Privacy Sign Review
This is the greatest gift for teens—and it costs less than $10
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My only child is almost a teenager. As such, there are days he can’t stand the sound of my voice. If he’s not arguing with me, he’s spending his free time in his room, chatting online with friends, watching YouTube, or doing whatever it is kids that age do in their rooms.
Buying presents for a teenage boy or girl can be difficult. Their moods change as fast as our Ohio weather. Too old for most toys and completely unconcerned about his appearance, I struggled at holiday time with what gifts to buy for my teenage son. I decided to focus on different ways I could enhance his bedroom. I wanted to lean into him being able to make his room his space, to give him a place over which he has some control.
This simple office privacy sign that sticks to the outside of his door was a surprising winner—and it cost less than $10.
How does the Privacy Sign work?
It’s funny how the simplest things sometimes are the things that work the best. There are no bells and whistles. It takes no batteries, and couldn’t be easier to use.
The sign has four settings that you manually change by moving the tab to display different messages:
- COME IN (green)
- PLEASE KNOCK (yellow)
- DO NOT DISTURB (red)
- OUT OF OFFICE (blue)
How much does the Privacy Sign cost?
Each privacy sign costs $9.99.
What we like about the Privacy Sign
It’s intuitive and easy
I explained the different uses to my son briefly after he opened it, and then showed him how easy it was to use. Though designed for an adult to use in their office, it can be used by kids big and little, as well as adults in actual offices. The red/yellow/green schema matches intuitively with what even little kids understand.
As a former meeting planner who spent a lot of time in and around hotels, I treat the DND or “Do Not Disturb” very seriously. If the DND is on, I do not disturb him unless it is urgent or important, and then, only by texting him from the other room.
He uses the yellow “Please Knock” sign for when he is working on something or concentrating, but can be interrupted if needed. This is most often when he is doing homework.
When the sign is set to green, or “Come In”, his bedroom door is typically open and anyone is free to come and go.
My son uses the fourth, blue option, “Out of Office,” when he leaves for school in the morning or when he goes to visit with his dad, with whom I share custody.
At a price just shy of $10, this is an affordable way to give your child some respect and control over their space, which is so needed at this age.
It’s easy to install and remove
As it is applied with a small sticker on the back, no permanent damage is done to the door. It could even be moved to another location with little difficulty.
What we don’t like about the Privacy Sign
It’s low tech
Without electronic bells and whistles, today’s tech-loving kids might not get into using it. Much of its effectiveness depends on the personality of the user. A kid might simply set it to DND only, insisting they should never be disturbed (very teenager-esque), and not get the benefits of changing it for fluctuating levels of interaction and control.
My son understands that using the privacy sign correctly gives him nuanced control over his space. He understands that realistically, there are going to be times I need or want to talk to him about something, so he’s giving access, but on his terms and timeline. Some teens might not be as open to that type of approach.
You have to remember to use it
Some people might forget to adjust the sign, rendering it useless. It’s up to the user to change the privacy level on the sign depending on what they are doing—and there’s no way to set it from an app on your phone.
Should you buy a Privacy Sign?
Yes. Not only is it a great gift for teenage boys and teenage girls, at this price point, there’s little reason not to try it.
If it doesn’t work for your teen’s room you can always utilize the privacy sign somewhere else in your home. Stick it on your home office door and use it to communicate to your kid(s), partner/spouse, or others in your home the need for different levels of privacy depending on what you’re doing. Chances are that they’ll see how effective it is and want to use it after all.
In fact, you just might want to buy more than one.
Prices were accurate at the time this article was published but may change over time.