Any parent will tell you that deciding how to discipline their kids is hard.
But staying consistent and dealing with pushback have to be the hardest parts, agreed the “Am I the A**hole?” (AITA) subReddit.
Redditor The-Compliment-Fairy was frustrated with her daughter’s inconsideration of the rest of her family when she slammed her bedroom door every time she left the room.
But when her daughter made a dramatic display of slamming it, the Original Poster (OP) decided no door was the next best course of action.
She asked the sub:
“AITA for removing my daughter’s bedroom door because she won’t stop slamming it?”
The OP’s one complaint about her daughter was her bedroom door.
“I (40 Female) have three kids. Maggie (14 Female), Levi (12 Male), and Charlie (10 Male). Levi and Charlie share a bedroom and Maggie has her own room as the oldest and also the only girl.”
“Maggie is a great kid. She does her homework, helps with chores without too much complaint, and doesn’t bug her little brothers (too) much.”
“The issue is that she will not stop slamming her bedroom door.”
“When she gets up to use the bathroom at night, she slams her bedroom door on her way out and back in. When she gets up in the morning or goes to bed at night, she slams it. Pretty much any time she enters or exits her room, the door gets slammed.2
“And it’s only her door, none of the other doors in the house. It shakes the walls and frequently wakes up everyone else in the house. Her brothers’ room shares a wall with hers and our bedroom is directly above theirs.”
“We’ve talked to her about it and asked her very politely to please be more mindful about it because it is disturbing the rest of us, but it’s in one ear and out the other.”
“We tried being more forceful about it, saying that if she continues to slam her door there will start to be consequences. Still, nothing changes.”
The OP finally had to make some changes.
“It all came to a head the other night when she got up to use the bathroom and all four of us were woken up by the slamming.”
“I have to be up at 5 AM for work, and I’ve had enough of the broken sleep and come downstairs and knocked on her door.”
“She opened it and said WHAT?! with such an attitude, it took a lot of self-control not to start yelling.”
“I told her as calmly as I could that if she slammed that door one more time, she was going to come home and find it gone.”
“She proceeded to yell at me to leave her alone and then slammed it five times as hard as she could.”
“Well, the next day (Friday) she went to school, and my husband and I both had the day off, so we took the door off the frame and installed a curtain rod with a nice heavy curtain over the door instead.”
Maggie was furious when she returned home.
“She came home and freaked the f**k out. She said we’re being emotionally abusive and taking away her right to privacy. She sulked all weekend and won’t talk to us now.”
“My mother says I’m the AH because I overreacted but she doesn’t have to deal with the house shaking.”
“I want to add that we completely respect each other’s privacy in our house, which is why we hung up a heavy curtain and made sure that we couldn’t see through it or around it. The curtain is an industrial type that blocks sound and light. We even put little Velcro pieces on the walls and curtain sides so it stays in place.”
“She still has her physical privacy which she is absolutely entitled to, but can’t slam a piece of fabric. We also have never and still don’t just go into her room unannounced and still knock on the wall to ask permission to enter.”
“We’ve told her we’ll happily put her door back on once she agrees to respect the no-slamming rule.”
Fellow Redditors weighed in:
- NTA: Not the A**hole
- YTA: You’re the A**hole
- ESH: Everybody Sucks Here
- NAH: No A**holes Here
Some understood and agreed with the OP’s chosen consequence.
“NTA. Interrupting everyone’s sleep is unacceptable. You gave her plenty of opportunities to change her door-slamming behavior and she didn’t do it.”
“Let her sulk it out for a set amount of time (let her know this amount… one week… three days… whatever you choose), then return the door conditionally for a trial. If she can refrain from slamming it, she can keep it. If not, the door gets taken off again for even more time. Rinse and repeat until she no longer slams.” – Express-Afternoon724
“NTA. I was at my best friend’s house when I was about 10. She and her twin sister were playing by their bedroom door, absolutely horsing around and slamming into the door repeatedly while playing. We could hear their dad from the other side of the house, saying calmly, loudly, and warningly, ‘Paren con la puerta’ (roughly, ‘Stop messing with the door’).”
“Minutes go by and they keep messing, slamming into the door loudly, so we hear it again, ‘Paren con la puerta.’ I was fully bracing at that point, looking at them in panic… and then they kick the door again.”
“We hear steps, the man opens the door, lifts it right off its hinges, and walks off with the door under his arm without a word.”
“One of my favorite memories of childhood.” – Lumpy-Relationship17
“I was all set to call OP the bad guy for taking away a teenager’s privacy, but they gave her ample chances and even gave her a curtain, which was a perfect touch.”
“NTA.” – portezbie
“I was all prepared to Y T A this bc my mom did similarly (though it was because I was 22 and working nights, and she didn’t want me ‘sleeping all day’… Yeah, abusive) but I didn’t even get a curtain.”
“NTA, she earned this, and I second the idea of a predetermined time to remove the curtain and give her another chance to get it right, upping the amount of time you use the curtain for each time she forgets to not slam it. Like, first offense, a few days to a week. Second, a week or two, etc. and communicating these timeframes to her.” – Vaidurya
“You handled this like a pro. As a former teacher who had to deal with behavior management issues all the time. You didn’t use anger or yell. You outlined an expectation and the consequence if the expectation isn’t met. And then you followed through in the most respectful way possible (adding the fabric).”
“The follow-through is where most people falter cause who likes punishing kids? And you have a pathway to restore the thing taken away and having her take accountability. She doesn’t get it for free, she needs to acknowledge her wrong and actually make it right.”
“I wouldn’t change anything about how you handled it. Just stay firm with your lines and expectations. She may fix the issue permanently or she may test you upon return of the door.”
“Consistency is key, even if you have to change the consequence don’t let the annoyance of having to remind her (if needed) stop you from following through on what you say you will do- while still being respectful of her.” – viviolay
Others agreed and said the teen slamming the door five times was too much.
“The slamming it a few times in a row was the point where the door had to go. OP’s daughter might not have meant to wake others but at that point, it was teenage spite.”
“My nephew lost his door for slamming it and when he got it back, he requested padding to help cushion the door. He actually lost the door when he slammed it shut and broke his little brother’s foot during an argument. I think that made him feel worse than the actual grounding.”
“Doors and attitude issues are like the teenage rite of passage. My stepdaughter put us through that recently. (Opposite of door slamming though.)”
“She cussed me for knocking on her door. She was on a PriVaTe phone call. I had her laundry for her. I asked her to open the door. She snarked.”
“I took the laundry back to the laundry room and let her Dad handle it. My inlaws also weighed in. They threatened to take her door. Her Grandmother (We live with inlaws) threatened to put a bar of soap in her mouth for cussing me. Especially since she had told her 10 times to come to get her clean laundry that we washed and folded.”
“Her phone hours got reduced. No calls after 9 PM. But man, she’s so pleasant now.” – PolyPolyam
“She went nuclear with that move. Slamming the door, five times in a row, in her parent’s face, in the middle of the night, disturbing everyone’s sleep.
I would have done exactly the same. Brilliant parenting. Keep following through!
“NTA a million times over.” – Sea-Midnight7462
“I was expecting an a-hole story, but she’s disrespecting the ENTIRE household and doubled down with that five-times slamming rebuttal.”
“She effed around and found out. Oh, the daughter should know that loud, disruptive sounds and sleep deprivation can be actual forms of abuse.” – Humble-Nobody2884
“‘I told her as calmly as I could that if she slammed that door one more time she was going to come home and find it gone. She proceeded to yell at me to leave her alone and then slammed it five times as hard as she could.'”
“I guess she made that decision on her own and was very sure about it (five times sure). NTA.” – Earptastic
“Usually, parents who remove their children’s bedroom doors are controlling and abusive AHs who don’t give a single f**k about their child’s privacy.”
“But right here? Your daughter repeatedly slammed the door to her bedroom after you both politely and sternly told her not to do so multiple times. Taking away her door seems like a fitting punishment in this case.”
“NTA.” – imjusthere_chilling
Though the subReddit thought they were going to get a very different post than they actually got, they were all pleasantly surprised by the reasons behind why the OP took the door and how the situation was being handled, including the curtain. While a teenager shouldn’t be without a door forever, if a door is going to be taken off the hinges, this is certainly the way to go about it.