Monday, November 22, 2010

I'm a recent college grad living at home... and caught my parents snooping!

Question:  Social Shrink - I recently graduated from college and moved back home with my parents.  I'm trying to save some money before moving out on my own and my parents agreed it was a good idea.  The other day I came home from work and caught my mom snooping through my desk drawers!  On top of that, a few days before my dad "accidentally" opened my mail.  I'm going crazy... I can't afford to move out on my own but I can't take this anymore!!! (Chicago, IL)

Social Shrink:  The New York Times had a recent article who quoted someone who is in a similar situation as you:
  • “Living at home absolutely crimps my social life,” she said. “You’re still living under your parents’ rules. I refer to it as being stuck in an extended adolescence, one that never seems to end.” (“Facing a Financial Pinch, and Moving In With Mom and Dad," 3/21/10)

This seems to sum it up right there.  That is the trade-off you get for moving back under your parents roof.  While you do get to save money and get free meals, you shouldn't feel like you can do whatever you want just because you got yourself a degree and are no longer a teenager.  Bottom line is that when you're living with your parents, you need to abide by their rules.

That doesn't give them a legit reason to open your mail or go through your stuff.  The best advice would be to be as open with them as possible and let them know how you feel about them snooping.  You may not be sharing what's going on in your life enough so it's making them try to figure out what's going on with you with these "creative" ways.  Get rid of the mystery and start talking with them more: tell them how your job is going, how your friends are, etc.  The more you tell them up front, the less they will need to find out how you're doing behind your back. 

As a side note - if you don't have anything to hide then you shouldn't be worried about them snooping.  If you do have something to hide, maybe it's best you get rid of anything you don't want them to find until you get your own place!  That's motivation for you to move out!!!


  1. If you communicate with your mother, and state that every time she does this, you feel that you have no privacy and you should let her know how you feel. Talk to your mom and perhaps you guys can set some boundaries. In the end, she is your mother and cares for you dearly.

  2. Consider it like this: when you're renting a home, you have to follow the rules of your landlord. Therefore, if you move back into your parents home, then it's something like that. Just act responsibly, with respect, and hopefully they'll treat you like that as well. It can be a real problem with your social life; yes, but if you can manage a few rules then you won't have such a big problem.