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  • A Girl Spent the Night - A Question from a Mom

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    Old 02-28-2005, 01:08 AM   #1
    Prayingmom
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    A Girl Spent the Night - A Question from a Mom

    Hi everyone,
    I was hoping you all could help me with a question I have. I have 3 teen sons ages, 18, 16 & 14. My oldest son has cancer. His doctors say that it is terminal, though at least for today he isn't in any pain and he can walk, talk, eat, etc just like the rest of us, but he tires more easily. We don't know how long he has left (if you click on my name you can find more posts about him). Many, many of his friends come to visit and they often spend the night. They cheer him up and it seems good for him not to be alone and so isolated. Even though they stay up all night playing music, video games and talking and all of that often too loud, we are trying to bear with it all since my son's time on earth is limited, and they are so important to him. I just keep a refrigerator full of soft drinks and buy lots of snacks and pizzas to keep them fed.

    Now for my question. Saturday evening one of the guys (a friend) brought a girl with him. I had never met her before and I don't know her parents. She lives 45 minutes away. Her name is Brittany and she is very sweet and smart, as well as tall, blond, thin and pretty and I just found out that she is only 15. I ordered pizza and they all ate and it got later. Around 10:00 PM, my 16 year old son asked if Brittany could spend the night. I asked her if it was alright with her parents and she said she had been waiting til I said it was okay before she called them. I told her that I would make a bed for her on one of the couches upstairs and if she would go to sleep there then it would be okay for her to stay. I even went out to Wal-mart and got some new pillows (our old ones look pretty bad) --since we'd never had a girl spend the night. I usually stay up pretty late 2 or 3 in the morning, washing clothes, doing dishes, etc. At around 2 AM 3 girls that my 16 year old son knows came and stayed for about 30 minutes and left. When I was ready to go to bed I came downstairs and asked Brittany, and really the guys, too(the guy who brought her, my 2 older sons, and my older sons 2 best friends) to go to bed. The guys were playing Halo in the dark and she was laying across the laps of my son's 2 best friends(Josh S. and Trev, who are 18 and 19) who were sitting on the couch. Except for my son with cancer and Josh W., THEY STAYED UP ALL NIGHT. I had even told them that I couldn't go to sleep until Brittany went up to her bed. I had wanted them to get up and go to church in the morning. They kept saying they weren't tired, but it ended up that they all went to sleep around the time the sun came up at 6:00 or so, because, of course, they needed sleep. Brittany, Josh S. and Trev didn't go to church. I was too sleepy to go to church, too. One of the guys took a shower and took all the hot water so I couldn't even get my shower. Brittany stayed with us until midafternoon. She lay around on couches or on beds with the guys, but I know (or at least hope) that they didn't do anything.

    Well, what should I have done? Should I have taken her home? Should I have insisted on talking with her parents? Should I just have had a long (or short) talk in private with Brittany? To me, it just doesn't look right for a teenage girl to spend the night with all those guys. I have a 9 year old daughter, too and I know I wouldn't want her in that situation when she is 16. I love all these teens and feel very responsible for what happens to them here at our house. I ended up staying awake most of the night. I finally got a pillow and blanket and lay on the floor in the room where they were, just to do what I think I would want someone to do if she were my daughter. I feel like they took advantage of me, because part of the deal was that she would go to sleep elsewhere. We have been through so much this past year with my son's cancer and chemotherapy. It just seems so wrong that these kids would do this especially considering what we've been through.

    This same kind of thing has happened twice before. My 16 year old's best friend brought a girl here about a month ago. She lived 1 1/2 hours away, but I didn't know that at first. It got later and later and as long as she was here I was going to stay up and at 4 AM he told me how far he had to drive to get her home. I felt bad about it, but told him that she just could not spend the night. So he took her home. And I thought a lot about how I would feel if he went to sleep while driving and died, how guilty I would feel. Later, he told me that he had gone to sleep while driving, but woke up in time and didn't wreck. Why didn't he take her home sooner?

    The other time, I had gone to sleep and at 2 AM I heard a teenage girl's voice and came down to investigate and my son's friend, Josh S., was here with his girlfriend and wondered if she could spend the night at our house, but Josh, himself did not spend the night and I let her stay.

    Tonight, I told my son--NEVER AGAIN. I told him to not even ask if a girl can spend the night here and for him to make sure that his friends know that, too. They just need to plan on getting them home at a descent hour. There have to be some rules. What do you all think--parents-what would you do? Teens--what would your parents do or what would you think is the right thing to do?

    Last edited by Prayingmom; 02-28-2005 at 09:39 AM.

     
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    Old 02-28-2005, 04:04 PM   #2
    XxWonderingxX
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    Re: A Girl Spent the Night - A Question from a Mom

    First of all, let me say how sorry I am about your son, and how lucky he is to have what seems like a great mom. I am 19 years old, and my boyfriend is a year older than me. We have been together since I was 15, meaning my last year of high school he was away at college. This was when my parents and his began to let us sleep over at eachother's houses (we both still lived with our parents) when he would come home, which was pretty much every weekend. We didn't sleep in the same bed or anything, we used the guest rooms. I was extremely happy that I had parents understanding enough to see how much we needed that time together. I don't think it is wrong of you to let him have guys or girls either one stay over. I think what you did by setting limits on sleeping arrangements was a good idea, maybe you could talk to your son when no one else is over and get him to agree that next time this happens (if it happens) the girl must sleep in another room, and not keep you up all night. That would seem like a good compromise to me. And I know parents don't want to hear it, but the truth is that if two people want to do something, they usually will find a way to do it, so this way atleast you have a say over what is happening. Good luck with everything, you and your family will be in my thoughts!

     
    Old 02-28-2005, 05:28 PM   #3
    ForgottenFaith
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    Re: A Girl Spent the Night - A Question from a Mom

    First off, I'm a teen. I think it's great what you're doing for your son. You sound like a great mom. I understand that you're being extra lenient towards him, not restricting him from having fun and living life to its fullest because of the time he has left on this earth; however, his friends seem to be taking advantage of the situation and riding it for all that its worth. I don't know which state you reside in but if you live in a state where the age of consent is under 17, and something happens to one of these girls, then you'll be probably be held liable. You said she was laying on the laps of the 18 and 19 year old? By law these friends of your son's are men. You did the smart thing of staying up and sleeping in the same room as these kids, but that doesn't necessarily mean that nothing slipped by you. I think it was a good move on your part to lay down the law and saying no more girls sleeping over.

    My parents have actually let girlfriends of mine sleep over, and in my room, but that's because they trust me, so my answer might not even matter to you. However, like my parents, you trust your son, but the truth of the matter is that your son's friends are the one's you should be keeping a close eye on. As good of friends they are to your son that doesn't make them your sons. Don't put yourself in a position where you can be found at fault or feel guilty over something that they do. I think you already did the smart thing by telling your son no more girls sleeping over. I do think that you should have insisted on talking to that girl's parents though.

    Last edited by ForgottenFaith; 02-28-2005 at 05:48 PM.

     
    Old 02-28-2005, 05:41 PM   #4
    Soulcatcher
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    Re: A Girl Spent the Night - A Question from a Mom

    I'm a mother and I say OH HELL NO! Yes you should have talked to the girls parents and they should have come to get her. Sounds like your son's friends now that they can take advantage of the situation. My god, if I was a teen you bet I would be at your house. It's one big party with no rules. You allow a 15 year old to stay with adults. It may be only a few years difference but there is a reason that there is a law in place. I would have to agree that no more girls will stay over. I understand that your son is dying and your trying to give him special favors but while your doing this you are setting a very bad example for your other children. Don't you think your daughter will remember this? Why can't she have boys stay over when she's older...."but mom you let all his friends come over" I can hear it now. LOL You wanted an opinion so I am giving you mine. You still need to let your son have a curfew such as lights out at 12am. He needs his rest and his friends need to respect that. SOunds like you need to set limits. God only knows if their parents even know where they are at. If my 15 year old stayed at your house and I found out because I can gaurentee you her mother and father did not pleasantly say "sure stay with a bunch of boys" I would be so mad at your front door that the cops would have to be called. That's my opinion. I do not think you are a bad mother I just think you made a very bad choice. Good luck to you and your precious son.

     
    Old 02-28-2005, 08:54 PM   #5
    Prayingmom
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    Re: A Girl Spent the Night - A Question from a Mom

    Hi everyone,
    wondering, forgottenfaith and soulcatcher--Thanks for your responses to my questions. I was afraid no one would respond at all. Now, I feel just terrible that I allowed this to happen. I didn't even know that Brittany was only 15--I thought she was 16 or 17(not that it really matters--because that's still underage, but even if she was 18 or 19 I still wouldn't want anything to happen), but my 14 year old son told me later -- "Did you know that she is only a year older than me, Mom?" All of my kids (except my oldest--why should I gripe to him with what he is going through) know how upset I was about the situation and agree that it shouldn't have happened,--that Brittany should have gone upstairs and slept where she said she would. When she wouldn't go upstairs as I asked her to I sure could have said--well, let's go get in the car -- I'm taking you home right now. I'm just so dumb to let them just run all over me like that. The boy whose girlfriend was here until 4 in the morning like a month ago and then I told him he had to take her home--well he was here--his mom has had a good talking to with him and even he kept telling Brittany to go upstairs--that it wasn't fair of her to make me sleep on the floor. It was my fault--though.

    Most days, nights and evenings my son with cancer spends alone. It is only on rare occasions that his friends can come home from college. We know his cancer is growing--there are 4 lumps just under his skin(and truly I'm afraid to ask if he has noticed any other changes), but it could be growing in other more vital areas such as lungs or back in his bone marrow--it is a very aggressive cancer. I'm so afraid the time is so very short, we have not imposed rules on him since we found out about the cancer, and he was so sick on chemo for a year. He has suffered so much without complaint. I wish we could drop everything else--my husband take off from work--get the other kids out of school and just travel and spend time together as a family as long as he still feels well. He would rather be with friends and on his computer than on a trip with just family. His cancer has naturally affected our whole family as well as grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins and all our friends. Just saying the word "Once........" if I get to thinking about it can bring me to tears. It should be "Once upon a time...........and they lived happily ever after." Looking back, up until my son got sick, it was like a fairytale. Now, I just think: "Once we were happy........." "Once I had 4 healthy children."

    Thanks for caring and responding. I feel really bad about what happened this weekend. With things the way they are today, we parents just don't communicate as much as we should. I think that her parents probably should have insisted on talking with the parents where she was spending the night, but who knows what she told them--she could have said that she was at a girl's house spending the night. Several of the guys had thought they would all go to a movie at the big mall that is closer to her house, but then my son with cancer didn't really want to go, so his friends didn't want to go and as fewer and fewer were going, they all decided not to go. If they had gone to the movie, probably she would have gone on home from there and it would have been a lot better all around.

    Last edited by Prayingmom; 02-28-2005 at 09:47 PM.

     
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