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BOTD 5/29/13 "I Need Some Privacy, Please" A JB Production

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David M. Katz

A John Boy Production

Luke - 13
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My name is Luke and I am thirteen. I have a problem. Well, I think I have a problem but my parents don't think so. I don't know what to do. Can you help me and give me some advice? If you were my parents what would you do?

My problem is I think I need privacy. My parents just wander in my room any time they want. Mom comes in while I am at school or off hanging with friends and she says she is cleaning or putting away laundry. It never looks like Mom cleans and I have told her I will put my own clothes away and I can clean my own room. I think she comes in to just snoop around. I sometimes notice my stuff is moved around. Dad just comes in whenever he wants. Even if my door is shut my parents just walk in. They don't knock or anything. I have been playing a game with my friends and Dad has walked in to say something. That just distracts me and I get killed in my game. There is a girl at school and we sort of like each other and she wrote me a note. I forgot and left it in my room. When I got home Mom and Dad had all sorts of questions about her. Both Mom and Dad have come in while I was getting dressed and have seen me naked. Mom tells me not to worry about that because she used to change my diapers. Dad says I don't have anything he hasn't got or seen before. Dad also came in once when I was . . . well, you know. I tried locking my door once but I got chewed out for that.

I have tried talking to my parents. Mom asks what I have to hide. She said that makes her more curious. She says if I don't have anything to keep from them then I shouldn't be so stressed over them coming in my room. Dad just says it is his house and he will go wherever he wants. Dad also says sometimes he needs to make sure I am not doing stuff I shouldn't. Dad says I can have privacy when I grow up and move and get my own house. I think I am a good kid and I don't drink or smoke or do any kind of drugs and I don't want to either. I don't really even get in trouble so I don't know why my parents don't trust me. Dad says if I continue to "whine" about it that he will spank me.

Please help!

Cleverly disguised as a responsible adult.

David M. Katz


You need to move out and go live with your uncle Jack in Bransom! Clearly your parents are overbearing and controlling. Twisted Evil


Uncle Dave

Cleverly disguised as a responsible adult.


You have my sympathy.

I agree. At 13, you deserve, and should get some privacy. Wanting to change your clothes privately doesn't mean you have anything to hide. I think your parents are being very unreasonable.

That said, it sounds like you've tried to talk to them about it, and gotten the "my house, my rules" argument, as well as the "I used to change your diapers" and "If you aren't doing anything wrong, then you should want to be observed at all times" nonsense. It doesn't sound to me like you are going to be able to change their minds by yourself.

Do you have a trusted adult you could talk to about this who also knows your parents? An uncle, or teacher, or clergyman, or doctor? It sounds to me like this is an issue that is only going to be solved in your favor if another grownup talks to your parents--they're been blowing you off, and it seems they are likely to continue to do so.


Just let me say "You poor kid!"

Even my screwed up 'rents weren't this bad!

I think Doc has a good idea in that if Luke has another trusted adult that he can perhaps get them to make mum and dad see the light on this. If not, kiddo, you're just going to have to make the best of it until you are out of there. A word of advice if that's the case; go QUICKLY when you can!

You might ask them how would they feel about you walking into their room while they 'together' or changing? Be careful how you ask the question; be respectful about it as that level of truth/common sense may get you into trouble with them.

You ask what I'd do. I would respect your privacy when you are home by knocking and getting permission to enter. Now, as far as mom coming in to drop off clothes or clean while you're away, that's ok. You don't at 13, have absolute rights just yet; sorry guy!


Editor Extraordinaire
I agree with Kier. The problem is not with you but with your parents, but at your age, you are pretty much at their mercy. Your best hope is to get another adult to intervene on your behalf, but I doubt even that will make a difference. If I were speaking to your parents, I'd warn them that invading your privacy will only succeed in driving you away; by being tyrants, they are sowing the seeds of rebellion; by distrusting you, they are forcing you to learn to lie and sneak.

Perhaps your parents are projecting the mistakes they made in their youth onto you. If they experimented with alcohol, drugs, unprotected sex, etc., they may fear you will do the same and hope to protect you. Perhaps they are the sort of parents who see their children as property over which they have absolute rights. Whatever their reasons, your life will be difficult for the next few years until you are old enough to leave home. Until then, be careful not to keep anything hidden in your room that you want to be private. You'll undoubtedly develop coping strategies. Good luck.



I also agree with Kier. An adult to speak to your parents on your behalf looks like the only potential way forward.

Having said that I do consider your Mom has a right to come into your room to put your clean clothes away. I'm presuming you are a tidy kid and she doesn't need to come in to clear up your mess and find all your dirty clothes you have scattered all over the floor. However, that doesn't give her the right to snoop, but again it's hard to see how you can get her to stop doing so.


To be honest, there's not much you can do to make your parents be reasonable. Your parents have already shown that they're not willing to be reasonable or considerate, and your dad's threat suggests that anything you try to do to show them how they're really being (like walking into their room whenever you want and digging through their stuff) is just going to get you spanked.

I only have two suggestions. Talk to an adult you really trust, like a preacher or teacher, and tell them what's going on. This person might be able to talk to your parents for you or make suggestions. The other thing is that, at least in Texas, for your mom to walk in on you, knowing you might be naked (or for your dad to continue to do it after catching you 'you know') could be considered third degree indecency with a child. I doubt it would be considered like that, but, if this is enough of a problem for you, it would be enough for you to contact CPS and report them. And believe me, what your parents are doing is a violation of the minimum basic rights that most states require foster children be given. It's a shame your parents aren't willing to give you at least that (maybe find your states version and show them?).


I think your folks should knock if they know your in. It almost sounds like theyre trying to catch you out. Be grateful your Mom stows your laundry for you. I know you think she's lookin for contraband but its important she does keep tabs that way. You could, respectfully, ask how they would feel if you burst in on them or interrupted an important phone call. I like the idea of finding a trusted Uncle, even a favourite Aunt

Pi Beta

While I go along with the other suggestions, if all else fails and you are prepared to face the consequence and get a sore tail, bring it to a head and wander into their room (or rooms if they don't share) and when they object point out that what's sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander. But accept the punishment once you've made your point.

Stone Man

I hope you have a favorite Aunt or Uncle or another adult you really like and one who also has the respect of your parents who can act as a sounding board and/or intermediary for you.

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