Growing up, if I had the rare opportunity to spend time my parent’s bedroom, hanging out on their bed, or even using their bathroom, I was on top of the world. My parents were bedroom parents.
Their room was their precious domicile, free of sticky fingers or sibling fights, meant only for them. If they were hanging out in there, we were not to disturb. You knocked on the door, waited for an “okay” to come in, and made it brief. Apparently, this is a thing for a lot of parents, especially in the 80s and 90s.
Now, millennials have kids of their own and are reflecting on if they had what are now being called “bedroom parents.”
What are bedroom parents?
Mom and TikTok creator Marissa Kile took a moment to chat with her followers about how, growing up, she definitely had what are now being called bedroom parents. Bedroom parents are basically parents who spend a lot of time in their bedroom, watching TV, working, reading, etc. It’s a sacred space for them where kids dare not pass unless invited.
“I grew up where like my parents hung out in their bedroom,” she explains. “like 24/7, they were never in the living room, okay? So, like, going into my parents' bedroom was like a sacred thing. Like, you stood at the door, and you waited for permission to go in, okay?”
She explains that when she was younger, though her parents retreated to their room, she had always wished they spent time in the living room or other shared living spaces in their house. Now that she is a mom herself, she makes sure to spend all her time in shared living spaces with her kids.
Her bedroom is not decorated or made cozy in any way.
“We sleep in here. That’s it,” she says. “Am I the only person that just sleeps in their f*cking room?”
What are living room parents?
In a follow-up video, Kile replies to a comment from a follower who was new to the concept of “bedroom parents,” noting that, in their house the living room is the main hang spot.
After explaining to her husband the difference between “bedroom parents” and “living room parents,” Kile recalled that she had no idea living room parents existed since she was co-existing in a house with “bedroom parents.”
“I didn't know that living room parents were a thing until I was much older because my parents were bedroom parents, but also my best friend growing up, her parents were bedroom parents. Okay? So, I thought that was normal,” she says in the follow-up.
For those flabbergasted that Kile hasn’t added any sort of decor to her bedroom, she just doesn’t see the point since the only time she’s in there is to sleep.
She continues, “And I haven't decorated my room purely for the fact of I spend most of my time in all of the other spaces in my house. I would rather spend most of my time focused on everything else than the space that I don't spend any time in because I literally wait until the last second to go to bed or like the special time with the husband and then I spent an extra time in my room.”
“But also I'm wondering is the reason that I'm a living room parent now? Because I don't want to be like my parents who are bedroom parents and do I need to go back to therapy?” she jokes.
What is the difference between bedroom parents and living room parents?
While Kile jokes about having bedroom parents growing up, there is something to be said about a set of parents who retreat to their room while their kids are left to fend for themselves in other areas of the house.
In another video, Kile clarifies that the bedroom parents that millennial and Generation X kids grew up with are probably not the same bedroom parents that kids today are being raised by.
“My bedroom parents didn't want to know that we existed. Okay? So, like, when they were in their bedroom, it's because they just didn't want to be around us. And, like, my mom has said so many times, she didn’t want to have kids, okay? And my dad didn't want to either. So, it is what it is,” she explains.
“We were just free range, doing our own thing. And then every once in a while, we'd have like a family dinner night and we would see them. So, that is the difference between my bedroom parents and bedroom parents of today where they actually hang out with their children in their bedrooms...”
Kile’s comment section flooded with TikTok users noting that they were actually bedroom parents, but allowed their kids to come and go as they pleased.
“We are bedroom parents, but our bedroom is an open space they can come and go, unless the door is closed,” one user wrote.
Another said, “I'm a bedroom parent. I love my kids but entertaining them 24/7 is a lot. They're 9 1/2 and 11 and can entertain themselves for an hour...”
One user said, “I’m mostly a bedroom parent, especially in the evenings. By then I’m easily overstimulated and don’t want to get snippy with anyone 😅”