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Teenage stepsons in our bedroom

(326 Posts)
allnewtaketwo Sun 07-Oct-12 20:17:59

Yesterday, DSS (16) was in our bedroom, solely because he needed to print something out (i wasn't aware of this at the time). At one point I heard banging and thumping around upstairs and asked DH to go up and see what was going on. Turns out both DSSs were play? fighting in our bedroom, on our bed. I was very annoyed, and said to DH that I don't want them in our bedroom anymore. Not only is that the one room in our house that I can have any privacy, but I think I can reasonably expect to not having a young adult model and his teenage brother fighting on my bed.

Roll forward to today. I was walking upstairs and saw DSS1 walking into my bedroom. 5 mins before, I had been busy on the computer in the bedroom (online banking) and also had out some underwear on radiator to dry. Had only left room to go to loo. I spoke to DH and turns out he'd told DSS he could use put computer.

I was very annoyed and DH couldn't understand why. We have a laptop FGS. Am do cross. I don't think I'm unreasonable in not wanting to have a 16 year old male in my bedroom, let alone seeing my private banking details. Am just having a rant here!

IceBergJam Mon 08-Oct-12 07:48:20

Not stepbrothers, half brothers.

IceBergJam Mon 08-Oct-12 07:56:18

Anyway I don't believe it is fair to call different styles of parenting weird. I'm fairly sure those parents who have free access haven't raised children who do not respect boundaries and those who prefer privacy haven't raised children who are needy and insecure.

Obviously there are a few families with deeper issues and allowing the children free access or barring them probably wont resolve those issues.

Longdistance Mon 08-Oct-12 07:57:41

My dd's are banned fom our bedroom. They are 3 and 15mo. They wander in now and then as they're still young, but get ushered out quickly. It's the one place I would like kid free, so I'm training them early.
So, yes I'd be annoyed too, even at a 16 yo, especially play fighting on my bed.
Tell your dh that that was the last time dss enters with or without permission.

Back2Two Mon 08-Oct-12 08:00:13

I don't think people are "weirdos" for wanting privacy for themselves and respect for their belongings.

I think it teaches an important message. . . parents are people too and individuals and they are having a relationship which is (in some ways) something different and separate than the rest of family life (their relationship as a couple)

Why should we assume we give up any right to privacy and that our lives are "access all areas" becuase we are parents (step or bi)

Catsmamma Mon 08-Oct-12 08:03:11

Just move the bloody computer!

IME any teenage boy will move heaven and earth to remain within touching distance of the WWW so there are not enough sanctions in the world to keep them out of your room.

And it's terrible bad chi to have all this electro crap in your room anyway!

Hullygully Mon 08-Oct-12 08:08:38

Icebergjam - fair point, it was rude to call other people freaky parents, but dear lord I was surprised/shocked. And I feel really really sad for some of the step children.

*For 4 days a fortnight, my DPs every move - including those behind closed doors - is observed, noted and recalled.
If he makes a phone call, DSS listens; if he reads a letter, DS looks over his shoulder, if he leaves a room, DS stops whatever he is doing and trots after him, and if he shuts a door, DS waits just the other side until he reappears. Yes, it is incredibly sad that DSS will leave the dinner table and follows DP when he goes to get the salt from the kitchen. It is endearing behaviour in a spaniel, and natural behaviour in a toddler - but once the DC is older, yes, it's unnerving and creepy for me because I'm not his parent but I'm subject to the same level of scrutiny by association.*

^^ It's not the child who is the odd and scary one here.

Hullygully Mon 08-Oct-12 08:09:41

There is privacy, which every human is entitled to, and an outright ban on the bedroom. A little difference.

Back2Two Mon 08-Oct-12 08:14:50

I'm not sure about whether the OP had an "outright ban", but I will definitely have a "ask/ knock before you go in" when mine or bigger.

And OP has the right to make her own choices and I think her dp was being unreasonable by not supporting her.

Hullygully Mon 08-Oct-12 08:18:59

yeah fuck the kids. It's all about the adults and their choices.

No choice for the children that mummy and daddy split up, meet new people, have new lives, find them a pain etc...

DinosaursOnASpaceship Mon 08-Oct-12 08:36:49

I have three boys and am expecting a fourth. In a house full to the brim with unbreakable child proof plastic crap my bedroom is the only place I have thats just mine (well not at the moment as ds3 co-sleeps) I have my jewellery, faffy candle things and it's where I hide the Christmas presents (not to mention my bedside drawer) it's the one bit of space I can go to when I just need a few minutes, and I know it will be the same as I left it (a mess normally but at least it's my mess)

The boys aren't allowed to play in my room, although I can guarantee that with in minutes of me being in there one of them will be calling me for something. They come in to say good night, or good morning etc

NotaDisneyMum Mon 08-Oct-12 08:37:53

hully I would move heaven and earth to make my DSS's life better - what do you suggest? How can his conflict and insecurity be alleviated? Counsellors, family support workers, teachers and Drs can't answer that question sad

Why is my desire to live an anxiety and calm life odd and scary? My DSS is a worried, anxious little boy who cannot comfortably accept his life the way it is. He remembers nothing else, and his emotional conflict is a consequence of his parents behaviour.

I have no control over that - are you suggesting that I accept - without question or concern - his behaviour, that stems from his insecurity, and which impacts on the whole family? Is it none of my business that he is unhappy? Do I have no right to an opinion about his state of mind?

catsmother Mon 08-Oct-12 08:42:16

It's hardly earth shattering for a child to be asked to knock before entering an adult's room - if that happens to be what the adults in the house have decided. My parents were together until the day my dad died and I was still expected to respect their privacy by asking to go into their bedroom. Was I "fucked" by that .... no, I bloody well wasn't. By the same standards, they also respected my privacy and my space once I was old enough to be bothered by such things. There was no out and out ban in either direction - just a healthy respect.

Last time I looked there's no "bedroom law" which dictates children should have free run of their parents' (or stepparents') room - for those of you who aren't fussed about that fair enough, your choice ... but for those of us who feel differently that's also a valid choice. It does NOT translate into "bog off, we don't like you, you're not welcome" etc which some people seem to be suggesting.

Hullygully Mon 08-Oct-12 08:48:29

Disney - you said you found it "unnerving and creepy" not desperately sad and if only you could help.

On a serious note then, I would suggest love-bombing from his father and a total embracing of his insecurity from both of you until he feels safe.

IceBergJam Mon 08-Oct-12 08:49:53

If we fucked the adults and always did what kids want chaos would reign. It's about a fine balance that is different for each family. When my DD was born my stepsons were sent upstairs or told to knock on the lounge door while I was learning to breastfeed. Did they felt pushed out? I don't believe so. They knew I was stressed and needed space. 10 months in and we are all relaxed about it.

NDMs issues will not be resolved by bedroom access and probably not caused by bedroom access rules. The child clearly has issues and unless you were present before the divorce, during the divorce and the introduction if NDM you cant reliably pin the blame on the childs issuesbon being in a stepfamily.

Believe it or not most steparents dont want to live in a toxic environment and do their best to assist in resolving issues. What adult wants to be forever arguing with a member of a household?

And I would find it unnerving if my relationship with my SS was strained at best and they hung outside my bedroom door. Especially as they became older.

seeker Mon 08-Oct-12 08:59:17

Bedroom doors should always be knocked on regardless of age or step/non step relationship.

But I do find the emphasis on "adult male" and the underwear drying and being on the bed "inappropriate" a bit odd. No of course they shouldn't be play fighting on your bed because they will make a mess, qnd probably break something and anyway, they had been asked not to. But I do find the sexual overtones of some posts a little odd.

IceBergJam Mon 08-Oct-12 09:08:20

Seeker I think there was a mix up between in the bed and on the bed maybe.

Soditall Mon 08-Oct-12 09:09:20

Myself and my husband would still happily let our 16 year old DS(also 6ft)come in our bed if he wanted to.He has done before when he's been really ill bless him.

No matter what age he's still our child.My husband his father is not his biological parent.

I'd be a bit worried and ask them not to do it again if our 16 and 14 year old were play fighting on our bed in case they broke our bed.

But we have no problems with any or all of our 5DC coming into our bedroom.

Hullygully Mon 08-Oct-12 09:20:01

Of course one knocks if a bedroom door is closed. It is a clear signal.

That has NOTHING to do with children being banned/unwelcome in parents' bedrooms. Which I find odd and sad.

InTheNightGarden Mon 08-Oct-12 09:25:38

better question.... why's the family computer in your bedroom?? :-/ odd place to have a computer.

singinggirl Mon 08-Oct-12 09:32:30

But the OP said her laptop was in the bedroom and the family computer is elsewhere and freely available!

allnewtaketwo Mon 08-Oct-12 09:39:10

Cats mamma if you'd read my posts you will see that there Is another computer. No reason whatsoever to use the one in my room.

And as for the sexual overtones hmm. Yes I have sex in my bedroom and dry my bra and knickers in there. If that's too sexual for you then biscuit. I have no doubt that DSS does things of a sexual nature in his bedroom too, which is why I wouldn't consider going in there when he's round. Privacy works 2 ways

allnewtaketwo Mon 08-Oct-12 09:40:00

Inthenightgarden can you read? Several posts say there is a family computer downstairs

Numberlock Mon 08-Oct-12 09:41:44

I can't imagine having any parts of my home where my sons aren't welcome. They are 17, 17 and 14.

The only time they can't go in my room is when I'm asleep and the door would be closed in that case.

Other than that, they sometimes use my room as a quiet place to do work as we don't have a massive house, my youngest son's room is tiny and the elder two share a room.

And most days we all end the evening in my bed watching something silly on the iPad together (eg an episode of Father Ted or the IT Crowd) before they all go off to sleep in their own beds.

They have never rummaged through my stuff.

As for bank accounts, they are welcome to look through those at any time and I leave bank statements and bills on open view. Over the years I've gone through bank statements with them to explain how the household finances are run, how a credit card works, what is a pension scheme etc.

Long may it continue for as long as it is their home.

OhChristFENTON Mon 08-Oct-12 09:45:19


You married their father, - they of course should be allowed access to your bedroom, your bed, your laptop and banking details whenever they want.

And you don't want them to see your underwear drying on the radiator ?

It doesn't sound like you even like them at all, - and they probably know it.

Poor kids sad

brdgrl Mon 08-Oct-12 09:49:34

But I do find the sexual overtones of some posts a little odd.

There is a sexual element, like it or not. Which is why the "experts" generally do recommend that in families with stepparents and teen children, bedrooms are respected, and clothing worn in common areas, etc - I might walk around in my nighty if it were me and my DD, but I live with a adolescent male to whom I am not directly related. I'd be very stupid to pretend that didn't matter. And very unfair to DSS.

Likewise, my DSS is now 15, and no longer climbs under the sheets with me for snuggles. I miss it, but it would be inappropriate now. I never said to him "ok, DSS, no more of that, you are BANNED." I didn't have to. Doesn't mean I don't love him.

And as far as other boundaries...

Until about one year ago, my DSD was not content to hover at doors (although there has been a fair amount of that too). When my DH was in the shower or using the toilet, she would enter and do what she wanted - brush teeth, wash face, etc.

She is 17 now.

So, come on, tell me how I am just weird and uptight, and making my DSD feel unwelcome by putting an end to this.

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