We as parents have to be adults. To allow a boyfriend in your daughter’s bedroom is an enormous decision to consider. Here is how we approached the dilemma in our house.
If you are asking this question then I have to assume your daughter has a steady relationship. It became a topic of discussion in our house this summer. Here’s how we resolved it
1. What age are they?
2. How long are they dating?
3. Have you discussed sex ed properly with her?
4. Open door Rule / No Home Alone
Trust in your teen is key to most topics that arise, but allowing their boyfriend in their room is slightly more complicated than allowing them to wear makeup or going to the mall with their friends. Here’s what we put in place so everyone was happy.
What Age is your Daughter?
This to me is a very important point. If your daughter is not at the age of consent then I’m not sure she should be spending any time alone with their boyfriend in their bedroom.
Most states are 16-18 years old. Our 17-year-old daughter was in a relationship with a 17-year-old boy when the topic came up for discussion.
My daughter couldn’t understand why it was an issue, but to me, it was a big issue. This was only her second steady boyfriend.
On his first visit to our home, my daughter was busy tidying her room and was quite annoyed to hear that he wouldn’t be allowed upstairs.
There was a lot of ‘Why’s?’ and ‘That’s not fair!’ but my answer to all of these protestations was, you are only 17, we don’t know him that well, and you are living in our house and so have to live by our rules.
How long are they dating?
This was also a question we considered. I needed my daughter to have self-respect for herself. It had come a time for us to discuss that she doesn’t just jump into bed with any guy that shows an interest, otherwise all guys would be showing an interest.
There needed to be some solid basis for her relationship. She had to be sure that it was as an important event for her boyfriend as it was for her. I wasn’t by any means encouraging or greenlighting the next stage of their relationship but I’m not completely naive either.
I’m getting a little off point. Just because they are in a bedroom doesn’t mean my daughter was sexually active. The reason I had said no initially was more about her having respect for herself.
And as my mom always used to say, you don’t need to be in a bedroom to be having sex. And so initially he was not allowed in her bedroom or even upstairs.
There also was her father to consider. He was having a hard time with her having a boyfriend let alone a boyfriend in her bedroom.
Have you discussed sex ed with her?
This I know might seem an obvious point. Of course, they have sex ed classes in high school and we of course had discussed the birds and the bees. But when a serious boyfriend develops on the scene, from 15 ish onwards I certainly felt I needed to revisit the topic. Not the ins and outs (no pun intended!) but more the respect for herself. She worked so hard on her grades that we didn’t need the complication of a baby or the risk of disease. Lots of STIs have little or no symptoms until it’s too late. I’m by no means a medical practitioner but any kind of online research will show you that all STIs are preventable with the use of protection. My daughter is a sensible soul, quite shocked at the promiscuity of her peers but in the heat of the moment, it’s sometimes difficult to be adult enough to stay safe. So this was the conversation we were having. To make sure everything she did had a positive reaction. If her boyfriend only wants to be in her bedroom for one reason then she needs to recognize that.
Open Door Rule / No Home Alone
A couple of months went by. We all got to know her boyfriend a little better and we could see that he adored our daughter and how well they got on.
It was agreed that he was allowed to go to her bedroom. On the condition that her bedroom door remained open at all times and they were never in the house on their own.
The latter was easy enough to monitor as both my husband and I work from home and so there is always someone in the house.
The open door rule also worked well, as it created a boundary that wasn’t to be crossed and reassured me that at least on my watch they were behaving.
As that was of course the other issue. My parenting skills and the rules of our home are not necessarily the rules of her boyfriend’s house.
But I had to believe that my daughter knew that I trusted her and that she had enough maturity about her to carry our rules to another house.
I feel we handled the situation well, it certainly was one of my more challenging decisions as a parent to date.
We are now in the opposite situation where my son has a girlfriend. We are adopting the same rules as before.
No upstairs or in his bedroom. For the time being at least.