
 
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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.

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Old 11-08-2010, 03:58 PM
 
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As the mother of girl of the same age...no, I would not allow it. Not here and not at his house either.

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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.

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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.
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Old 11-08-2010, 04:23 PM
 
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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?

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Old 11-08-2010, 07:17 PM
 
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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.

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Old 11-08-2010, 08:19 PM
 
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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.)
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Old 11-08-2010, 08:37 PM
 
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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
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Old 11-08-2010, 11:05 PM
 
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Nope, no way. You have to go away to college to do that.
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Old 11-09-2010, 01:37 AM
 
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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.

but everything has pros and cons  shrug.gif

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Old 11-09-2010, 02:24 AM
 
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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.

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Old 11-09-2010, 11:41 AM - Thread Starter
 
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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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Old 11-10-2010, 07:07 AM
 
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I had a couple of other thoughts. On the explaining why it is that you trust him and yet still are saying no, I'd tell him that you trust if there was a real reason for her to spend the night, you trust that he would behave well. Yet we are all best off when we set ourselves up to do what we consider to be the right thing. I think there is a real life lesson in here for him that applies to lots of other situations. Sometimes people end up doing things that they didn't intend to because they put themselves in a situation and allowed things to get out of control. It's ego. It's believing that we are sooooo good, that we need not be careful.

 

The truth is that we are all capable of doing things we consider undesirable.

 

The other thing that I would talk to him about is that girls sometimes come onto boys, and that it's OK to say no and to put a stop to things. I think that's a very hard concept for many young men. There is soooo much cultural pressure on boys that sexual experience is desirable, plus it feels impolite to tell a girl no. It sounds like the conversation you guys had was about whether or not HE would behave. I think it's time to talk about the fact that girls are curious too.

 

If he and his friend don't already, I'd encourage some nice long evenings where they can hang out and watch movies or play games until midnight. But then I'd drive the girl home!


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Old 11-10-2010, 08:29 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Good post Linda. I really like the way you worded everything. And yes, we had the conversation about girl's being curious as well. He sees my point now and has dropped it for the time being. I think the part about not putting ourselves in situations that could go bad is a good aspect. We have talked about parties. I won't let him go because I don't want him to be in a bad situation. He understands that. So I think he would understand this as well. Thanks for your help!

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Old 11-12-2010, 11:35 AM
 
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No, I wouldn't allow it.

 

I'm an atheist, but to borrow a phrase from my Catholic upbringing, it's a "near occasion of sin." wink1.gif

 There's no real need for her to sleep over, and to my way of thinking, it's going out of your way to look for trouble.

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Old 11-12-2010, 11:49 PM
 
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I 'm not that far away from teenager so I need to chime in here.  Honestly if they're going to do anything they're going to do it whether it's at a sleepover, a date, parking, etc.  And before anyone says it's easier during a sleepover, it's not.  It's a lot easier to make out in while parking in some dark parking lot where you don't have to worry about getting caught by your parents than it is when you're in separate rooms, sneaking into one room, trying not to make noise and keep an ear out for parents.  When I had sleepovers with my boyfriend in high school we actually slept (and his mom let us sleep in the same room).  I just liked staying there b/c I didn't have to worry about driving home late, keeping up my parents (they wouldn't sleep unless I was home b/c they worried about me driving at night) and it was just nice to be that close to someone.


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Old 11-13-2010, 09:48 PM
 
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14 year olds can't go anywhere in a car without an adult.

 

I think it partly about setting appropriate boundaries and being clear.


but everything has pros and cons  shrug.gif

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Old 11-13-2010, 09:56 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Linda on the move View Post

14 year olds can't go anywhere in a car without an adult.

 

I think it partly about setting appropriate boundaries and being clear.



So replace car with empty movie theatre.  I know many many people who used movie theatres instead of parking.


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Old 11-14-2010, 07:45 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Honey693 View Post



Quote:
Originally Posted by Linda on the move View Post

14 year olds can't go anywhere in a car without an adult.

 

I think it partly about setting appropriate boundaries and being clear.



So replace car with empty movie theatre.  I know many many people who used movie theatres instead of parking.


My kiddo isn't going to be in a dark movie theater by herself with a boyfriend at 14, either, so your argument doesn't work with me. I'm sure it's cultural, as dh is from the Middle East, but we'll allow dd to go out in groups for a couple of years and when she's 17 or 18, she can start having one-on-one dates.  I know that makes us seem very old-fashioned, but we WILL respect the cultural beliefs of dh's family as much as we can within the framework of raising a daughter in America.  Where he is from, a girl is never even alone with a man until they are engaged.  Obviously, that's too extreme for the US, but I don't believe for ONE MINUTE that kids won't totally take advantage of a sleepover.  Saying that they'd rather make out in a semi-public place like a parking lot or movie theater and not try anything on a sleepover is not just absurd, it's naïve.

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Old 11-14-2010, 08:17 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by velochic View Post

My kiddo isn't going to be in a dark movie theater by herself with a boyfriend at 14, either, so your argument doesn't work with me.


same here, and I have a 14 year old DD!

 

My kids are well supervised. We will deal with dating when it comes up, which hasn't happened. I don't understand making it easy for kids who aren't even old enough to date to have sex. That makes absolutely NO sense to me.

 

The parents I see doing a good job with kids this age with boyfriend/girlfriend situations do things like drive them to the skate rink and then stay in the snack bar and read a book. They let the kids have fun together in a safe situation. They stay in the back ground, but the kids are still supervised.


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Old 11-14-2010, 07:09 PM
 
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Yup, that's us--reading a book in the dark, providing a silent support, but definitely a presence.  We don't have dating here-too young.  But we do have group get togethers,.

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Old 11-17-2010, 10:10 AM
 
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I would prefer co-ed sleep overs when kids are younger . My son is only 6 and he has asked many times if his friend whose a girl to spend the night . I wouldn't have the problem with it because you don't have to worry about intimate risk in that group age .

 

But many parents are just uneasy of a 'too early sleep over  especially with the opposite sex .

 

Teens are more at risk of intimate relations our neighbor daughter who is only 15 a sophmore in highschool  and she's pregnant !   She's so busy taking care of her 3 siblings and one of them are special needs because their mother is nearly gone all the time or sleeping.

 

It's like that 15 yr old girl is a single mom of 3 with one on the way  and she still found the time to be intimate .

 

 

 

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