Monday, May 24, 2010

Follow-up on Locks

Virginia here.

I know you're all on the edge of your seats about the bedroom locks issue.  (Okay, I'll take Mildly Curious).  If you're just tuning in, a previous post polled readers about whether or not locks should be put on the kids' bedroom doors.  I thoroughly enjoyed everyone's input and stories.  Some left comments and some emailed me personally.

The majority of people said, No Locks.  So, no locks.  (For what it's worth, I started out on the lock side of the fence.)  To me, the most interesting thing that came out of this was the unsolicited advice on whether or not We, the regal, omnipotent, married, consenting-adult Homeowners, should have a lock on OUR bedroom door.  I think we both had assumed we would.  We do in our current house, and we USE it.  But a few keen people suggested that while either choice is fine, whatever it is, it should apply to everyone in the household.  This advice struck a chord with me.  I like the equality of it--the sense that we're all in this together.

The challenge is to establish a family culture where we respect one another's privacy and know that a closed door means one must knock and await permission to enter.  I DO think that the best kind of boundary is an internal one--it's more likely to be transferred to other contexts and situations.  Locklessness will certainly take some getting used to, but I am confident the kids will respect this limit if it is clearly and lovingly established in advance, and if they understand the reasons for it in terms of the Golden Rule and whatnot.  We also asked ourselves, What is the worst that can happen?  They walk in on us during (ahem) intimate relations, right?  While that is an image I would rather NOT have etched into my child's brain, would it be the end of the world?  It just might be a healthy antidote to the graphic and loveless array of sexual images they will undoubtedly encounter on the web down the road.

Rest assured, there WILL be locks on the bathroom doors.  Please visit us!  No rugrat will barge in on you in the middle of your business ('cause of their self-restraint, of course, but you can lock the door if you have trouble trusting my parenting skills).

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