Thanks for replying Claire. since my original post I’ve done a lot of thinking and I’m feeling very overwhelmed. My concerns in regards to having different girls come by relates more to the casual sex side of things. They can have as many people visit as they want. I am far from naive and my boys are fairly open with us in terms of girls, sex and relationships (and many other issues faces by young people their age). We tried to bring them up with a certain level of respect and I guess casual sex with someone they have just met on a night out somewhat conflicts with that. My son’s argument is that wouldn’t I rather know he was here safe at home (true) but I feel like if we allow this, it opens the door to him bringing strangers into our home on a regular basis - something we are not comfortable with. I’m really struggling with parenting at the moment as my 18 year old is my youngest and I still feel he is too young to be experiencing everything he is right now - I feel like his peer group wants everything NOW and I wonder what happens when they get bored because they’ve experienced all the usual stuff. Again, I’m not naive - my original topic broadens dramatically when I add that we talk openly about drug and alcohol use. They are both sensible drinkers, both occasionally smoke marijuana and have experimented with MDMA and LSD. I am glad they tell me, but it’s conflicting as a parent when you don’t always agree with the choices they make. We have talked a lot about the dangers of using ecstasy at music festivals and they insist that they buy from “safe” dealers and have friends with test kits. LSD has been used within a group of friends with at least one or two people who don't take it and keep an eye on everyone else. I’m sitting here writing this and not sure if I should laugh or cry that I listen to my kids justify why they think it’s “safe”. I definitely feel like that swan gliding elegantly along the river looking like I have it all together but underneath the water I’m paddling like mad trying to stay afloat. I feel so alone in all of this. My parents are both deceased, my sister doesn’t have children and I don’t feel close enough or comfortable enough with any of my friends to discuss such personal aspects of my boy’s lives. I have no idea what is “normal” or ”acceptable” these days. I was not a perfect teenager myself, but my mum died when I was 17, I had parented my younger siblings for over a year before I left home at 18 and was living as an adult, studying, working and totally responsible for myself (that didn’t work out well). Fortunately I got back on track but I was married at 23 and worked my whole life to pay rent, mortgage, bills, raise kids etc. I want my boys to stay at home as long as possible to save money, travel, hopefully buy their own homes - but for now enjoy being young without the responsibilities I had at their ages. How do I manage our family boundaries without pushing my sons away, am I asking to much to have what I feel are age relevant expectations of acceptable behaviour as we did when they were younger? Sorry if my reply covers too many topics. Today is my first post and I guess all of my worries have come pouring out.
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