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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!

brdgrl Mon 08-Oct-12 09:51:25

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

Oh, Fenton - you have outdone yourself. grin

My DSCs get access to my banking details and my bed? Would you like to explain that? Or is this just a silly wind-up?

OhChristFENTON Mon 08-Oct-12 09:56:07


brdgrl Mon 08-Oct-12 09:58:24

sorry fenton, i fell for it. smile

Hullygully Mon 08-Oct-12 10:03:43

I thought it perfectly reasonable, apart from banking details..

OhChristFENTON Mon 08-Oct-12 10:14:30

Personally if I had to choose I would rather my stepsons saw my banking details than my underwear, but each to their own..

Bonsoir Mon 08-Oct-12 10:17:00

Everyone in this family sees everyone else's underwear drying and that doesn't really bother me.

I do, however, expect my DSSs to extend the same courtesy to me as I extend to them and not invade my personal space.

NotaDisneyMum Mon 08-Oct-12 10:47:32

hully knowing why he does it doesn't mean it isn't unnerving and creepy for me - just because I understand it doesn't make it easier to live with.

As for love-bombing him, that's a very simplistic solution to a complex situation.

DSS suffers significant guilt every time he has a positive thought about DP or myself. Reassuring him that he is safe & secure, trying to make him feel better about us, only increases his anxiety and stress as it leads to conflict between his established understanding of the world and the reality he is faced with sad

brdgrl Mon 08-Oct-12 11:45:58

I would not share my banking details and financial statements with any of our children, DSCs or DD. Never. That would have been my position prior to becoming a parent and prior to becoming a stepparent. (As a stepparent, there undeniably is another dimension to that, as finances are often more complex and carry with them a lot more emotional baggage.)

My DH doesn't look at my mail. He doesn't read my emails. He doesn't use my laptop unless he's asked to borrow it for some reason. He doesn't just look at my bank statements or bills or my student loan records or my internet history. (We have a joint account together, and receive a joint statement. We both see that.) Those are my private papers and correspondence, and we were fortunately both raised to treat such things as sacrosanct.

If other women have different standards of privacy, I may think they are making a mistake, but I don't think it would be appropriate for me to tell them how they are screwing up their kids, or that they are freaks.

ecuse Mon 08-Oct-12 11:47:48

brdgrl I don't disagree with you but you're describing quite a different situation than the OP... not suggesting the OP should let her DSS in for a pee whilst she's in the shower, just that her being so horrified at her being in her 'sanctuary' (implicit: place to escape from him) risks making him feel unwelcome. Of course he should knock first - that's just manners - and of course she has the <right> to ask him never to go in but I was just pointing out (from the POV of a child of divorce with two step parents who never quite made me feel part of their family) that if she chooses to exercise that right it may have repercussions on how her family gels.

brdgrl Mon 08-Oct-12 11:52:42

I don't think I am, though. Yes, I brought up the (admittedly - I hope - extreme) example of the toilet in response to some of the claims being made about boundaries, but my own situation - two teenage stepkids who aren't 'allowed' to use our bedroom when we are not here - is the same. I happen to agree with the OP about the bedroom as well.

brdgrl Mon 08-Oct-12 11:54:09

And I guess I would just add - that if she chooses not to exercise that right, it may have just as detrimental if not more so repercussions on her family life.

It certainly would for mine!

Numberlock Mon 08-Oct-12 11:55:15

If other women have different standards of privacy, I may think they are making a mistake, but I don't think it would be appropriate for me to tell them how they are screwing up their kids, or that they are freaks

Given that I was the one who said I am happy to share my financial details with my 3 sons (ages 17, 17 and 14) and that they are allowed in my bedroom apart from when I'm asleep (both 'privileges' which they have never abused), please feel free to tell me how (a) I'm making a mistake, (b) screwing them up and (c) I am a freak.

allnewtaketwo Mon 08-Oct-12 12:05:06

<<just that her being so horrified at her being in her 'sanctuary' (implicit: place to escape from him) risks making him feel unwelcome. >>

So to extend this point, he has no right to a 'sanctury' in our house either? A place where he can go to escape the younger ones, do private things, whatever. Or do teenage boys have more rights in a house than adults?

By way of reminder - this started when he was fighting with his brother in my bed. I had never actually issued any ban or similar. I've lived with their father for 10 years. Clearly I haven't made him feel unwelcome at all, as he loves to visit and was comfortable enough to wander into my bedroom yesterday again

ecuse Mon 08-Oct-12 12:47:56

I do see your point of view, and I'll admit I might want respite in your situation too. brdgrl is also right that if this bothers you and you let it continue regardless it could also have negative implications for you.

Just telling you my POV - I never felt quite at home in either of my homes, because there were lines that were drawn for me and my sister that wouldn't have been drawn if our parents had stayed together (bedroom access being one of them - from age 5 onward I wasn't allowed to get into bed and give either of my parents a cuddle in the mornings any more and I was conscious that I wasn't wanted at night either, spent a lot of nights lying in bed feeling poorly or having had a bad dream and needing a cuddle but being too scared to go and wake my mum). Your DSSs are older so the same need clearly doesn't apply to them as if they were little ones. It didn't screw up my life or anything, I'm pretty well adjusted, but it did make me a bit sad as a child/teenager.

So I don't mean to be casting judgement. And if you wouldn't let your bio kids in your room either then it's probably not a big deal in the context of your household. My point really was just if you're going to make a thing of this with either your DSSs or your DH then consider how it might come across to them and maybe act to mitigate that.

theredhen Mon 08-Oct-12 12:56:38

You know what? Families have different ideas of what is right with regards to privacy.

Does it matter? OP doesn't want her stepkids in her bedroom as she feels it's her private space, other posters don't mind in the slightest.

I personally don't mind kids in my bedroom but only when invited. They simply know not to just barge in and are all old enough to understand the need for privacy. I try and respect their personal space too.

Dp is less bothered about privacy in the bedroom and it shows with how he he is less respectful of their personal space than I am.

We all share pc's and it's mine and DP responsibility to make sure anything inappropriate is not available for access by the children, step or birth.

Bonsoir Mon 08-Oct-12 13:09:31

I had a university friend when I was a young adult who had (a) slept in his parents' bed until he was 11 (b) shared his parents' bank account - as did his older sister - until he got his first job, aged 25. His parents also spent a lot of time living in a hotel, with no personal effects around them

Both he and his sister have major boundary problems and have never formed healthy couple relationships.

Petal02 Mon 08-Oct-12 13:45:22

Thankfully, bedroom privacy is an issue that DH and I have always agreed on. I have an 18 yr old DSS and the thought of him hanging out/rolling around in my bedroom, where my under wear/tampax/contraceptive pills may be visible, is not pleasant.

If a 3 yr old bounced into my bedroom, then it’s a little different, but a physically large, adolescent male, that I’m not related to, is a very different concept.

EVERYONE deserves a little privacy.

Inertia Mon 08-Oct-12 13:49:31

The reason my children aren't allowed to play in my bedroom stems from the fact that it's a loft room with a fire escape window. As we couldn't fit a childproof lock on that window, it was easier to just ban the children from being in there without an adult.

Practically speaking, things like Christmas presents are stored in there, so I don't want the children to have free rein to rummage around. Of course they come in if they need us in the night; they get into bed for a snuggle in the morning; they come up to talk to us rather than shouting up the stairs (at least in theory!). That doesn't mean they can consider it part of their play space- they have the whole rest of the house.

I think adults and adolescents need some privacy, and generally bedrooms are the only rooms which offer any degree of privacy. The OP's DSS's had no need to be wrestling on her bed, and they had no need to be on the computer (there is another one for their use). If other people are comfortable with access all areas for everyone at all times then fine- the OP clearly isn't.

Thingiebob Mon 08-Oct-12 14:12:03

I would have no problem with my kids being in and out of my room but then one of them is 2 and still sleeps in bed and the other is still growing in my tummy.

I wouldn't be happy with them rifling through drawers/my handbag/cupboards but don't mind them coming in and out. My mum never had an issue with any of us using her bedroom for quiet time or a sibling chat - we lived in a very small house. I used to dry my hair and get changed before I went out for the evening in her room. However, if the door was closed we always, always knocked. The same for siblings rooms. Nor would we go through someones drawers or cupboard.

The idea that allowing your children in your room would cause them to have boundary issues or are become freaks is a very strange thing to say!

If the OP wants her room to be private then so be it. I'm fine with access all areas for family, not for strangers or friends.

Mintberry Mon 08-Oct-12 15:04:51

To the people asking how long she has been a step mum or if she would do the same with her children etc., I don't even think this is even a step parenting issue to be honest, it will just differ from person to person. This may not apply to you and that's fine, but some parents value privacy and their own space more than others, and some people just need a room which is free from the mania of children, whether they're your biological kids, step kids, foster kids, kids you found in a cabbage patch etc. grin

ecuse Mon 08-Oct-12 15:34:04

Mintberry you're right - my point was just if this WAS a step-parenting issue, there should be pause for thought. If the same rules would/do apply to her bio-kids then it's a non-issue.

shrimponastick Mon 08-Oct-12 15:39:09

I don't want anyone in our bedroom. It is private space for me and DH.

I have DSSs and a DS. None of them are allowed in unless they are going to fetch something with our permission.

We also knock on all bedroom doors and wait for an answer before entering. Everyone deserves their own private area.

Jux Mon 08-Oct-12 15:49:33

Is there a reason you couldn't speak to them yourself? I thought it might be a fairly new arrangement and that was why, but it's a 10 year old relationship. Under those circumstances, I would have assumed you could say what you need to directly to them, without having to use their dad as an intermediary.

allnewtaketwo Mon 08-Oct-12 15:55:35

My own child will know well before the age of 16 that a teenager wrestling on my bed is not acceptable, believe me. Tbh knows already that he's not allowed to jump on the bed.

But the same rules are not always appropriate. For example when my DSSs aren't around I am happy to walk around the house naked and leave the door open when I'm in the shower. Entirely appropriate for my 4yo DS but clearly not so for teenage DSSs. Similar with PC privacy etc. He can't read so not an issue at all. Also I can't leave him unattended always when I'm busy in the bedroom so he's often with me in there. To introduce a blanket one size fits all policy is silly.

Petal02 Mon 08-Oct-12 16:00:54

Is there a reason why you couldn’t speak to them yourself? I would have assumed you could say what you need to directly to them, without having to use their dad as an intermediary.

Fair comment – however …….. if Allnew’s situation is anything like mine, then anything that’s not totally routine or praise-worthy is generally dealt with by DH. DH always tells me I have authority for reasonable discipline, but what works in practice in another matter entirely.

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