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Note to teens: Sleepovers are not for sex

Get out of here.

When I read a recent New York Times article that explained some parents are allowing their teens to sleep with their boyfriends under their roof, I immediately thought, "Get out of here."

To be honest, I inserted an expletive in the middle of that phrase.

And if my daughter (thankfully, she's only 11) ever comes home and asks if her boyfriend can spend the night in her room, I will use that phrase again — with greater emphasis on each word.

My college-age sons already know to not even ask. Even when they're 30, if they're not married they will sleep in separate rooms.

And if they can't because they can't give up sex for two days during a weekend visit, I have only one thing to say: Get a room.

I can't imagine why any parent would condone such behavior in their own home.

I remember when I took my college sweetheart home to meet my parents, we understood the rules. It wasn't a matter of what we were or were not doing when not in their presence, it was a matter of respect.

Since we weren't married, we would sleep in separate rooms. End of story.

But even if you are married, why would you want to have sex with your parents sleeping in the next room? Eww!

In this article, however, the writer interviewed a number of parents who set "ground rules" for their kids. Susan Merrill, a painter in Stockbridge, Mass., essentially said as long as we don't hear it, we don't see it and you wash your towels and sheets, sex under their roof was fine. She's even willing to make the teens pancakes in the morning.

I think I just threw up a little bit in my mouth.

I'm not naive. I recognize that many teenagers engage in sexual behavior. Yes, parents need to talk to them about all the ramifications: the need to use protection, the external and internal upheaval that can come in the wake of sex, and the realization that if adults struggle with those emotions, you might be too young to handle it.

But just because you know they might be doing it, doesn't mean you invite them into your home to have at it. That only gives you the chance to say, "I'm proud of you" as they make their way into the bedroom and close the door.

In the article, Miss Manners suggested parents should put the couple in separate rooms. And then go into their room and "stay out of the hallway." I say put them in separate rooms, and sleep in the hallway — with a bat.

One phrase that repeatedly came up in the story: the loving and committed relationship, as if that status makes it acceptable. Who really knows what a loving and committed relationship is at 16? Who knows at 36 or 56?

The article also suggested the "sex at home" approach is better than wondering, "Where are they tonight?" I want to think they're at the movies and holding close to the morals I instilled in them.

And if they aren't, I'm not sure I want to know.

Sex and alcohol are a horrible combination for kids, unless you're talking about the boundaries parents should set for their kids and their kids' friends.

Yes, teens may imbibe but parents should never give underage kids alcohol under the guise that it's supervised. You don't have the right to give my child a beer without my permission, even if you think it's okay for your teen.

And if my child tries to leave your home after drinking, you better tackle him and lock him up. You're responsible.

Ditto with sex. Ask for my permission, if you dare.

"Hey Mr. Hooper, Johnny Jr. brought your daughter over tonight and they want to go in the back room and do the nasty. Is that okay with you?"

Get out of here.

That's all I'm saying.

Note to teens: Sleepovers are not for sex 10/09/13 [Last modified: Wednesday, October 9, 2013 9:25pm]
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