“Grrr,” I growled sounding like our younger child expressing displeasure. Our 15 year old stated that she needed to talk to us about “something important.” When she turned 13, she decided that she was entitled to her own bedroom. Every chance she got from that moment, she stated that she needed her “own privacy,” “her own space,” “her own room.” My husband and I have joked and laughed off her attempts.
Yesterday evening, as we sat in the kitchen, our very driven 15 year old continued her push. She provided her rationale for moving into the guest bedroom. She passionately expressed herself using arguments and providing age specific reasoning. “Our room is not big enough for all of our stuff.” “I could keep my room cleaner without my messy sister.” “I would have much needed privacy.” When she finished, assured that we would at the very least consider her plea, I succinctly and summarily addressed each point in her argument. “Dad and I are not ready to consider that.”
Our daughter was stunned by my response. Her dad said “You don’t take care of your things now. I agree with Mommy; we are not at a point where we are willing to consider separate rooms for the two of you.” Our daughter began to cry. Cry? She is really cried about a bedroom. We were stunned by her response.
I asked her the obvious, “are you crying?” My husband answered “yes, she is crying.” “What caused you to cry?” “Your crying shows me that you are not ready to have your own room.” Her explanation was impassioned and angry “I thought I would finally get my own room; I want my privacy and my own space.” My husband left the kitchen, he was done. I, on the other hand, offered her a ray of hope. “You will have your privacy and your own space when you pay your own rent or your own mortgage.” She fumed as I continued.
The guest bedroom is reserved for guests like her recently widowed grandmothers, if they choose to visit. I also explained that she will have roommates when she goes to college and the college will decide who they are. As I think about it, if she decides to go to graduate or professional school she will probably have roommates in an attempt to contain costs and save money. Roommates are a fact of life when one lives on a budget.
Her anger lasted all of 5 minutes and she was, once again, all smiles and laughs. She will ask for her own room again and she will eloquently present her case. We will listen each time. Each time she will move closer to having her own room. Some things need to be earned and teens need to have something to look forward to as they age and mature. Besides, if she gets her own room now, next year she will expect her own car. “Grrrr.”