The dad took to social media to ask if teaching his son a lesson was the right thing to do. This is how people responded.
Parents are the real superheroes and they can make our day in the most adorable ways, from packing our lunches to having our backs before a difficult exam to taking care of us on a sick day. They make it seem so easy, but sometimes it is not. u/advicedadneeds39 found himself in such a conundrum and asked the AITA community on Reddit if he was doing the right thing.
He wrote, "My son recently had some friends over and things were going fine, I went upstairs at one point to bring them the pizza they had ordered when I overheard my son talking about how his friends owed him something."
The dad wrote, "I have three kids, oldest is at university so it’s just me, my wife and them (16M and 11F). All my kids are children who have been raised well and they’ve grown to be people I’m proud to call my own." He continued that his son was "asking a girl in their class out as a prank, from what I gathered the girl was someone his friends didn’t deem attractive enough and a load of other bulls**t."
He added, "I decided to talk to my son about it after his friends left to save him from embarrassment. I did raise my voice a little but that was due to how maddening the whole situation was, the same thing had happened to my cousin when we were younger and I saw how the whole thing affected her as she took on new relationships. My son argued back that it was just a prank that wouldn’t hurt anyone and that I was going against him by listening to his friends' private conversations and said that while he felt sorry for my cousin, he was 'mature enough' to understand to not pull the prank any further."
The dad continued: "I didn’t listen to any other excuse he gave and decided to ground him for two weeks, he said that I shouldn’t have any say in this when the whole thing had nothing to do with me. My wife claims that 'boys will be boys' and that it’s something harmless when I asked her how she’d feel if this was played on our daughter she simply said, That won’t happen because she has good genes."
"MIL and FIL are blowing up the family group chat about how I’m hurting their baby for normal teenage boy behavior. So AITA? If am being too nosy about an act that has nothing to do with me I will take back my son’s grounding," he asked.
Reddit users supported the dad in the comments section. u/Fuzzy_Wombat 37, wrote, "This also happened to me in high school. I remember the embarrassment and shame I felt after the 'joke' was revealed. His friends were laughing in the background of the phone call. It has been 20+ years for me too. I'm saddened by the distinct lack of empathy from everyone in the family except OP."
Meanwhile, u/mothermagpie gave an interesting insight, "Honestly, even better than grounding... have him read all these comments about how to joke date requests have hurt them. If you’ve got the good son you think you have, he will have enough empathy to realize that he might not know whether his actions were hurtful or not."
From sharing personal experiences to offering support to this dad, Reddit came in handy to have his back!