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Are your kids allowed to close their door?

post #1 of 113
Thread Starter 
I wanted to make this a poll, but wasn't sure how to set it up to accommodate the varying ages of kids which definitely makes a difference in people's responses. So, I would like to know from parents of all ages of kids, what is the "door policy" in your house?

do you allow the kids to play in their rooms with the door shut? What about when friends are over? can they lock the door? If you do or don't let them, why? At what age is it ok? what are your reasons? This came up recently, and I'm pretty comfortable with my stance on this for my kids, who are still young, but I'm curious as to what others do. Maybe I need to change my viewpoint, i don't know. I won't say what my rule is, though, until I hear the responses.
post #2 of 113
Yes they can close it. For awhile. The only way to the bathroom and cat litter boxes is through their rooms, so they have to stay open unless for necessary reasons and for short periods-like playing with magnetix. I wouldn't have that rule if I could work around this stupid house layout.

No they can't lock it-only because I have had to break open a door one too many times in emergencies when they accidently locked it.
post #3 of 113
Closed, yes. Our bedroom doors don't have locks on them.
post #4 of 113
Goodness, yes, the 6yo can. I wouldn't let the 2yo, but he's not interested anyway! She doesn't have a functional lock, so she can't lock it. I'm not sure I'd allow that. Probably not.

I don't remember a point when I said "Now you're old enough to shut your door." I think it just came about naturally.

She is allowed to have the door shut with friends over, too, but of course I reserve the right to come in.

She is not the type to destroy things or anything like that. I suppose if she had a history of that, it would be different.
post #5 of 113
My ds is 6. Yes, he can shut his door anytime he wants to (and he does when he's pretending something and has big elaborate stories going on and he doesn't want us to interrupt him). He cannot lock it. Big no-no and he's been warned that the door will come off the hinges if he locks it again. That's for safety reasons. If he has friends over they don't play in his room (that's his safe area) but if they did play in his room I wouldn't allow the door to be shut.

I let ds shut his door because he's a member of this house and deserves privacy, should he desire it. I shut my bedroom door at times when I want privacy so ds has that same privilege. I think when we moved to this house (he was 3 1/2) was when he started shutting his door, but rarely. The last year he's started shutting it more.
post #6 of 113
My DD is 7. She is allowed to close her bedroom door. I believe everyone should be allowed privacy.

But she is not allowed to close the office door (where the computer is). Nor is she allowed to close doors when her friends are over. And she is not allowed to lock doors.
post #7 of 113
Yes, but her door doesn't have a lock. Honestly, she's only chosen to close her door maybe 5 times, all of which were when she was angry and needed time to cool down. We live in a small apartment, and that is really the only way she can be by herself. And her room is a pretty safe place, within earshot of everyplace else in the house.

She is also allowed to go to the bathroom and lock the door behind her, but she doesn't usually choose to. I trust her, and she's never given me reason not to. The only time she's not allowed to close the door is when she's in the bath, because she's only 4 and I still have slight worries about her drowning or burning herself.

ETA: If the bathroom lock didn't have an emergency release, I might be less inclined to let her lock it. Maybe. I also let her lock herself in bathroom stalls when we're out & about.
post #8 of 113
Yes they can close it, in fact bedroom door are generally closed in our house to keep the dogs out, locking is fine, but I wouldn't put a lock on small childs room as I don't want to deal with them accidentally locking themselves in
post #9 of 113
It's actually a rule in my house TO keep the door closed so our puppy doesn't chew up any toys or choke on something! His room has no lock, however.
post #10 of 113
Sure ds can close and lock doors. He really likes to do that to feel secure. All the locks except the master bedroom are so damaged that any key can be used to pop them open. I remember discouraging kids from closing doors when they were playing at a certain younger age because I was afraid they'd get slammed on someone's fingers. And I don't want ds to lock people out to be exclusive when cousins are over. But he can still lock the door. I just want him to let people in on request. That usually comes up with our living room which has a locking door and is where the toys, computer, and tv are. I'd let him have privacy in his bedroom, of course, if he wanted to be alone. I wouldn't want him to lock out one of his cousins while he's playing with another, however. That's poor manners as a host.
post #11 of 113
They have always been "allowed" to close their doors. I've never considered it as something that required permission, actually, so "allowed" is an odd way for me to think about it.

In some houses, there were locks on the bedroom doors and bathrooms. In others, no locks. We've never used them. Possibly the kids never locked their doors because they knew they didn't have to - they could close the doors if they wanted, and I knock before entering.

I have always knocked before I enter, if their doors are closed. SOP since they were quite young.
post #12 of 113
Dd is 5.5 and yes, she can close and lock her door whenever, BUT if I knock on the door she needs to unlock it. If she doesn't, our locks can easily be opened with a butter knife (we actually keep one on her door frame.)

Ds is 3 and he is not allowed to close or lock his door, mainly because he is Mr. Destructo and also because the diaper changer and pain are in there so I need access and it get's rather stinky if the door is closed. We have a anti-pincher child proof thingy up at the very top of the door that he cannot reach. Thankfully, he prefers to not be in his room at all unless his sister is playing with him so privacy isn't an issue for him.
post #13 of 113
Ds and I share a room, but sometimes he wants to have 'private time' (i.e. he is tired, but wont admit it, so he goes off into the bedroom and plays quietly/reads books). He shuts the door for that but not when I ask him to when he is pooping and I dont want to have to smell him!

He is not allowed to slam the doors, and we have a 'knock before going in' when someone is going potty, but mostly its just me and him so, so far we havent worried about 'knocking before going in bedrooms' rule, maybe it will come up as he gets older though.

I like doors shut, I always have, for some reason it makes me anoyed when door are open when Im trying to do something in a room (sew, read, etc)

He is not allowed to lock doors until he learns to unlock them properly, ours are impossible to unlock from the outside. He was locked in my parents bedroom for an hour before he figured out how to get out (luckally they have a sliding glass door so I could see him/talk to him the whole time, he mostly was just wallowing on the floor b/c he was tired, and then got bored and went to figure out the lock!)
And he would not ever be allowed to lock them while sleeping/at night (for safety reasons)

I think the only age it would be an issue is for teenagers, when they have a gf/bf over and you want to make sure they arent doing something inappropriate.
post #14 of 113
DD's almost 2 and not allowed to closer her door b/c she locks herself in and freaks out when she can't get out. Once she figures out door handles and locks I won't care. But I refuse to get up/stop what I'm doing every 3 minutes to unlock a door and let her out.
post #15 of 113
Mine are almost 6, 3, and 3. They all share a room, so I guess that changes things. The door has a lock on the doorknob-- they're allowed to close and lock it, sure. I can't imagine why they wouldn't be. Then again, as young as they are, if I think there's any kind of serious mischief going on behind that locked door, or if I suspect somebody's not safe, I have three separate keys for that door, stored out of reach in three different places, so I can let myself in easily if I feel the need.

I don't see any reason to prohibit a child of any age, beyond babyhood of course, from being alone behind a closed door, as long as the room is a safe environment. I would even leave a baby alone if the baby seemed to want it, and I have-- both my girls liked to be left alone to play quietly as early as four or five months. I wouldn't shut the door on a baby, though.

My mother never had any rules about closed doors, and was very respectful of our privacy at every age, and I think I will probably be the same.

With friends over-- no, I wouldn't allow my six year old to lock herself in a room with a child outside our family. I worry mostly about the other child's parent, and what might be said if any mischief did happen behind that closed door. My three year olds are not left alone with their little friends, because while I trust my own kids to have reasonable age-appropriate judgment, I haven't seen that all three year olds do.
post #16 of 113
Mt twins are almost 5 and never had a time when they weren't allowed to close their door, though they never really did it until the last several months. There aren't locks on any of our inside doors (except the bathroom and I've had to get the screwdriver out to take the knob off that a couple of times, but they know how to unlock it now).
post #17 of 113
Dd is 4 and is allowed to close her door. She likes to do it now and then--"I want to play alone now." Her room connects to ours, and only the door that connects to the living room can be locked from her side--so there's no way for her to lock herself in her room. If she's playing with the door shut, I just check on her every now and then--usually unnecessary, actually, because she chatters to herself nonstop.
post #18 of 113
When I was growing up my parents had a "no closed doors" rule. If we weren't sleeping or changing, the door had to be open. It was horrible. I had 3 younger siblings and there was just no privacy. There was a bigger rule about locking doors- it was not to be done, ever, except maybe if you were in the bathroom. Consequently I spent alot of time "sleeping" or resorted to hour long baths just to get time to myself. I remember hating the rule even as a younger kid- like elementary school age. It meant I could never escape from my siblings or protect my stuff (from say, my younger sibling who loved to throw my favorite stuffed animals in the shower) or just have some peace and quiet. my parents probably should have been a bit more on top of it, but sometimes my siblings would stand outside a closed door and open it over and over again. Locking would have been helpful then, at least it took them a bit longer to pick the lock open. I think some reasonable limits are ok- like open doors when friends are over if it makes you feel more comfortable, but a blanket ban on closed doors is a bad idea for almost any age.
post #19 of 113
My dd can close or open her door whenever she wants to, there isn't a lock and I won't be installing one because I see no point to a lock since she doesn't have a sibling and I respect her need for space when she wants me to. With friends it really depends on the friend and whether that has worked in the past. I have noticed that when the door is shut they are playing with things they shouldn't play with, she is seven and knows what she can and can't get into but seems to get into those things when she is with certain friends. Instead of not inviting the friend over again I have a door open policy for when most of her friends are over and that seems to have put a stop to that so far. When she was younger we had some exploration games going on when she and her friends thought I wasn't paying much attention so I also make sure to peek back there frequently.
post #20 of 113
All of my kids are allowed to shut their doors (although the younger two just sort of do it to play hide and seek. LOL!). The 6 year old is allowed to lock his door so that he can play without his siblings disturbing him. But he knows that if I knock, he opens right away or I get the key to unlock it and then he loses the privilege of locking. He can shut his door with friends over, but I also get to check on them every couple minutes...he may not lock it if someone is in his room with him. And if he ever has a computer in his room, he will not be allowed to use it with the door shut.
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