We don't like closed doors in our house.
When one of my boys closes a door, he has something to hide. He is almost always doing something he is not supposed to be doing, something he knows can get him into trouble. How much privacy does a seven, or nine, or ten and a half year old boy need? Is there a difference between needing privacy and needing to be alone?
Our ancestors didn't have any concept of privacy. They lived together for protection and survival, and seeking privacy away from the others was something that was probably risky. They didn't live in large houses, with different spaces for sleeping, cooking, eating, greeting visitors, bathing, working. They lived in a cave and if they needed privacy, they had to leave the cave. I am guessing that when our ancestors left their cave, it was to get food or defend themselves. They probably had a lot more to worry about than their brother sitting too close to them or needing to change their underwear.
Needing to be alone I can understand. I certainly need to be alone sometimes, away from all the testosterone flying around my house. My boys need to be alone too, in varying degrees. I just don't believe they actually need privacy yet.
But what about when your ten year old son ignores the general open door policy and he and a friend are locked together in the closet? And the friend is a girl? And they say they are "just" talking? Hmmm . . . It reminds me that my son is growing up, and we have to explain that we just don't have closed doors in our house. At least not for him. Not yet.