No one said raising a teen was easy. With hormones raging and social situations constantly bringing up issues, teens are going through one of the most confusing and challenging times in their young lives — and it can really make parenting them a struggle. For one mom, her teen son said some hurtful things, like that life would be much better without her, and that gave her a great idea for a little revenge.
Now, she’s asking the internet if she went too far.
She took to Reddit’s “Am I the A—hole” (AITA) forum, where users weigh in on if the original poster (OP) was in the wrong or not in an argument or situation that has been bothering them. In this installment, the woman explained that her fourteen-year-old son had started acting out at home and at school.
The mom, 35, said that she had already tried to sit down with her son and get to the root of his sudden shift in personality.
“I was concerned if maybe it had something to do with myself or his father but he wouldn’t budge,” she remarked.
Like any good mom, she kept pursuing talks with her son, trying to get through to him since she was concerned that something was going on that he wasn’t letting her in on, like bullying.
He denied that he was getting bullied, and told his mom that “14-year-olds should act out a little.”
“I told him his behavior was not allowed in my house. His behavior consisted [of] swearing at myself and his father, swearing at his teacher, and much more,” she described.
After a bit more arguing, her son said, “My life would be better if I didn’t have a mother.”
She was hurt, but instead of pushing the conversation further, she decided to give him the life he thought he wanted.
She went on a mom strike.
“When my son smelt food he came downstairs and asked where his [dinner] was. I responded ‘I made dinner for myself and your dad. Since life is easier without a mom there’s some heatable food in the freezer,” she said.
Her son was upset and spent the rest of the evening in his room. The next morning, she still wasn’t backing down. “He came downstairs expecting his breakfast that I make for him every morning but there wasn’t any. He said ‘where’s my breakfast?’ I responded, ‘your mother would normally do that for you. But if life is easier without one you’ll need to prepare your own breakfast.’”
She also informed him that he would have to find his own way to school via the bus.
The mom then said that her son must have called his grandma to complain, because she started getting phone calls from her mother-in-law, disapproving of her parenting tactic.
Her mother-in-law accused her of being a “horrible mother,” said she was “starving” her teenage son.
“I thought this was a good way to discipline my child and make him grateful for everything he has. I’m starting to think I messed up,” she concluded.
Reddit users started weighing in on the situation with the majority siding with the OP. The post has since gone viral with over 9k upvotes.
“NTA, it’s not like you actually deprived him of anything. He still had access to food and a way to get to school. It was definitely petty, but he wasn’t harmed in any way, and maybe sometimes you have to fight fire with fire?” one user responded.
Others pointed out that the OP’s mother-in-law was being dramatic and that 14 years old was a fine age to be able to prepare some meals. “He’s 14, more than capable of making his own food and catching the bus after literally getting what he asked for. Hell, that was normal life for me and is in no way abusive,” another user wrote.
After receiving an outpour of support, the mom updated the Reddit thread letting everyone know that her son and her had reconciled. “My son had a half day so I texted him asking if he would like me to pick him up or the bus. He texted back saying he wanted me to get him. So I did,” she wrote.
“In the car he immediately apologized for what he said and he said that his friends were acting out so he wanted to fit in. His friends got suspended today for something they did and they wanted my son to join. My son did not and he said he was sorry for how he was acting. I also apologized for my actions.”
He even began to clean up after himself and others in the home, help cook dinner, and agree to go to therapy. “In only a few hours our relationship has gotten better and our communication has gotten better!” she exclaimed.
As for her mother-in-law, that relationship might have gotten a bit more tricky since she actually found the OP’s post. “Regarding my MIL: she actually found this Reddit post ( not sure how ) and she is currently blasting me all over Facebook and numerous social media,” she wrote.
Well, you can’t make everyone happy. Maybe the MIL should go on strike?
Read the entire Reddit thread here.