Hi RC. I have a problem with my sixteen-year-old daughter. She has always been what you might call an ‘early bloomer’. She’s done a lot in her short life including drinking and drugs and has a boyfriend of a year she’s smitten with. He’s a nice guy, and I’m hoping it’s still innocent but she has recently asked if he can stay over. I’m not that comfortable with this and want to put the spanner in any possible sexual activity for as long as possible – but am I being too harsh? What do you suggest? Anon
Newsflash, Anon: stopping the boyfriend sleeping over is not going to stop them having sex. Nothing like telling a teenager to do something and watching them do the exact opposite (it’s been years since I was one, but boy, did I put my folks through their paces). Anyhow, I think we need to look at the positive side – that she’s had the respect to ask for your blessing instead of sneaking him in via the window after you’ve gone to bed. I’m just sayin’.
Also, allowing the boyfriend to stay over – even with boundaries such as a certain amount of nights a week, or making a rule that he sleeps in the living room only – might be safer than the alternative. I don’t know about you, but if I had a 16-year-old who wanted to have sex I’d much rather she was doing it safely under my roof than in the back of a car in a dark alley. Still, it’s your call – if you know you’d be really too uncomfortable with the situation, tell her so and say you’re happy to revisit the issue when she’s a bit older.
As her mum, there’s not much else you can do in regards to sex except to make sure your daughter is using contraception, to be open about the dangers of drugs, alcohol and unprotected sex, and to let her know you’re there for her. Teenagers are always going to do dumb things – it’s a fact that their reasoning and decision making abilities develop last – but being available to her as a mum and a friend will hopefully mean you avoid any Lindsay Lohan-style meltdowns, and that she’ll turn to you when it really matters.
Love reality chick