Whether or not to allow your 18-year-old daughter’s boyfriend to sleepover is a tricky question many parents run into. As your daughter goes from a teen to an adult, these questions become more difficult to answer.
You want to support her decision as an adult but don’t want to condone extracurricular activity in your home. There are rules you can set to make this a successful and safe sleepover. In reality, there is no right or wrong answer to this question, it all depends on your comfort zone. There are reasons why you should, and reasons why you shouldn’t let your daughter’s boyfriend sleepover.
I’ve been in a similar situation myself when my daughter was 17 (almost 18). She asked if her boyfriend could sleepover. It was the summer before she left for college and it was a difficult decision for me and her father to make.
Why You Should Let Your 18-Year-Old Daughter’s Boyfriend Sleep Over
Personally, I believe the pros outweigh the cons. Again, there is no one answer for everybody. All I can do is lay out the benefits and cons of the sleepover and you can come to the decision yourself.
1. She’ll Do it Anyway
If you remember being 18 then you know what your parents want does not really make a difference anymore. If you say no to her, she is going to find a place to sleep over anyway. Next time she is sleeping over at a “friend’s” house, it could be his.
I’m not calling your child a liar, I’m just saying that’s typical 18-year-old behavior. The reality is your daughter is an adult now that is capable of making her own decisions. Personally, I’d rather my daughter’s boyfriend slept over under my roof than someone I did not know.
This is a VERY difficult concept for many parents to comprehend. We are still used to seeing our children as people we make decisions for. If she wants her boyfriend to have a sleepover, it’s either going to be at your house or somewhere else.
As your daughter enters adulthood, her relationship with you is voluntary, not mandatory. If you are in a lucky enough position where your daughter is being honest with you, you’ll want to treasure that because it is an indication of a good relationship between the two of you.
2. Your Daughter’s Safety
The next and most important detail to consider is your daughter’s safety. Like I mentioned before, if you don’t allow her boyfriend to sleep over, she’ll find somewhere to have a sleepover with him. This could be a mutual friend’s house or his house.
This could be a real safety concern for your daughter. You could have no idea where she is spending the night. I’d rather know that my daughter is safe under my roof.
This is also a good opportunity for you to have a discussion with her about responsible sex. She may tell you that she and her boyfriend are not sexually active but tell her anyway. Even if you disapprove of premarital sex, you still need to have a clear conversation with her about protecting herself.
3. You Can Set Ground Rules
If your 18-year-old daughter’s boyfriend is sleeping over at your house, you are in a position to give ground rules. You may be comfortable with them sleeping in the house but not in the same room or bed.
A sleepover does not necessarily mean intimacy. When I allowed my daughter’s boyfriend to sleepover, they were not allowed to sleep in the same room. They would watch TV in the living room and when it was time for bed, he would go to the guest room and she would go to her own room.
Although you can’t stop them from having sex, it is within your right to ask them not to do it in your home. Set a few ground rules and then see if she’d still like him to sleep over.
Don’t be unreasonable with your rules because like I mentioned in #1 she’ll do it somewhere else. Be grateful that your daughter is being honest with you about this request and wants to spend time with her boyfriend in the comfort and safety of her own home.
Why You May Want to Say No
There are some cases in which you may want to say no to your daughter having her boyfriend sleep over.
1. It Makes you Uncomfortable
If you are too uncomfortable to handle the fact that they will be sleeping near each other, then you have the right to say no. It would be unfair for your daughter to ask you to do something you are uncomfortable with.
As I mentioned earlier that does not mean she is not going to do it, it just means she is not going to do it at your house. I would recommend you get over it but if you don’t think you can sleep with him in the house, say no.
A great way to get over this would be to get to know her boyfriend better. The less of a stranger he is to you, the more comfortable you will be allowing him to spend the night at your house. Take them out to dinner before the sleepover.
Logistics include the practicality of the sleepover. If you don’t have space to comfortably house her boyfriend for the night, say no. Although you may want him to sleepover, don’t feel pressured.
If you don’t have an extra room for your daughter’s boyfriend, and you are not comfortable with him sharing a bed with your daughter, feel free to say no. Make your reasons clear to both of them so that they understand the situation.
We all want what’s best for our children. It can be a difficult decision when your 18-year-old daughter asks if her boyfriend can sleepover. On one end you may feel like you are promoting sexual activity but on the other end, you want her to be safe in your home.
The reality is, she’s an adult that is going to do it anyway, with or without your blessing. By her doing it under your roof you can ensure her safety, will enforcing some ground rules that will make the sleepover more comfortable for you.