QUESTION: My 17-year-old daughter, the eldest of three, met her boyfriend at a sports camp. She has stayed with his family and has now invited him to us. I said it was fine, so long as he slept in a separate room, but my daughter had a hissy fit. She says they haven’t had sex, but his parents had let them share a bed. Am I wrong?
ANSWER: Of course you’re right to stand firm. It’s your home, your rules. And the question of shared teenage beds is a very personal issue.
I understand why some mothers are liberal on the issue. They probably think it’s better to know where their teenagers are, who they’re with and the degree of their sexual activity. That’s a legitimate argument.
However, yours is equally valid. You have two younger girls in your house, so however you set the ground rules now will be cited later on.
You shouldn’t use the separate rooms dictum to evade talking to your daughter about her romance. She says she isn’t having sex, but that doesn’t mean she won’t want to be more intimate with time. This is a good juncture to talk about trust and respect in parental and romantic relationships.
You can’t stop your daughter having sex, but you can influence the questions she asks herself before she does. You should also ensure she’s giving some thought to contraception.
Talk to the boyfriend’s parents. You may think they’re diehard liberals, but they could easily have been told you were fine with shared beds.
Ultimately, you have to accept that no one can stop two determined 17-year-olds from having sex. But you can certainly help create the ethical climate for such a contingency and make sure your own views are heard.
By allocating separate rooms, you are sending a clear message: “Please wait! There’s no hurry.” - Daily Mail