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?
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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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Community Leader
Registered: 08-25-2006
Mon, 07-21-2014 - 12:48pm

Emily, late to the party but wanted to quickly chime in.

Although I would not be comfortable with your situation so far regarding letting a BF stay over, I do not judge you for it and I really do think it depends on the kids.  I hate getting caught up in ages when the maturity level is what is important.  BUT I do know the laws are the laws, right or wrong, it was wise to look into that.

Putting the details aside, I think what has happened is you allowed your DD to do something once, and now you are thinking "Shoot, well....that went good but now my DD wants to do it all the time and I don't think that is such a good idea.  Ugh, what do I do?  Do I allow it because it went well the first time, or do I squash this now....she has 3 more years at home, eek!"

This doesn't have anything to do with sex between teenagers, this is about allowing your DD to do something and now questioning whether it should be allowed again given the fact she is still young and has a few years left at home.  

With that said, I think that if you have ANY doubt about letting this continue through high school, then you need to squash it now.  Because whether it is him, or another boy, she will keep asking and you will hear "you let me over the summer, why not now?"  

Good luck!!  

Serenity

Serenity
iVillage Member
Registered: 08-08-2009

Musiclover, it’s good to hear that things are well with our kindred sister Bunnyrose and hers. 

We all do what we can for our kids.   

You’re correct about the job market—40,000 plus new lawyers each year with 23,000 job openings.  Therein, is the reason that Butch’s dad put the lean on them to get the accounting degrees first, instead of running up to Siberia (Michigan) to law school with only 60 units of college credit.  Those last two years of college also strengthened their academic skills. 

Last summer on vacation the couples were asking how long they could live with us and get a bigger house.   Hubby said, “Kimmy and I love it when you kids talk dirty like that.”  LOL   And all of us together forever makes me think of some country and western song a few years ago with the line that said, “. . .You ain’t Sue Ellen, I ain’t JR, and this ain’t Dallas . . . .”   But like hubby told them, they will make those decisions later on. 

With my usual odd humor, when they do get a bigger house, I hope they’ll let hubby and me shack-up in a bedroom or out in the garage.  LOL

Thinking about it, there is some merit to what Sabrtooth said about what I would term the “stress protection factor” of the three sets of parents in this situation.   

I remember the mother whose daughter came up in a family way a few months after our first grandson was born.  Daughter was a single child, and they are fairly well off it appeared.  Part of what I told her was, your daughter, grandchild, and the daddy need some financial help NOW more than they will need that money when you two are gone and quoted the words of a country and western song, “cause we’re only here for a little while.” 

iVillage Member
Registered: 08-08-2009
Wed, 07-16-2014 - 1:18am

Though not phrased this way, Sabrtooth is correct about Butch’s dad’s connections having smoothed the path for the couples and reduced the stress factor for all of us. 

Around here, most mall jobs, movie jobs, fast food jobs, pay $8 give or take. That is the reason that our kids pushed lawn mowers because it paid $13, give or take and few if any places will hire 14, 15, and even 16 year olds.

According to what other mothers have told me, some mall stores like the Gap pay $10 or $11 for image reasons. Likewise with Costco cart wranglers and a new burger chain to our region, In N Out.  Most of these, if not all, require the employee to be 18.

In college, I worked wait staff at places like Chili’s, Applebee’s, and Outback because with tips they paid 2 or 3 times minimum wage.  Greed is good.  LOL

Those flunky jobs were all about professional image. They were paid to be in suits and ties, well groomed, with good manners, well spoken, willing to fit in without being noticeable, do as told, be flexible, show up every time on time, etcetera.  Those flunky positions augmented a small staff or full time service personnel who supervised the flunkies. Some days are busier than others and need more service personnel on site. By having escorts to take people to the correct office, people are kept from wondering around the halls disturbing those working, kept the higher paid working rather than wasting time coming down to bring a client up to their office or the conference room, prepped those coming for depositions by pointing out the restrooms in route, cleared, cleaned, and set up the room for the next deposition or meeting, etcetera.  With employer taxes and health insurance that $12.50 flunky probably costs $20, but keeps the higher paid staff running a billable hour meter with interruptions and settling in time of visitors minimized.   

Butch’s dad explained to them the fact that from DAY ONE you are being interviewed and evaluated by every other employee, associate, partner, client, opposing attorney, visitor, etcetera, that you will come in contact with and you want their goodwill—it’s called networking. Every person you come into contact can help or hurt you in life.  Those with hiring votes see every detail, both good and bad.  When you start applying for full time employment, here and at other firms, those making the hiring decisions will call upon associates and partners here that they know and ask them about you.  Are you an easy baby or a tar baby to be avoided?

All four have bachelor’s degrees in Accounting, which is a marketable skill in the grunt work of taxation, tax planning, estate planning, mergers and acquisitions, corporate litigation, etcetera.  They are billed out to clients at a higher rate than $15 per hour.  (Many of their classmates who spent the fifth year at the university, instead of going to law school, got jobs with accounting firms starting upwards from $50,000 per year plus benefits. So $15 per hour isn’t that out of line) 

This paragraph and the next few set up and explain why they get paid $15.  A lesson they learned in mowing 101 was the difference between “taxable employee earnings” and “taxable self-employed earnings.” Employees and the employer both pay 7.65% of wages for Social Security and Medicare taxes for a total of 15.3%; whereas the self-employed person pays the entire 15.3% for Social security and Medicare Taxes. Our mowers paid 15.3% of all mowing earnings to the IRS.

(As a side point, the 2.9% Medicare portion has no earnings cap, but the 12.4% Social Security portion does and many in congress want that cap removed, which would be a 12.4% tax increase on the evil rich who already pay up to near 40% in federal income tax on earnings plus another 10% plus in state income tax in many states.  Eat the rich!!!!  They taste GREAT!)

Thelma and Louise were not above tax evasion, but Butch’s dad saw things differently as those weekly or monthly checks with “for lawn care” noted on them often come back to bite people when the IRS audits one of those customers and then comes looking for those 1099’s and tax payments from the mowers.  Then the evil IRS wants taxes PLUS penalties and interest. (It was this issue that earned our daughters the humorous and well-deserved nicknames, Thelma and Louise.   LOL)

The wife of one of the lead partners was issuing checks to her maid and not collecting or paying taxes and not issuing a 1099 or W-2.  I believe this lack of payment of these taxes is termed the “underground economy” by the IRS and congress.  During an audit the IRS picked up on it.  $15 Butch was dispatched to correct the situation with fillings, payments of back taxes with interest and penalties.  He was also dispatched to help the maid with amended tax filings and the partner paid the maid’s unpaid taxes and penalties also.  She also got nailed with back taxes and penalties on other cleaning jobs and those other “employers” got nailed also by the IRS.     

It’s not the money, but the hassle factor of filling forms that is the reason for this.  Several of Clinton’s and Obama’s cabinet appointments have had this issue come up during vetting. (Bush’s appointments probably paid with under the table cash.)    $15 paralegals are now doing these pesky little W-2 and 1099 filings for the partners and associates on these insignificant issues.  And they have on occasion been dispatched to help a client or client’s family member with this type of problem.  Much of this type of cleaning up is never billed out because it builds goodwill and client appreciation when done without charge. It’s like the dealership that rotates your tires without charge or gives you a loaner car while servicing your car or pick-up and delivery service.

When directed to, they help facilitate small charities incorporate, get tax free status, operate within the tax law, etcetera, as a service to the community organizations.  It builds goodwill. 

They also can scan large volumes of financial documents looking for anomalies that should not be overlooked, but examined in detail.  They can be assigned to research the case law and regulations.

Also, the clients often have a feeling and resentment when they are having a billable hours meter ran on them, so it builds goodwill when they are being billed $60 per hour for menial tasks within the skill set of a paralegal—they know when they are being milked.  With employer taxes, health insurance, office space, etcetera that $15 part time paralegal probably costs $25 per hour to have around.   Some of those full time paralegals knock down $30 plus per hour because they are extremely capable and allow the associate or partner to accomplish more.

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-28-1999

Kimmy I think you have a unique situation there where everyone works as a team for the benefit of the entire family.  If you remember Bunnierose who used to post here also had a DD who married right out of high school and the parents decided that they would pay for her college anyway and then when the couple had a baby, they were living at home again.  I know that after DD graduated from college and moved home until she got a job I was not giving her cash but then again, she had free room & board and grandma had given her a free car so she didn't have too many expenses.  Now that she has the fancy job, she has the new car, apartment and all the expenses to go with it.  But of course supporting your kids financially is not going to be forever--eventually they will graduate and hopefully the lawyer job market is better where you are than where I am--but of course they can open their own office.  And maybe when they are making the big bucks they can just buy a bigger family home because it sounds like at least the 2 couples are going to be stuck together forever.

Avatar for suzyk2118
iVillage Member
Registered: 07-30-1997
Tue, 07-15-2014 - 9:40am

(wow - your part time rates in TX are sure a lot better than here in MO; ds has a degree and is making $12/hour; before the degree it was $9/hr at one of the better paying places; 7.25-8/hr for lifeguarding before that)

iVillage Member
Registered: 08-08-2009

Sabrtooth’s observations/questions are both reasonable and valid and part of understanding what works with our situation is a complete picture of the financing and budgeting.  So here goes:

As a joke, I’m tempted to say we do it with welfare, but we don’t.  (But, believe me doing so would not be beneath our daughters dignity to do for financial gain.  They got the nicknames Thelma and Louise for good reasons.) 

Hubby and I together earn around what Malcolm Gladwell discusses around page 48 in his recent book, David and Goliath, as the point where “diminishing marginal returns” sets in on the happiness that money can buy--$75,000, which is rich to many people. The theory is that more money does not necessarily bring happiness and at some point more money makes people less happy. Texas is a relatively low cost of living area, so I assume cities like New York, Boston, San Francisco, etcetera, that have higher costs of living, would require more than $75,000. 

Hubby and I also had the good fortune of buying our modest three bedroom, two bath, two car garage, 1,500 sq. ft. home before the great run up in prices and the collapse of the housing market, but our area did not collapse like Nevada, Arizona, and Florida.  We also benefited from the dropping interest rates. 

I have no clue what the other parents earn, but they earn enough to go beyond where they are able to use the exemptions and above the cap on SS taxes when 2.9 Medicare tax continues on forever, and are the target of increased income taxes on the rich.

(As a side point, Butch’s dad has told the couples that they will probably pay 35% to 40% federal taxes on all earned income most of their lives with tax increases kicking in when the Social Security tax cap ends which will probably be uncapped as Social Security goes broke.  Tax the rich!!!!  And at some point Social Security may be means tested to exclude the rich from receiving benefits.)

The parents of both SILs contribute $600 per month and paid for the BS degree of their son.  Hubby and I contribute $600 per month to each couple, which is about what we would be spending if they lived at home and were single.  We also pay $250 per month to each couple to pay off student debt for each of our daughters BS degrees. Law school is on their dime and debt.

We also put $300 per month into the common grocery account, with each of the couples putting in $300 of their money to make a total of $900 for groceries and they do all the grocery shopping, cooking, housekeeping, laundry, lawn care, and that is why I say we live with our daughters and SILs.  I think we may be cheating them.  Seriously!!!!  Go into the market place and find any person who will do all this for $1,200 per month.  Hubby and I know a good deal when we see it.

If hubby and I lived here alone, we would still be paying the mortgage, taxes, utilities, and other expenses of the house. 

Hubby and I view the SILs living with us as a great deal. We kidnapped them from their parents and their parents still pay for their upkeep (or child support).  LOL  Seriously, they live with us because it takes a group effort to take care of the little brothers, allow each couple to go to work two days a week, do group study, etcetera.

It’s not four extra adults, but rather two extra adults, along with the brothers.  With the conversion of the garage into two bedrooms it’s not all that crowded.  It would be a bit crowded if older daughter had not had fertility issues. 

The couples earn $15 per hour which translates into a gross income for each couple of $24,000 per year, plus health insurance, which paid for grandson #2 and #3.   The work they do now is real work that uses their education and counts towards the experience requirements for a CPA license.

Butch’s dad paid for grandson #1 because once they married they lost coverage under the parents policies and the pregnancy was a preexisting condition.  (When his dad was taking this on, he laughed and said something along the lines of, “Believe me, Butch is one cheap kid to care for.  This is nothing compared to what the other two have extracted in tuition and upkeep. And if Butch’s mom hadn’t refused to move east away from this neighborhood because of Butch, we would be several hundred thousand dollars upside down in that new house.”)   

Prior to January 2013, they worked for $12.50 per hour plus insurance as “grand flunkies” which meant they ran copiers, mailroom, file room, reception desk, client escorts, lunch pick-ups, cleaning up messes and spills, spot vacuuming when necessary, cleaning and setting up conference rooms with beverages, snacks, and sandwiches when appropriate, etcetera, in a suit with a smile and silence.

They had earned around $13 per hour mowing lawns back in the day with no insurance benefits though.    

Youngest couple gets about $5,000 per year in earned income tax credit, which I guess could be said to be a form of welfare.

Yes Butch’s dad helped them get the flunky jobs (also known as “so you knocked-up your GF jobs” around the office), but they performed to expectations and were given the opportunity to move up into serious paralegal jobs where they can use their education and learn.  There are other students working there part time in paralegal jobs. 

The paycheck earnings after taxes goes into paying the cost of law school and they will have about $50,000 each in student debt when the graduate.  I suppose that if they put all there law school costs on debt and the parents did not contribute anything, they would be more self-supporting, but this is not something that any of the parents wish to do.   

Spending twenty hours per week working and commuting to work, plus fifty hours per week attending classes, commuting to classes, and studying is not a life of leisure.  It gets to be a bit of a grind, I think.

One crib, Butch’s twin beds from his childhood, three car seats from Costco, cloths from the thrift store, new shoes, socks and underwear, with them washing their own diapers, and babies, like parakeets, don’t cost much to feed. 

The “minivan” is a 1996 Suburban that was oldest SILs car during HS—the prom limo.  Two years ago the team purchased a used 2011 Focus for traveling 50 miles east to work every day and 30 miles west to evening classes. They save enough in gas and repair costs to make it a viable investment. Gas went from 20 cents a mile to 10 cents per mile.

It’s actually worse than living in her childhood room for our youngest daughter as she and her family is living in the garage.   LOL

It works for us and we feel blessed.  

Many parents are not able to do this for their kids and hubby and I do feel fortunate to be able to do it.

iVillage Member
Registered: 08-08-2009
Tue, 07-15-2014 - 12:45am

We live in the city where nine year old Amber Hagerman was taken and was found stabbed to death in a ditch four days later.  Her killer has never been found.  The “Amber alert” is named after her.  Therein is the reason that hubby and I were glad to have the guys working alongside our daughters in the mowing business and walking as a group with other teens down to Six Flags and the water park and as a pack down at the mall and movies.  This is also the reason that the mothers of Elizabeth Smart, Kaycee Dugard, and the three Ohio girls proclaimed things like, “I’m the luckiest person alive today!”

Turtletime made a good point about not getting to emotionally invested with the BF because your daughter has to live with him “till death do us part,” not you and hubby.  (Says the woman who is invested in both our daughters and our SILs.)

Emily, your spot on about the drug issue.  I’ll take a pregnant daughter every day and five times on Sunday over a drug problem and we have cousins with kids our kid’s age in the extended family that has that issue.  

I like the idea of him attending community college and would encourage you and your daughter to explore her taking some “duel credit” classes over there also. 

Avatar for elc11
Community Leader
Registered: 06-16-1998
Mon, 07-14-2014 - 6:22pm

Emily, not that you would pressure your dd into staying with a bf when she wanted to break up, but often our kids feel bad about disappointing us or not meeting what they think are our expectations. Sometimes they might delay a break up for the sake of family members. I can still remember, at 18, feeling bad for my mother when I broke up with a bf that she really liked; and my dd (at 25) kind of apologized to us after breaking up with one of her bf's since she knew he was the only one that we had ever liked!

And it also raises a thorny question of whether you can or should continue a relationship with a young man you may know well, have watched grow up, and think of almost like family. Would it be awkward or disloyal to your kid to remain friendly with her ex? (which of course could depend on why they broke up) The issue does come up.

iVillage Member
Registered: 07-13-2014
Mon, 07-14-2014 - 5:33pm

Okay to answer some of that…

About us getting to close to him, I understand and those are good points. However we have never pushed her towards him. We always thought he was an excellent choice and we love him to death, but she’s never needed any encouragement because you can multiply that by a hundred. And no we would never pressure her to stay in a relationship, that sounds horrible.

Sabrtooth to your point, yes they are very attached but they are also separate people. At first it was a little crazy, in that phase of wanting to be together 24/7, but after that they resumed spending more time with friends and separate activities. She’s not going to lose her identity. In their time together, she’s continued to grow into the lovely person she is. She’s always been true to herself and we’re proud of her.

As for college, we are obviously going to make sure she goes to a college that suits her. He does not control her like you’re suggesting, it’s a very equal relationship. He wants to do 1 year at a nearby community because that will be her senior year, clearly he is fine with accomodating her. I’ve no doubt he’d do anything to make it work. It shouldn’t be a problem anyway, since they’re interested in similar things.

Avatar for sabrtooth
iVillage Member
Registered: 12-03-1999
Mon, 07-14-2014 - 5:03pm

Your dd sounds like a smart young lady, and it seems like the lines of communication are open.  In addition, you have NOT accommodated opportunities for, as we old Catholics call it, "the near occasion of sin".  Your kids' "sleepovers" are harmless, well supervised, and granted for logical & safety reasons.  You are not giving them license. 

And your previous post about not getting too close to the boy is spot on.  My dh once remarked that our girls changed bf's as often as they changed their clothes.  And as they grew older, the qualities they looked for in a partner, changed.  One dd told me she told her dh, "I wouldn't have looked twice at you in HS."

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