Dear Margo, My 21-year-old stepson lives with my husband and me. He is a good student at a nearby college and doesn't drink or do drugs. He does, however, bring his girlfriend home frequently, and she stays until the next morning -- in his bed, I should add.
My husband doesn't see anything wrong with this, but I believe unmarried people should not be having sex, and they certainly should not invite their girlfriends to stay overnight when they are living in their parents' home. How can I convince my husband and stepson that this is not appropriate behavior? -- Out-Voted in California
Dear Out-Voted, I agree that it is not acceptable for your stepson to invite a young woman to stay overnight in your home without your approval. But you are not going to change the behavior of a 21-year-old and shouldn't try. You do, however, have the right to say, "NOT IN OUR HOUSE." Tell your husband I said so.
Dear Out-Voted, At that time, and even now, "NOT IN OUR HOUSE" is the parents' choice. It should be said that fewer parents would take this position now because 1) there are co-ed dorms now and 2) views on pre-marital sex have loosened up quite a bit. In the very early years of the column, Mother actually banged the drum for women being virgins until marriage. She changed her mind in a relatively short time as she saw where the culture was going, and hearing how people were actually living. I believe it was her ability to alter her views and keep up with the times that made her relevant throughout a four decades-plus career. - Margo