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Teen Stunned After Stepdad Rips Down ‘Please Knock’ Sign On Her Door Because It’s ‘Disrespectful’

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Basic privacy is something most of us see as a reasonable request. But for one teen girl on Reddit, her request that her family please knock before entering her room set off her stepdad’s “my house, my rules” resentments.

The Original Poster (OP), who goes by throwawayasks409 on the site, wasn’t sure how to handle things, so she went to the AITA (Am I The A**hole) subReddit for perspective.

OP asked:

“AITA For putting a sign on my door that says ‘please knock’?”

She explained:

“I (15f[emale]) live with my parents and younger brother. They have a tendency to barge into my room, which I don’t mind, but this also happens when I’m getting dressed. My brother has walked in on me getting dressed before, and needless to say I would prefer it not to happen again.”

“Since it would be even worse if my dad walked in on me, I decided to make a sign that says ‘please knock’ with a little smiley face and some hearts. Seemingly harmless imo. Apparently not.”

“My dad sees it and rips it off my door and throws it in the trash. This also ripped some of the paint off my door. He said I don’t get to make the rules since this is ‘his house’ and technically his room because he paid for both it and most of the belongings in it.”

“My mom said I shouldn’t do that again and to just make sure I change behind the door if it were to be opened. I don’t understand what I could have done to offend my dad or how it was disrespectful.”

“INFO: this is my stepdad whom I’ve known for half my life. He has a short temper and can be borderline verbally abusive sometimes, but I love him and he loves me. He’s pretty harsh sometimes with punishments and my mom tends to just go along with what he does instead of defending me or my brother in some situations.”

“TL;DR: stepdad rips sign off my door that says “please knock” because it’s disrespectful.”

People on Reddit were then asked to judge who is in the wrong in this conflict based on the following categories:

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

And they were nearly unanimously on OP’s side on this one.


“Have you explained why you put the sign up? I have a 16 year old son and the day he asked me to knock i always do before going into his room, I also ask his permission before I go in there when he’s not at home (to look for dirty clothes or put clean ones in there) it might be my house, but it’s his home and he is entitled to privacy and so do you.”MrsCakeakaJane

“…Everyone is entitled to privacy. OP, get a wedge for under your door. Put it in there when you’re going to change so you can feel safe for the time being. NTA”lotsofcache

“…OP, you’re NTA. Get a door stop and use it whenever you change. If your stepdad gets mad, ask him was he trying to see you naked.”usernaym44

“My daughter is in her early teens and her dad (not biological but he’s her dad) respects her privacy above all else. We even got her a lock for the door that’s connected to the bathroom since it’s a shared one with her brother.”

“His reaction is scary, I’d ask my mom if there’s a reason your stepdad has an issue with knocking to make sure he doesn’t barge in while you’re naked… does he want to see you naked? If not, then what’s the issue?”passivelyrepressed

“…Constantly barging into your child’s room, invading their privacy all the time; it’s a fantastic way to make them not trust you or tell you anything! They won’t feel safe or comfortable in their own home and will probably feel the need to sneak around/hide sh*t for the sake of having some privacy.”pixie13903

“This reminds me of that post where the stepdad would deliberately barge into the bathroom when the daughter was showering and yeah…it was what we thought it was. OP, please don’t let this be normalised. Heck, my real dad knocks before entering my room. This is absolutely bs. NTA.”Tulips_Princess

“As a mother of six boys and four girls if I seen a sign up on their door it would be no biggie simply because girls and boys need their own space and privacy because they are FEMALES AND MALES and have different things going on with their bodies that they may not be comfortable with yet or, as most girls including my 5 year old daughter, don’t want their brother or dad seeing them in their ‘undies’ as she puts it lol.”

“I mean come on how hard was it just to ask or better yet USE COMMON SENSE sheesh”

“Oh you’re NTA here clearly sweetheart but your mom may be for not realizing you just want privacy because YOU ARE DEVELOPING INTO A YOUNG WOMAN”Confident_A**hole86

“…A stepdad demanding that he should be able to enter your bedroom at any time sounds super fu*king creepy to me. And your mom is failing to protect you. Her ‘solution’ is pathetic.

Regardless, you are NTA. I think your stepdad is the biggest a**hole here, followed by your mom…”GoddesArtemis85


“I’m sorry kid. When I was 11 my dad walked in on me changing, he and I made eye contact for about 5 seconds and then he turned around and closed the door without saying a word and walked away. Doors were knocked on after that.”

“I’m so sorry your step dad doesn’t respect your privacy. Maybe talk to your mom about buying/making a privacy screen for in your room so you can get changed behind it with making your step-dad happy.”

“At this age it’s not always safe to go against an abusive parent. But please talk to your mom a bit more about this and express how upset you are about it and exactly why. Take some time to think about what you want to say as well so you can be prepared.”rivmcd

Hopefully OP’s stepdad can learn to respect her boundaries.

Written by Peter Karleby

Peter Karleby is a writer, content producer and performer originally from Michigan. His writing has also appeared on YourTango, Delish and Medium, and he has produced content for NBC, The New York Times and The CW, among others. When not working, he can be found tripping over his own feet on a hiking trail while singing Madonna songs to ward off lurking bears.