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Mom slammed for 'locking up' adopted child on New Year's Day. AITA?

Mom slammed for 'locking up' adopted child on New Year's Day. AITA?


When this mom can't tell if she took things too far, she asks Reddit:

"AITA for disciplining my child on New Year's Day 2023?"

I am a 41f mother of two wonderful little kids, a son named JC, 5m, and a daughter named Sierra, 10f. They are both not my biological children; I have adopted them both with my husband, 42m.

Last December/early January, it was a bit hectic for my family, and multiple coincidences came together to wear us down. My husband and I are both scientists (he is self-employed and an adjunct professor while I am a federal employee for the DOD) and starting Dec 27th 2022 – Jan 3 2023, he had to fly overseas for important work.

Not only that, but my team was absolutely swamped with work around the time my husband was gone. NOT ONLY THAT, but JC’s birthday is on Dec 31st. What this all meant was that I spent JC’s entire birthday working, and I had Jan 1st off.

I slept in on New Years Day, and the plan was to celebrate both NY and JC’s birthday on Jan 2nd. That really upset my son, and he started crying and he even kicked the wall.

I immediately disciplined him, and I had him locked up in my bedroom for a 30 minute timeout; he was not allowed to talk to anyone or have any entertainment. This is my most common form of discipline for JC.

30 minutes was up, and I went upstairs to let JC out and talk to him about why exactly I disciplined him….and I saw that there was some string coming out of my bedroom and going into Sierra’s bedroom.

It turned out that Sierra and JC had that cup-and-string phone that they like to play with from time to time, and somehow, Sierra snuck it into my bedroom so that she could talk with JC during his time-out.

She was probably bad-mouthing me and spoiling her little brother. So I grabbed some scissors and I snipped the string, and I gave JC an extra 15 minutes of time-out. This time, I sat just outside Sierra’s bedroom door so that she couldn’t console her brother.

AITA for this? I’m asking because, last night, Sierra came up to me and she bluntly asked me if this NY is going to be like the last one. I just feel like it wasn't that serious...

Let's see what readers thought.

ladycass79 writes:

YTA. I'd rather see kids being raised by someone who is a bit of a hard ass than by a very permissive parent, but you are the bit of a hard ass here. There's a lot here that speaks to mild mental health issues that may be a pattern creating a traumatic experience for these children.

30 mins is a very long time out for a 5 year old. The trigger for punishment is bad. He should be able to express upset if he's feeling lonely and neglected, though kicking the wall was out of line. The additional punishment for your 10 year old talking to him while in time out was excessive, and your statement about your 10 year old bad mouthing you to the younger is very odd.

When he kicked the wall a 5 min time out with a discussion about appropriate ways to yell you that he's feeling upset, it would be a balanced response.

other6 writes:

YTA just to be clear, you LOCKED your child in a room and then left to do other things on another floor of the house half an hour?

That's nuts. There are so many ways that a 5 year old kid could seriously hurt themselves in a locked room and you would not have known for upwards of half an hour.

pisum7 writes:

ESH. This is such a weird post. Maybe my kids were slow, but at 5 they wouldn't have known the difference if their birthday was celebrated on the 1st or the 2nd of the month.

And the Mum didn't see the string and can trailing out of her bedroom if it was planted in advance? Lastly, even at ten, again, my kids would not keep count about what happened on any new year's previous. The whole thing seems like a fantasy.

Looks like OP is TA. Or does ESH? What do YOU think?

Sources: Reddit
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