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Mom grounds teen daughter after she ditches babysitting, leaves sister with neighbors.

Mom grounds teen daughter after she ditches babysitting, leaves sister with neighbors.


Parenting a teen is not for the faint of heart.

Teens have the perfect mix of childhood immaturity and selfishness, mixed with adult levels of will and argumentativeness. When all cylinders are firing, it can be lethal.

Luckily, the jury of the internet is always here with ears wide open, ready to give a third-party opinion on all parent-teen conflict.

In a popular post on the AITA subreddit, a mom asked if she was wrong for grounding her daughter for leaving her younger sister with the neighbor.

She wrote:

AITA for grounding my daughter for leaving her sister with the neighbor?

I’m the single mom of 3 kids: “Polly” (16F), “Trevor” (12M) and “Cassie” (8F). I have little to no support.

Their father left after Cassie was born, no family nearby, etc. I have 2 sitters that I call on as needed and I use them before I’d ever ask Polly for help. I don’t want her missing out on her teenage years.

Before this incident, I only ever asked her to babysit once because I had no one else and I paid her $15/hr (at the time, above minimum wage). This past Saturday, Polly was due to hang out with some friends.

For a couple of days, Trevor was ill, but testing negative for Covid. That day, he spiked a very high fever and I had to take him to the ER. I asked Polly to watch Cassie as the sitters weren’t responding.

I apologized that she’d have to miss out on time with friends but said I’d pay her and she could even have her friends over our place. Polly pitched a fit and asked why I couldn’t send Cassie to the neighbors.

We don’t know them. They moved in last month and outside waving when we get our mail, I don’t have a relationship with them. Polly was irritated. I told her I’d pay her $18/hr and that I had to go.

I take Trevor to the ER and we have to wait a bit. Polly kept asking if the sitters responded and they hadn’t. Eventually, it was our time to be seen, so I told Polly i’d be out of reach for a bit.

Turns out, Trevor had a bad case of RSV and due to pre-existing health problems, had to be admitted for the night. I was terrified.

When I called Polly to update her, I heard people talking in the background and said “oh, you had your friends come over?” She told me no, she dropped Cassie at the neighbor’s and went out. I was furious.

I told her to go home and get her sister. I then asked for the neighbor’s number, she didn’t even ask for it. Which, I get teenage logic but still. At first Polly refused until I told her she was grounded.

I made her Facetime me when she got home to show that Cassie was with her. Eventually, my mom was able to make the 2 hour drive down to stay with the girls but I told her to not let Polly leave the house.

The next day, Trevor and I were able to go home. I lectured Polly about what she did and grounded her for 2 weeks. She got mad at me and said that I can’t expect her to drop her plans.

I point out I never do, but this was an emergency and her brother was sick. She told me that’s not her problem. She’s also mad because I won’t pay her.

I apologized profusely to the neighbor who said it was okay and that he would’ve called me but Polly didn’t leave my number either. Polly said I overreacted. AITA?

The internet did not hold back on this one.

ABeerAndABook wrote:

NTA. Let's get this out of the way. There are a lot of posts on here about forcing teenagers to babysit and this is NOT one of those. This was an extreme situation (emergency even) and Polly acted amazingly selfish and irresponsible.

She left a young child with strangers and exposed them to an unknown illness as an added bonus. Also, considering how the folks around her were sick, it should be common courtesy/sense to not want to expose her friends as well.

She is old enough to fully comprehend how terrible and dangerous her actions were, but instead doubled down on being petulant. Not my kid, but Polly earned a hefty punishment and consequences.

NoFactor3178 wrote:

NTA and honestly I’d never be able to trust Polly again RSV can kill a kid so god forbid something happened to your son.

PurpleMarsAlien wrote:

NTA. Polly left her 8yo sister with strangers so she could go hang out with friends while you were dealing with a family emergency. Polly needs consequences for her poor choices here.

C_Majuscula wrote:

NTA. Normally, I'm on the side of 'not her kid, not her problem' but it was an actual emergency and you explicitly told her not to leave her with the neighbors for an obviously good reason and she did it anyway.

That's the groundable offense - doing something you explicitly told her not to. If one of the sitters had responded, I'm sure it would have been no problem for her to wait for the sitter and then go out.

Shieldmaiden81 wrote:

NTA. But part of her punishment should be watching documentaries on the dangers of trusting strangers or people you don't really know with your kids.

Especially ones that center around a teenager who dumped their siblings off on someone like that. It would hopefully open her eyes to the dangers that she possibly put her sister in.

She obviously does not watch true crime stories or she never would have done that. She was irresponsible, and deserves to be grounded.

OP is certainly NTA here, it seems abundantly clear that Polly needs the wake-up call, especially as she nears adulthood.

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