Take the 2-minute tour ×
Parenting Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for parents, grandparents, nannies and others with a parenting role. It's 100% free, no registration required.

My 14 year old daughter recently broke up with a boy she was dating for 7 months because she fell in love with a girl. I totally support her as I had a similar experience when I was in my 30's. My daughter and I have talked and I have told her how much my husband and I support her. Love is love and it's wonderful to have someone special in your life. We also know that adolescence is a time when teenagers are in flux about their identity and we don't want to hamper her in any way.

Being an adolescent, when she was dating her boyfriend we had limits in place, one being that he was not allowed in her bedroom. Recently, my daughter has asked to have her girlfriend over for a sleepover. My husband and I discussed this at length and decided that we would be creating a double standard if we allowed her to have her girlfriend over for a sleepover given that her boyfriend was never allowed to be in her bedroom. We have told her, however that her girlfriend is welcome in our home anytime, and while she's here, they can hang out in her bedroom if they want with the door open, however sleepovers aren't allowed for the reason described. I've also told her that just as she and her boyfriend would cuddle together on the couch and watch a movie, she and her girlfriend should follow their instincts and be themselves while in our house (ie there is no need to pretend that they are not dating).

My daughter has not taken this well. She feels that we are discriminating against her by not allowing the sleepover, however, I've tried to point out that in essence, if we allowed her girlfriend to sleepover, we would be discriminating against the boys. This is further complicated because I also have another teenage daughter who is heterosexual and I would be caught in the middle if I allowed one of their dates to sleepover and not the other ones.

Any advise or comments would be helpful. Maybe there's a better way to handle this without upsetting my daughter. Thank you

share|improve this question
I think you are handling it well. In handling the other daughter possibly having sleepovers, you should point out that no-one she is sexually attracted to is allowed to stay the night either. Maybe that should be the rule (that no dates allowed in bedrooms) so you can avoid the gender double standards. –  Bobo Aug 16 '13 at 17:17
The only danger is for the daughter to start lying and saying that a girl is 'only a friend' in order to get what she wants (the sleepover) putting more distance between parent and child. This is very difficult but I think @Bobo is right and you just have to trust that your daughter will be forthright with you always. –  DrJ Aug 17 '13 at 6:22
@Bobo - Until she isn't. Trust but verify; ask around, to teachers, parents, other friends; who does she spend time with, anything seem out of the ordinary. However, and the OP probably knows this better than anyone else on the thread, NEVER, EVER say anything that might "out" anyone before they're ready to make that choice themselves. Despite a lot of people coming to an understanding about homosexuality, children still get kicked out of their homes for being gay, and many children walk a very fine line in public that one careless word can split wide open, with devastating consequences. –  KeithS Aug 26 '13 at 19:13
Helps that you have another daughter: "Can Steve sleep over? No. Can Beth sleep over? No. No boys, no girls, no hermaphrodites, no transexuals, no goats. No sleeping together as long as you're living under our roof, until you're 18 and/or married. And even then, no to the goats, it's illegal, as they can't give consent." –  deworde Aug 27 '13 at 16:11
I think you may be overcomplicating the justifications. Why didn't you allow the boy in her room? Was it sex? What part of sex were you against? All of it? The pregnancy part? etc. I think you maybe just have to ask more questions of yourselves to figure it out. Good luck! –  DA01 Aug 27 '13 at 21:52

2 Answers 2

I think your approach is correct: dating is dating no matter the gender. You aren't discriminating, you are actually being completely fair.

Children use any edge they can to get you to bend the rules, this is likely one of those cases. Stick to your guns, you have life experience on your side.

share|improve this answer
+1: Claiming discrimination when it's exactly the same rule is fairly shameless manipulation. If she can claim it's not the same, fair enough, but that's on her. –  deworde Aug 27 '13 at 16:03
Yep, just sounds like teenagers. Stand your ground on this one. –  Dan Sep 3 '13 at 16:50

Your ruling is consistent and sensible. Many teens don't appreciate good sense, they want what they want, regardless of what is in their best interest.

This is a great example of how parenting in the trenches of real life can be tough. I stand with you, knowing it will be hard. There may be no way to avoid upsetting her. It may take some years, but I would say your daughter will eventually respect this kind of love shown to her. Now if this sensible decision is given in a sea of inconsistency, your daughter will understandably be upset.

Your position on homosexuality is your decision, but please make sure your daughter is aware of what this means for her. Identifying with a vocal minority will have side effects and it would be unloving of you soften the societal blow she might suffer. Tell her to seek the whole truth before doing something that she might no be able to undo.

share|improve this answer
-1: For the "aware of what this means for her". Sorry, but plenty of people are going to let her know that she "shouldn't like who she likes". Home is where the support is needed. Also, not relevant to the question, there are other questions where I'd have left this answer unvoted, because "how do I cope with her homosexuality" is the question that was asked in that case, rather than "should her girlfriend be allowed to sleep over". –  deworde Aug 27 '13 at 16:06
Plenty of people will inform her after the fact. The girl needs a loving adult to help her through the rough waters that may lie ahead. Helping a teen consider the ramifications of such a relationship is completely relevant. The question ended with "Any advise or comments would be helpful. Maybe there's a better way to handle this without upsetting my daughter." How could a parent be more helpful to a teen than to help her make a fully informed decision? –  DadOf12 Aug 27 '13 at 17:13
"Many teens don't appreciate good sense, they want what they want, regardless of what is in their best interest." Seems grossly over-generalized and quite dependent on the interpretation of "teens". I'd trust a 14yo o to be sensible about it, if you have already been hands-on enough before to warn them of the hurdles. Surely, if you keep them in the dark and don't discuss anything, you have no clue what's ahead and how it is in their life outside the home. But if you play your role of a guide (and not a guard) they'll know what their interests are, and that some lie in listening to you. –  haylem Sep 4 '13 at 17:18

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.