“For American parents,” says the publisher’s blurb for Amy Schalet’s new book, Not Under My Roof: Parents, Teens, and the Culture of Sex, ”teenage sex is something to be feared and forbidden: most would never consider allowing their children to have sex at home, and sex is a frequent source of family conflict.”
Contrast this to the Netherlands, “where teenage pregnancies are far less frequent than in the United States, [and] parents aim above all for family cohesiveness, often permitting young couples to sleep together and providing them with contraceptives.”
Gay dad Stephen Russell wrote recently at HuffPo about how he applied his friend and colleague Schalet’s findings while negotiating dating and sex with his teen son (who also happens to be gay). It’s a great case study in how sometimes not pushing too much can be more effective than coming down hard with the rules.
I’m the parent of an eight-year-old, not a teen, and have no direct experience with my son and dating. Have any of you had teens who wanted to have a date stay the night (or spend any extended period behind closed doors)? How have you handled it? What advice would you give others?
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