Teenagers love their privacy, but some parents are reluctant to give it to them. One Redditor started a debate on the platform when he and his wife refused to let their son install a lock on his bedroom door.
A father on Reddit came home one day and found out that his ex-wife had sent their 16-year-old son a lock for his room. His wife refused to allow the teenager to install the lock, and they got into an argument. The father took his wife's side but felt guilty, so he turned to Reddit for answers.
When a child grows up, they start becoming more possessive, and privacy plays a big role in that. They don't want anyone to touch their things or get into their space. For one Redditor's son, things got so bad that he tried to get a lock for his room, but his stepmom found out and forbade it.
Group of teenagers walking on a street | Source: Unsplash
STEPMOM REFUSES TO LET TEENAGER LOCK THEIR ROOM
In the post, the Redditor explained that he and his wife both have teenage son's from their previous relationships. In their home, his wife's son often goes into his stepbrother's room and takes things that don't belong to him. However, he does make it a point to return them when he's done, but the lack of boundaries always upsets his stepbrother.
One day, the Redditor's son came home and discovered that his brother had broken one of his things, which infuriated him. The teenager then told his birth mother about it, and she bought him a lock to put in his room. When his stepmother found out, she forbade him from installing the lock, and his father took her side. In the post, he wrote,
"Scotty said he was done with Joshua taking and breaking his stuff and begged me to say something, convince my wife to let him keep the lock but I told him my wife was right in that it was disrespectful of his mom to send a lock to our house"
Soon after, the Reddit community weighed in, and most of them condemned the father's actions. They felt that he wasn't doing enough to protect his son's boundaries, only making things worse. They advised him to stand up for his son and let him install the lock in his room.
Teenage girl sitting on bed using a computer | Source: Pexels
SHOULD TEENAGERS HAVE LOCKS IN THEIR ROOMS?
Some parents become uneasy when their children lock their rooms. They assume the worst-case scenario and fear that their children may be doing things behind their back. These parents believe that without the proper supervision then children may get into trouble.
Parents on Mumsnet struggled to agree about the topic. Some parents respected their child's desire for privacy, while others felt it showed a lack of trust in the household. One parent found a compromise, and they wrote,
"I have just had locks fitted on bedroom doors. I told my boys they were not allowed to lock themselves in at night because of fire risks, and I have kept a spare key ... "
From the teenager's perspective, they just want privacy. As they grow up, they begin on a path of self-discovery, which sometimes requires space. They also start learning how to deal with unfamiliar emotions and prefer to do so in private. One teenager on Professor's House wrote,
"Hi I’m a kid and this article is right. Sometimes I lock my door because: getting dressed, telling secrets to my friend, dancing or singing, and playing. Sometimes kids just need to be alone so they don’t blow up at anyone and sometimes we lock the door so we can cry."
However, there are many teenagers who want to do unspeakable things without worrying about their parents barging in and catching them in the act. Most parents are wary of these types of teenagers, and they don't want their own children to develop the same habits.
Teenagers walking on a street | Source: Unsplash
On Reddit, a user named Crystalgamer04 wrote sarcastically, "DO NOT let your teen lock their door." In their post, the user went through some of the more irrational fears parents may have about their children. The post sparked a debate, and several users added their own opinions. One parent replied,
"I give my kids all the privacy they want. They are people too. If it involves things I can’t control like what kind of people are on the internet, and who they talk to on there, I have a discussion about the dangers."
Some parents didn't see it the same way. They suggested that locking a bedroom from the inside is a potential fire hazard and can put their child in danger.
Girl starring at computer while wearing headsets | Source: Unsplash
THE IMPORTANCE OF PRIVACY
Anyone who's ever been a teenager will tell you how important privacy is/was to them. Having a place to go and just be alone and think about life can be very useful for a young person. It gives you a chance to let your mind drift away and dream about the future.
There's a reason why teenagers love decorating their rooms with posters and other decorations. For them, it's a place where anything is possible, and they want to protect it, which is why they may wish to locks on their doors. Privacy is essential in any child's development because it allows them to discover who they really are.
Group of five teenagers in front of chain link fence | Source: Unsplash
However, with great power comes responsibility. If a child wants to lock their room, they're expected to keep it clean, avoid doing anything that may get them into trouble, and not isolate themselves from their family. If a child has shown a willingness to be responsible without supervision, their parents may choose to have locked in their doors.
Every teenager is different, and saying that every one of them should be allowed to lock their rooms may be a step too far. But if a parent can see that there's no apparent danger, they may decide to allow it. What's your take on the topic? Please leave a comment and let us know.
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