I have three teenagers and a tween who thinks she's a teenager, so there is nothing more prized in our house than privacy. Stepping into one of my kids' rooms without permission, is like crossing the 38th parallel or invading the Gaza Strip. Don't do it! Plus, their rooms smell like rotting socks and are scattered with candy wrappers and a bizarre assortment of other garbage that fell out of their hands and landed there because putting it in the trash is too laborious. Not to mention the landmines comprised of dirty clothes that didn't make it into the hamper.
What more deterrent does one need to keep out?
Even with all the individual coveting of personal privacy and the unintentional preventative measures to ensure they're respected, there are still occasional battles waged in our house over property rights. Undercover tactical maneuvers carried out to recover items one kid claims is rightly his or hers, which therefore gives them the right trample someone else's rights in order to reclaim it.
Does this sound like the Middle East to you like it does to me?
That's what my house is like. Unless it's more like a Siberian Gulag. Because while my kids occassionally do have some respect for each other's things and space, this is a luxury I'm not afforded. Ever. What's theirs is theirs and what's mine is theirs too. They rummage through my closet and borrow things (ok, steal them cause they don't get returned), read letters from my pen pal and text messages on my phone, find and deplete my secret chocolate stash. And I didn't even mention raiding my purse. Who holds the purse strings? They do. And they probably broke them and you'll have to buy yourself a new purse because they aren't delicate rummagers.
Apparently, the cost of parenthood is privacy.
Not to mention college tuition and your sanity.