For many households, the door to Mom and Dad’s room is only locked on one occasion: they’re getting some much needed “personal time” that the kids don’t really need (or want) to see. Otherwise, many parents leave their rooms wide open and inviting. Maybe that’s something we should put an end to.
When I was growing up, my parents’ bedroom door was almost always shut tight, and it wasn’t just because of sex or because they didn’t want the cat in there. My parents’ bedroom door was closed because, quite honestly, it was just a place I wasn’t allowed to go.
I think this is a great thing for kids to see, and it teaches them a lot of valuable lessons. It’s also great for you and your husband, kids aside, to keep this rule in place and make your room a strict no-entrance zone.
It gives you space that is for you and your husband alone.
Your kids have their own bedrooms, right? And you can bet when they’re teenagers, they’ll want to keep you as far away from their space and their stuff as humanely possible. You deserve the same privilege. The rest of the house is pretty much “family space,” so you need to have a retreat you two can go if you need some time without the kids – and not just intimate time. Even if it’s just to nap or talk, having a space where the kids aren’t allowed unless they’ve been given explicit permission is a great way to keep your marriage strong (and yourselves sane!).
And it teaches your kids to respect that space.
When your kids know they aren’t allowed in your room without your permission, they’ll respect that. If you raise them that way from the beginning, you’ll never have much of a problem with the kids barging in on your space, and if you decide to incorporate it later, you’ll still notice huge improvements in this kind of behavior once the rules are established.
Your kids learn to respect your boundaries and be independent.
And it’s not just about the physical space, either. Kids whose parents have no-entrance rules on their room also learn to respect their parents’ boundaries and become more independent. If Mom and Dad are in their bedroom and a child knows he’s not allowed to join them, he’s going to have to learn to entertain himself and become more independent.
It upholds your need for personal privacy.
Like your teenagers will, you and your husband need personal privacy. Whether you’re changing clothes, getting intimate, or simply taking a nap, it can be really invasive to have your children feel like they’re allowed to barge into your room whenever you want. Having a locked space that is yours and your husband’s alone will give you the personal privacy you need, and it will teach your kid to respect that privacy.
So how do I do it?
There are a few ways you can establish this as the norm in your household. Here are some of the easiest methods:
- Enforce a knocking rule. If they don’t knock, they don’t come in. Period.
- Lock your door at first. While you may want the door unlocked eventually in case of an emergency, it’s a good idea to start out with it locked until the kids get the hang of knocking.
- Have “closed” hours. Make it a rule that your kids can’t bother you if the door is shut between 8 PM and 8 AM.