Even if you are open and honest about sexual feelings, it is difficult to imagine your child in an intimate relationship. If you know your teen is either having sex or contemplating it, should you allow it in your home?
Why allow it?
Parents who allow their teens to have sex in the family home often cite safety as a number one reason. One mother of a 17-year-old boy said, "Being at home, where he has condoms in his bedroom — that makes sense to me," she says. "Otherwise he will just be in a car or at a party, and things like that can be easily forgotten."
Chloe Foreht said in an interview that by letting her 17-year-old daughter have sex in the family home with her longtime boyfriend, she was giving her daughter a safety net. For Foreht, just knowing where her daughter is — and who she is with — makes the situation seem safer. "I was OK with her having sex in my home because of the relationship she was in, because of the teenager that she is," Foreht said. "Her boyfriend would sleep over probably once a week. And I was comfortable with that."
Creating more problems
Could you be creating more problems by allowing your teens to have sex at home? Teen girls may appreciate the safety net of having parents who do not approve of teenage sex. Having the ability to use your parents as an excuse may make it easier for some girls to say no. Giving the green light may backfire and put your teen in an awkward position.
Kerri Zane is the mother of two girls and the author of It Takes All 5: A Single Mom's Guide to Finding the REAL One. "I am not a prude — in fact, I am far from it," she shares. "I had my first conversation about the use of condoms with both my daughters when my eldest was 11 and my younger one sat in the back seat intently listening at 7!" She feels that she has an open and honest approach to sex. "I even consented and support their use of birth control," she says. "I've had some fairly intense conversations about sexual pleasure. But I will never allow my daughters to have sex in my home — and I don't think they would even consider bringing a guy to our house to engage in sexual activity."
What do the experts say?
Dr. Fran Walfish is a Beverly Hills family psychotherapist and author of The Self-Aware Parent. "First, parents need to take an honest look within," she shares. "You need to have a heart to heart with your values — personal and family. If you have other children, do you want them to learn from this permissive stance? They will surely take away your message," she says. "Personally and professionally, I am opposed to parents allowing sex in the home. I have worked with many families — most do not condone this behavior under their own roof, although some allow it. Basically, allowing sex in the home does not give parents the security of a safe environment," she adds. "It simply green lights having sex anywhere and everywhere."
^ What do you think? Would you allow your teen to have sex at home?