La Croix: Is it a good idea to take teenage “little friends” on vacation?
Didier Lauru: It all depends on the age of the teenagers, their maturity, the length of the relationship and whether or not the family knows “boyfriends”. But this decision depends above all on the convictions of the parents and on what teenage sexuality represents for them. Some will be very permissive, others very rigorous. I would just say that teenagers are used to not seeing each other on vacation and some don’t even ask.
→ ANALYSIS. Holidays, the puzzle for teens
Welcoming “boyfriends”, isn’t that a way to formalize the relationship?
DL : Yes, of course, and that’s why the length of the relationship can weigh in the decision. It is important to talk to the teenager to find out where he / she is in his / her love affair. Young people often display the status of “as a couple” on social networks to show that they are engaged. And the agreement of the parents can be experienced as one more degree in the formalization.
If the parents agree to take the “little friends”, do they have to share the same room?
DL : There are many adolescents who are not there at all and we must take this into account. But if they ask to sleep in the same bed, again, it will all be up to the parents. This situation is often very embarrassing for them. She shows them that their child has grown up and has adult sexuality.
“Parents will react according to their convictions”
The solution is to tell him that they don’t agree, even if that doesn’t prevent the lovebirds from meeting up elsewhere. It must be explained clearly, without going into the details of the sexuality of the other. And even if they do not feel embarrassed, they can recall that this situation is not appropriate in a family environment.
The question of sexuality also arises when the adolescent leaves with a group of friends, whether or not he is “supervised” by an adult.
DL : Yes, and it is important to address this question at this time, even if teens are very well informed about sexuality and contraception, thanks to social networks and a little at school as well. Once again, parents will react according to their convictions, but it seems easier to tell them that flirting is “normal”, “good”. On the other hand, entering the world of sexuality is an additional step that takes in your body, in your life and you should not take this step under any conditions and with anyone. This exchange with your teenager should also be an opportunity to come back to the essential notion of consent, even if everyone is a little embarrassed by these discussions.
→ TESTIMONIALS. Tools to address the issue of consent with teens
From what age do you let them go on their own?
DL : There is not really an ideal age, everything depends on the maturity of the teenager and the confidence that the parents place in him. But, generally, it happens rather around 17-18 years.