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To not want this sleepover?
128

ChemistryBoggle · 04/12/2021 23:22

Ds 16 yrs wants his gf to sleep over. Previously it was an easy no as she was 15 and I could use the excuse of not encouraging under age sex.
They are now both 16 and itnhas come up again.
I am uncomfortable with it. When insaid this to ds he said my discomfort should not impinge on his freedoms/rights/enjoyment.
Should add, ds also shares a room with other ds. 14.
I can't articulate why it makes sense uncomfortable in a way he understands.
He raises the point that if either other dc wanted a sleepover then i would say yes no hesitation, which is true, but they're 1) younger (but still teens) 2) not in a relationship 3)the same sex.
On point 3) ds points out that he is bi, so would I say no to another male sleeping over. No, probably not, but again, if in a relationship then yes?
I don't know. Aibu?
Please help me make sense of the reluctance!

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Am I being unreasonable?

AIBU

You have one vote. All votes are anonymous.

ShineySparkleyChrissmassy · 05/12/2021 00:35

@ChemistryBoggle

I mean I think it's shit that a child would usually think that mum being uncomfortable would be a good enough reason, but all he can do is say that I am infringing upon him. Sad

I'm sorry but he's 16. Autistic or not, that's old enough to understand and accept that sometimes he'll be told no for the simple reason that someone else's opinion trumps his. This is one of those situations.

He needs to learn that 3 days of WW3 because he can't get his own way or an explanation that he agrees with for why he can't get his own way, is entirely inappropriate. If he doesn't learn this, he's never going to have a long term successful relationship, because his behaviour is going to amount to domestic abuse every time he can't get his own way or disagrees with his partner.

So all he'll have is a constant string of people who leave him. People who'll have their own lives messed up by him. You're not doing him or his future partners any favours by pandering to this desire for an explanation. He simply needs to learn that he can't always have what he wants, that exploding in a rage (or whatever form his meltdowns take) isn't ok and he needs to find ways to cope with whatever he's feeling.

A sulky/angry person that people have to tiptoe round and cave in to their requests in order to avoid drama or justify their no with an explanation of why, is still being abusive even when there's a medical issue behind it.
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MissCruellaDeVil · 05/12/2021 00:37

Just say no, he needs to learn the hard way. Can he not go to gf's?

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KosherDill · 05/12/2021 00:38

Very well said, ShinySparkly!!!

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Ellen888 · 05/12/2021 00:41

OP have you spoken to the gf's parents to see what they think about this?

Is she using contraception?

I think you'll soon get a different viewpoint.

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Houseofvelour · 05/12/2021 00:42

If he had his own room then I'd say that yabu. He's been with her for 2 years and you stopping sleepovers will not stop him having sex, it may just prevent it happening safely.

BUT as he shares a room with your other ds, it's totally inappropriate.

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ShineySparkleyChrissmassy · 05/12/2021 00:46

@ChemistryBoggle

Sometimes I feel he almost emotionally manipulates me, so i want to stand firm on this no, without losing our close relationship

This is exactly what he's doing. You shouldn't face any "consequences" for saying no. He's growing up learning to be a little shit, using his disability as an excuse. You should not be having to come on here expending all this head space o looking for ways to avoid negative consequences due to saying no.

Rights comes with responsibilities. This responsibilities includes respecting others people's rights to say no.

It's not even a case of if he wants to rule the roost he can move out. Because he needs to know how to share that role of ruler with housemates or a partner. At the moment he thinks he can have whatever he wants as long as he believes he's justified in having it. And others have to justify their no (but in reality the don't). Those sorts of beliefs are how people end up in prison.
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biwinoone · 05/12/2021 00:51

Many might not agree with me, but here are my two cents
1- He is still a child. It might be legal but it's not an obligation. Just because he can do the deed doesn't mean that he has to as soon as he turns 16. If he loves his GF then he can wait to be more mature and financially stable to have that kind of commitment which also involves a sexual relationship.
2- Yes, in theory when people live in a house together it's everyone's house and you can't just throw that it's my house my rules argument. But the fact is that you are the adult and you are the one responsible for him even though he is 16, so yes you are the one who makes rules and he has to follow them. You are giving him too much power over you by giving into arguments. You knows he argues back. Let him, just stay firm on no. You are not allowing it, end of discussion.
3- If it doesn't work on them then ...and this might be controversial... go directly to his GF. Make it clear to her that you wont allow a sleep over no matter what so she should speak to him and tell him to stop asking. I suspect she has quite a lot of influence on him and perhaps also the one who is egging him on to ask for it.

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Fizzorgin · 05/12/2021 00:52

To reiterate others - your house your rules. He is your son, he's not the rule maker.

It's your decision.

I'm trying to think back to when me and my siblings were permitted 'partner sleepovers' in the same room/bed - I'm pretty sure it's once we had all moved away for uni or were of that kind of age. And we completely accepted it as well.

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Fizzorgin · 05/12/2021 00:54

You're not 'impinging on his rights' - you pay the mortgage and the bills and he has no right to dictate over you

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ChemistryBoggle · 05/12/2021 00:55

@ChemistryBoggle

No it's not a complete sentence to an autistic person like my son. I already said no. Then I gave the reason being I am uncomfortable. He is still going on. There is no entertaining the conversation. I am sitting it down. It is not a simple as my house my rules and never had been.

For example he wanted me to buy certain medication on the Internet as he wasn't happy with the NHS waiting times and i said no. As soon as he turned 16, he took over his medical stuff, as he is entitled to do and the go sent him a standard letter to do, and I now have no say. Which is fine but not fine (complex issue and I think he is being socially led) and I only get the headlines as to what is going on with that issue.

I forgot a bit of this that makes it mask me sense, sorry so he has previously tried to overdose on his medication (prescribed) so when he wanted this different medication I said it was unsafe etc and needed a doctor to sign it off, he said it was either I order it or he try and commit suicide again. I said it wasn't a black and white choice of me order on the Internet or he kill himself (he said wouldn't I rather him possibility of being hurt by bad medication then the certainty of him doing it) he was adamant that it was. He knows the overdose terrified me. Anyway I stood firm and refused. This is the issue I now only get highlights from and the referral s gone ahead via the gp. So I can and do say no. He then, I'm slightly different in this case, takes it into his own hands and Iam cut out.
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ChemistryBoggle · 05/12/2021 00:57

Apologies i am terrible at typing, hopefully the post above makes sense.
"forgot a bit of this that makes this make sense" to give context to the situation I mean.

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Motorina · 05/12/2021 00:58

Others have already raised the child protection issues about potentially exposing a 14 year old to sexual activity.

I think there's also an issue in putting her in a position where she may be pressured into having sex with a third party watching. And then your 14 year old telling all his mates about it at school, because what 14 year old wouldn't. Or, possibly, in this day and age, filming it on his phone. That leaves her extremely vulnerable.

The same would apply to allowing them to both sleep on a sofabed in the lounge. Too much chance of someone, potentially someone much older than her, walking in on them in the act, in a way which breaches her privacy and dignity.

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Thelnebriati · 05/12/2021 01:02

he said it was either I order it or he try and commit suicide again.
He's using blackmail; and threatening suicide is an abusive behaviour. This sounds quite serious; can you find a suitable therapist and go for counselling together? I know you can't force him, but if he acts like this in a relationship in the future, he could end up in legal trouble.

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Corneliusmurphy · 05/12/2021 01:04

Out of interest (and apologies if you’ve already said) is he allowed to stay at her place and if not, why not?
The shared bedroom or having to sleep in a communal space would make it a no from me it’s not practical. Also expecting you to feel uncomfortable in your own home isn’t fair either.

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user1471554720 · 05/12/2021 01:09

You could argue that when he is earning his own money, paying for his own flat or houseshare, THEN he can have gf stay over. He has a right to sex but with rights come responsibilities. If she gets pregnant, he will need his own flat and job anyway. This could be an argument that he cannot pick holes in. We all know that when you are paying for your housing/on benefits as a separate entity from your parents, your rules goes. You are entitled to feel at ease in your own home.

This talk might emphasise that sex is a big step and people have to be able to cope with the fallout of pregnancy or venerable disease without running to mummy and daddy. Just keep repeating your reasons if he tries to argue.

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ChemistryBoggle · 05/12/2021 01:10

He didn't say it as a threat. It was a statement if fact that the life expectancy of people who are like him (not the asd. Another thing) is low 20s due to the high suicide rate if "untreated". He read it somewhere. He is the type of person that if you are discussing soemthing he will research (possible echo chamber ffs. You can find something to support any point of view for crying out loud and state they are a reputable source!) And a barrage of screenshots and links will appear on my phone.

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ChemistryBoggle · 05/12/2021 01:13

@Corneliusmurphy

Out of interest (and apologies if you’ve already said) is he allowed to stay at her place and if not, why not?
The shared bedroom or having to sleep in a communal space would make it a no from me it’s not practical. Also expecting you to feel uncomfortable in your own home isn’t fair either.

Him.stating there hasn't come up. I suspect he wouldnt. Due to covid he isn't allowed over there much at all as she has vulnerable family members. She has always spent more time here than him there. He recently mentioned when he goes there they sit in a nearby field and chat if he isnt allowed in. But he so gets invited to her birthday dinner with her family out, and is allowed Iver to study. So I suspect when he isn't allowed in its because the family member is there?
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CherryBlossomAutumn · 05/12/2021 01:21

It’s your house basically, your rules.

I would not be happy with this and my son is now 18. If he had a longer term girlfriend then we would probably have a conversation. But at 16? No way. He is not an adult, paying for his own flat, able to do everything he wants. That’s just how it is living with your family, there is consideration of you and your comfort level, and that is totally OK.

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TheNestedIf · 05/12/2021 01:23

There is not enough private space in your house. Unfortunate, but if he wants private space, he needs to move out. If he's that desperate for it, he won't want to die a virgin, will he.

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Ellen888 · 05/12/2021 01:33

@TheNestedIf

There is not enough private space in your house. Unfortunate, but if he wants private space, he needs to move out. If he's that desperate for it, he won't want to die a virgin, will he.

Absolutely.

Is your child in f/t education, OP, or is he working part-time?
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Bahhumbu · 05/12/2021 01:47

I can’t believe you are entertaining this. This could easily become a child protection issue and the fact that you can’t just stand your ground makes me worried you can’t protect your other dc so a safeguarding issue. If I were you I would get some external help so you can manage his abusive behaviour. Sorry I sound harsh but you need to know this.

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Motorina · 05/12/2021 01:50

Previously it was an easy no as she was 15 and I could use the excuse of not encouraging under age sex.

I just wanted to chip in that I think you made a tactical error here. I understand why it seemed an easy no, but I think it set up an implied promise of "It'll be okay when she's old enough."

Given that, I'm not surprised he is pushing back hard. He's been patient til she hit 16. Now she has, the ground rules have changed.

I think you need to work out in your own head whether you're thinking, "Not yet - you're too young, maybe in a year or two". Or "Never under my roof." Or "Not practical with your brother here".

Any of those are fine. But they lead to different outcomes. For example, if you lean on "Not practical with your brother here" then the obvious is, "Little brother is staying at his friends tonight, so girlfriend can come over". Would you be okay with that? If not, you have to rehash the argument with different reasons, when he knows that twice already the reasons you've given haven't stacked up.

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Hopefullywaiting01234 · 05/12/2021 01:53

What does her mum and dad say? And is he allowed to stay overnight at hers?

Another suggestion could be that she can stay if they sleep in separate rooms (Him in bedroom, gf on the sofa) I know one of my friends, was allowed her boyf to stay over when we were younger but never in her bed always the living room (this was up to 21 when they split which was a bit ott) but I don’t think 16 is unreasonable to be saying no x

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Hottbutterscotch · 05/12/2021 01:53

My eldest is 20 and I don’t allow this. I don’t like it and so that’s that. I’m not feeling uncomfortable in my own house. When they get their own place they can have who they want to stay.

My DC is NT so I know it’s not as straightforward for you but could it be possible that your DS is pushing because he knows you will fold? It sounds to me like he’s razor sharp. Is he not just using a usually successful tactic of cornering you?

Also, this “better at home than in a bush” rhetoric is quite odd to me. Parents aren’t there to provide snuggly environments for their children to have sex. If you’re mature enough to be having sex then surely you can get yourself a hotel room.
You really don’t have any obligation to be party to your child’s sex life.

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housemaus · 05/12/2021 01:58

I get it, OP. I understand that no is sometimes not enough and you need to give a clear, watertight response. While I actually think parents can often do more harm than good by banning sleepovers with boyfriends/girlfriends, you don't have the room to do so in a way which is appropriate (shared room)/convenient (living room).

I think I'd go with:

"I've had a think about it again and..." (gives him a little bit of agency, at 16 I think it's good for him to see you taking him 'seriously', even if you don't have to)

"I'm saying no for several reasons..." (shuts off him trying to argue against one specific reason)

"1. You would either have to sleep in the bedroom with your brother. As it's illegal for sex/sexual behaviour to happen in the presence of a minor, I will not put you and Girlfriend in a position where you may be tempted to do anything of that nature in your shared bedroom. I will not leave the possibility of a crime occuring to trust" (it's not saying: I don't trust you, it's saying you're flat out not willing to put them in a position where you need to - that hopefully helps curb the argument that he can be trusted, as it's that you're not willing to need to take that on trust, as it's a legal issue)

"2. The only other option, therefore, would be for you to be sleeping in the lounge. I do not want to have to tiptoe around in my own home before work, nor do I want you having sex on my sofas and again, I am not willing to take that on trust." (Added the second part because his answer to the first will be - well, we don't care if you wake us up.)

"3. And lastly, Girlfriend is still legally a child, and I would not entertain having her stay here anyway without having spoken to her parents about their feelings and an honest conversation about contraception with all of us, you two included. That's to protect me as an adult from accusations of inappropriate childcare while having their minor child stay in my home, but it's also to protect her as a young woman. As it happens, there are other reasons that I would not be comfortable, but this would be a baseline requirement anyway and as this hasn't happened, it's a big tick in the no box" (might make him think twice, plus trying to hit the legal angle if he's firm on rules and rights. And if he's fully willing to introduce you all and for you all to have that conversation, great, you still have your other reasons and if they're genuinely okay with it then he can stay there!)

It's also worth reminding him that you are not infringing on his 'rights'. He has no right to be allowed to have anyone stay over at your house, and that whether or not he agrees, as a parent you have the responsibility and the right to make judgements that you think are correct as long as they're legal and safe.

...Having said all that, I think it's a hard one.

I actually think that occasional/not too frequent sleepovers with defined boundaries aren't a bad thing once teens are over 16 - say, no more than once a month, after an appropriate length of relationship after a conversation with everyone involved about contraception if necessary and sexual health as standard, with a chat about expectations for behaviour (come down for dinner/be up at a certain time/no inappropriate behaviour that could be witnessed or heard by anyone else/guest must be polite and engage with other household members).

It makes their relationship a part of family life which can/should be kept an eye on and discussed (rather than taking place entirely away from the home/on phones, which makes conversations about it harder for parents), normalises the sexual health/contraception chat, is part of growing their freedoms as they get closer to leaving home/adulthood and - and this is probably an unpopular thing to think as a parent, but it encourages better sex, and by that I mean it stops them shagging in half-built houses and alleyways like my friends did at 16, or quickly before parents got home. As girls, those sexual experiences (the hetero ones, anyway) were ALWAYS about the boy's enjoyment, as inexperienced teenagers with limited time/space are unsurprisingly not spending a huge amount of time unravelling the more complex beast of female pleasure, whereas - to put it delicately - a teenage boy is usually rather quicker off the mark. To be clear, I'm not saying, fix the orgasm gap and solve feminism by letting your teenagers shag at home, but my anecdotal experiences as a teenager says time and relative safety beats 'quick handjob under the duvet before his mum shouts you down for dinner and then you have to go home after' for giving you chance to not feel like something a teenage boy gets access to for his own enjoyment and yours is seen as too time consuming or complicated to bother with in the limited chance you get.

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