It comes as no surprise that there are significant differences to how each gender is treated. The prime example is that if a female has several romantic relationship she will be referred to with offensive or derogatory names while a male in exactly the same situation would be treated like the game winning quarterback of a football team. Now, what if your son or daughter, aged 17, has a steady boyfriend or girlfriend? What if your son or daughter would like to have their boyfriend or girlfriend to sleep over? How would YOU deal with it?
Full disclousure, I didn’t have a girlfriend when I was 17 and therefore never had this situation. My children are too young for this situation to arise although apparently my six yr old has a crush already. And since my parents may well read this, I didn’t lose my virginity until my wedding night. Honest!
But back to the dilemma. How would you react if your offspring wants a sleep over and there is the potential of a romantic liaison under your roof? If you say no, do you run the risk of alienating your son or daughter and encouraging them to have sex in the back seat of cars, back row of the cinema, or in a back alley? Or do you accept that it is going to happen anyway and you make sure that they have a safe, comfortable place to do the inevitable and even go as far as making sure that there is protection on hand?
Would it make a difference if your child was male or female? Will it make a difference if you are a father or mother? Fathers so often are more protective of their daughters than their sons so would this impact your decision? When teenagers get into relationships, things are going to happen and by the age of 17, should have at least grasped the basics, the ins and outs as it were, of sex, reproduction and contraceptive.
If you agreed to the sleep over, would you sit your child down before hand to have a quick refresher course on safe sex? Would you give them suggestions and advice? How about rules like keeping the sound down? If their bed is old and squeaky would you consider buying a new bed for them? Would you make it a double or queen so they are comfortable?
Back to the original statement though. Would the gender of your child affect your decision? As with all situations, any decision can be viewed two ways. If you agree, you could either be accused of encouraging them having sex, or protecting them by making sure they are safe doing it. If you disagree, you are either standing up for your beliefs and protecting your child or forcing them to resort to cars, outdoors or spending all their hard earned pocket money on a seedy hotel room that rents by the hour. Which would you prefer to be accused of?
Whatever you decide you will be damned by some sections of society and applauded by others. Nothing is really set in stone other than the fact that most teenagers are going to have sex, with the average age, according to Canada.com, being 17.
If you accept the inevitable, do you still try to stand in their way or make it easier and safer. Will it be a case of better the devil you know or hoping that your child is the exception to the rule?