How I Got Comfortable With My Teenage Daughter Never Leaving Her Room

Remember, you were the same way.

by Kern Carter
Originally Published: 

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What the heck is my daughter doing in her room?

It’s something all of us fathers of children old enough to skillfully operate a cell phone ask ourselves. From birth till about 12 years old, it’s all good. The bedroom is the last place they want to be. And it’s easy as a parent to keep them occupied.

With my daughter, she would just jump on the couch and start pillow fights. Or on those lazy Saturday afternoons, she would make me breakfast and then we’d sit and watch movies all day, then maybe go out somewhere to eat or grab some ice cream. Life was so easy then.

Flickr / Ginny

But then 13 happens. I swear something in her mind switched the day she became a teenager. Suddenly, her bedroom was her batcave. She would only leave in search of food, or if she wanted to ask me to go to her friend’s house for the weekend. Life wasn’t so easy anymore.

I’ll admit there have been times I thought about sneaking a camera in there, just hiding one in a pillow or something just to see what she’s doing. And in our place, it’s not like the door’s locked. There’s usually a little crack so I can actually peek in if I wanted. And it’s tempting, but I don’t.

I usually just give a quick knock and walk in. Ask her if she’s okay. Ask her what she’s doing, and get the same answer:

“Nothing,” or “On my phone,” or “Talking to my friend.”

You know your child, and you know if they’re really up to some crazy shit or not.

Sometimes I think I should be concerned about the massive amounts of her spare time spent in the bedroom. Especially now during the summer. Although she’s in summer camps and volunteering and fairly occupied for an almost 14-year-old girl, there’s just no way around getting her out of her room.

And as soon as I start thinking to put a limit on the amount of time she’s allowed to spend in there, I think back to my teenage days and the amount of time I spent in my bedroom. Of course back then, I was playing video games. But really, the only thing that’s different now is the technology.

And that brings me back down to earth a bit. Relieves some of the unnecessary worry about what the heck she’s doing between those four walls for hours at a time. To be honest, as fathers, we shouldn’t be too concerned. You know your child, and you know if they’re really up to some crazy shit or not.

Either way, I think we do have to show a degree of trust until that trust gets broken. A relationship is a relationship. Much of the rules are the same regardless of who you’re in a relationship with. And with your child, your fears are amplified, but that shouldn’t cause you to act too impulsively.

My point is, don’t fear the room. It’s their domain, their home within your home. The one place they feel is theirs and theirs only. The only time you need to be concerned is if you need to be concerned.

Kern Carter is the author of “Thoughts Of A Fractured Soul” and a proud millennial. You can read more from him at

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