'I removed my son's bedroom door to teach him a lesson about privacy'

Photo: iStock
Photo: iStock 

Do you have a teenager who fails to understand the need for privacy behind closed doors? Take a leaf out of one mum's rule book, and simply remove their door.

Taking to Reddit's Am I the A**hole thread, the mum asked if she was wrong to punish her son for ignoring his sister's privacy requests by taking away his bedroom door.

Admitting that life with their family of two daughters aged 16 and seven, her husband and their 15-year-old son could be 'a little crowded', she explained privacy was becoming an issue for the older siblings.

Picture: Getty Images
Picture: Getty Images Photo: Getty Images

While they were close and only had the occasional sibling quarrel, she said her son failed to respect his sister's boundaries and wish for privacy when she is in her bedroom

"Whenever he wants to talk to her he just bursts through the door. If the door is locked, he just hits it with his shoulder until she opens it while at the same time, damaging the house," she writes.

While their teenage daughter pleaded with him to stop, it only resulted in a short-term fix - and the mum said the final straw came when he burst in while his sister was changing. 

"She was very angry and upset and came to tell us about it," she said. "We sat down with our son and told him that if he can't respect other people's privacy, then he can't have his own. We then took off his bedroom door."

"He always talks about his privacy and the importance of it but disregards others," she added, revealing that other punishments, including grounding and cutting off his allowance hadn't worked.

Seeking reassurance from fellow Redditers, the mum explained that her husband said 'that's just our son' and felt a better solution would have been to help their daughter get him back with a prank. 

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"He's been begging for the door back for 3 days now and I plan to put it back at the end of the week," she said, assuring users that her son hadn't intended to see her changing.

Many jumped to the mum's defence, arguing the dad's attitude was the bigger problem - and that the son needed to learn to respect boundaries now, before he was out in the world on his own.

"First time he burst into his boss's office without knocking he'll be wishing he learned the lesson earlier," said one. 

"That's just our son' is not the attitude you need to be taking here. It's a violation of your daughter's privacy. Don't get this confused. Protect your daughter and make sure your son knows this is inexcusable. No means no. Always," said another. 

Others said they could relate to the struggle of trying to find an effective punishment for teenagers. 

"You can take their phones, laptops, books, X-boxes and PS5s. Nothing drives the point like taking their doors. Especially for teens," agreed another.

While many praised the mum for reinforcing to their daughter that her privacy deserved to be respected.

"I was just going to say that I am almost always against parents taking away the doors of their children, but I think this is one of the few cases where it is appropriate," said one.

"By breaking down his way into the room or forcing her to open the door, the son is effectively taking away his sister's door. This is a lesson in mutual respect, not in parents asserting dominance and control (which is why parents usually remove doors)."