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Sleep Overs for a 16yr old

Discussion forum for parents in Australia


Sleep Overs for a 16yr old

I am in need of some advice from other parents please.


I have a 16yr old son who has started having sleepovers at his girlfriends house.  I'm not comfortable with this as he has only recently turned 16 and not a worldly one at that. He will not bring her to our place for a sleepover, will only stay at her place where they sleep on the lounge together.


I'm not naive to think that 16yr old's (and younger) aren't having sex but I'm just not comfortable with essentially providing them with opportunity.


I want to talk to the girls parents and check if what my son is saying is correct and if they are happy with it too?


My partner doens't agree and says that we can't ask what go on in her house.  I disagree as what goes on in their house concerns our son.


Any thoughts &/or advice would be greatly appreciated.



Star contributor

Re: Sleep Overs for a 16yr old

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Hi @Marklin and welcome to Reach Out... You ask a very good question.  It is a tricky topic as every teen is different in regards to their maturity, which includes their physical, mental and emotional maturity and every family and expectations are different. 


I believe that it would be ok to talk with your sons girlfriends parents about the sleep over arrangements and any concerns that you may have.  You will feel more at ease if you know everyone is comfortable with the sleeping arrangements.  When I gave my daughter permission to first sleep at her boyfriends house for the first time, she told us that they were ok with it, however his parents had no idea she was staying over.  Her boyfriend was suppose to seek permission, but didn't... awkward!!  You also want to make sure that your son is staying in an environment that is safe and that he will be properly cared for, so I feel it would be ok to ask. 


The legal age for consensual sex varies across Australia (16-17 years) so depending on what state you live in and the age of your sons girlfriend, legally they could be doing nothing wrong, but is is still hard as a parent to navigate this time. Reach Out has some good resources about sex and teens Click here and Click here


I didn't know my daughter was sexually active until after the fact.  I wish I had known before hand so I could have better prepared her, but I don't think she stopped to consider what advice her mum might have at the time!!  I have always told my daughter to be safe, make sure it is consensual and nobody does anything they are not comfortable doing. We have a pretty open relationship so I am fairly confident she follows this advice.   


I think you have to do what you feel it is right.  Remember that teens don't need a night sleep over to be sexually active, and it is better to be safe than sorry.  All the best on what ever you decide, I am sure you will make the right decision for you and your son.

Star contributor

Re: Sleep Overs for a 16yr old

Hi @Marklin, sounds like this has been quite an uncomfortable time for you. Understandably, these topics are really hard to face when it comes to our own children. Ultimately, there is no harm in confirming with the girlfriend's parents about what the arrangements are. This is particularly important if it is going to provide some comfort and reassurance that your son is in good hands.

As @Zoesplace has mentioned, it is important to consider legality surrounding age of consent. Also as mentioned, stopping them from sharing a bed won't necessarily prevent sex. This might be a worthwhile consideration in case you decide to talk to your son, his girlfriend and her parents about this.

Good luck and let us know how you go!
Frequent scribe

Re: Sleep Overs for a 16yr old



I agree with you that its okay to talk to the adults that will host your child and what their expectations are, and if they match it with yours. Like with any other sleepover. I always make sure to contact the other parent to find out if they are okay with my kid coming over, even if its not to spend the night. I learned its that teens make a lot of plans and parents are the last one to know 😀 


Super star contributor

Re: Sleep Overs for a 16yr old

Hi there @Marklin, I'm yet to experience this aspect of teenagers, so I cannot weigh in from experience, but as far as sleepovers in general, I think it's absolutely okay to be in contact with the other parents - especially at this age when our teens may not always be upfront and honest with us as to their whereabouts. 


Apart from that, I'd also want to know my daughter's safe and is not exposed to any dangers or anything I don't agree with. 


Your son is your son and if you feel you want to talk with the girls parents, I'd encourage you to do so. 


Let us know how you get on.