Dear Dr. G.,
I'm confused. My 17 year old daughter insists that all of her friends are allowed to go to coed sleepovers and frankly some parents do allow such sleepovers. I don't know if I'm being an old-fashioned fuddy-duddy by my position on this issue. I feel that nothing good can happen when you mix a group of teens who are probably up all night and have access to each other both emotionally and physically while the parents are probably asleep. And things probably don't get any better when you add alcohol to this mix. I'm not saying that my daughter and her friends are all a group of drunk and sex-crazed lunatics but why create opportunities that might encourage sex, drugs, and who knows what else? Please advise as I don't want my daughter to be mad at me but I also don't want to approve of something that feels very wrong to me.
A Mama Bear Trying to Protect her Cub
You ask a lot of good questions and make a number of good points. Yes, some parents will do just about anything to ensure that their teens don't get mad at them. Also, a good number of parents think that being their teens' friends is the way to go so they agree to coed sleepovers in an attempt to preserve the "friendship." Your daughter is probably right when she says that her friends are allowed to go to coed sleepovers but she is wrong when she says that all of her friends are allowed. My guess is that many of the parents do not know that the sleepovers that their teens are going to are of the mixed sex variety.