Dear Care and Feeding,
I’m looking for a quick reality check in case I am off-base with my instinctual parenting rules regarding teen dating. My son (15) has had a girlfriend (also 15) for about six months. They had been best friends, and she had thought she was gay until romantic feelings developed last winter. A couple of weeks ago, my son shared with me that his girlfriend’s mother had insisted she get an IUD “just in case,” as there had been a history of teen pregnancy in the family. This prompted what I think was a good talk about not rushing things, IUDs not protecting against STDs, being considerate of his girlfriend’s timeline, etc. My husband and I are sex-positive folks.
All that said, 15 is still young, and I told him that I wasn’t entirely comfortable with them being sexually active at this point (he said they weren’t yet, but who knows?). So when he is in the house with his girlfriend, and they go into the finished basement alone to talk and watch a movie, I have asked that he keep the stair door open. When he closes it, I open it. He confronted me, and I told him that having the door open was a house rule. He is now crazy angry with me and appalled that I don’t trust him and that having the door open invades their privacy. Am I being outrageous? Or is keeping the door open a reasonable ask?
—Sex Positive With Reservations