Dear Annie: Our daughter, husband and family moved in to a small house next door to us as they both work, and their living close to us enables us to keep an eye out for their three daughters, ages 11, 11 and 15. Until they get two bedrooms built on the cottage, the 15-year-old and one of the 11-year-olds will use our spare bedroom to sleep in. My husband gets upset over their bringing friends home and doing the typical stuff children this age do. He really gets upset if their friends are of the opposite sex.
When my (now adult) son was a teenager, my husband allowed him to have girls stay in his room, yet he would throw a fit if his sister (the mother of these girls we are talking about) even had a boy over watching a movie. He would actually call her derogatory names. Now we have a 16-year-old son, whom he lets do whatever he wants. I’m the only disciplinarian for him, but even then, my husband will override me.
Now my question is to your readers. Do parents let their teens stay the night at the house of someone of the opposite sex? It seems to be the norm around this area nowadays. My daughter lets the girls have mixed company and requires that the boys sleep in one area and the girls in another. My husband says this is not so. So I want to hear opinions from your readers on this.
I am not comfortable with either my 16-year-old son or my granddaughters sleeping in the same room with members of the opposite sex, but separate rooms and nightly checks by adults are fine with me. – Not Comfortable
Dear Not Comfortable: Let me get this straight: Your husband called your daughter a derogatory name because a boy watched a movie with her at your house and then went home, but he let your son do anything he wanted? You need to have a serious, private talk with him and set down guidelines for your grandchildren that treat boys and girls equally. As for co-ed sleepovers, I’m in agreement with you. Until they are 18 and living on their own, I would say that sleepovers should stay single-sex. However, you asked for opinions and facts from our readers, so I am as curious as you to see the feedback.
Dear Annie: I just read the column about the woman who compulsively looks at men. She describes going into a kind of trance in which she becomes totally unaware of others, much to her distress and her husband’s dismay.
For many years, I was a practicing psychotherapist, and I have seen many people experience profound changes as a result of their work with a therapist. However, I think this woman needs to have a neurological work-up. What she is experiencing reminds me of a client of mine who had a seizure disorder. When it was treated, my client was able to manage her life extremely well and use therapy to enrich it even more. – Hoping Help Is on Its Way
Dear Hoping Help Is on the Way: Thank you for the medical insight. Perhaps it will save a life.
Send your questions for Annie Lane to email@example.com.