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Am I being too strict with Open Door policy? ( boyfriend in bedroom)

2Leashes2Leashes Registered User Posts: 1,632 Senior Member
edited December 2009 in College Confidential Cafe
Our 17 year old senior has had a boyfriend for the past few months. Nice kid, albeit not as "motivated" academically as she is ;) But that's not the issue. When he comes over, my daughter insists on closing her bedroom door when he's in there. Often times she'll be reading or on the computer with schoolwork while he's watching tv. Since he doesn't take a rigorous course load , I've never seen him with homework.

Other times they'll both be watching a movie while cuddled up on the bed or just laying there and talking. Sometimes entwined. I've made a point of being close by and have no qualms about peeking in from time to time. However, I still don't feel comfortable knowing they're in there, normal teenagers with raging hormones.

When I asked my daughter to please keep the door open, she was very indignant and both she and her boyfriend felt insulted that I would even THINK that they would be doing "anything!" I just feel it's not appropriate. It just bothers me. And I wish my husband was more verbal about it, as well. I think he prefers to put blinders on and be in denial. He likes to leave the discipline up to me. Aarrrggh. I'm always the bad guy. :(

Anyway, my daughter feels I don't trust her. I realize if they're having sex they will find a way. But why should I encourage it? Am I being unreasonable asking that she keeps her door open when her boyfriend is in there alone with her?
Post edited by 2Leashes on

Replies to: Am I being too strict with Open Door policy? ( boyfriend in bedroom)

  • rockermcrrockermcr Registered User Posts: 14,670 Senior Member
    Take this from another teenager: if your daughter wants to have sex with her boyfriend, she will. Will she do that when you're nearby? I highly doubt it. With the door open or closed, nothing will happen if you're around.
  • 2Leashes2Leashes Registered User Posts: 1,632 Senior Member
    I should have mentioned that several years ago when one of my 33 year old twin girls was 17, I caught her and her boyfriend in flagrante delicto. Basically, "doing it". This was in MID DAY with the window open! I was outside in front and heard some "noise" upstairs. HA! Little did I know.

    Anyway...perhaps I'm being unfair and projecting my concerns on my younger daughter. I have to realize that she's a different person than her older sister was at her age. But aside from that, I've been torn about what the "right thing to do" is. I know that everyone has their own levels of comfort and house rules. I just want to know what others' take is on this. (Both parents and teens.)

    UPDATE: After much thought, I've decided to re-think my position on the Open Door policy. I've decided to compromise and allow her door to be closed, especially when I know they want some privacy to TALK or watch a movie. I have to remember that teens aren't ALWAYS groping at one another. They DO enjoy conversation, as well. :) But, I also told her I would like the door open some of the time. And, I think it would be fun if he joined the family downstairs in a board game, maybe. HA! She nixed THAT idea! Well, I'm going to ask him, anyway. Actually, he has no problem joining my husband in watching a game on tv. Or just saying "hello" before he bounds upstairs. So, I bet playing a board game won't be a huge problem. Now if I can just convince my daughter of this! :) Hey, I told her it's to her benefit. The more I get to know him, the more comfortable I'll feel, right?

    Thanks for your input from a teen's perspective. And, I know what you said makes sense. Believe me, I don't wear blinders. If there's a will, there's a way. And my daughter and I have had that conversation plenty of times. I was a nurse for an OB-GYN for 12 years and I learned a long time ago that being in denial is the worst thing a parent can do.

    You know, maybe I would feel differently if he were on the same academic track as she is. Perhaps I resent the fact that he's taking up some of her studying time. I bet I wouldn't be as disturbed if I knew for a fact that behind closed doors they were deeply engrossed in their homework instead of each other. :) This is her first serious boyfriend. Before that she spent a lot of time on her studies. It's paid off academically. Maybe I just don't want her lose sight of her goals now that she has this boy in her life. So, yeah, I admit there might be a bit of an underlying reason for my concern in addition to the obvious.

    Okay, I'm done venting! It felt good to "talk about it" here and I've got it control now.

    Thanks again!
  • NorthstarmomNorthstarmom Registered User Posts: 24,853 Senior Member
    I take it you don't remember what it was like to have those strong teen hormones. It's a mistake to allow them to be in her bedroom whether or not the door is open. Certainly allowing them to cuddle on her bed is a big temptation to them to go further, much further. Of course, your D is going to be indignant when you try to stop that behavior: It feels good.

    Yes, by allowing them to hang out in her bedroom --whether or not the door is open -- you are encouraging them to become sexually active, and you're being naive, too.

    Certainly, young people hell bent on having sex will find a way, but most aren't that persistent. The longer they wait to have sex, the more sensibly they'll probably go about having sex, including being more likely to use birth control and less likely to contract STDs.

    I also suggest being concerned about your D's having a less academically motivated boyfriend whom you're giving opportunity to have sex with her. I've known of such situations in which the boyfriend deliberately got the girl pregnant because he didn't want her to go away to college and leave him.
  • mildredmildred Registered User Posts: 686 Member
    I am a student, but I am not a high schooler...

    I think, 2Leashes, that you should have an open door policy because your daughter is a 17 year old young lady who lives at home and is in high school. Have you had "the talk" with her yet?

    There are things one can do behind closed doors. Things, I tell you...things!
  • NorthstarmomNorthstarmom Registered User Posts: 24,853 Senior Member
    There also are many things that one can do on a bed or for that matter a sofa when one is not well supervised -- whether or not the door is open.

    I hope that by this time the OP has had a lot of talks with her D about things involving sex, love, birth control, date rape, STDs, relationships, and the selection of appropriate romantic partners.
  • swimchicaswimchica Registered User Posts: 93 Junior Member
    Wow. haha Not strict at all. My parents won't even let a guy up to my room... O.o

    I agree with whoever said that they aren't going to do anything with you around, especially if her older sister did.

    "I also suggest being concerned about your D's having a less academically motivated boyfriend whom you're giving opportunity to have sex with her. I've known of such situations in which the boyfriend deliberately got the girl pregnant because he didn't want her to go away to college and leave him."

    That mildly freaked me out...
  • portugueseninjaportugueseninja Registered User Posts: 1,703 Senior Member
    I think it's natural for you to want to protect your daughter and to try and keep her as "pure" as the child she's been for the last 17 years. In comparison to your position as The Adult here, you feel like she's not ready for a physical relationship and you want to prolong that as long as possible. But as someone already mentioned - remember when you were 17? Did you have a crush on someone? Did you have a partner yourself? You know what it's like to be 17 so you know what it's like.

    I honestly think that denying this is the wrong way to go. If your daughter and her boyfriend want to have sex, they're going to. Making them keep the door open isn't going to stop it. But they are still caught up in the excitement of a relationship and as they are technically adults I think you should honour their maturity by allowing them the privacy. You said yourself that they "felt insulted that [you] would even THINK that they would be doing "anything!" so I think you can probably believe them. They just want to be together at the moment.

    But I think it's important not to make them feel ousted - if they haven't already, at some point they are going to develop a sexual relationship. And if your daughter feels alienated by you being disapproving then she will be secretive about it. And that's when problems can occur. Give your daughter the benefit of the doubt, and maybe sit down with her and see how she feels about the situation, discuss the options.
  • mom4collegemom4college Registered User Posts: 399 Member
    Well, my D is 18 and I would not allow her to have a boy in her room, door open or door closed. She lives on campus at college, so these are my house rules during breaks. They can sit in the living room or family room.
  • NorthstarmomNorthstarmom Registered User Posts: 24,853 Senior Member
    " But as someone already mentioned - remember when you were 17? Did you have a crush on someone? Did you have a partner yourself? You know what it's like to be 17 so you know what it's like."

    That's exactly why I didn't allow my high school age sons to be in their rooms with opposite gender guests.

    " If your daughter and her boyfriend want to have sex, they're going to. Making them keep the door open isn't going to stop it. But they are still caught up in the excitement of a relationship and as they are technically adults I think you should honour their maturity by allowing them the privacy

    Actually, many young people don't plan to have sex, but end up having sex because of opportunity plus raging hormones. In some cases, pregnancies result.

    Many young people won't go out of their way to have sex if their parents make it inconvenient. I had friends in college who said that they waited to become sexually active until then because in high school, it would have been too difficult to sneak around.

    "But I think it's important not to make them feel ousted - if they haven't already, at some point they are going to develop a sexual relationship."

    Yes, most people end up having sex at some point in their lives. It doesn't have to be as high school students nor does it have to be with their high school romantic partners.

    As high school seniors living at home, any expenses related to pregnancy or STDs would be borne by their parents. More reason for the mom to discourage sexual activity until the young people are able to take more responsibility for any results of their actions.

    Remember -- even if birth control is used, an STD or pregnancy can result.

    I just talked to a young friend of mine who is a grad student who learned that 7 years ago when he had a two-night stand, he made the young woman pregnant. He was a virgin, and the condom broke. He and the young woman lost contact, but she recently contacted him to let him know that he has a daughter (verified by DNA testing).

    I know that if I learned that something like this had happened to my sons while I had been allowing them to be alone in their bedroom with a high school sweetheart, I'd feel partly to blame. Having a child is something that changes one's life forever, and under the best circumstances, pregnancies are planned by people in mature relationships, not by hormone-driven teens.
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