Ask Kari: Should I let my college son’s girlfriend sleep over at our home?

Dear Kari,

My 21 year-old college son wants to have his girlfriend sleep over at our home when they visit for the holidays. I am happy to have her stay with us, but I do not feel that they should sleep in the same bedroom. My husband disagrees; he feels that our son is an adult and sleeping with his girlfriend is acceptable. This is causing a lot of strife in our family, please help.

--A Proper Mother

Dear A Proper Mother,

I am in agreement with you; your son should not share a bedroom with his college girlfriend when they visit you during holidays. While I am not a prude in regards to relationships, I do feel that children should not have their partners share a bed or sleep in the same room until they have established their own lives (i.e. moved out of their parents home, finished school, and are financially independent). A family home should be respected, inclusive of a parent’s comfort-zone regarding their children sharing intimate space with their boyfriends/girlfriends during visits. I feel that it’s okay to not make it too easy for your children to have the perks of adulthood before they are fully independent. Making things too comfortable for them can lead to unplanned circumstances.


As published in the November 2013 issue of Connections.

About Kari:

Kari O’Neill, MSW, LICSW, is a Licensed Independent Clinical Social Worker and the owner and Clinical Director of Issaquah Highlands Counseling Group (IHCG), which is now Kari O’Neill Counseling.

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