Am I allowed to have privacy?

I’m technically an adult (19 years old) and my parents are always asking where I’m going, what I’m doing, etc. and sometimes I don’t want to tell them.

Do I have to tell them?

I don’t think you have to. You should be respectful, though.

I don’t know if you “have to” tell them. If you live with them it is courteous to give them an idea where you are going.

Do they ask you? If they do, they might be curious, interested what is going on in your life or it’s just habit. But they will worry if you don’t tell them; it’s what parents do. :slight_smile:

Are they supporting you? If so, they could quit.

Are you knowingly breaking any laws? If so, you could lose your right to privacy as a citizen.

Your right to privacy ends when you rely on others to support you…if you support yourself…care for yourself…your parents have no right to seek to invade your privacy…but if you rely on them for your support…they have the right to know about how their support is used.

You have the right to privace as an adult…but you must be an adult to claim the right to privacy…if you rely on them to sustain you…you must accept the conditions of that support.

Age is only a number. If they are supporting you; food, shelter, clothes, etc. then I think you should still follow their rules. Once you are out on your own, you don’t have to call and ask/tell them what you are doing. :slight_smile:

Hi, for economical reasons many young people are staying at home with their parents until they are well into their thirties, even married people can be living with one person’s parents due to economic necessity. However this does not mean that these young people are not adults and not entitled to be treated like adults, simply because modern life makes economic independence difficult at times. Treating you like a child, as though you have no rights to your own decisions, and further as though they don’t trust you, is not healthy at an age when you should be (at least emotionally) living like an adult - or trying to. There will come a day when you will be able to safely move out of home and financially support yourself, and you will also need the emotional independence of an adult ie to stand on your own two feet. You don’t suddenly become an adult, the day you move out of your parent’s house. I don’t see this as a case of ‘rights’ because the concept of ‘my rights’ is opposed to what love is supposed to be. Hopefully your parents are letting you stay at home because they love you, not because they want to ‘lord’ their rights over you. Generally love gives people freedom, it trusts and believes and allows people to make their own mistakes - it does not seek to control or belittle. Obviously your parents could just be asking out of habit, not realising they are asking about every little thing, and should respect your request to stop. If it came from anyone else, it would be considered extremely rude even if they were doing something for you.

Where do you live?
Who pays the bills?
Who cooks the food you eat and cleans the place you live in?
Who washes your clothes?

I am 32 my wife is 28… she asks me constantly about these things. She asks me because she cares, regardless how I take it. She is a grown adult who I love. Sometimes it is pretty annoying but I engage with her always and answer her questions.

Why do I say this?

  1. You could be learning valuable things that will help you when you are communicating with your future spouse, or boss.

  2. It is good to stay mindful of others and how our lives affect them. They only ask because they care.

years ago when my son came back after 5 years of being away at University
he had gotten into the habit of pretty well coming and going as he pleased
well, he continued to do the same, and it was rather upsetting
one does have a responsibility to the people one lives with
there’s dinner, chores, and the expectation of some sort of rapport that is more than that which a hotel guest has with the desk-clerk
even if you are paying your way, there is an obligation, out of consideration.
if I leave the house, I am most certainly going to tell someone at home.

now, it is quite clear that you need your independence and privacy
my guess is that your folks want to know because

  • it’s a really scary world out there and they need some sort of reassurance that everything will be fine with you
  • the other thing is that parents want to share in your adventures
    this can get to extremes where parents live out unfulfilled aspects of their lives thru’ their kid’s
    anyway, it’s part of becoming an adult
    when you are older, it might be a nice memory

this is assuming you are not just out from rehab or something else along those lines
if you are going to do something that is against their wishes but you consider not sinful,
you might want to deal with it at some other time rather than at the door on your way out.

Thanks for all the responses.

Yes, they support me, but do they really need to know where I am and who’s house I’m at?

Is it a sin/mortal sin to not tell them?

I was 50 and my mother still asked me where I was going and what I was doing…
And I still ask my sons what there doing… That life… It means people care for you and love you as a son… can be a pain, but thats life… Enjoy

I’m not much older than you. I’m only 24. I lived in my parent’s home until I was married last year. It is their house and their rules. We are to honor our parents.
Why do you want to keep something silly like, “I’m hanging out with Johnny and Suzie. We will be over at Johnny’s house playing video games.”
Would they not approve of who you are hanging out with? What if something happens to you and they don’t know who or where you are supposed to be? You could be dying in a ditch and they could be like, “Oh that can’t be my kid, he was just in his room.”

It might not be a sin, but it could be rude.

Why are they asking?

Parents never stop worrying about their children, regardless of how old they are.

What kind of area do you live in?

Perhaps they worry about your safety?

You might be technically an adult, but most parents will look at most 19 year olds as greenhorns and continue to fret about them.

All parents are different, but no parent is born a parent and parents are on a learning curve as much as young adults are.

Talk to them.

Sarah x :slight_smile:

Never forget the old saying: “The man who pays the freight, gets to call the shots”. So, if you are still living in your parents house, remember it is their house, not yours, so unless you are paying rent to them at a fair market rate, and paying them for the meals and snacks you eat, you are obligated, by custom if nothing else, to abide by their rules.
If you don’t like it, find your own place to live…I did from the age of 15 when I went to sea. And, until my parents passed away, I took nothing from them. And I managed to get an education on my own, In fact, I never expected to inherit anything from them. It was only after my only sibling, who never married, passed away, that I inhereted what he got from them.

Possibly you are obliged to answer reasonable requests from your parents. Scope out the Catechism:
**2217 **As long as a child lives at home with his parents, the child should obey his parents in all that they ask of him when it is for his good or that of the family. “Children, obey your parents in everything, for this pleases the Lord.” Children should also obey the reasonable directions of their teachers and all to whom their parents have entrusted them. But if a child is convinced in conscience that it would be morally wrong to obey a particular order, he must not do so. As they grow up, children should continue to respect their parents. They should anticipate their wishes, willingly seek their advice, and accept their just admonitions. Obedience toward parents ceases with the emancipation of the children; not so respect, which is always owed to them. This respect has its roots in the fear of God, one of the gifts of the Holy Spirit.
I think it is reasonable to have some connection with those with whom you live, for a variety of reasons. Knowing some basics about location, where to reach you, and anticipated return time are standard. Large deviations in expected return time ought to be reported.

If you live under their roof then you live by their rules no matter how old you are. If you live on your own, then no, you don’t have to tell them what you don’t want to tell them.

Ahhhh! The age-old question every teenager asks! As long as you are living under their roof and they’re paying your way, feeding you, clothing you, etc., you must respect them by being truthful. If you want your privacy, go get a job and your own place, pay your own bills, and then you can do or go wherever you please. :slight_smile:

I would expect anyone living together In a household to share basic info about their schedules no matter who is paying the bills.

Instead of waiting to be asked why don’t you volunteer information? “Hey mom don’t wait dinner for me. I’m heading out to the mall with Jose. Be back about 10.” Wouldn’t you expect the same courtesy from a roommate or your future spouse? Sure you may not actually care who your roommate is out with, but you’d likely want to know about how long they’ll be gone.

Don’t think of it as an invasion of privacy but as simply good manners.


Adults in conversation routinely divulge where they are, where they are going, when they can be expcted home…etc…this is part of maturing…there is nothing to hide…

Honey, I am going to be late coming home…where are you right now…picking up the kids…what’s up…traffic accident…about an hour delay…where are the kids…well…one is at soccer and the other is in Karate…


Honey, I am going to be late coming home…where are you right now…why are you asking…well, just asked…why should you know…Ok…I will be an hour late because of traffic accident…where are the kids…why do you ask?

If you have nothing to hide then why do you resist being open, honest and mature with your parents…you are establishing an adult, mature relationship with your parents and establishing trust is part of an adult/mature relationship…resist and they will continue to treat you like a kid…

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