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Are your kids allowed to close their door? - Page 4

post #61 of 113
we're probably years away from this as a question, but:
to me, autonomy of a child would involve deciding whether or not to close her/his own door and when. i honestly don't see the need to question that. it's not an all or nothing situation, either.. if the kid wants to be involved with family activities and finds out that a closed door prohibits that, then the kid will open the door.
to me, it seems puzzling why people would not allow the doors to be open/closed upon the child's desire. is this a trust issue? a respect issue?
i think the expectations we'll have in place is that in our house, if a door is closed, one must knock before coming in. for EVERYONE. i know sometimes i like to shut my door, and i'd expect the kid to knock just as i would were the situations reversed.
when i was a child, i was not allowed to shut my door and i didn't have a doorknob. my parents were VERY controlling and authoritarian, and it signaled to me that i didn't have ownership of myself at all. i am still not sure what they thought i would be doing in there that would be so terrible, but whatever it was, if i couldn't do it in my own space, i would be sure to find somewhere to pursue the scandalous activity, so all that did was:
let me know i didn't have respect/control of my own life & teach me to be sneaky..
but, again, all kids are different. this is just the luggage i bring into our family relations based on experience and my values..
post #62 of 113
Closed doors are fine in this house. The oldest closes his door most often...usually to keep the baby from coming in and climbing all over him while he's playing a game. LOL When the oldest three go in the toy room to play a game, they'll close the door to keep the baby from coming in and destroying their elaborate setup(they usually don't play "regular" games, they make up their own). If any of them have friends over, which is rarely and usually cousins that visit, they have to shut the door to whatever room they are in, in order to, yep, you guessed it, keep the baby from coming in. LOL This is often MY requirement for them, because I don't want the baby eating any small pieces that they have out, and I want them to have fun without worrying about her messing up their stuff.
post #63 of 113
Closed doors are fine here, although I prefer to sleep with all bedroom doors open. That is rooted in the fact that we've been burgled twice, and I want to hear ANYTHING that goes bump in the night. And I want the dog, who sleeps next to our bed, to have access to the whole house. He foiled our second burgulary. Love that dog

Ds is 5. It's rare for him to close the door, but I allow it. If a friend is over, a closed door is fine, but I will check in. How frequently I check in depends on the playmate. If a whole family is over and there is a younger sibling, then I ask for doors open so a little one can be heard playing.

A dysfunctional family living in a closed-door house -- well, that's a family issue, not a door issue.

When I retire to my room at night to read, I close the door. I am noise sensitive and prefer silence. Dh opens the door when he comes to bed. I'm fairly certain he doesn't think I'm shutting myself off to him. Although, there have been times at the end of the day that I am so burned out by the time dh gets home from work at 8pm, that I say good night and shut my door, and dh knows by my body language that I need time alone. I'm an introvert. If ds decides that he needs to tell me some new random fact, dh will tell him that Mommy is resting right now. I don't see this as unhealthy, I am allowed an hour to myself from time to time.

Also, ummm, don't adolescents start to masturbate at some point?? Because it seems to me I was kind of young when that started
post #64 of 113
my little one is almost 17 months old and if she could open the door, I'd let her close it. As it is, she does close it sometimes just because she thinks it is funny and sometimes she starts yelling right away for me and sometimes I hear her playing and laughing so I take my time to go reopen it for her.

I believe in privacy. I will also always knock once she is old enough to open and close her door all on her own. My mom never did that for me. REFUSED to knock even though I was required to knock. Would yell at me for closing my door because then I couldn't hear her if she yelled for me even though I was always required to go to her and not yell for her. I felt very disrespected for years and the victim of hypocracy and 'I'm the adult' syndrom. I won't do that to my daughter.

I keep her bedroom safe. She can absolutely be in there alone with the worst thing happening is she throws all her diapers and books everywhere. It is her room and it wouldn't make sense for me to not have it be a sanctuary and totally safe and welcoming for her.

However, I will not allow locking the door. I worry that something might happen where she would NEED me to open the door and I couldn't. I don't feel this is unfair though as I have a strict knocking policy. She doesn't NEED to lock her door because I won't come in until she says 'come in.' haha I actually already knock on her door. She thinks its hilarious when I knock and she likes to knock now too to copy. No problems here
post #65 of 113
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chamomile Girl View Post
Oooooh...I'm actually surprised by the responses here. My kid is still little, but I feel very, very uncomfortable with the thought of allowing him to close the door when he is older. Like a PP I also grew up in a house where closing doors was not allowed, and I don't recall that it ever bothered me. I like being able to always hear what is going on in my general space and by closing the door (or by my kid closing his door) that becomes impossible.

Maybe its because I am an only child, and I grew up in a family without any abuse, but I honestly don't understand why my kid should want to shut himself off from his family? To isolate himself from the rest of us...it seems very alienating to me. I can't imagine ever wanting to do the same (with the exception of in the bathroom, but that is just because if you don't close the door people can look through the living room window and see you pot squating).

So no. I don't see myself allowing a shut door, because I can't see any healthy reason for it.
It isn't a matter of isolation, just of privacy. It was especially frustrating having people barging into my room whenever they wanted when I was discovering masturbation. I also couldn't wrap presents for my family easily because they could just come in whenever and see me doing it ruining the surprise.

I loved being able to close my door, not to hide from my family, but just their noise if I was reading. it is definitely possible to allow children to close doors without going to the extreme of 'they are always isolated and we have no relationship.'

what a closed door can mean I think depends a lot more on the relationship they already have (you can create a great one without taking away privacy) and the personalities of the people on either side of the door. Some people need quiet and some people just want to be involved with it all.

I know for me, I need some time alone and quiet. DP and I even knock on the door sometimes if the other is in the bedroom alone with the door completely closed. its just a matter of respecting different needs.
post #66 of 113
We've always had an open door/closed door/locked door/everything's okay policy until this summer.

Hubby and I woke up around 2:30am from the tornado sirens going off. Some quick t.v. watching alerted us to the fact that a tornado was spotted near our town.

We raced to the children's rooms to wake them up and get them into the basement. Our oldest child (15 year old boy) had his door locked... and is a deep sleeper.

It took a minute or two of frantic knocking to get him to wake up. It was truly one of the scariest moments of my life. My child was in danger and I couldn't get to him.

From now on our policy is No Locked Doors. It could be deadly. Everyone must knock and wait for an answer before entering a closed door, however.
post #67 of 113
We're fine with closed doors. I encourage my son to go into the bathroom and shut the door if he needs some privacy.
post #68 of 113
Quote:
(with the exception of in the bathroom, but that is just because if you don't close the door people can look through the living room window and see you pot squating).
This is what drapes are for. Because what happens in my living room is not intended for the entertainment of whoever passes by, and moreover, I do not want to wind up exposing myself or my kids to view on the street because someone's throwing up in there, or the newly potty-trained require assistance, or we turn out to be out of TP.

On the original question - My kids are too young to shut their doors, we do it for them to keep the cats out when they're trying to sleep. I shut my door when I want some space, DH does the same, we can knock each other up when we need to.

The conversation is reminding me of the chapter in Lois Lowry's Anastasia, where Anastasia writes her first poem. She has a glass of orange juice with ice cubes, and puts on her Red Sox cap, and hangs the "do not disturb" sign on her door. When her mom comes by and asks if she's okay, Anastasia tells her (through the door), that she's working on a poem, and her mom says the same thing she says when Anastasia's dad works on poems, and leaves her be. I love that chapter, because it's about Anastasia claiming space and privacy for adult creative work, and her parents are so sweet and supportive about it.
post #69 of 113
Yes they can close their doors at any time. We have a rule that you don't enter someone's room without permission too. They never have friends in their rooms (or rarely anyways) because all their toys are in the playroom. The playroom is upstairs, the bedrooms downstairs and they really have no reason to take friends down there.

Their bedroom doors don't lock and we have a no locked doors policy anyways. My kids are 4 and 8.
post #70 of 113
Yes. My son can close his door, but not lock it. Just due to safety issues, I don't want him locking his door because if something were to happen, I wouldn't be able to get to him. (not that he wants to lock his door often, but if he gets upset sometimes he'll go to his room and hence the no lock rule)
post #71 of 113
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chamomile Girl View Post
I think it would depend on why they wanted to close the door.
But, shouldn't the person wanting privacy be the one to determine if privacy is warranted? What if, when your ds is older, he wants to close his door so he can masturbate? He may not want to tell you that's why, but it's a perfectly normal, healthy valid reason to want some privacy. (I have to assume that ds1 has been doing so for several years at this point, but he doesn't talk to me about that. He talks to me about lots of stuff...his girlfriends, his social life, his interests, etc. But, he doesn't talk to me about his sexuality. Other families are different, but I don't think a teenage boy maintaining his own privacy about his sexuality is unhealthy, yk?)

There are lots of reasons a person might want to close a door for a while, and some of them are things they may not want to talk about...or even be able to verbalize. When I'd had a certain kind of bad day at school, I always wanted privacy when I got home. I felt as though people had been staring at me all day, and I just wanted (needed) to be alone and not on display (my family of origin were/are very special to me...but they're still people). I don't think I could have put it into words at that age, but I still needed it.

Quote:
I was talking to my DH about this just a little while ago. In his house growing up he lived in his room with the door shut because he did not want to have to interact with his family in any way. And you know his family is totally dysfunctional when it comes to communication. They do not speak with one another about important things...especially negative or difficult things. I mean DH never even got a sex talk growing up because his folks weren't up to it (other than the "premarital sex is against god" crap he got from the very very conservative church he attended.). My poor DH sees the relationship he is forming with DS as something he has to create from scratch because he has no real model from his folks to base it on. Part of the reason why is that they are all such private people...and were allowed to isolate themselves so much from one another... it has crippled their family relationships.
It sounds as though the commnication in your dh's family was already messed up. If he was isolating himself all the time, because he didn't want to and/or couldn't interact with his family members, then it sounds as though the closed door isolation was a symptom, not a cause. I went through a period in my teens when I was upstairs in my room, with the door closed, quite a bit. But, I still talked to my family, and interacted with my family, and talked about difficult things (and I got lots of sex talks, starting when I was a very small child, just as I've done with my kids).

Quote:
My mom was always the one who insisted on having the doors open. I wonder if it was a rule when she was growing up?. She was one of eight kids in a two-bedroom house, so if it was a rule it was probably to protect everyone from eachother.
See, if this was a rule that worked for you, that's fine. For some people, that would have been very difficult to deal with. Your mom's decision about what level of privacy you required turned out to be in step with what level you actually did require. That's not always the case. A rule requiring that doors are left open can be very unfair to the kids. It can even be part of a pattern of abuse. It worked for you...but would your mom have changed it if it hadn't?

Oh - and yes, I do close the door "against" (what an incredibly adversarial way to phrase it) dh sometimes. He can knock on the door and come in if he wants to. I'm not isolating myself. I just like my own space. DH and I don't have any "personal" space in this place. We just have our shared bedroom. So, we create personal space, by closing the door.
post #72 of 113
I can't imagine making a rule to keep the door open. It has never occurred to me and isn't something I'd make a rule about.
post #73 of 113
Quote:
Originally Posted by Storm Bride View Post
But, shouldn't the person wanting privacy be the one to determine if privacy is warranted? What if, when your ds is older, he wants to close his door so he can masturbate? He may not want to tell you that's why, but it's a perfectly normal, healthy valid reason to want some privacy. (I have to assume that ds1 has been doing so for several years at this point, but he doesn't talk to me about that. He talks to me about lots of stuff...his girlfriends, his social life, his interests, etc. But, he doesn't talk to me about his sexuality. Other families are different, but I don't think a teenage boy maintaining his own privacy about his sexuality is unhealthy, yk?)

There are lots of reasons a person might want to close a door for a while, and some of them are things they may not want to talk about...or even be able to verbalize. When I'd had a certain kind of bad day at school, I always wanted privacy when I got home. I felt as though people had been staring at me all day, and I just wanted (needed) to be alone and not on display (my family of origin were/are very special to me...but they're still people). I don't think I could have put it into words at that age, but I still needed it.

Absolutely all of this - there are many reasons that someone might want to be alone that they might not want to tell you about, or not be able to tell you about. As long as the reason isn't dangerous (like they're doing drugs or hurting themselves in some way, I don't think it's really anyone's business why.

The lack of ability to comfortably explore one's sexuality is one of the big issues I have with the idea of a "no closed doors" rule. I shared a room with my mother until I was 14 (originally by choice, as we coslept, and then out of necessity because there weren't enough rooms in my home) and let me tell you - that really sucked in the "exploring yourself sexually" department. As it is, when my four year old can't stop touching his penis, I tell him he's welcome to touch it all he wants in the privacy of his own room (or bathroom, as long as no one else wants to use it!). I don't think I'd be able to do that if I had a no closed doors policy - because he wouldn't be able to be in privacy. DS2 and DD share a bedroom, but we still have a "knock before entering" policy if one of them is in there alone with the door closed.

In any case, I personally can't imagine leaving my bedroom door open at all times. I think it would be disrrespectful to my kids for them to wander in while dh and I are having sex, which is exactly what would happen - you can see the bed from the door. They probably would be embarassed, and I sure as heck couldn't relax and have fun if I thought that at any second they could walk in on us. Do the no closed doors people leave their doors open during sex? Should teenagers leave the door open while masturbating?
post #74 of 113
Of course they can, I can't think of any reason why they shouldn't be allowed to shut their door. Whether or not they can shut the door when a friend is over really depends on who the friend is.

We have a small house (soon to be 6 of us in 1K sq ft) and it would be horrible if I didn't allow shut doors, for them and dh and I both!
post #75 of 113
sure they can close their doors!

. You may want them to close the door at some time so they can just chill out. Sitting alone with your thoughts is a great way to get connected with yourself, and I think everyone is entitled to that!

And unfortunately, just because you are "family" doesnt mean your kids are gonna like you, plain and simple.
post #76 of 113
I find the requirement that doors always be open to be really controlling and unhealthy. Especially when using the bathroom or changing clothes. Respect needs to go both ways. You may want to know every single thing happening in your home with your kids but man if they can't even change clothes or go to the bathroom without being observed that is not normal.
post #77 of 113
Yes, if only the three-year-old is in there. Not if the baby is, because I need to hear the baby. But of course, you're not asking about babies. I just mean, even if they're there together but I would hope that would be a no-brainer.
post #78 of 113
i dont let my almost 3 year old shut doors simply because im worried he'll lock himself in and i'll have to break down a door, lol...

when hes older, i'll have no problems being in his room with the door shut. the friend policy will depend on the friends, lol..
post #79 of 113
Quote:
Originally Posted by mamazee View Post
I can't imagine making a rule to keep the door open. It has never occurred to me and isn't something I'd make a rule about.

same here.

My kids are 3, 5, 7, and 9 - and I guess it just hasn't come up or been an issue. They don't really like to play in their rooms (or even sleep in them some nights), so the main time they really close their doors, so far, is when they are upset and don't want to be bothered. Seems like the perfect time to want to keep people out. My DD (the oldest) - I do sometimes make her close her door if it is late at night and she has her best friend spending the night. They get loud and giggly, so I will ask her to shut it to buffer the sound a bit for those who are already asleep.
post #80 of 113
My prohibition on closing doors when a friend is over mostly stem from two incidents-- one where my friend's daughter, the same age as my twins, emptied DD1's piggy bank, put the money in DD's CD player, and then turned it on, so that it doesn't work anymore. They were in there less than five minutes. So no friends behind closed doors for the younger two, until their friends are old enough to have more sense.

And I won't let DD1 have friends behind a closed door mostly because she's timid, and a few times she's had friends over, and the friends have overstepped DD's privacy boundaries by doing things like going through her drawers and her jewelry box, and DD hasn't had the language and the assertiveness to communicate that she wanted them to leave that stuff alone. So the prohibition is mostly so I can keep half an ear on what's going on, and step in and help DD if she runs into that kind of issue again. She's younger than most of her friends, and has a little trouble keeping up sometimes.

So probably that prohibition will only last a few years, until the kids are older. I trust my kids just fine, but not the friends.

The issue of sex exploration never crossed my mind-- I'm sure it'll happen, at some point. I can remember doing stuff like that with the neighbor's kids-- harmless stuff like I'll show you yours if you show me mine. The best thing to do about that, I think, is to make sure I keep the lines of communication open with the kids, so that if something happens that doesn't feel just harmless, they will be able to tell about it.

And yeah--- how in the heck is a kid supposed to learn about masturbation if (s)he's never allowed to close the door? I always kinda thought that parents who prohibited closed doors were specifically TRYING to prevent masturbation, and I would never want to do that. I would LOVE it if DS would close his door when he's doing that-- I can't wait for the Age of Bodily Modesty to arrive in this house.
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