Teen Health 411
Teen Health 411

Can My Partner Spend the Night?

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Oh, how the issues that challenge the parents of young adults just never seem to stop!

What happens when a child who is functioning as an adult, going to school or working, paying his or her own bills, but still living at home asks the question, "can my partner spend the night?"

I posed this question to several people who have young adults and this is what I heard:

Mom A, with two adult sons (ages 22 and 19) living at home:
“I am not comfortable with either son having girls spend the night in their bedrooms. I don't know the girl that well and want to be able to walk around my house in my pajamas without worrying about being seen by a stranger. I guess my children have to suffer because of my self consciousness and comfort level. This makes me sound like a prude, but if they do not like the rules they can move out.

They occasionally have friends spend the night on the couch and I feel I have to be quiet in the morning while I get ready for work so I do not disturb them. I don't mind this once in a while, but do not want them over all the time.

I know that one son has snuck a girl into his room once or twice and knows I don't like it. He and I have not had a discussion about it, he just seems to know that this behavior is not OK and respects it, for the most part.”
Mom B, two adult daughters (ages 21 and 24) not living at home:
"I would say that’s fine. I love my daughters and I would welcome their partner, male or female, married or not into my home. I think the only situation where I might be hesitant is if this became a habit and the partner became more of a roommate that a guest. I think then we all might have to sit and discuss the situation, work out a solution or compromise."
Mom C, mother of seven, four of whom are young adults, some at home:
"Basically, my house, my rules, and no, they can't spend the night "together." I have however allowed the significant others to stay over, but on separate floors, or at least in separate rooms. There are enough younger siblings around to make very effective discouraging chaperones! Usually this is during the holidays or vacation when I have someone sleeping on every available surface and there is absolutely no privacy for fooling around. If it was the only kid, I would still say, absolutely not. If they are living on their own, and paying their own bills, that's one thing (adult behavior eventually follows), but if they are living in my house, I call the shots."
What do you think?

Photo credit: theogeo
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About the Author

Dr. Brown is a developmental psychologist specializing in adolescent health.

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