When it comes to parenting an older teen, the ranks are firmly divided when it comes to sex. Some parents accept that their kids will make their own choices, and recognize that giving them education and protection is the only thing they can do.
Others are firmer about setting boundaries in the home between their kids and potential romantic partners. As with all things parenting, there's no one-size-fits-all method for keeping your teen safe and healthy.
In a popular AITA post, a dad asked if he's wrong for telling his son he can no longer bring his 'friend' to Thanksgiving after finding out they might be involved.
AITA for not letting my son's 'friend' stay for Thanksgiving?
I promised my son (16m) he could have his friend visit from out of town (I share custody with my ex-wife so he splits his time between our cities) and stay for Thanksgiving until school break was over.
However, I started to notice some suspicious behavior, “hi handsome ” as a greeting when they were facetiming, calling him “bub”, even my son's laugh when talking to him is different.
I decided to take a look at my son's phone, the very first thing I see in their messages, is a selfie of the 'friend' shirtless in bed. I knew for sure then. I told my son his 'friend' couldn't come for Thanksgiving and explained why.
His brother can't have his girlfriend over, he can't have his boyfriend over. Everyone is acting like I'm wrong for breaking the promise though. AITA?
Commenters had a lot of different takes on the situation.
NTA. Same rules for both children. Although kind of a d*ck move spying on his phone.
YTA for looking at your 16-year-old's phone without permission.
And why can't your kids have their SOs over if they want? Keeping them away from their boyfriend/girlfriend when they're at your place is only going to make them not want to spend time at your place.
I'm gonna put in my two cents.
It's a little weird to me that you immediately reacted with anger after seeing the messages - which were none of your business anyways dude, instead of asking yourself why your son might wanna hide this from you? YTA for that.
NTA. Your son lied to you, likely to get around your no romantic partner policy. You enforced the policy fairly. THAT SAID, looking at his phone at 16 is not a good idea.
It's just a violation of trust right at at time in his life when you need him to be willing to come to you when things get difficult. Yeah, he lied. It's a pretty understandable lie though. I'm willing to bet you lied for similar reasons at 16. I know I did.
NTA. You have a house rule, no romantic partner allowed, which you were already applying for your daughter.
Your son knew this rule, but try to get by it, hoping he can trick you because he's gay.
Your decision is correct, however, when you explain make sure to point out this has nothing to do with his sexuality, it's simply about the rule that needs to apply equally to both kids.
YTA. What's wrong with allowing the visit, just requiring that they sleep in separate rooms? Are you upset he's in a relationship at all and trying to police that? Seems a bit extreme. Just tell him house rules, no big PDA or private time.
EDIT: and why shouldn't his brother be allowed to have his GF visit (with the same house rules)? I just don't understand.
INFO: What did you actually agree to? You say 'I promised he could have his friend visit', but did he actually say 'my friend' or did he ask 'Can John Doe stay with us?'
There's a lot of unknowns here. Did you assume he was just a friend when you agreed? Was he just a friend when you agreed & then things changed? Is he currently a friend & they're just in the flirting stage?
As far as I read it, you havent actually described anything that's definitely 'a boyfriend' as far as modern dating goes. Clearly your son likes this boy, and they sound like they're flirting for sure, but that doesn't mean they are in a relationship.
I mean, I've had a friend say flirty things like that to me once or twice when they knew I don't even swing that way. And that's before we get to the 'going through his phone' issue.
Clearly, no one can agree on this one.