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Are your kids allowed to close their door? - Page 5

post #81 of 113
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chamomile Girl View Post
I found it very comforting to be able to hear my mom putter around the house.

.... But for some reason this particular issue really does not seem like a healthy family choice to me. One can just as easily read a book and play music with the door open...goodness knows I did enough of this as a kid.
I suggest that you open yourself to the possibility that your child is a different person from you and may have different wants/needs as they get older. Expecting, and then demanding, that our child desires to live the same way we do is unhealthy.

The more people living in a space, the loud any of those people are, the stronger their personalities, the more need for each person to, the more likely that some of them may want a break from time to time.

Quote:
In my experience all the families I have known who allow closed doors have been very dysfunctional in terms of communication. Kid went off to room, closed door, and both kid and family thought good riddance. Nothing important was ever discussed in those families
But lots of AP families right here are telling the opposite is their situation.

We spent the day hiking and picnicking yesterday. We eat dinner together most nights and talk. We all shut doors when we feel like it.

Having a little time to one's self doesn't mean that we don't spend time together, or that the quality of the time spent together is poor. We just like variety.
post #82 of 113
The older kids, yes. But they can't shut each other out of their shared room and I don't like doors shut when friends are over for a dozen reasons.

Otherwise it's never occurred to me to ban closing the door.
post #83 of 113
Quote:
I think strong communication would determine if a child's needs are not being met, and then the family would go from there. I just don't see why the default ought to be 'closed is ok'.
I just want to touch on this one bit, because it's an area where I have a strong opinion. My opinion is that the default ought to be that anything is OK. Really. If there's a reason to do otherwise, fine, but I think that there has to be a reason to enact a rule, not a reason to not have a rule.
post #84 of 113
My seven year old can go into any room and close the door if she wishes. Usually it's because she needs to keep out her two year old sister (if she's playing something her sister will destroy) or for privacy. Our bedroom doors don't have locks.

I believe she was around age four when she first started doing this.

My two year old would not be allowed in a room with the door closed (w/o me) because she is a whirling dervish, and closed doors around here = a toddler up to no good.
post #85 of 113
I have an eight year old with TONS of little/fragile typical eight year old toys. Her door is closed by default as she has two younger siblings who would get into everything, and for whom her toys aren't necessarily safe.

Additionally, she's a kid who likes space and quiet time just for herself. It wouldn't be fair to her to effectively force her to interact with the family all the time.

If the boys begin bothering her stuff and fail to respect her door being a boundary, I will happily install a lock (and keep a key so I can ensure her safety, of course) it just doesn't seem right to me that her private space/stuff be open to everyone and anyone in the family.
post #86 of 113
Yes, everyone in this space is allowed to close a door if they need to. Sometimes I feel like a broken record here (as I say this a lot here at MDC), but we live in a one bedroom apartment in a city of 8 million people. If people in my family need to shut the door...then I totally understand! Sometimes a closed door means "aloneness." I dig that. If DD needs a moment or an hour to be alone...good for her. Today I locked myself in the bathroom just to be alone for five minutes. Maybe it would be different if we lived out on the range or a place where we could take a walk in the woods. Here, it's people central.
post #87 of 113
I can't imagine distrusting my kids to the point that I would fear a closed door.
post #88 of 113
When my children were younger we had an open door policy. They were allowed to close them to draw on them but not as a general rule (there are chalkboards on the back of a door). They also shared rooms but mostly it was so I would know what was going on and could hear them playing. They were never allowed to play where I could not see/hear them. Gradually as they got older and more trustworthy I allowed them to begin closing their doors in some circumstances. It also helped when they each had their own bedroom.....bad things happened when I was not watching them closely.

Now they are older (14, 10 and 7) and can close their door but still not while friends are over. There is nothing in their room that they can get in trouble with. All the internet hooked up computers are in our open dining room.
post #89 of 113
Thread Starter 
I just wrote a really long reply and it disappeared....grrrr.

Anyway thank you all for all your insight/discussion.

Ds is 2.5 and lately has been getting more into the whole privacy thing. Lately when he gets upset about something, or gets in trouble, he will run to his room and close the door. I figure that he needs time by himself to work through his feelings, which is fine with me. Also when he is really into playing he will sometimes shut his door and say "don't bother me" lol. I still check in on him (he can be mischievious so if it gets too quiet my radar goes up) but I prefer to send the message that I respect his privacy and his space, and that I trust him to behave, unless he proves otherwise.

i was raised in a house where you were presumed guilty until proven inoccent, or else you were bound to get into trouble if you hadn't already, so I was not allowed to close my door until my late teens, and never lock it, even the bathroom. My mom never knocked, either, so there was truly no privacy. I hated the feeling that I was never truly "safe" from prying eyes, even if I just wanted to read a book or do my hair or freaking scratch my big toe, it had to be "supervised." ds isn't allowed to close his door or go to the bathroom alone at grandma's, but he doesn't seem to care since when he's over there he generally wants to be around everyone, so I don't make it an issue yet. I just found it very bizarre when several people, not just my mom, on finding out that ds can shut his door at will, said to me, "what if he starts playing with himself?"

i'm not quite sure yet where I stand on doors closed with friends over. I think it would depend on who the friend is. I can think of two kids who I wouldn't shut up in a room with the hamster, let alone my kid, but also several who I trust completely.

this is a really interesting discussion. It's interesting how for some people, open doors = boundary violation, while for others closed doors=dysfunctional family. I wonder how much of it comes from background and how much is personality.
post #90 of 113
Quote:
Originally Posted by waiting2bemommy View Post
I just found it very bizarre when several people, not just my mom, on finding out that ds can shut his door at will, said to me, "what if he starts playing with himself?"
I've had that question in relation to DD having alone time before. My default answer is "well good for her. She needs to know how it works after all." That just throws them for a loop.
post #91 of 113
When it's just us, the kids are allowed to close their doors. The doors don't have locks on them.

When friends are over, the doors have to at least stay open partway.
post #92 of 113
Quote:
Originally Posted by waiting2bemommy View Post
this is a really interesting discussion. It's interesting how for some people, open doors = boundary violation, while for others closed doors=dysfunctional family. I wonder how much of it comes from background and how much is personality.
I'd also be curious to know how much is cultural.

MusicianDad - great answer!
post #93 of 113
Also, curious - for those who don't allow the door shut when friends are over (but do otherwise), why is that?
post #94 of 113
DS is 11, DD1 is 4.5, and DD2 is almost 2. So yes, DS shuts his door... the poor kid needs a break from his sisters every now and then! We don't let DS "hang out" with his friends in his room. We have a large rec room in the basement, so there's no need for him to entertain his friends in his bedroom. DS' room is for sleeping and private pursuits. It's HIS space. I always knock before going in. As far as what he does in there, well... as an 11-year-old, I frequently find him absentmindedly feeling "himself" while he reads or watches TV. l remind him "Hey, I don't care if you do that, but take it in your room, man!" Always good for a laugh!

DDs can shut their door, but my rule is that they must answer it when I knock. If they don't answer the door within 10 seconds or so, I open the door to check on them. At that age, if a kid doesn't answer the door it's probably because she's coloring all over her legs with a Sharpie!
post #95 of 113
Quote:
Originally Posted by waiting2bemommy View Post

this is a really interesting discussion. It's interesting how for some people, open doors = boundary violation, while for others closed doors=dysfunctional family. I wonder how much of it comes from background and how much is personality.

We have 9 month old black lab. DD needs to close her door to play with Polly Pockets on the floor or they'd be eaten up by the pooch. No real "rule" about it here or too much thought into it. But, now that I'm reading the thread--I don't completely agree with Chamomile Girl's interesting thoughts on what closed doors equal BUT--I can see how a closed door could be undesirable. How, if my 5 year old turns into a 9 year old who is shut tight in her room all the time that that could be sad and bear some discussion in our own family about why she wants to get away from us that much.

I grew up in a closed door house, and spent a lot of time alone in my room with the door closed and in hindsight--it might have been better to interact with my family more. Everyone needs privacy sometimes, absolutely! But there can be too much isolation too.
post #96 of 113
Quote:
Originally Posted by odenata View Post
Also, curious - for those who don't allow the door shut when friends are over (but do otherwise), why is that?
Well, until they moved out, the only kids in the neighborhood were a 9 year old girl and a 6 year old girl, and so that's who DS (almost 7) would have over to play. And I'm *not* going to get the reputation for allowing tween mixed gender playgroups to happen behind closed doors.

But to those that said closed doors = dysfunctional family...that is just about the weirdest thing I've ever heard of. Everyone deserves privacy. And older siblings deserve time away from the younger siblings (I was the oldest of many and hated the fact that my space was always allowed to be intruded upon by younger siblings. I couldn't even go have 20 minutes to play with my own stuff or just chill out without having someone else come in to disrupt me). Also, DS's stuff has very small parts, of which would cause the younger children to choke, so DS knows to keep his small toys in his room and if he wants to take them out of the shelf and the other children are wandering around the upstairs, he should shut his door so they can't get in and destroy it.

It's not like he's locking himself in his room for the day. But I fail to see anything wrong with going up to one's room for 30 minutes, closing the door, and having a break.

ETA: And to the poster who thinks that closing doors is the ultimate in disattached parenting... There is an attachment style called "enmeshment"--people are so intertwined that there are no boundaries what so ever. There is no privacy and "no secrets" is taken to an extreme. People can't even use the restroom in peace. Everyone is constantly in the affairs of every other person. It's an unhealthy attachment style where people can't live without knowing what every other person is doing at any moment. A little bit of privacy and respecting boundaries is the sign of HEALTHY attachment. Of course, it can go the other way where everything is a boundary and there is no communication or togetherness. But a child shutting the door for 30 minutes? That's a perfectly healthy, normal part of attachment.
post #97 of 113
I think closed doors could make a dysfunctional family more dysfunctional. On the other hand, open doors could make a dysfunctional family more dysfunctional too. I grew up in a dysfunctional family, and having open doors would not have helped the dysfunction but would have come at a price of my sanity. I needed my closed door!
post #98 of 113
Yes but no locking-only bathroom and toilet doors have locks and the no locking is just a safety issue.
post #99 of 113
Quote:
Originally Posted by mamazee View Post
My opinion is that the default ought to be that anything is OK. Really. If there's a reason to do otherwise, fine, but I think that there has to be a reason to enact a rule, not a reason to not have a rule.

I completely agree. I believe that all humans are best off making their own choices to the greatest degree possible. Some times as I parent I've found it necessary to limit my children's freedom, but I do so as seldom as a possible can, and I do it very mindfully.

I would never limit my children's freedom on a reason so flimsy as "that's how I like things."
post #100 of 113
Quote:
Well, until they moved out, the only kids in the neighborhood were a 9 year old girl and a 6 year old girl, and so that's who DS (almost 7) would have over to play. And I'm *not* going to get the reputation for allowing tween mixed gender playgroups to happen behind closed doors.
OT, but are 6yos "tweens" these days?? My 6yo is sure as heck not a tween in my eyes. Tweens are 10-12, aren't they?

Do we all really worry about mixed gender groups at this age? DD's best friend is male, and not only do they play behind shut doors, they have sleepovers. They're 6, for heaven's sake! I'm not denying that kids play doctor, but I don't know..I don't worry about it. DD has lots of information about all of that (including books that are very clear and show kids' bodies) and I don't think she is going to get involved in anything pathological.
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