‘Dad, I wanna shack up’
Should parents adjust their moral standards to suit modern times? Sipho says no.
(Getty Images)
A married couple allows their unmarried son, in his late teens, to bring his girlfriend (also in her teens) for sleepovers in the family home.

Their logic? They’d rather monitor who their sexually active son sleeps with than worry about what he might be up to out there. Wow.

Is this modern parenting or permissiveness? Some parents argue that this is an effective method of protecting their teen from nasty diseases by ensuring that he sticks to one partner.

Sending a wrong message?

By allowing our teens to indulge in casual sex under our noses are we not sending a wrong message that sex is a sport which can be played with no deep thought? As parents we are supposed to teach our young ones that sexual relations are reserved for long term permanent relations, especially marriage.  

Are we changing our core values  and lowering our moral standards to suit the environment our children are growing up in? When I asked the young man, mentioned above, whether he intended to marry his girlfriend, also a teenager, he said he wasn’t sure yet. I wondered how the girl’s parents felt about his intentions.

In movies it’s common practice for teens with little or no commitment to jump into bed and do rude things. Has such entertainment brainwashed us and our kids to accept such behaviour as acceptable to the point that we feel telling our kids ‘No marriage, no sex’ seems obscene?

Go on, shack up!

When watching one of my favourite talk shows on the television I was surprised when the talk show host encouraged all the single people in his audience to co-habit with their partners before tying the note. He added that he’d done it before he got married and he said that the best to know someone before settling down.

When he asked if anyone in the audience disagreed with him, only one woman in the audience raised her hand. I wondered if the talk show host would have the same view when one of his daughters came of age and announced ‘Dad, I’ve decided to shack up with Tom,’ or ‘Dad can Tom come and sleep over tonight (in my bed)’?

If I find that a teenager under my care is using my home for his (or her) sexual escapades with I’ll calmly give them an ultimatum. ‘If you feel you are old enough to play “mum and dad” then surely you are old enough to move out of my house into your own. I know you are over 18 and all but this is my house. And I sure hope you’re ready to take care of that baby if you get her pregnant.’ End of story.

Should parents be involved in controlling their teenagers’ sex lives?

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