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POLL RESULTS: Come on over, there's nobody home...: (19 comments)

POLL: Come on over, there's nobody home...

Friday, May 29, 2009 - 12:00 AM

A reader writes... : I am a single mother with an 18-year-old daughter. I was called away overnight on business recently and I told my daughter that she was not to have any guests over while I was gone. I was back the next evening and the house was fine. She'd kept it clean and said things went well. A couple of days later when I was emptying the bathroom trash I found a condom wrapper. Now I am thinking the worst, but don't want to cause a big scene. But since it looks like she lied to me, I can't let it go either. How should I handle this?

POLL: The mom should...
 
0% (17) ... ground her daughter
 
15% (264) ... have a frank talk with the daughter about safe sex
 
14% (246) ... forget about the sex, it's the lying that matters
 
59% (1029) ... talk about the sex / punish the lying
 
9% (157) ... look the other way
 
1% (29) ... find a job that doesn't require her to be away from home at night
1742 people have voted in this poll. (This poll is not active.)
Gruhl
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Posts: 6

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May 2009
Re: Come on over, there's nobody home... (Score: 1)
posted Friday, May 29, 2009 - 01:13 AM (#48003)

Do talk to her. But I would recommend not assuming a lie (Or at least not outright accusing her of lying) I would compliment her on what looks like the smarts to practise safe sex, as you'd found a wrapper.

It is possible that while you were gone, she went over to her partner, had sex, and put the wrapper in a pocket, only to empty it later in the bathroom bin. Probably she's lying, but if you assume she is and she's not, you hurt her quite a bit, and also show her that she might as well lie, since you assume she is anyway.

And if you want to get a hint about if she is lying or not, just ask her what brand of condom it was. If she put it in her pocket, it's most likely because she supplied it, but if she had someone over and he went into the bathroom to put on the glove, chances are she doesn't have the faintest idea what brand it is. It's not a foolproof, but can give you a hint.


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quixotecoyote
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Posts: 11

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May 2009
Re: Come on over, there's nobody home... (Score: 1)
posted Friday, May 29, 2009 - 02:00 AM (#48004)
In Response to Gruhl (#48003):

Look the other way.

Your daughter is 18 years old. She is an adult. If you can't trust her to have a guest over while you are gone, something is horribly, horribly wrong.

Yes she probably lied to you. That's bad. However, it's solidly in the little white lie category.

If I had to move back in with my parents for whatever reason (assume I'm no longer married) and my mother told me I was not to have any guests over unsupervised, I would nod, smile, and do what makes sense anyway.

Of course, I'd be more careful not to get caught than your daughter was. I'd want to spare my mom's feelings and pretend I'm taking her seriously, even if she was being silly to the point of being insulting.

Also, I'd be spending as much time out of the house as possible while trying to find my own place where I don't have to walk on eggshells around ridiculous rules.

As far as having a frank safe sex conversation:

WHY?!

She obviously is having safe sex and she's also well past the age where such a conversation would be welcome or even appropriate.


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Valareos
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May 2009
Re: Come on over, there's nobody home... (Score: 1)
posted Friday, May 29, 2009 - 06:22 AM (#48007)

Bring it up to your daughter. Do not, under any conditions, punish her.

You are at this point more interested in finding out if she did indeed had someone over. The moment you accuse, or hint that you accuse, she will create a story faster than you can blink

You want her to feel comfortable in telling the truth without making her feel she is about to be yelled at.

Tell her you found a discarded condom wrapper. You want to hear from her what exactly happened when you were gone, and why that was there. Make sure you tell her she is not in trouble for anything... You just need to hear from her what happened.

Take what she says at face value. Dont question her on the truth or lie of her words. Just accept it, nod and say ok.

Once she has told you her story, no matter what it is, be sure to let her know that you respect her rights as an adult to make her own choices. you simply ask that she continues to respect your requests in dealing with the house, since that is your responsibility. Next time you leave for an overnight trip, and you request the same thing, she may be more willing to listen.


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VictorTyne
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Jan 2009
Re: Come on over, there's nobody home... (Score: 1)
posted Friday, May 29, 2009 - 06:40 AM (#48008)

Ground her for not cleaning up all the evidence.

I'm serious. She's 18 years old; yes, she's going to be having sex. This is something you have to come to terms with as a parent. Living at home and not having a safe place of one's own to have sex is a nightmare. Leaving overnight and telling your daughter "no guests" is just plain wrong and you should apologize to her.

From your story, she didn't trash the place and she's smart enough to have safe sex (kudos for raising her that way, at least). There were no drugs or anything else illegal involved, so the only thing she did wrong was not properly disposing of all the evidence.


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minx
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Mar 2009
Re: Come on over, there's nobody home... (Score: 1)
posted Friday, May 29, 2009 - 06:59 AM (#48010)

A few things of note:

I'm 21, and I've recently moved BACK in with my folks while I figure out which school I'm transferring to. So, I'm kind of dealing with issues like these with my folks, along with many more.

From my perspective, the sex talk is awkward and much too long. But I DO recognize how important it is.

Thankfully, I was taught in school how important getting tested for STD's is, even though my parents never broached THAT line of thinking in their sex talk. However, due to their rare aproaching of the topic, I was very unsure of their stance. When I was her age, I was so terrified of my parents finding out that I went to the most bizarre locations and got tested under a fake name just so it wouldn't pop up under the insurance!! It may seem silly to you that your daughter might want to keep something like being safe from you, but you should know that it IS a possibility, unless you clarify things for her.

I think you should sit down with your daughter and have a talk with her just like Valareos suggested, while also bringing up getting tested.

Make sure she knows that you are comfortable with her having sex, as long as it is in a protected environment. My personal policy is that I get every partner I'm with tested before any fluids are exchanged. If I don't feel comfortable asking for that, then I probably shouldn't be having sex with them. It may be a little extreme for her tastes, but I view it as the only way to have safe sex while being promiscuous. Ask her to get tested 1-2 times a year, because even boyfriends cheat. Make sure she realizes that not every STD has a cure, and some of them will stay with her for her entire life. Also, make sure she knows about HPV, which is inert in men--they show no signs. The more partners she has, the more likely she is to get it. And yes, there IS a shot now that helps, but it only covers a handful of strains. There are still many more she can contract. Currently, there is no test to find HPV in men. The only approved HPV test on the market is for women, for use as part of cervical cancer screening. There is no general test for men or women to check one’s overall “HPV status.� And yes, while it does sometimes go away on it's own, it can cause some serious issues if it doesn't.

These two links might be useful to you!

Top 10 Risk Factors for Acquiring an STD
http://std.about.com/od/riskfactorsforstds/tp/topr iskfactors.htm

Why Are Young Women More Biologically Susceptible To Cervical Infections?
http://std.about.com/od/stdsspecificcommunities/f/ transformfaqcer.htm


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Cat1864
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Re: Come on over, there's nobody home... (Score: 1)
posted Friday, May 29, 2009 - 07:53 AM (#48012)

If you have worries then you should be able to talk to your daughter about them. Be open and honest but be careful of making accusations. She is 18 and if you can't trust that you have raised her well by now then there are more problems than whether or not she had a "guest" over while you were gone.

Here are some things to think about:

Questions: The first is how often does the trash get emptied? The second question is could the wrapper have been thrown away at any time other than that one night? The third question is could anyone else have thrown it away during the time frame between emptyings?

There are non-sexual reasons for opening condoms. How many people have used them to make balloons for baby/bridal showers especially the colored ones? Sometimes teens (yes, girls) open them just for laughs and in playing around. My daughter and her friends once used some old (past expiration date) ones for waterballoons once.

Bottom line is that she may not have "lied" to you. Choose your words and tone carefully when discussing your feelings with her. If you "accuse" her of lying she when she didn't, she could begin.


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Paulius
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Aug 2008
Re: Come on over, there's nobody home... (Score: 1)
posted Friday, May 29, 2009 - 08:43 AM (#48013)

Your daughter's legally an adult and over the age of consent...and I hate to say it, but if she's having sex there's not a damn thing you can do about it.

Basically, you have a choice. Do nothing and take comfort in the fact that your daughter is smart enough to use protection or confront her about it, drive a wedge between the two of you...and she's still going to have sex.

I know it's hard when it's your own daughter, but all that happened here is an adult had safe sex with another adult.

Long story short, you don't have to like it or even condone it...but you DO have to accept it.


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somebody
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Re: Come on over, there's nobody home... (Score: 1)
posted Friday, May 29, 2009 - 09:09 AM (#48015)

Dear Mom,

18 year olds having sex is something you just have to accept.

She used a condom. That's great!

She kept the place clean & tidy. Not some wild party, apparently.

I think at 18, it's not really the end of the world if she's having safe sex. Have you ever discussed sex with her? (And I mean, not in an abstinence only way)

Would YOU tell her if you were having sex when you went out of town?

Don't expect her to detail her sex life for you. It's an unreasonable expectation, & her having safe sex when you are away isn't the end of the world.


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NunyaBidness
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Apr 2008
Re: Come on over, there's nobody home... (Score: 1)
posted Friday, May 29, 2009 - 09:13 AM (#48016)

She's an adult. If she had someone over, she was discreet and careful of your property. Passion happens.

Condoms are also used to keep sex toys sanitary for a variety of reasons.

If she had someone over, you have a minor complaint. But it seems to me you're treating your adult daughter like a child. Dear Mom: It's time for you to grow up.


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Ainyan
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May 2009
Re: Come on over, there's nobody home... (Score: 1)
posted Friday, May 29, 2009 - 12:10 PM (#48017)

Being 18 does not automatically mean that this girl can simply ignore her mother's rules. As long as she lives in her mother's house, she should obey any strictures her mother places. If her mother is uncomfortable with her having guests (and sex!) in her house, then that is the mother's right and the daughter's duty to obey. Just because she's an 'adult' (and I use the term loosely, as age alone does not grant adult status), that does not mean she can pick and choose which rules to obey.

You should speak with her about the sex, and the lying, and indeed, punish her if that is your desire. You laid down certain guidelines about living under your roof, and she broke them. Just because she's legally 'of age' does not mean she can ignore your rules while she lives in your house. If she wants to live a certain way, she can get a job, get her own place, and make her own rules.

I lived with my mother until I was twenty while attending college. My mother had very strict rules about allowing me to have male guests over when she wasn't home. I may not always have followed the rules, but if I was caught, I took the punishment because, as my mother always said, it didn't matter if I was eighteen or eighty, I was living under her roof, and subject to her rules. If I didn't like it, I could move out.


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Caffeine
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Feb 2009
Re: Come on over, there's nobody home... (Score: 1)
posted Friday, May 29, 2009 - 01:09 PM (#48018)

First of all, I understand that you are unhappy with the way your daughter behaved. The rules are there for a reason, and people who live together have to agree on certain conditions.

Probably being closer to your daughter's age than to yours (at 26), I nevertheless find I have difficulty understanding why you do not allow your daughter guests in your absence. I mean, she is 18, what do you expect her to do? She probably feels young and immortal and invincible, everything is exciting and new and all those hormones kicking in...

My parents, gladly, were very relaxed. I did not bring any boyfriends home while I lived with them (I was kind of late with this sort of behaviour *g*), but when I went to university and came home to visit, I was allowed to bring a boyfriend and sleep in the same room with him (and do whatever we wanted). From my sisters I know that bringing home boyfriends never was a problem as long as the boys knew how to behave properly with the family - our parents trusted their kids (or pretended to)... and that is one of the main reasons we would talk to them about nearly everything.

Do you want a good relationship with your daughter? Do you want her to come to you if she gets in trouble? If the answer is "yes", you better try to see the world with her eyes for a change...

(What was it like for you, being 18?)

********************************

Oh, one last thought - what if she didn't do the nasty at all? Does she have a boyfriend? Do you know him? There are many funny things you can do with condoms, if you are young and curious and have a fertile imagination - examine them, put them on fruit to find out how that works, make waterballoons or balloon animals, ... )


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TheOriginalJes
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Jan 2008
Re: Come on over, there's nobody home... (Score: 1)
posted Friday, May 29, 2009 - 03:29 PM (#48019)

I couldn't even finish reading most of these comments, since they mostly say the same thing. And, I do agree with the general flow of the advice.

However, the survey doesn't even address the possibility that the daughter might have left the wrapper as a joke/jibe at her mother.

So, I'll answer the ridiculous with the absurd...

Call in an electrician for a "free estimate".

When your daughter asks, "What's going on?"

Respond with, "I'm having hidden nanny-cams installed for when we decide to go on vacations."

And don't tell her where they "would be".

That should stop any in-house behavior, in-appropriate or otherwise.


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TheOriginalJes
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Jan 2008
Re: Come on over, there's nobody home... (Score: 1)
posted Friday, May 29, 2009 - 03:34 PM (#48020)
In Response to TheOriginalJes (#48019):

Also, I think most of the previous commentors are labouring under the belief that your keeps trustworthy company.

Perhaps you may wish to detail why you feel that you cannot trust your daughter to be home with a guest while you're away.

I know that my father didn't trust me at all. But, I never knew why. What I did was just stop listening.

We were estranged for almost 10 years before he died. So, if you want that to happen to you; then just follow my advice and ignore everyone else.


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Murgatroyd
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Jan 2008
Re: Come on over, there's nobody home... (Score: 1)
posted Saturday, May 30, 2009 - 03:26 AM (#48025)

I was called away overnight on business recently and I told my daughter that she was not to have any guests over while I was gone. [...] But since it looks like she lied to me ...

You "told" her ... Did she explicitly agree?

If she willingly accepted your rules, then in my humble opinion you do have a right to be upset, because she deceived you.

If you just told her and took it as a given that she'd obey, you shouldn't be too surprised that she disobeyed. If you treat her like a serf, it shouldn't come as a shock when the serf rebels.

You two need to sit down and have a talk about your mutual expectations as two supposed adults. Does your daughter have a job or go to college? Does she pay room and board now that she wants to be independent? Does she understand that you aren't comfortable knowing -- or worse, suspecting, because now you don't trust her -- that she's shtupping guys while you aren't home? Are you comfortable with giving her an ultimatum -- live by my rules while you're under my roof, or else get out?

Yes, your daughter is legally an adult at age 18. And we all were perfectly sane, rational, self-sufficient adults who never made mistakes at that age, weren't we?


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Naphalm
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May 2009
Re: Come on over, there's nobody home... (Score: 1)
posted Sunday, May 31, 2009 - 07:19 AM (#48029)

You've already had some good advise, so I may be a little late with this one.
But as a 19 year old guy, this is my opinion.
Your daughter is 18, she's smart (hense the wrapper). Yes, she lied to you, but its so hard to get free time when the parents are around. I'm sure you dont want to walk past the door to the sounds of heavy breathing if you catch my drift. Just be happy that she's being safe! If you dont want her to lie to you, the simple trick is, dont absolutly forbid having guests over. Forbid parties ofcourse, you dont want that and thats fair enough.


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AlternateAdvocate
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Jun 2008
Re: Come on over, there's nobody home... (Score: 1)
posted Monday, June 01, 2009 - 03:11 PM (#48036)

By all means bring it up to you daughter, if you want her to move out. She's an adult and free to make her own decisions about sex. Her poor judgment in moving was in moving back in with you when you still want to control what she does.


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Murgatroyd
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Re: Come on over, there's nobody home... (Score: 1)
posted Tuesday, June 02, 2009 - 02:04 AM (#48046)

AlternateAdvocate, I don't think she moved back in with her mother, I think she never moved out. She's only 18. Hell, at that age it's possible she's still in high school.

What makes you think she's an "adult" in anything other than chronological age? She didn't have the integrity to stand up to her mother when she tried to run her life. Instead she disobeyed and lied about it. Doesn't sound all that adult to me.


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Cat1864
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Dec 2008
Re: Come on over, there's nobody home... (Score: 1)
posted Friday, June 05, 2009 - 12:25 AM (#48091)

It seems that most people are accepting the mother's word that her daughter lied to her about having someone over on that one particular night.

Mom didn't find the wrapper until a couple of DAYS later and doesn't say when the trash had been emptied before then. She is only surmising that her daughter lied to her about having company on that night when in reality ALL she has is a wrapper that could have come into the house in any number of ways and virtually at any time. It may not have even been openned in that house.

Bottom line is she should talk to her daughter about what is bothering her. However, she should be very careful about making accusations.


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TheOriginalJes
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Jan 2008
Re: Come on over, there's nobody home... (Score: 1)
posted Friday, June 05, 2009 - 12:18 PM (#48100)
In Response to Cat1864 (#48091):

@Cat1864 -

The mother isn't taking the daughter to the People's Court, here. She's asking advice before proceeding. She says it's the evidence, so (in the interest of brevity) we have to assume that she's done the actual math for us.

We also have to understand that the mother placed herself in a position to find the wrapper to begin with. Maybe, she spys on her daughter regularly. Maybe, she's just the one to empty the trash.

If it's just the two of them in the house, and the mother [or her guest(s)] didn't put the wrapper there; then the daughter is automatically responsible for the appearance of the wrapper. If the mother and daughter are both generally home at the same time, then mom would know if there were guys over since she went away, and probably beforehand, as well.

When it got there may not even matter if she doesn't allow the daughter to engage in sexual activity in the house.

Maybe, they've never even had "the talk".

We do know that the wrapper represents a bigger issue to the mother than just poor timing. Or, this wouldn't be an issue for her.

Her reaction may just be gut-fear driven. But, the odds are that mom is assuming that house-rules are generally the same with every parent of 18yr+ kids, as they are in her home. And, just because we, as kids, have broken them; doesn't mean that they weren't there for us.

For the most part, I don't know of any parent of an under 21 yr old who doesn't just stick there head in the sand and hope that the issue doesn't bite them in the rear. And, most parents just don't know how to react when they're confronted with the evidence that their 'baby' is sexually active.


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