Remember being 16? How your room was your sanctuary? A place you could go to listen to music, write in your journal, talk on the phone? Teenagers need some privacy in their lives, especially as they grow older, and that privacy should be respected.
Unfortunately, some parents are a little too involved in what their kids do when the bedroom door is closed—as one Dad on Reddit complained. Apparently, his wife refuses to give their 16-year-old son privacy in his bedroom, often barging in without knocking multiple times a day. So, the OP and son decided to get a lock for the door—and basically started a war.
“So here’s the problem, My son Simon (16) moved out of the room he used to share with his little brother and got his own room a few months back. Ever since, he’s been complaining about his mom barging in without knocking and interrupting his sleep and studying. Sometimes when he’s changing…I know that she’s his mother but he says he’s got his own room and has a job and is learning to become an independent adult but doesn’t feel like his privacy is being respected even when that’s his mom. He says he’s not a kid anymore and is entitled to at least get a knock on the door before she comes in.”
Simon went to his dad and told him that there needed to be some boundaries set with his mom. So the OP spoke to her about why it was important to knock on Simon’s door before entering.
“She was like what? And no, we’re family, not strangers…do you really expect me to foolishly knock on the door 5 times a day?…that’s ridiculous!!! Also the…’who knocks doors in their own home?’ I told her my family for instance. She made a face then went on a rant about how my family hate each others and the way they treat each others like they were strangers is shameful. I told her family or strangers it’s about respecting one’s privacy. We had an argument about it and I told her if she wasn’t going to stop with the barging and refuse to knock on the door before entering then our son will get a lock.”
The mom refused, and the OP told his son to get a lock and pay for it with his own money. This of course upset the mom, who told the OP that “this teaches our children that they can ‘manipulate’ one parent into doing what they want.”
The OP explained that he “already warned her about the possibility of [Simon] getting a lock because he was getting tired of her boundary-crossing” and that Simon was, in fact, the one who brought the lock. The mom said that “locks mean secrets and that’s not good.” Then she said she would stop talking to Simon and the OP until the lock was removed.
You have GOT to give your 16-year-old privacy, mom! What do Redditors think?
“I think your wife is an ah, but the way you handled it with your wife was cowardly. You supported what your son did, in fact you told him to do it but then you played stupid by essentially saying ‘he paid for it, I had no part in it.’ If you believed in your son’s position, you should have supported that to your wife. In fact, if you felt so strongly, you should have told her ‘the next time you do that, I will personally install a lock on his door,'” said AnotaCocktail.
“What you need to do now is say something like, ‘You can give me the silent treatment all you like, but I am not making Simon remove his lock. We both asked you politely to respect his privacy and boundaries and you refused, I told you this would be the outcome. But I’ll predict another outcome for you, if you don’t gracefully accept this and move on he’s going to move out and distance himself from us and you won’t have anything but a perfunctory relationship with him because you refuse to respect him,'” suggested LimitlessMegan.
“NTA – So do you have sex with your wife with the door open? Do you shower with the door open? Poop? There are reasonable things that one does in private that even a mother does not need to know about, much less see,” said BookReader1328.
“It’s a big deal for her because she feels her authority as his mother slipping away, and she doesn’t like it. I had kids young, and both my and my ex-wife’s primary identities were ‘parent.’ As the kids got older, I worked to transition away from that, but she found herself very adrift as a ‘mother’ who didn’t have young children any more, and she kind of lost her way. Maybe something like that is happening here,” observed ent1234.
“I’m usually a huge proponent of parents being a team and a united front, but your wife is just dead wrong on this one. I knock on my 7 year old’s door if it’s closed. It’s called basic respect. If there was some sort of true emergency, that’s one thing. But just because she feels like going in there? Nope. She’s flat out wrong. Since she’s opposed to knocking on doors, would she be okay with your son just barging into your room while she’s changing or sleeping,” said HotWifeJ2021.
Featured Image: Pexels