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Kid leaves mean social media post about mom; dad won't make him take it down.

Kid leaves mean social media post about mom; dad won't make him take it down.

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'AITA for not making my son remove a social media post disparaging my wife?'

My wife and I are both in our mid 30s and have a 14 year old son. I've been a stay at home dad all his life while my wife has been more hands off due to a somewhat demanding job.

Still, some basic facts that anyone with even a surface level knowledge of our kid knows is that he's a good boy: he gets great grades and is well behaved. He's maybe a little spoiled, but aren't they all? My point is, I have rarely had to step in and deliver any real punishments thanks to open and consistent dialogue between the two of us.

I have a long-time friend who plays in a decently popular local band. He's a father figure to my son and they also have a very close bond thanks to similar interests. My son has always been the artsy type and he's so excited when Friend comes over because it means he can show him the latest guitar he's added to his collection or a new riff he's learned.

During Friend's recent visit, he mentioned going on tour soon and my son was intrigued.

After pressing for details, he came to me later and asked if he could go with them on his fall break. He had plenty of promises at the ready - that he would listen to whatever Friend said, that he would be on his best behavior, that he would never ask for anything ever again. After talking it out with him, I gave him a 'maybe.'

I reached out to Friend for his thoughts, and he was all for it. I figured he wouldn't mind since he has a son around my kid's age who goes on tour with him occasionally (another thing my son had mentioned while pleading his case to me.) I asked my wife and after a very brief conversation, she agreed.

Fast forward to the beginning of last week when he got packed up and set to leave. My wife asked where he was going, I reminded her, and she said she thought I was joking. I had no idea what part of it sounded like a joke, but she claimed my son wasn't allowed to go. I eventually persuaded her after our child went to his room in near tears.

When he arrived home yesterday, I had never seen him so happy. He got to help the roadies set up for the shows, he got let into bars (he intentionally didn't wash off one of the X's on the back of his hands just so he could come home with it and show me), and Friend was singing his praises over how helpful he was.

A few hours later, my son made a social media post compiling photos from his time on tour. The caption was a long one but included such gems as 'this almost didn't happen, thanks mom.' And, 'Friend spent a lot of his free time with me (unlike my mom.)'

This led to a pretty big argument where my wife, upon being alerted to the post's existence, demanded he take it down. He refused, so she turned to me and asked me to talk to him. I refused.

I told her that while I didn't think what he was doing was right, it was clearly coming from somewhere. And that somewhere was a place in which he was feeling unheard and ignored by her. She's been ignoring me since.

AITA?

EDITs: To answer common questions:

I am not encouraging my son to air our dirty laundry on social media. I just don't think the first move should be to tell him to delete it when there is clearly legitimate hurt motivating what he's saying.

We're the parents, we can't move on impulse based on our feelings. It might be the gut reaction to ask him to delete them, but instead I want us to take a pause and come to him with empathy and understanding where we discuss the matter together and help him decide what's best.

As a lot of you are saying, this definitely is a teachable moment, and not one that can be easily impressed onto him by just saying 'delete the posts!' and not reinforcing the why, along with more positive ways to express himself.

Please save your 'Get a job' comments. I plan to once my son gets his license. However, even if I didn't plan on rejoining the workforce, there is nothing wrong with former SAHPs who choose to be homemakers. My wife and I mutually agreed on this dynamic and she very much prefers working. This is not a productive addition to the conversation.

Comments:

HeartfeltToddler says:

Wait, why can’t you tell him to delete it AND address the hurt behind the post with him?

Lost-Passage9681 OP responded:

Ideally he'll make the decision to delete it on his own after our discussion. Autonomy of choice in righting his wrong will be much more beneficial in the end than doing so out of necessity. If he chooses not to delete it, that's when I'll have to step in and say he's on a social media ban for however long I see fit. A couple weeks, most likely.

Key-Bit1208 says:

Of course your wife is ignoring you…you’re supporting your son publicly disrespecting your wife because of a simple misunderstanding between you two about the tour.

Your son is 14…yes, there will be plenty of times where he’s upset with either of you and will want to vent. But you just told him that it’s ok to passive aggressively post those emotional and hurtful words publicly. You just supported him in hurting your wife instead of teaching your son to handle those emotions in a healthy and respectful way.

I wouldn’t be surprised if you always play ‘cool friend’ to your son and force your wife to always be the ‘bad cop’. YTA

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