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SLEEPING ARRANGEMENTS — BRINGING HOME THE GIRLFRIEND
Our son is bringing home his girlfriend of three months for Thanksgiving and I’m concerned about how to handle sleeping arrangements. She can stay in the guest room and he can be in his old room, but how do I say this without appearing stuffy? We’ve had no indication as to whether they’ve had sex or not, but we’ve met her once and liked her very much.
They’ll be with us for three nights and we don’t want them to feel that they have to sneak around. On the other hand, we don’t want them to assume that we think that they’re having sex. They are in their early thirties and he’s our only child so we haven’t come across the situation lately.
How do we discuss this with them without appearing judgmental or meddling?
–Fuddy Duddy Parents, Boston
Dear not-so Fuddy Duddy parents, your son and his friend are in their early thirties and he's bringing her home for the holidays. Assume they're having sex, but offer separate rooms -- if you happen to have a spare. Assume he'll leave his bag in his room and she'll keep her's in another room. Leave plenty of space to allow them to have privacy.
When your son comes in the door with his bag, say,"Your room and the guest room are both made up, so you can put the bags in both rooms, if you like." Acknowledging that they both can have private space during the long weekend will show your respect for their relationship. And that you're not necessarily assuming they are having sex.
- Take the focus off the sleeping arrangements because they may be as apprehensive about their sleeping in your house as you are.
- Don't take her to her room, let your son lead the way.
- Tell her to let you know if she needs anything, such as more towels or bottled water.
- Don't turn down the beds for them as a way of ordering them which beds to sleep in.
- Let your son and his girlfriend choose where they sleep.
- Remind them to help themselves to food and beverages.
- Once they've settled in, make her comfortable by asking her if she has any food allergies and to be sure to tell you if there is anything she cannot eat.
Especially during the holidays -- when our roles as parents becomes especially stretched and stressed -- focus on making good lasting memories. Relax, light a fire, provide a leisurely breakfast.
- Most importantly, be good memory makers, so that they'll wish to come home again.
Happy Holidays from,