Ask Dr. Karen: Your Teen Daughter’s Boyfriend Wants To Spend The Night. What Should You Do?

Dear Dr. Karen

My daughter is 17 years old, and she has dated her boyfriend who is 16 since they started high school. She knows that I will not allow her to spend the night with him in our home, even though she has asked me a thousand times. His mom has no problem with her spending the night at his house. I don’t approve of it and I feel she is disrespecting me. What should I do?

~   Old School Mom

Dear Old School Mom:

She can ask you one thousand and one times but if this is your position then you must stand by it. Pajama parties and sleepovers are preserved for girl’s night out. There are an alarming amount of teenagers whose parents today allow their boyfriend/girlfriends to spend the night. These parents may think that they are being cool but children need and want boundaries and discipline. They look to their parents for guidance and to help them make the right decisions. Speak with the parent(s) of the boyfriend and let them know how you feel and try to work out an agreement. In the end it is ultimately up to you. It is your daughter and it is your right to be concerned about her welfare. You don’t have to give permission for her to spend the night and explain to her why you are not ok with this. Listen to her side of the story. You’re not going to like it but listen anyway. Stay away from a shouting match. You don’t want to risk the chance of pushing her away. You want her to know that you love her and want the best for her. You are probably going to start World War III but you are the General. You are in charge.

Dr. Karen R. January is an expert in male-female relationships.  Her book, “Lessons Mama Never Taught Me,” profiles 10 women and the mistakes they made in parenting, love and life.  It can be purchased at Please send your questions to Dr. Karen at

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Disclaimer: The advice offered in this column is not intended to replace or substitute for any professional, financial, medical, legal, or other professional advice. Dr. Karen January and beGeorgeous are not responsible for the outcome or results of following any advice in any given situation. You, and only you, are completely responsible for your actions. Due to the large number of letters received, there is no guarantee that your question will be published.


LoveDr. Karen January