Having a hard time giving him his privacy

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chipmunk
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06 Feb 2007, 5:16 pm

My AS son is 13. I also have AS and a lot of control issues. My son is turning into a young man and I am having a hard time dealing with him going to his room, closing the door and then hearing a mad scramble when I knock on the door for any reason. Today it sounded like he was putting on clothes and he opened the door without his shirt. I wanted to ask him why he was playing on the computer naked, but I restrained myself. He doesn't have internet access in his room, so that's not a concern. Intellectually, I know and accept that he is growing up and "exploration" is part of that, but part of me really wants to know just what it is that he is doing in there (even though I think I already know). It's all I can do to keep from hovering over him. It's very hard for me to give him space. I do it, but it's hard. I still want to control every aspect of his life and it is really difficult not doing so! I wonder if he is seeing or hearing things that he "shouldn't", then I wonder why it bothers me so much even if he is. Letting go is SO DANG HARD!! !! !


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TigerFire
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06 Feb 2007, 5:20 pm

Well I can understand that even though I'm 20 and I don't have a child. Letting go is like being exampled of having to let go of a lover that has died. You don't want to stop thinking that the lover is going to show up again but if I hope you get my point.


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oatwillie
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06 Feb 2007, 5:32 pm

First of all, his self exploration is healthy.

Secondly, what can be found on the internet is not.

Can you give him his privacy without computer access?

...or should the computer be moved to a common space in your home?

I'm sure you want him to have a healthy attitude about sex, but also a healthy respect for people with whom he may partner with in the future and ultimately make the right choices for the right reasons at the right time.


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chipmunk
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06 Feb 2007, 6:00 pm

oatwillie - he has a computer, but not internet. The only internet access is in the living room. He plays strategy games and watches DVDs on his computer in his room.


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Tequila
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06 Feb 2007, 6:03 pm

I was left to get on with it - basically from about 12 onwards I was given pretty much complete Internet control. I didn't go out causing mayhem, in any case. Yes, sometimes I looked at dodgy films (rarely, and by accident, very dodgy, both porn and non-porn!) and other stuff but really I don't think it's done me any harm. He should have a decent amount of sense, in which case you can leave him alone. You don't want to control and stifle his development too much and have problems to deal with later, do you? Try using a more liberal and tolerant hand with boundaries. If he's a good kid, he'll know what to do with it and how to proceed.

I'm 18 now and to be honest my interests are quite mainstream - I go out to the pub at weekends, usually with my dad and, although I have trouble with day-to-day things, have turned into a tolerant and helpful (but not a doormat - if someone's using me I drop them) man. They have no trouble with me down there - everyone there knows me and understands that. :)



Last edited by Tequila on 06 Feb 2007, 6:14 pm, edited 1 time in total.

SteveK
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06 Feb 2007, 6:33 pm

I can imagine what you might, but fail to imagine why you care. WHY can't you give him his privacy? He won't catch a disease, hurt himself, etc... You really have NO idea what he is doing there. Frankly, I like to take my pants, and sometimes my shirt off. I DEFINATELY kick off my shoes. Does that mean I am NAKED? NOPE! So WHY do *I* do it? Its less confining, etc... Is this what your son is doing? MAYBE! But why should you care?

Steve



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06 Feb 2007, 7:05 pm

what about having a little talk with the boy? I see nothing wrong with just talking to him.

You can make it a general impersonal discussion on growing up and becoming a man.

Other then that I don’t know.


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ZanneMarie
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06 Feb 2007, 7:47 pm

Here's the deal. He's 13, it is natural and it's your issue. Controlling your urge may be unnatural for you, but you are just going to have to keep doing it. It's not ok to try to control this.


Frankly, if he isn't online acting like atomic-psycho and he is just doing what you described he's being normal. This isn't even an Aspie thing. It's a guy thing.



Hamster
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06 Feb 2007, 7:55 pm

Chipmunk, I'm a mother of four, one of whom has AS. I'm currently in the process of getting an official dx myself. Please don't be offended by what I'm about to say, but your post angers me.

If you do indeed have AS, then you of all people should be able to understand your son's need for alone-time. ALL teenagers need their privacy, but especially Aspies. My NT parents never let me be, never allowed my mind one iota of peace, never respected my privacy, and as a result, my childhood was a living hell. Bad enough that school was a hellish experience, but then I had to go home to even more hell. Worse hell.

Unless you suspect your son is doing drugs or some other harmful activity, then you should just get off his back.



Tequila
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06 Feb 2007, 8:35 pm

I probably wasn't strong enough before, but this is basically what I meant - your boy is growing up. Unless he's involved in criminal activity, leave him alone.



Aspie1
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06 Feb 2007, 9:46 pm

You need to give him privacy, period! If you'll be constantly on his back, he'll grin it and bear it for a while. After all, being only 13, there isn't much he can do about parents violating his privacy. Then, when he goes off to college and moves out, he might be so bitter at the privacy violations, that he'll start avoiding all contact with you. To back up my point, here are some statistics. I was reading this article somewhere about families in Russia, purely out of curiosity. It said that in Russian families, parents have complete control over their children's lives, and privacy is a virtually nonexistent concept. At the same time, more than half of the elderly in nursing homes are hardly ever visited by their children. Moral of the story? Build a healthy relationship with your son (and a part of that is giving him the privacy he needs) before it's too late.



chipmunk
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06 Feb 2007, 10:07 pm

I think you all might have misunderstood me a little. I never said I was stopping him or interfering in any way. I know it is MY issue and it is something I am having to deal with. I wouldn't stick my nose in where it doesn't belong and I was just trying to say that it is really hard for me to do that. I AM leaving him alone - it is just very HARD for me to do that and I was hoping to find a little reassurance and a little understanding of where I'M coming from, but I guess that ain't gonna happen.


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Hamster
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06 Feb 2007, 10:22 pm

I'm sorry, chipmunk, if I misunderstood your post....I reread it, and I see more clearly now that you stated you only *felt* like asking him certain questions and *wonder* what he's up to, but that you do give him his space.

Again, I apologize. That ol' privacy issue really strikes a mean chord in me sometimes. :roll:



goomba
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06 Feb 2007, 11:07 pm

When I was a kid I was neglected and basically left to my own devices for long periods of time, from around age 6 on. Yeah I was fed meals and all, but in-between meals and school, I was in my room alone generally speaking. For the most part I was very well behaved. Anyway, I don't think the power to look at whatever media my heart desired (TV with porno, video games, computer with full internet access) disturbed me nearly as much as abuse, lack of privacy, and neglect. My mother would make up for ignoring me/not interacting enough with me by going through all my stuff, so she could find out "the dirt" which was inline with her gossiping ways. She would read my diary to the point where it was impossible to keep one; no hiding place was clever enough. Searched my room all the time - made fun of me for stuff I wrote in my diary - it was insane. My room was my haven away from this cow and everyone else in the world.

My idea is to ensure you interact enough with your son. When it's clear to your kid that you care about his wellbeing and such, I think he would be less likely to misbehave when he is in his room alone. Lay out rules too on what is acceptable and what is not. I was really good at adhering to rules when I was young. If your child is anything like I was when young, I found it very important to have some time to myself everyday, so be reasonable and don't impede on that need. At the same time, don't give him too much free time to the point where you two hardly interact and his life becomes too unstructured.

Since you are a parent you probably know all the stuff I said in the above paragraph, so I am sorry if I am just repeating what is already known. I am not a parent myself so I have no idea how hard it is to "let go". I could see myself struggling with this same issue if I ever became a parent. But it sounds like you got it together, and have a good kid. Take care.



drmontgomery
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06 Feb 2007, 11:19 pm

My daughter goes into her room and closes the door and I hear music and she DOES have access to the internet, but is unaware that I can track her internet use. Truth is Aspie or not most of your son's behavior is normal for his age and gender. I give my daughter her space as she earns it through academic excellence and perfect conduct in home and during school. Although it is hard for me to empathize with her I've learned cues that tell me she is having a good or bad day. So we communicate as best we can. It's strange since she is so much more social and emotionally mature than I am. Give space with reckless undisciplined freedom.