Annie Fox for Teens... Hey, Terra!

Annie (AKA Hey Terra!) has been around long enough to have experienced a lot of what Life can dish out. But, it hasn’t been so long that she's forgotten what it's like to be your age. Check out some of the thousands of email questions teens from around the world have sent to Terra. You may learn something useful from her answers:

“Do you think it's okay to have a co-ed sleep-over?”

Hey Terra,

This Saturday after prom some of my close friends will be staying the night at my friends house. It's okay with her parents, and parents will be there at all times. The boys will be sleeping downstairs, in the garage that has been re-done, and the girls will be sleeping upstairs. My mom and dad are very skeptical about the whole idea, and thought I should ask you for some advice.


Dear Tyrone,

Thanks for writing. I appreciate your parents' faith in my judgment, but I don't make the rules for your family, so it really doesn't much matter whether I think it's cool for girls and guys to sleep over at a friend's house after prom or not. Your parents are the ones that have to be cool with the idea.

My suggestion is this: make a case for why you think it's a good idea. Include the convenience, the supervision of the host parents, the fact that no one will be driving home at the end of a long night, etc. Then take your case to your parents. Talk to them calmly and respectfully and see if you can provide them with the assurances that they need to feel good about letting you do this. Be willing to talk with them about their worst fears (which probably have to do with sex and alcohol/drugs). Address the fears, suggest that they talk directly with the host parents, other parents, and make your case for the merits of the idea. Then it's their decision.

I hope this helps.

Good luck and have a great time at the prom!

(Just for the record, we hosted several of these after-prom sleepovers junior and senior years for our daughter and our son. It was fine and we served pancakes the next morning!)

In friendship,


Need some advice? Write to Terra. She'll give you a straight answer you can trust without any lectures.

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