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Would you let...

(37 Posts)
blimppy Sat 15-Feb-14 12:42:03

DD1 (14) has been seeing first boyfriend for a few months. He lives a little way away so they don't meet often, but they appear to be besotted with each other! We have met him and he seems like a nice lad, and his parents seem great. He's coming round during half term. DD1 wants to hang out in her bedroom with him, watching DVDs, playing computer games. I've said maybe, with door wide open, light on or curtains drawn. We have talked about sex and she knows I expect her to refrain until she is older and she tells me she and bf have discussed and agreed they both want to wait till they are older. Would you let them hang out in her bedroom, or insist they stay downstairs? If we do the latter, then pesky little sister will probably get in their way!

WishUponAStar88 Sat 15-Feb-14 12:47:27

I don't see a problem if door is closed. Keep nipping upstairs for various things though so they remember you're still there!

Lottiedoubtie Sat 15-Feb-14 12:50:16

I think it depends if you believe what she's said about sex or not!

I'd probably let her hang out in her room with door a bit open and tell her I would be popping in and out at a moments notice and she needed to accept that. I'd take up drinks/pile of washing (nothing embarrassing) etc at random intervals.

specialsubject Sat 15-Feb-14 12:50:35

what?? keep the door open.

hopefully it is still a little early, but make sure she knows contraception facts not myths, and that when she does feel ready that it is pills and condoms first, not afterwrds.

Starballbunny Sat 15-Feb-14 12:54:54

I agree, I can't see downstairs or open doors being a possibility with nosey younger siblings in the house.

In any case the more you make it clear you don't trust them the more likely they are to lie and meet up at an mates who's parents are out or in the woods (if it ever stops raining).

mypussyiscalledCaramel Sat 15-Feb-14 12:55:45

My 16 yr old DS and his gf spend a lot of time at my flat, he has 2 rooms upstairs to himself. His pesky little brother annoys him no end, but I have solved that.

We have also had the sex talk. I won't go upstairs every five minutes because through personal experience I know how annoying that is.

I would rather they were safe in my flat.

TeenAndTween Sat 15-Feb-14 12:56:17

What exactly are you expecting little sister to get in the way of?

Personally I would go for the downstairs option.

TeenAndTween Sat 15-Feb-14 13:00:32

To clarify my comment. How physical are you prepared for them to be?

Sometimes I think it is not about trust, it is about protecting your child from thinking she ought to be doing something she isn't ready for. If all they want to do is hang out, surely it should be fine for them to be downstairs.

blimppy Sat 15-Feb-14 13:09:56

Thanks for the responses. I know that DH wants to go for the downstairs only option, which is what we did when bf came round before. I'm concerned though not to give DD the impression we don't trust her, when it is more about trying to protect her from a situation which could potentially develop into one she cannot control. I'm also aware that round at his house, she has been in bf's room with no apparent adverse consequences! I am inclining to letting them go to her room, with the door open, but probably not for the whole day. They will have to join us for lunch for instance! As some have suggested, I will be very much around and will stick my head in her room from time to time asking if they want a drink etc!

LibbyLob93 Wed 19-Feb-14 21:51:22

Through my experience, if they are in her room together with the door slightly ajar, the prospect of you or your husband wandering around the house and coming upstairs is enough of a deterrent against them doing anything. I'd potentially make an excuse to knock on their door once, but any more times than that it could become obvious and may leave you incurring the wrath of dd once her bf has gone. 'Mum, why did you have to be so obvious?! We weren't doing anything?!!' etc.

mathanxiety Thu 20-Feb-14 17:38:13

I am with your DH on this.

Although the teen will say it's all about not trusting her, what restricting access to the bedroom says to her is 'we care about you and your future, and we hope you are not going to prioritise the boyfriend over your other commitments'. It also gives the boy the message that you care about your daughter and expect him to be respectful of her, and for some teenage boys this is an important message to give and one they have not considered, nice and all though some are. It's important not to get sucked into the 'trust' argument. That is allowing teens to dictate the terms of the argument.

I agree with TeenandTween, it's also about 'protecting your child from thinking she ought to be doing something she isn't ready for. If all they want to do is hang out, surely it should be fine for them to be downstairs.'

I not only keep the boyfriends downstairs, I close all bedroom doors when boys are over, to give the message that they are not privvy to all the mysteries of the house and not likely to be. Any teenage boy who comes over gets pressed into service helping get dinner on the table, clear up, etc. It doesn't hurt to show teenage boyfriends that they do not enjoy the privileges of adult visitors yet, and that they answer to me when in my house. There is no way someone would spend a day in my house and only show his face for lunch. I am not the help.

EdBird Thu 20-Feb-14 19:31:44

My DD has male friends in her bedroom they seem to loll about chat and goggle at you tube. I cannot be at home policing her and her younger sister for the next 6 years as i work. I think the lad currently here will prob stay the night as he lives a long way away. She goes to others houses and does this and seems normal for her group of friends. their parents seem ok with this too.
If she wanted to have sex, she could find a house with no adults in most of the time tbh. I know I am quite liberal but my feeling is that they need to be given a long leash and learn to deal with adult reality over the years in the run up to 18.

mathanxiety Thu 20-Feb-14 20:05:23

I have a rule that nobody comes to the house while I am away working unless permission has been given beforehand, and the person has to be known to me. Also, not more than two others at any time.

If the DCs are going to the houses of others they have to let me know where they are going and with whom, and whether parents are home will be the deciding factor in whether I allow them to go if I don't know the other teen too well. If it's a teen I know well (the DCs hang out with some girls and boys they have known since age 4) then going unsupervised is fine.

They understand they need my permission to go. I am not a long leash person or a short leash person -- this is a matter that has never been up for discussion. In my DCs' circles it is just assumed by the parents that if children are serious about school (and they all are because the parents are and anything else is unthinkable) then that comes first and it would be lunacy for a teenage girl to risk a promising future for the sake of a boyfriend.

EdBird Thu 20-Feb-14 22:34:34

Context needed? Oh and I are both doctors. She is roughly top in her class at a very academically selective independent school. My bottom line is that her grades stay high. Yup she has a promising future and that is hers, not mine.
I had a whale of a time as a teenager. I hope she does

trader21c Fri 21-Feb-14 02:27:54

yes I would be very careful with 'boyfriends' too and agree that if they want to hang out it should be downstairs ... it's easy for teenage girls to get sidetracked by boys and dress it up how you like - it is a distraction from schoolwork. Plenty of time for all that once they have a clutch of qualifications in the bag and they are more mature smile

Kazzyv Fri 21-Feb-14 06:35:59

With teenagers so much depends on age and maturity. At 14 my son was still a child, at 16 a full on nightmare, at 18 a pretty responsible adult. Bu.t I know each child matures differrently.

Not sure Mathsanxiety is aware teenagers ( at some stage) don t always tell the truth. All those rules about when and who can visit, and where and when they can go sound a nightmare. And if they want to lie to you sounds impossible to police unless you constantly hover, which if you work is just not possible.

Surely teenagers need SOME freedom - that is how they learn to be adults.

OP - I would let them hang out in her room with the door open and keep an eye. Better they are under your roof than elsewhere.

And the reality is if teenagers really want to have sex they will find somewhere- they don't need a bedroom!

BuzzLightbulb Fri 21-Feb-14 09:44:48

Kazzyv - agree with you.

At 14 your daughters room has become her personal space, that's where she wants to be and feels most comfortable. And part of that is feeling she's not being watched over.

Give her some credit, and her bf, for not having getting jiggly on their minds all the time! I'm impressed by how social teenagers are these days, they love to chat and share stuff, watch youtube and David's together in mixed groups. And they seem to have a lot of respect for each other.

But at the end of the day she is your daughter and only you can decide between you how comfortable you are.

We made sure first time a boyfriend came round was when we were here so we got to meet him. Don't be fooled by the scare stories, most kids are nice young people really.

mathanxiety Sat 22-Feb-14 00:55:19

As I said, there really are no rules. Everyone just knows what is expected and that the priority is studying and homework and sports commitments. They prioritise their school related work. I don't stop anyone from going out with friends as long as I know where they are, and who they are with and what sort of plans they have for getting home. Overdoing the socialising has consequences that are difficult to deny -- they could lie about how they spend their time, but the school issues progress reports every few weeks. I don't have to hover or police. As long as they manage their time well and stay out of trouble their grades will stay up.

They have fun on weekends, and they are involved in school sports teams too, which takes up a good deal of time on weekdays and evenings and also on weekends from time to time. All of them had Saturday jobs from 16 on and all of them babysat at least twice a week year round from age 12. DD1 swam and played water polo and also did badminton. DS played football and wrestled. DD2 and DD3 did badminton. DD4 will probably play volleyball as she is tall and loves it. All of that involves early morning and after-school practices, and games or meets in the evenings on weeknights, with homework and studying squeezed in too. You have to have a C average to stay on the active roster.

By way of context -- we are in a mainly UMC suburb of a major city in the US where you can't party or even socialise too much the whole school year and then pull a few all nighters and get an A for a course in the final exam in May. You could certainly party hearty every night of the week if getting into a decent university wasn't your goal, and parties tend to be very 60s stylee, thanks to the affluence and the existence of two Catholic high schools within a two mile radius of where we live. There are a lot of teens who will get a car at 16 and a sinecure from Daddy at 18. OTOH, there is also a sizeable minority not interested in university who come from the wrong side of the tracks, and they are partyers too. We are right beside one of the most crime ridden areas of the neighbouring major city and there is some spillover in the form of drug sales, and prostitution near the train stations. There are a lot of tragedies involving ODing, unplanned pregnancy, drunk driving, and addictions, as well as smaller scale but still poignant wastes of potential. I have learned not to make any assumptions about any teen's character based on where they live or what their parents do for a living.

Along with the partying groups there are the nerds, goths, misunderstood poets, boys who build unicycles and ride them around, chess kids, music kids, artists, geeks of various kinds, home schooled kids, etc. My DCs fit into this miscellaneous group. By the time they are 14 most teens know who they are and what group they belong in. Everyone rubs along together pretty well in the high school, with a student population of 3600 that comes from half a dozen feeder schools. Monthly arrests of students for possession or distribution of narcotics are predictable. There is a large creche for the babies and toddlers of students. A large group heads off to Ivy League schools every year and another large group heads off to the local community college.

The DCs all know how the GPA system works. From age 12 onwards in school they were made very aware of the importance of consistent effort. Every piece of homework you turn in all year and every weekly test counts towards the GPA, on which your chances of getting into a good university depend. Your final exam might count for as little as 10% of your final grade for the semester. Having seen the makeup of the student body in the university DD1 went to, they all know they are in competition with hundreds of thousands of students from places like Shanghai and Singapore as well as American students for places in university.

I'm not Amy Chua but I could probably pass for her third cousin once removed. smile

Newyearchanger Sat 22-Feb-14 01:36:25

I think 14 is far too young to have a boyfriends upstairs and would agree with whoever said downstairs is the way to go.
Otherwise, I think they will feel they should be"doing something" if in the bedroom whereas in the lounge etc they can just hang out and fit in.

BOFtastic Sat 22-Feb-14 01:38:35

Downstairs, keep little sister occupied.

mathanxiety Sat 22-Feb-14 01:40:47

Yes indeed, keep little sister away. They can be very annoying.

GoshAnneGorilla Sat 22-Feb-14 01:47:52

Why shouldn't you watch over your 14 year old?

I do not understand the desire to be the coolest parent in town, or the desperation for children to do adult things asap.

Also being middle or upper class with "aspirations" is no guarantee of anything, do you think abusive relationships only happen to the "lower orders"?

I think math is talking a lot of sense here.

lovetheseasons1 Sat 22-Feb-14 02:06:06

As someone who wasn't trusted to have my boyfriend in my room (when I was that age) I can tell you I acutely felt that my parents didn't trust me. Privacy to a degree shows you have that trust with her - bedroom door ajar gives the best of both worlds. The flip side is they go outside/dangerous places to be alone (which I resorted to) ...they are much safer in your home.

mathanxiety Sat 22-Feb-14 04:19:54

Young teenagers are the most put-upon people in the world, and their parents are to a man/woman a crowd of fuddy duddies.

If you're a parent who wants a certain outcome for your teen, then don't give mixed messages.

BOFtastic Sat 22-Feb-14 04:31:34

Absolutely, mathanxiety. I don't understand the whole "If they are under my roof, at least they're safe" mentality. Why- if they are shagging at bus stops or the park, are they likely to be savaged by marauding coyotes?

Surely they are safer from ill-advised sex if you have made it clear to them that you simply don't expect them to do it?

I have absolutely no truck with the idea that I am supposed to provide my teenager with a boutique hotel experience if they happen to invite a boyfriend over.

I'm lucky in a way though, as my teenager's bedroom is such a filthy pit of despair that she would be embarrassed to invite anybody she liked into it grin.

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