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Parent Sparks Drama By Removing Teen Son’s Bedroom Door To Punish Him For Busting In On His Sister Changing

Man working on door lock
milan2099/Getty Images

Having some privacy is important, especially for teenagers.

But  mother is now wondering if eliminating some of one child’s private space over their disregard for another child’s boundaries is justified. The mom turned to the “Am I The A**hole” (AITA) subReddit for moral judgement.

Redditor MySpecificpostalt asked:

“AITA after removing my son’s door?”

The Original Poster (OP) explained:

“I live with my 15-year-old son, 7-year-old daughter, 16-year-old daughter, and husband. With that alone it’s a little crowded, but everyone has their own bedroom and private bathroom.”

“My son and eldest daughter are very close. They still fight but I wouldn’t say as much as most siblings do, but 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. Whenever she asks him to stop, he ignores it and only stops for a day when we tell him to stop.”

“He always talks about his privacy and the importance of it but disregards others.”

“Last week though, he caught her changing. She was very angry and upset and came to tell us about it.”

“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 still has his bathroom door).”

“My husband doesn’t necessarily think I’m an a**hole (AH) but he thinks ‘that’s just our son’. He thinks we should’ve instead helped her prank him(???).”

“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.”


The OP returned to clarify a few things.

“This is the first time he has busted in on her changing. He doesn’t target times she should be changing either so I assume he isn’t looking to see her naked.”

“The walking in started about the [time of the pandemic] and the banging started around this month.”

“There were punishments before this that included grounding and allowance loss.”

“Everyone in the house already has a lock on their door.”

Redditors weighed in by declaring:

  • NTA – Not The A**hole
  • YTA – You’re The A**hole
  • NAH – No A**holes Here
  • ESH – Everyone Sucks Here

Redditors decided the OP was not the a**hole.

“NTA. I was all ready to vote y-t-a based on the title, but this is A) only a short-term punishment and B) in direct response to his invading others’ privacy.”

“An unfortunate number of parents think that kids don’t deserve privacy and remove doors or demand they always be open. You’re not one of them; this is designed to teach him the value of privacy and why he shouldn’t invade others, not to remove his privacy.” ~ km89

“NTA. Before returning the door, I would make sure he understands his behavior caused the door to be removed and keeping his door will require him to stop barging into his sister’s room or pounding on it.”

“Since you’ve finally found a punishment he’ll respond to, you need to use it. You only have a few years left before he’s an adult.”

“Teaching young men to respect boundaries and the word ‘no’ is a CRITICAL skill.”

“Whatever you need to do to get that lesson to stick, do it.” ~ LakotaGrl

“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.”

“By breaking 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). NTA” ~ Jesoko

“It also takes away her ability to decide if she wants to talk to him at that moment or not.”

“What if she is on the phone talking to a friend who is going through a tough time?” ~ WeeklyConversation8

“Yes. This is literally the first time I’ve ever been OK with a door being taken away. I’m honestly surprised at how much of a clear cut NTA this is.” ~ NoNeinNyet222

“For this I also vote NTA. He doesn’t get to have the privacy he wants if he can’t respect others.”

“I hope OP sticks to their guns and repeats and increases the length of the punishment if he continues to be disrespectful of other’s privacy and space.” ~ Sabi-Arts

“It’s great she has a lock but she shouldn’t have to lock herself to protect herself from her brother invading her privacy.”

“You are NTA but not sure if this drives home how very wrong what he is doing is. This is not only about privacy but also about consent.”

“And your husband is teaching your son he can have his way with people and girls if he is loud/annoying enough and teaching your daughter that she is the one who needs to either put up with it or ‘protect’ herself.” ~ stellamcmillan

“Make sure to have another talk with him before putting the door back.”

“Sit him down and make sure he understands how and why his actions were wrong, this time relating it back to his punishment saying something like ‘within 3 days you felt violated, imagine how your sister must have felt this past month every time you burst into her room’.” ~ KEPAnime

“Do you see the running theme here??? I, I, I, me, me, me!!!”

“He has no awareness of other people!! You guys have some work to do here because this is not good behavior.”

“He needs to learn what boundaries and privacy and personal space means for other people not just him. I feel sorry for your daughter.”

“She is wondering why he is so important and she’s not, especially from your husband who thinks this is fine.” ~ Blonde2468

“‘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.”

“NTA but your husband is.” ~ tacobelley

“Seriously. Your job as parents is to turn your kids into good people.”

“’That’s just our son, shits in a diaper and can’t read, just like the day he was born. No sense trying to change him’.” ~ radialomens

“My parents always said ‘we went into this intending to raise adults, not children’.” ~ KnotARealGreenDress

“You’re teaching your son that he can’t just get what he wants, especially when It comes to someone else’s body autonomy and consent to being seen.”

“You’re also showing your daughters that they have control over their own bodies, consent matters, and you back them up on it.”

“Especially because you have a younger daughter too- she’s seeing this and learning from you.”

“NTA – and one of the few times door taking is cool.” ~ laven-derp

“First time he burst into his boss’s office without knocking he’ll be wishing he learned the lesson earlier.” ~ SnipesCC

“He bursts into the wrong door he could get beat up or arrested.”

“Families often see their sons much the way they always did when the boys were harmless little boys, but the rest of the world doesn’t see them that way. Teenage boys are young men and can be dangerous.”

“Parenting involves training a kid, while he is still under your control, to behave the way that will help him fit in with decent, respectable people.”

“Better safe than sorry. Mom is right.” ~ Lily_Roza

“Is he gonna say ‘that’s just our son’ when he gets caught doing this to a friend’s sister? What a ridiculous excuse.” ~ mcr_roxxx

“And that’s ‘just his daughter’ legitimately expecting privacy in her own room!!! If they are ‘so close’, why is he so disrespectful? Does he do this with the other daughter?”

“’That’s just our son’ is not going to sway anyone if he tries this on other females.” ~ pugapooh

Redditors took particular exception to dad’s “boys will be boys” attitude, declaring both him and the son a**holes for their lack of respect for the daughter’s right to privacy.

Mom can be assured Reddit unanimously agreed with removing some of the son’s privacy as punishment for violating his sister’s privacy, harassing her and forcing his presence on her instead of seeking consent.

It seems like mom has some work ahead of her. Redditors hoped dad will join her in teaching their daughters that no is a complete sentence and their son that no means no.

Written by Amelia Mavis Christnot

Amelia Christnot is an Oglala Lakota, Kanien'kehá:ka Haudenosaunee and Metís Navy brat who settled in the wilds of Northern Maine. A member of the Indigenous Journalists Association, she considers herself another proud Maineiac.