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To Sam

i need advice about privacy

I am a 16 year old and im finding it hard to be happy at home. Because i work i have to pay money towards the house but i have no privacy. I can be out for a few hours and my parents will just go into mynroom and snoop around. Recently me amd my girlfriend decided to take the next step amd have sex and when my mum found out earlier tonight she told me if she finds out that we do it again, i wont be able to see her. Constantly i get told that i dont pay the bills so i dont make the rules when the amount i pay pays for the food shopping and her ciggaretts yet im treated like nothing. I know ive rambled a bit in this but i just need to know what i can do.
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Sam

Hello,

Everyone needs some privacy when they’re at home. It's natural to want space and time to ourselves. There can often be arguments between young people and parents about how much privacy they should get. It’s important that you have your own space with limits on how much other people can see. But at the same time your parents are also responsible for you, so might want to make sure you're okay. This can make things had. 

You should feel happy at home. So if you’re not happy with the way things are then something needs to change. The first step to bringing about a change like this is talking and saying how you feel. Telling your parents how much your privacy means to you could be the start of a conversation about how unhappy you are and what you would like to change. If you're worried about this, try our tips for being assertive.

It may be that you need to compromise with them. Often when there is an argument, both sides need to give up a bit of ground so that they can meet in the middle. It might be that they will agree to give you more privacy if you agree to be more open and talk about things with them – things like contraception and where you’ll be when you go out.

If you try this and it doesn’t work, and you can’t see any way to stay at home, then you can consider moving out at 16. But this is a huge step and isn’t easy to do. It helps that you’re in work but there’s a lot of things to consider before moving out – it could help you to talk them through with a ChildLine counsellor.

Hope that helps, thanks for your letter.

Take care,
Sam

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