Sleepover privileges for my 15 y/o and her bf?

iVillage Member
Registered: 07-13-2014
Sleepover privileges for my 15 y/o and her bf?
34
Sun, 07-13-2014 - 2:36am

Not sure how to start this. Basically we need advice about our 15 year old daughter, and when it's appropriate to let her boyfriend sleep over, and how much freedom we should give them. And if we can go on another short trip and leave them alone.

For background, they have been having sex for some time, but we are okay with it. They've been together for more than 8 months, and it's serious. Her boyfriend who is 17 is a great guy, he treats her like a princess, and we like him a lot.

Their relationship was very emotionally intense from the beginning, they were inseparable and obsessed with each other. So eventually we realized sex was probably inevitable. It was hard to absorb at first but we are okay with it. We put her on the pill a couple years ago for cramps, and never took her off it. They don't use condoms, which she admitted to me, but she takes her pill religiously and makes a point of it. In general we feel they're being safe, and we know they will do it, and we feel safer if she's at home.

So in early June we decided to go on a weekend trip and leave her home, and we allowed him to stay over. We are considering doing this one or two more times this summer, but we wonder if we're giving them too much freedom.

For the record the chance of them having a party is very slim. He doesn't use drugs or smoke or even drink, which my daughter asked him when they were just friends, because she's not interested in them either. We are enormously grateful for that. And we trust her with him. It seems rare to find a 17 year old guy who's not interested in drinking, but frankly he seems more interested in her than anything else.

When we did this in June, it went fine. When we got back, they had done all the chores we asked, the house was so clean, they both seemed grateful. My daughter was beaming for days. I know she wants us to do it again and I sense her getting antsy about it although she's too shy to ask. What's confusing is that we want to, but we always thought we would be more protective of her than this.

We also have a feeling that if this becomes a thing, when the school year starts she will want more sleepovers. And what happens if we go down that road? He already spends a lot of time at our house, if he stays overnight regularly I don't know if that's appropriate.

Are we being smart about this? Should we let them have a couple more weekends this summer? I also wonder if this is something we should keep private from family or friends, or if there's no shame in it. It's hard to see this from the outside.

Sorry for the long post. It's a little overwhelming because they're already planning their future, like going to the same college together (his idea). We want to support their relationship, that's honestly our instinct, but are we being good parents too?

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Avatar for sabrtooth
iVillage Member
Registered: 12-03-1999
Sun, 07-13-2014 - 10:46am

On the CHANCE that this isn't a troll, let me just say this is not the way I raised my girls. 

NO, I never allowed my girls to hang out with boys at 13 or 14, whenever this was supposed to have begun. I never allowed them to be unsupervised with ANY friend, at that age.  I never allowed them to "date" at that age, much less have sex IN MY HOME.  The first time   we went away on a weekend trip, and left them home alone, they were 19 & 21, working and in college, and their schedules just couldn't line up with ours.

Oh forget it.  Pull up your pants, it's too late to save your shoes.

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-28-1999
Sun, 07-13-2014 - 11:13am

I also doubt if this is even real because I can't imagine parents who would allow this.  The first thing you should do is check the law in your state for the age of consent because no matter what you allow, I think in most states the age of consent is not 15 so you are basically allowing the boy to be guilty of rape of a child--that's not very smart because if anyone else found out--like the school, who are mandated reporters, not only would he be charged, but you would probably be getting a visit from the Dept. of Child Protection or whatever it's called in your state for allowing a minor to have sex--and you are definitely allowing it if you let the kid sleep over.  You might even lose custody of your DD.

But if we get past this major problem, say she was 16 and at the age of consent, no I would never allow a high school student's BF or GF to sleep over--ever!  I reluctantly allowed my 21 yr old DD's BF to sleep over once and only because he lived 2 hours away at that time--so I guess they had both graduated from college at that point.  I also wouldn't allow my kids to stay alone in the house if they were under 18.  I think the first time I did it was when I was going on a trip and they stayed one night but their father lives in the next town so was available in case of emergency.  Do you have any plans for people to call if an emergency happens?  Also, there are many times when your kids might be responsible but other kids find out there is a house available for the weekend with no parents around and they come over, bring the beer and things get out of hand.  If I had a 15 yr old DD w/ a BF, that's when I would definitely never leave her home alone for the weekend.  I might even bring the kid on vacation if I could arrange it that they were not sleeping together.  

iVillage Member
Registered: 08-08-2009
Sun, 07-13-2014 - 11:18am
Emily, welcome to our corner of the village. I have BTDT with daughters and SILS now 21and 22, when they were 15 and 16. For background information read the previous thread," new here and have a question." Will post more later this evening.
Avatar for turtletime
iVillage Member
Registered: 05-13-1998
Sun, 07-13-2014 - 11:37am

I'll be honest, this is an issue I'm currently in flux about myself. If you asked me a year ago, I'd have been a firm "no." In fact, I'm pretty sure I've posted feelings on this very board about how I wouldn't do it myself. My reasons were less about sex and more about encouraging my children to enjoy every stage as it comes as sleep-overs with boyfriends/girlfriends just feels like a jump past other stages. I also felt, and still feel that everyone in the house should be allowed to feel comfortable and couldn't see us ever feeling comfortable with that at the time.

However, as it turns out, it wasn't an issue that was quite so black and white for us. More than a year ago DD 17 started dating a boy she'd been friends with since they were 10. He'd had a crush on her from day one but she was not receptive of any sort of romantic relationship with anyone until after her 16th birthday. DD is a wise kid and she's always made good choices about who she allowed close to her. The boy is a great kid from a lovely family that we have a lot of history with. DD is clearly very happy. The first time we let him stay over was New Year's Eve. They'd been together for 9 months and we didn't want him driving home so late. They crashed in sleeping bags on the living room floor next to her little brother and his buddy. We were surprised at how comfortable we all were with it. He's done that about 4 times since... always on the living room floor... always when we knew an activity was going to run late and we didn't want the late night driving. DD hasn't asked that he spend the night in her room. It's so messy she won't even let him see it right now lol. Up to a couple months ago, she was open with me about her hesitations about sex due to her rather extreme introversion and the fact that she's leaving for college in August (they've decided to break-up for practical reasons but they are heart-broken... neither want the relationship to dwindle away due to 2000 miles between them like they've seen in all their friends who "stayed together" as they left for college.)

Anyway, what all this has brought me to is that there isn't a right answer. There are certainly some kids I'd never open this door with... kids known to go through relationships quickly and with little depth. There are some individuals that you'd never want to encourage to stick around your kids or that never hit a trust level with the family that would make a sleep-over acceptable. In some families, this would never be acceptable for religious reasons and that is an absolutely acceptable (like I said, everyone gets to feel comfortable in their own home.) Personally, while I admit to being uncomfortable with the age of your DD and the difference between her and the boy, we've been ok with the sleep-overs and while I'm not sold on them being routinely right, I can't say they are always wrong either. 

Avatar for turtletime
iVillage Member
Registered: 05-13-1998
Sun, 07-13-2014 - 11:37am

Double post

iVillage Member
Registered: 07-13-2014
Sun, 07-13-2014 - 1:35pm

To be clear, they started dating when she was 15, and she will be 16 soon. I absolutely agree 14 would have been too young. And we did not allow her to date at 14, although thankfully she wasn’t overly interested yet. This guy has been her only serious boyfriend.

Listen, we don't take this lightly, and like I said it was hard for us to absorb the idea of her having sex. We watched their relationship closely over the months, since they spend most of their time together at our house. And honestly it is hard not to be moved by the intensity of their relationship and how happy they are. We probably did give them too much freedom early on, but we were so impressed with him, and how maturely she was handling things. It’s hard to explain without seeing it.

As for a “no sex in my house” rule, to each their own, but that would not make sense for us. Why would I want to push them to go elsewhere? I would rather have my daughter be safe in our house. And obviously it does not happen while we are home.

We’ve always had open communication with her about these things, and I have always told her that sex is something special to be saved for true love. I really can’t argue that’s not the case with them, so how could I say she hasn’t followed what we taught her? At the end of the day I’m proud of her for staying true to her values. She is a really good kid, we have been so lucky with her, and I feel like it would be insane to punish her at this point for basically doing nothing wrong.

When we went on the weekend trip last month, no they were not allowed to have any friends over, which they both understood. Neither of them are the partying type. Also he is quite protective of her, and respects our rules. We have a watchful neighbor who I am good friends with who knew the situation. And they could go to her in an emergency, or if it came to it my parents who were in town.

As for the age of consent, in my state:

"If the person under the age of consent is between 13 and 16 years old, they can legally consent to sex with someone that is less than 48 months (4 years) older than them."

I guess I’m feeling defensive, and I didn’t know what response to expect, but my mind hasn’t changed. I’m still not sure how much freedom we should give them in the future but I am okay with the decisions we’ve made.

Avatar for suzyk2118
iVillage Member
Registered: 07-30-1997
Sun, 07-13-2014 - 4:11pm

First post - sounds a bit far fetched. If not, not sure I could agree to that age dating one on one, much less staying over even with supervision.

iVillage Member
Registered: 02-14-2000
Sun, 07-13-2014 - 4:54pm

You know they're sexually active yet they don't have sex in your house while you're home and you don't want to force them to go elsewhere to have sex? Unless they've only had sex that one weekend that you were away they're having it somewhere. I can't imagine planning a weekend away so my 15 year old can play house with her 17 year old boyfriend. They're finding a way to have sex, you're OK with it so why go to the bother and expense of leaving your own home for a weekend so they can go at it? As for age of consent - not sure which source is correct. This source indicates that age of consent is at least 16 in every state: http://www.ageofconsent.us/. This one does have 4 states where the age of consent is under 16 - can't tell from the table whether that applies to the girl or the boy: http://www.statisticbrain.com/age-of-consent-for-sex/

Pam
Avatar for elc11
Community Leader
Registered: 06-16-1998
Sun, 07-13-2014 - 4:57pm

Emily, what is it that you are asking for? You have rebuttals to the practical concerns raised---that its legal in your state and the adult next door agreed to help in an emergency---and you say that you are comfortable with the decisions you have made. Are you hoping to find validation? Are you wanting to debate? I'm sure you could guess that you would get some responses that don't approve, but since you stated that your mind hasn't changed, would you be swayed by something a stranger says?

I would not be telling family and friends because there will probably be some or many that won't agree with your decision. Not because it is "shameful" (although some might think that too) but because it opens a can of worms that you and your dd may not want to have to deal with. Do the grandparents feel the same as you about your dd being sexually active with this boy?

I'm assuming that there are no younger children in the family?

Avatar for elc11
Community Leader
Registered: 06-16-1998
Sun, 07-13-2014 - 5:06pm

Turtletime, are you talking about assuming that your dd and her bf are having sex when he sleeps over, or just that you allow him to sleep over in your home? 

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