No two parents raise their children the same way.
As long as children are given love and attention and remain safe and healthy, there are no hard and fast rules when it comes to parenting.
Redditor Far_Constant848 and his wife raise their children on the stricter side, enforcing rules on what their teenage son and daughter can and cannot do.
But when their children claimed these rules were an invasion of their privacy, the original poster (OP) took to the subReddit “Am I The A**hole” (AITA), asking fellow Redditors:
“AITA for not allowing my kids to close the room door?”
The OP shared with readers a non-negotiable rule he and his wife enforce on their kids.
“We have a rule in our family whereby the kids (15 F[emale] and 13 M[ale]) are not allowed to close the room doors.”
“The kids spend most of the time in the common study room, whether reading, studying, gaming etc. and their computer screens all face the door.”
Even when their children expressed their frustrations with this rule, the OP would not back down on his stance.
My kids have told me they would like to room door to be closed and feel that their privacy is being violated and they cannot concentrate.”
“However, my wife and I feel that this is a house rule and there should be no secrets between family members.”
“We do not wish for them to spiral down a deep hole of secrets which might be too late when they realize they need help.”
“Furthermore, when they grow up and work in an office, whatever they do on the computer screen will also be visible to their coworkers.”
“My wife and I think this rule is quite fair, but the kids insist otherwise.”
Fellow Redditors weighed in on where the OP fell in this particular situation by declaring:
- NTA: Not the A**hole
- YTA: You’re the A**hole
- ESH: Everybody Sucks Here
- NAH: No A**holes Here
The OP was met with little sympathy by fellow Redditors, with just about everyone agreeing he was very much the a**hole for depriving his children of their privacy.
Many Redditors expressed how enforcing rules like this will likely lead to a strained relationship between the OP and his children, and he should seriously reconsider enforcing it.
“My parents split when I was young.”
“As a teen, my mom wanted to monitor and know everything under this ‘no secrets’ BS.”
“My dad however, allowed me privacy.”
“As a result, I grew up closer and more open with my dad and my relationship with my mom struggled.”
“I say this as a warning that you and your wife are headed for the same relationship I had with my mom despite you actually seeming to want the relationship I had with my dad.”
“If you force kids to tell you everything, they learn to hide stuff.”
“YTA. Please rethink your ‘house rule’.”- Substantial-Fox-4905.
Some questioned if the OP followed his own rules, with at least one questioning if he was open with his children about posting his query on the internet.
“Are you showing them this post? (Since you’re so concerned about secrets and all.) YTA”-Classroom_Visual.
“So you keep your bedroom door open and computer screens visible to your kids too?”
“And you don’t keep any secrets from your kids?”
Most Redditors agreed even children should be allowed the right to privacy, and didn’t buy the OP’s office analogy.
“Your kids are not going to live in an office.”
“Saying that their work computers will be visible to everyone in the future makes no sense.”
“In their home, they should be allowed to have privacy and feel respected.”- Padloq
“Your children are now teenagers and need privacy.”
“What do you hope to accomplish by not allowing the door to be closed?”
“Especially when they’re just by themselves and no guests/boyfriends/girlfriends are over?”
“Their room should be their safe space.”
“Strict parents raise sneaky children.”
“Also, should they work an office cubicle job (which is such a small select job to make an example of) they will most likely have privacy, and they will get privacy at home too.”
“Also the no secrets between family members is extremely toxic.”
“People have secrets, kids are allowed to have secrets.”
“What are you trying to prevent / stop from forcing an open door on your children?”- catfoodonmyshelf
“KIDS NEED DOWNTIME let them have their small slice of privacy so they can actually unwind and not feel like their being monitored 24hrs a day which does nothing but increase stress and agitation.”-Bailey_Hollow
“In addition to the many excellent points made by other commenters (like why are you talking about a secret spiral, teens need some privacy, you are likely just teaching them to be sneaky, do you and your wife keep your door open all the time including when having sex, etc…) which I encourage you to read, I have to take issue with what you said about offices.”
“Maybe it’s my industry, but I am not allowed to show my screen to co-workers unless we are working on the same project.”
“Even when I worked in a cubical, I had to keep my screen tilted away from the aisle and had to password protect it every time I got up from my desk.”
“Being wrong about how offices work doesn’t make you an AH, it just makes you wrong.”
“YTA for treating your kids like prisoners, rather than the teens that they are.”- DinaFelice
Several agreed this rule would likely backfire, and only encourage his children to start keeping secrets, and forcing them to keep their doors open and monitoring what they do online or on their computers are two totally separate things.
“YTA you are just teaching your kids to be better liars and taking away their privacy at an important developmental stage.”
“There are other ways to teach computer safety.”- opheliaboop.
“You are literally driving your kids to resentment and secrets and it’s going to come back to bite you in the ass.”
“If you want to monitor their computer usage or screen time then that’s one thing but not being allowed to close their own doors is unrealistic and unhealthy.”- mocha_lattes_.
“Why does your child having privacy weird you out so much?”
“Sounds like you don’t trust your children to make responsible choices.”
“How can you expect them to grow and mature into individuals if you take away their right to have privacy?”
“They’re going to resent you for it.”-Expat_89.
“This is a great way to ensure that your kids ‘spiral down a hole of secrets’.
Indeed, it’s rather hard to imagine what exactly the OP’s children will learn by never being able to close their doors.
But one can only imagine the outcome would not be the one the OP was expecting.
Here’s hoping the OP and his wife might find a more productive and practical way to teach their children about keeping secrets and computer safety.