I recently read an article in the newspaper where a parent wrote in and asked for advice. The parent said that her 16-year old daughter asked if she could have a boy sleep over at her home. The parent refused to allow the boy to sleep over and offered instead to pick him up and take him back home so that the two could spend some time together. The daughter replied that all of her friends are having boys sleep over, some of them even in their rooms. The parent wanted to know if she was the one “out of touch with reality.”
If she is then so am I. When did parents start allowing their teenagers to have multi-gender sleepovers? To me that is just asking for lots of trouble. But then as the columnist pointed out maybe the daughter was just using the line to get what she wanted. I am sure that there are a few parents who allow boys to sleep over at their daughter’s homes, but hopefully for the most part parents say “No!”
When we used to try to convince my parents to allow us to do something by using the line, “But everybody is doing it.” My dad would invariably reply, “If everyone jumped off a cliff would you.” Thus ending the conversation.
One way to check if parents really are allowing their children to do certain things is to ask. Call some of the parents of your child’s friends and ask them their opinion on the subject. Chances are if you say to your daughter, “Okay tell me the names of these parents so I can give them a call and they can explain why they allow boys to sleep over with their daughters, because I just don’t understand it.” She will back off and admit not everyone is doing it.
If some parents are allowing things it does not mean you are obligated to let your child do anything you are not comfortable with. Every family has different values and a parent has a right to stick to those values irregardless of what anyone else is doing.
Would you allow your daughter to have a boy sleepover or vice versa?