My girlfriend found herself in a tween dilemma last week.
Some of the neighborhood kids who regularly play at her house were coming over. The kids raced past the mom and headed upstairs to her three daughters’ rooms to play. They normally did this and usually she didn’t think a thing about it.
However, her oldest daughter will be entering the sixth grade in the fall and the mom had recently become aware that the oldest daughter has a little crush on one of the neighborhood boys who was heading up to her bedroom. (And the little boy likes her daughter too.)
The mom didn’t think they were going to do anything that particular visit, but at some point she worried if left alone in her bedroom upstairs inappropriate things might happen.
She didn’t want to make a big deal about it barging in and announcing that mixed company wouldn’t be allowed in bedrooms anymore, and she wasn’t completely sure if that rule was necessary. She talked it over with her husband and some friends, and I think the final ruling was she was going to tell the kids no more boys in bedrooms. (I think it was probably going to be a blanket rule even for the younger girls just to make it easier to monitor.)
Now they do have a teen loft area that is also upstairs where the TV and video games and lots of toys live, but I think she will allow the mixed group to play in there. It’s an open room with no doors or beds.
Currently my kids have mixed company in their bedrooms. I actually try to keep them in the basement but mainly so the mess is contained to one level of the house.
My brother and I were never allowed to have the opposite sex in our rooms growing up. That was just the rule.
Do you let mixed company play in bedrooms when kids are little? Does it become inappropriate at some point, and if so at what age should it be limited? Does sixth grade makes sense? How would you explain the new rule change to your children? Would boy parents worry the same about the issue as little girl parents?
What are your rules about kids playing in bedrooms together? Is it the bed or the door that worries you?