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Door open or closed


Re: Door open or closed

Hi @Beingme2017 Wow ! That response sounds to me like you have a very thoughtful , reflective 16 year old who respects her parents . You have obviously done a great job . Well done ! 

It can be do difficult to navigate sexuality and intimacy with teens of this generation as this " hook up " mentality leaves us parents feeling that  teens are far too gung **bleep** and  blaze about sex and that they don't give it the respect and expectations that we give it . The new thing with teen girls particularly is that , " I am in charge of my sexuality and I will make assertive decisions about it , and no one  will  define me in derogative terms  when I am proactive " . It's part of their empowering agenda . However this is fraught with issues such as consent , being ready and  age appropriateness. 

My questions about this would be : 

Have you discussed your expectations around sex with your daughter ?. She is 16 and legally allowed to have sex with someone less than 3 years older than her . It may well happen out of your sight anyway ! 

Do  you expect her to be in a long term relationship with a boyfriend you know and like  ( Ie maybe a year or so ) before you will accept him sleeping over ?  Will it be contingent on her grades at school and her contribution to the family generally I.e. Chores etc . 

Can she have sexual encounters with boys she likes  in your home as long as she is  sure she wants to , likes the guy very much and is very careful about protection ?  She IS going to have sex whether it's at home or not . This needs to be addressed . 

My husband had all these kinds of discussions with my daughter before her boyfriend could sleep over . ( I would have died of embarrassment !! ) Your sexual philosophy as a family is very important to communicate with her while she is living in your home . There has to be clear expectations and boundaries . It's an awkward discussion so my husband does it lol 😂 Luckily he started when she was about 14- 15 in age appropriate increments .  I think this helps ! 

Sometimes we bring to the discussion our own old fashioned values which may need to move a little with the times .

It was very common for 15, 16 and 17 year olds to  develop ongoing relationships and get married early in many countries right up until the late 70s . in some non- western countries it's still the norm !    She will have sex  as a teen so it might as well be when she is fully equiped with information  to ensure she is ready when she does . You can't control when that happens but you can help her to make an informed choice when she does . 

I particularly remember my mum and dad not wanting my boyfriend to sleep over when I was 18 even up to 27 !! . I saw this as highly hypocritical considering they had a baby by the time they were 18 . I saw it as them projecting their own stupidity  onto me . How dare they assume I would not use protection ,because they didn't ,  and how dare they think I shouldn't be sexual at 17 .  They were !! Really ? If I am not doing  it in their home does that mean  they believe I am not doing it ? It made me irritated and not respect them .

You have a great relationship with your daughter and I am sure a discussion around this would help to clear up any grey areas or second guessing . If you can bring yourself to approach it . 

Best of luck it's a tricky one I know ! 



Parent Peer Supporter

Re: Door open or closed

thanks @Breez-RO. She is not a typical 16 year old so yes I do tread very carefully and make sure I am not painting her with a brush that is just not accurate.  That said I also don't want to be taken for a ride haha!


Very tricky.


She had a good time over there they went out to the shops for a while with his mum and they had a chilled out day. Nothing new to report. I am worried she is a little too fond of him but he is a nice young man. I don't know where it will go with him supposedly not liking her like that - but they chat every night phone/text for hours and see each other most weekends so its an intense friendship



Parent Peer Supporter

Re: Door open or closed

thanks @motherbear some really thought provoking issues in your post!  A lot of food for thought


Re: Door open or closed

Quite a tricky balance between being their parent/mentor/guide and teaching them about respecting guidelines within the home and also seeing them as growing young women with their own morals developing. The thing I always forget with younger adults is a lot of these experiences are brand new.

Completely fresh with not much of a basis for comparison, as a result it's almost as though their self regulation is a bit askew. Can make you want to pull your hair out at times no doubt, you're doing great, thanks for updating us too Smiley Happy @Beingme2017

Super contributor

Re: Door open or closed

Hey @Beingme2017 Just wanted to say how much I relate and feel for you. It's such a tough situation.

I spend a lot of time as a parent flipping between doing what I think or feel is right and completely understanding why it's so mortifying for my teenager as I remember how it was for me.


I honestly think parenting would be made exponentially easier if I could just wipe all recall of my teen years. 


I'm wondering if, because of all the feelings underneath the surface with her and him, it was just too excruciating for her to tell him the door had to be kept open in case he thought she was implying that something might happen between them. I was one of those young people that would fall down the rabbit hole thinking of all the things the other person MUST be thinking. 


I know this is of no use now but I agree with the others, you handled it great. She clearly knows she's loved.

Parent Peer Supporter

Re: Door open or closed

hi @Ngaio-RO I think you are probably spot on there. Like her mother, she ruminates a lot. And with her anxiety high at the moment it means even more overthinking than usual! So I think yes she would've gone into every thought process that was possible to do with the issue of having the door open.


It is a relief to know I am not the only parent who is so torn inside when trying to make sound decisions for our precious teens!