My Teen, My Boyfriend & Sleepovers | Parenting
I really want to do the right thing here so I hope you can give me a quick response. I have been divorced from my ex-husband for four years. We have one child together who is a 14-year-old female teenager.
When I first got divorced I swore that I was never going to date again. I had a really rough divorce. After about a year I started dating again, but never seriously.
Well, things have certainly changed. I met the most wonderful man about nine months ago. He is the brother of my friend's husband who recently moved to the Northeast. We have fallen in love and are even talking about a future together.
Here is my dilemma. My boyfriend lives two hours away and when he comes to see me on the weekend, I would like to let him sleep over at my house.
I don't want, though, to do anything that would hurt my daughter. Of course, I would want him to sleep in my bed because it would just seem too silly for him to sleep on the couch like my husband did at the end of the marriage.
Please help me sort this out Dr. G. I know how honest you always are.
A Confused Mother
I am so very happy for you that you survived a tough divorce and that you have now found love. Good for you. Congratulations! And, your daughter will benefit significantly from seeing you happy and in a relationship that is contributing to your happiness.
Your question about having your boyfriend sleep over is a good one and a common one. You would get different responses to this question from people based on their religious, moral, and spiritual values.
I, however, am going to answer this from a psychological perspective. I think that yes it is okay to have your boyfriend sleep over.
Let your daughter know that you have strong feelings for this man and that he will on occasion be spending the night because of the driving distance and because you trust and love him enough to let him spend the night in the home that you and your daughter share.
Keep in mind that these should be quiet nights. Your daughter should not hear sexual activity or noises that might scare her or make her uncomfortable. Make sure that your boyfriend is also sensitive to the fact that there is a teenager in your house.
Ask your daughter if she has any questions or concerns and do your best to respond honestly, lovingly, and supportively. Please let me know how things go.
Barbara Greenberg and Jennifer Powell-Lunder are authors of the hit book, "Teenage as a Second Language: A Parent's Guide to Becoming Bilingual." They've set up an interactive website for parents and teens to listen, learn and discuss hot topics and daily dilemmas. You can find it at www.talkingteenage.com.