Talking About Sex, Teens, Bedrooms (and Raising Sexual Beings)

Annah Elizabeth 2 Comments

My college kid’s girlfriend recently came to visit.

“That’s fine,” I said, “We’d love to meet her.”

“But there’s one stipulation: You can’t share a bedroom.”

Now, I’m not naïve.

I know many young adults have sex, and these two will soon be twenty-one.

Hey, I was once young myself.

But I have two teenagers still at home.

And one thing I’ve learned about teenagers is that they often have a hard time putting into perspective the age thing.

“I’m old enough, mature enough, smart enough…”

In case you haven’t heard, teenagers know everything…

Even so, this Mama thinks she knows more than they do.

And one thing I feel pretty confident about is that sex complicates relationships for adolescents.

Sex changes the bonds with their partners and adds to pubescent emotional turmoil.

I’ve known plenty of parents who allow their children to hang out in their bedrooms with their boyfriends and girlfriends.

I know a couple families who have taken their high-school children’s companions on vacations with them, and allowed them to share a bedroom.

I even know parents who allowed their middle-school-aged children to vacation together… 

Some even allow the sleepovers at home.

But I’ve believed differently.

We don’t allow our children to take their boyfriends or girlfriends into their bedrooms as we feel it invites temptation.

In fact, they’re not allowed upstairs where the bedrooms are.

We have an upstairs room dedicated to the kids’ game systems, but when the daters are hanging out, those units are brought downstairs to the main family room.

“If they’re going to have sex, they’re going to have sex,” I’ve said too many times to count, “but that doesn’t mean I have to give them a bed.”

When my daughter began dating her besties brother, she was no longer allowed to sleep over at her friend’s house.

It just adds pressure and fosters an environment that could lead to more than the kids are ready to handle.

Heck, I’m not sure I’m really ready to accept that my children are sexual beings.

But ready or not, here I am.

With my oldest, I have given him a little more freedom and allowed he and his companion to hang out upstairs, but the doors have to be open at all times.

I think he’s earned that privilege.

And, yet, it is such a balancing act, a new and unfamiliar territory.

Yesterday, I chatted with a father who’s dealing with the same issue, as his son is bringing his college girlfriend home next week.

We shared a nervous chuckle.

What’s your opinion on the subject?

I know you have one.

Soon…

Comments 2

  1. That’s a really interesting dilemma. I do think I’d let my kids share a room with college boyfriends/girlfriends but I hadn’t thought of the impact on the younger child…not sure I have an answer yet but you raise good points!

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