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Father backs mother's punishment of all grandkids leading to wife's anger. AITA?

Father backs mother's punishment of all grandkids leading to wife's anger. AITA?


"AITA for not siding with my wife and agreeing with my mother after she did a group punishment that made my middle child unliked by the other kids?"


My mother babysit almost all of the grandkids three times a week in the summer. I am very grateful she does this and it saves us a ton of money. In total she watches about 7 kids, and one of those kids is my middle child son, Jamie.

Jamie is a lot sometimes. He is 8 years old, and compared to his younger sister he is less behaved. My mother has talked to my wife and I multiple times about him. She has done recommended time outs. Overall he doesn't behave much better after them. We have both talked to him about it but no improvement.

This is the issue, my mom was going to take all the kids to the pool with my dad. Jamie would not stop goofing around. Running around, grabbing the other kids pool stuff and in general being loud/annoying. My mom told him if he didn't stop then no one would be going to the pool. He didn't stop and she hold true to her word. The rest of the day all of the kids were mad at him.

I picked them both up and she informed me above what happened. Mom told me he behaved the rest of the day after that. Jamie was very upset about no one liking him, the kids basically ignored him. Even my youngest was outraged at him.

My mother told me that he needs to learn his actions affect other people and I agree with her. I am 100 percent fine with her using social dynamics to get him to behave. It also seemed to work, she plans to take the kids to pool on Friday.

I told my wife what happened and she is pissed that my other did this. We had an agruement and she thinks i am being a huge jerk for agreeing with my mom. Also, Jamie has been evacuated and nothing, also even if he did have something I still think it would be fair game with what my mom did.

Here were the top rated comments from readers in response to the OP's post:


NTA. Your wife is going to raise a brat if she has her way. And her darling child is likely to be even more alone of his behvaior isn't corrected.


NTA. It was a brilliant punishment, TBH. And you can't argue with results. Peer pressure is a powerful tool. It keeps adults' behavior in check as well. And part of every parent's task is to figure out how to motivate their children.

Time-outs might work for some children, but they certainly don't work on your son. Now you know what DOES work. You're not required to side with your wife simply because you're married to her--especially in a private argument.


Y T A Your mother is a war criminal. Collective punishment is classified as a warcrime under the Geneva convention. Thats a disgusting level of horrible person. I'm kidding. NTA. Your Son needs to behave. You and your wife should be ensuring that he does by reinforcing discipline at home. Good luck op.


I'm 60F and have two kids that are now 27/31. When my mom watched my kids for a week at her house, it was grandma's rules that mattered since it was her house and she was watching them. If she said "sit down" and they didn't, it was up to her to decide what to do, and we 100% supported her.

Jaime has learned that his not behaving had consequences to him and he behaved after that. Sounds like your mom taught him a great lesson! Your wife is wrong and you're NTA.


NTA Your mother is watching seven children. Unless their is an underlying condition that effects your child's behavior, your son needs to settle down and find another outlet for his energy.

His behavior was so disruptive I don't blame your mother for cancelling the trip to the pool. How can she adequately keep an eye on seven children in a pool if all her attention has to go to your son. Your wife doesn't not have to like it but your mother is responsible for the safety and well being of six other children. It is what it is, your mother only has one set of eyes.


NTA, I'm generally not a fan of groups punishments, but this was more of a natural consequence that effected others, and your mum is right, he needs to learn that sometimes these behaviours are going to effect the peoplw around him and if it's negatively then they aren't going to be happy about it. Hopefully this is a lesson he can learn from this.


NTA. Sometimes shame amongst peers works as a good deterrent for misbehavior in children. That type of punishment is often used in classroom settings and gets kids in line. I can’t help but wonder if your wife would have had the same reaction if your mom would have let the other kids go to the pool and left him out of pool activities.


NTA. Your mum was looking after seven children. One of those children - Jamie - was misbehaving and may well have put either himself and/or the other children at risk when they were at the pool.

As a snap risk assessment there wasn't a lot of choice for your mother to control that risk as she really needed your dad there at the pool as well for safety reasons. I can't see what other options there were as Jamie would need to be supervised even if separated from the others.

If he does behave himself and they are able to go to the pool on Friday then that will, with luck, have done something to teach him about consideration for others and that negative actions negatively affect other people and cause them to dislike you.


So your Mother clearly outlined to Jaime the consequences of his actions should he misbehave. Then followed through when he did misbehave, and the punishment (that lacked any kind of violence or manipulation tactics from what I can see)...worked. Maybe your wife should check her privilege and take some notes.

So, what do you think about this one? If you could give the OP any advice here, what would you tell them?

Sources: Reddit
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