Are You Ready to Allow Your Daughter to Sleep Over at Her Boyfriend’s House?

Camping couple hugging and enjoying the sunset

Sleepovers were fond memories when my kids were in elementary school.  Typically a best buddy would show up, they’d play some games, watch a movie, and camp out on the family room floor.   Harmless for the most part.

By junior high and high school, that phase of life seemed to be a thing of the past for our family.  I’m guessing I was lucky on that front.  At some point along the way my kids seemed to recognize that they needed sleep and the best buddy would be available the next day.

It wasn’t until my kids were in college that there seemed to be a radical twist to the whole sleepover thing.  Maybe it was when my college freshman started sharing co-ed dorm stories that I saw what was really happening in the young adult world.

I remember my son telling me about getting out of the shower in the men’s restroom that was down the hall from his dorm room.  Stepping out on the wet tile floor as he began to dry himself off, he spotted them–two girls who were primping in front of the mirror.  Yes! In the men’s restroom on the men’s floor.  Embarrassed and shocked beyond belief, he quickly wrapped himself in a towel and headed down the hallway.  

“Mom, it’s just what I deal with on a regular basis.  You learn to live with it.  It’s just part of life.  Guys and girls don’t share dorm rooms 24/7 but, Mom, they are sharing dorm rooms.”


And that’s how our kids become numb to all the morals we’ve tried to teach them while in our home.  They start seeing the immorality in the world as “normal”.

It wasn’t long until I started hearing moms of college students, church moms even, saying things like, “Yeah, my daughter just stayed at her boyfriend’s last night.  It was late and she didn’t want to come home because she was concerned the roads were slick.”  

“His parents don’t mind?” I asked one woman.

“Oh, he has his own place.  I know it was alright.  I’m sure nothing went on.  I trust them.”


Another mom told me how her daughter was going to visit her boyfriend who had just gotten a job out of state.  Yes, a long weekend alone in his apartment, together.  

“I trust her.  After all, she’s an adult.  It’s not like I can stop her,” mom responded.  

Truth be told, she’s right.

And typically what happens with the college crowd, starts happening with the high school kids eventually.

Eventually has arrived.

High School co-ed sleepovers are now the new rage.  Parents are starting to get the full-court press from their kids to sleep over at the boyfriend or girlfriend’s house.  After all, what’s the big deal?

“You trust me, don’t you, Mom?  What’s going to happen?  His parents will be home.”

And parents are caving to the requests.  

While these requests might seem preposterous to us as parents, know that our kids are making choices on how they will view the world.  Our response is not only important in setting the morality standard for when they leave for college as adults, but is also important in how they will lead the next generation.

If you haven’t gotten the request yet, this is your opportunity.  Start the conversation!  

Here are some pre-parenting ideas:

  1. Bring up the subject.  In today’s media culture your kids will hear about this if they haven’t already.  Ask them what they think about it.  Find out if they know kids that are having co-ed sleepovers.
  2. Listen. Let them talk without passing judgment.  Words like “Hmm…and wow…and really…” should keep them talking.
  3. Ask them to look at it through the lense of scripture with you.   
  4. Let them know why as a parent you would have to say ‘no’ to such a request without emotion.
  5. Talk about sexual temptation.

As parents, we can’t be afraid to say “no” when morality issues are at stake.  Just because their friends are doing it, just because we trust our kids, and just because we want our kids to like us is not an excuse.

Kids need limits and boundaries to establish healthy patterns in life.  They need parents who build relationship in such a way that we can influence the next generation to stop and consider good from evil.

Roman 12:1-2

Therefore I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is you spiritual service of worship.  And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.

Dare you to boldly start the dialogue before you get hit with the request.  Help your kids stay focused on scripture’s view of good versus the world’s view by talking about it now so you can influence your kids early.

“Let go…and let God”,



Have you gotten your copy of With All Due Respect yet?  If you want someone to walk beside you in your parenting, we hope you’ll join us for the With All Due Respect e-Course that begins TODAY.  You’ll be encouraged in your parenting and have opportunity to ask questions.  I’ll be joining you on the journey and can’t wait to meet you.  To take advantage of the discount, click here and enter in the code daretoconnect for a 50% savings for a limited time only.

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Are Your Kids Showing Signs of Entitlement?

happy young teens group in school on chemisty lessons and library education

In the fast-paced world we live in, it’s easy to get caught-up in the culture of privilege.  Without thinking about our daily interactions with our kids, we can easily let the life skills that will be so valuable to them as adults easily slide.  Too many times we “give them a pass” because we know they have homework, activities, and we want them to have friendship.  Instead of setting them up for success teaching them how to trim the shrubs, do laundry, or clean up the kitchen, sometimes it is just easier to do it ourselves.

We tend to rationalize:

It’s just easier  sometimes–rather than listening to the whining and complaining,

Or fishing smelly wet laundry out of the washer two days after our kid should have put it into the dryer,

Or finding the dried leftovers in the refrigerator with no lid,

Or discovering that the shrubs now have a buzz cut leaving no leaves in the wake and clippings strewn all over the yard.

So essentially, our kids have us trained.  Rather than dealing with remnants of their failed attempts, we give them a “pass”–after all, they’re good kids, we want them to have a happy childhood, or they have so much on their plate.

But, what are we teaching our kids when this is our response?

Are we teaching them entitlement?

Are we teaching them they don’t have to do the job, or finish the job, or that someone else will always be there to clean up after them?

This past week a scenario played out in a serve-yourself-breakfast cafe that is indicative of the entitlement mentality that this generation seems to embrace.  Nine cheerleaders between the ages of probably 11 and 13 were eating breakfast.  While most everyone knows that at a serve-yourself cafe it is your responsibility to bus your own table, these girls proceeded to leave half-eaten bagels on their plates with spilled juice on the table.  Napkins littered the floor where they sat.  As they finished their meal, all the girls proceeded to gather their belongings without any attempt to clean up their mess.  One girl tried to chide the others as she cleaned up her place while the remaining girls walked out of the restaurant leaving the mess behind.

What have they learned?

Entitlement.  It is someone else’s responsibility to take care of their mess. 

While this scenario might be an extreme, please know that as parents, we’ve all made choices that can lead to our kids feeling as though we are always there to pick up the pieces or that it is our responsibility to motivate them to accomplishment.

What parent hasn’t completed the dishes alone, helped or finished a homework assignment, or dropped what they are doing in order to shuttle a child someplace they think they need to go?

The question is how “to turn the tide” or put the “Jeanie back in the bottle” once you realize that your child’s attitude of entitlement is out of hand.

Shifting the balance from a mom and dad are responsible to the kids being responsible is not an easy feat, but it will be well worth it in the long run.  Here’s some suggestions to get you started.

  • Identify the areas that you think should be your child’s responsibility rather than yours.
  • Get consensus with your spouse on where to begin.
  • Begin small.  Choose one area that you will work with your child on.  For example, if your teens need encouragement helping with the dinner dishes, have a family meeting and identify the problem and the solution.  Know that you will probably get some verbal push back.  Again, state the new mode of operation that you expect after dinner each evening and execute.  If you get whining, you know that you have an entitlement issue.
  • Regardless of the amount of push back, continue to stand your ground on the issue.  Don’t give in to whining or excuses.
  • Try to make the change a “family” affair.  Keep the time light with joking or just conversation.
  • Once you’ve got one area of responsibility in place, try another and then another.

Galatians 6:4-5

“But let each one test his own work, and then his reason to boast will be in himself alone and not in his neighbor. For each will have to bear his own load.”

Dare you to look at the level of entitlement your tweens and teens display.  Make a difference in the next generation by empowering them with self-responsibility and a sense of teamwork in your family.

“Let go…and let God”,


Have you gotten your copy of With All Due Respect yet?  If you want someone to walk beside you in your parenting, we hope you’ll join us for the With All Due Respect e-Course that begins the week of October 17, 2016.  You’ll be encouraged in your parenting and have opportunity to ask questions.  I’ll be joining you on the journey and can’t wait to meet you.  To take advantage of the discount, click here.

Also, be sure to sign up for your free Parenting Tips!