“Why are you in my room?” a sixteen year old demanded of her mother. “Just cleaning up a bit” her mother responded, puzzled by the intensity in her daughters voice, “I can clean it myself, get out of my room, and stop invading my privacy!”
“Leave me alone”, “get out of my room”, “just let me live my life”, these lines are commonly used by teenagers when arguing over the privacy aspect of their life with their parents. The majority of teenagers are constantly struggling for recognition of their maturity. They strive for independence, and trust but parents are not very willing to comply. Parents want to be familiar with their teen’s personal lives, by allowing them little to no privacy. When teens are not given enough freedom they tend to rebel and this just makes parents tighten their grip on their lives and can cause problems within their relationships.
The privacy argument is common in every household with adolescent children. Teens themselves want total and complete privacy and want this privacy to be respected by the people in their life, especially their parents. Seclusion from others is a vital attribute in everyone’s life since it allows one time to think and let loose without worrying about others opinions and thoughts. This goes for everyone including teens, however, teenagers have a much harder time obtaining privacy and having it be respected than any other social or age group.
Since teenagers are stereotypically constantly causing trouble, doing drugs and inflicting harm upon themselves and others, parents are hesitant to leave them be. They want to be involved in and notice things in their adolescent’s lives in order to assure they stay safe and out of trouble. This is understandable since teens are not yet adults and are under the care and liability of their parents.
Since their parents are responsible for their actions and well-being, should they not be somewhat involved in their child’s life?
If a parent trusts their adolescent, and wants their child to feel comfortable, the child may be given the privacy they desire. However, there are times when a parent should get involved in their teens personal life and disregard their privacy privilege.
If a parent has reason to suspect that their teen is involved in a terrorist attack, this would be a situation where their privacy rights should be ignored and the parent should search their bedroom for weapons of mass destruction.
Privacy can be a difficult aspect to conquer and it may be the cause of many disagreements between teens and their parents. As a teen myself, I think teens should be trusted and given enough privacy to keep them happy but it should have limits. By respecting a teen’s privacy, you send the message that you are confident that they are not abusing the privilege which makes them feel trustworthy. However, if a parent sincerely feels they need to know more about what’s happening in their adolescent’s life, due to something such as a sudden behavior change, by all means they should. There is no such thing as a ‘guide’ which dictates exactly how much privacy a teen should be given, and there may be no “right” amount but parents should bear in mind that privacy is a vital part of every person's life, even a teenagers.