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Dad punishes teen son for 'harmless prank' involving girl at school. AITA?

Dad punishes teen son for 'harmless prank' involving girl at school. AITA?


Teenagers can be brutal, vicious, and hilariously honest, but crossing the line into bullying territory can have devastating consequences...

So, when a conflicted dad decided to consult the moral compass of the internet otherwise known as Reddit's 'Am I the As*hole' about his teenage son's prank, people were ready to help deem a verdict.

'AITA (Am I the As*hole) for punishing my son for a 'harmless' prank he's pulling?'

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.

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 for 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.

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.

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 I am being too nosy about an act that has nothing to do with me I will take back my son’s grounding.

Of course, the jury of internet strangers was ready to help out here. Here's what people had to say:

NeeliSilverleaf said:

NTA. Your son is a bully. Your wife sounds like a piece of work.

M4jorToM said:

NTA and thank you for not buying into the 'boys will be boys' bulls&*t mentality. Your son absolutely needs to understand that actions have consequences and it doesn't sound like your wife will instill that.

TemptingPenguin369 said:

NTA. This is disgusting and I'm glad you're not accepting this as normal. Your wife's comment about 'good genes'??? I am speechless.

BoyoDee said:

NTA. That is not a harmless prank, it’s downright cruel. Also I hate your wife, and your in laws. You might want to look into what she tells your kids, as it sounds like he acquired this mindset from her and her parents.

ionlyreadtitle said:

Your wife and mil are OK with how your son treats girls like that? That's pretty disgusting. Nta. You need to stop that right away.

So, there you have it...

Everyone agreed unanimously here that this dad is off the hook, but a more serious discussion should be had with his wife and his in-laws. If one parent thinks this teen's prank is 'harmless,' that sends some seriously mixed messages that bullying is acceptable as long as dad doesn't find out. Good luck to this family and the school principal.

Sources: Reddit
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