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Woman beefs with another mom over parenting style; faces serious legal consequences. AITA?

Woman beefs with another mom over parenting style; faces serious legal consequences. AITA?


When this woman is furious with her daughter's friend's parents, she asks Reddit:

"AITA for beefing with another mom over parenting style differences that eventually led to serious consequences?"

To preface: Me (31F) and my husband (33M) had our daughter Mary (16F) at a very young age. She was an accident and it was very hard at first, but we managed to raise a wonderful young lady.

In middle school, Mary had a best friend Dan (16M). They were really close and since we’re neighbors, we encouraged them to hang out together.

However as they started high school, Dan started running with the wrong crowd. He befriended a kid who would sneak out, drink, engage in destructive activities. Together they started bullying Mary.

Since then I have some sort of a slow beef with Dan’s mom (44F). We are on speaking terms, but things are somewhat rough between us. I personally consider her parenting style a little too lax, she thinks I'm being too strict.

It escalated when this kid pissed in Mary’s car’s gas tank. To say I was fuming was an understatement. I turned into a full-blown momzilla.

I was ready to sue his whole family, luckily it didn’t happen since his mom was cooperative and compensated for the damage. I also told Dan’s mom that her kid’s friend destroyed my daughter’s property. No reaction.

Obviously, things escalated further. Dan and his friend committed a felony. To be honest, it was expected of his friend, but the fact that Dan was an accomplice shocked me deeply. He’s a gentle and kind guy and it was horrible that he fell under bad influence.

Dan’s mom was shocked as well, but to be honest it was something that she could expect after finding out that her kid got under bad influence, doing nothing about it, buying him substances so he could share with his friends. We live in CO btw, but still weed isn't something I'd introduce my child to.

FYI. About a year after gas tank pissing they committed a B&E. Also I had to get the car serviced and they had to drain the tank and clean the pipe. And the gas pump had to be replaced.

That was what I openly told her after she complained about “how come my precious baby commit a felony” and “how did you manage to make Mary avoid the sketchy stuff”. I told her that if she was slightly stricter with her parenting, she’d avoid Dan having legal troubles now.

She told me that I’m being hypocritical since I did quite an amount of stupid stuff in my youth too. I did, and I’m not proud of it.

But I’ve never touched substances and I’ve never committed a felony. I took the responsibility and accepted the consequences and managed to raise a decent human being who won’t repeat my mistakes.

I’m an insightful person and I’ve been thinking now whether it was worth it to drag the conflict for all this time and escalating it into an open confrontation. AITA?

Let's see what readers thought.

jerseytiger7 writes:

NTA. His mother seems like an enabler. While pissing in someone’s gas tank is disgusting, the small amount of water and other contaminants in comparison to the volume of gasoline likely won’t do any damage.

It is likely is criminal, but I doubt it would rise to the severity of a felony. Not 100% sure since I’ve never done it or had it done to me, but I’d guess if it was a teen it would be a misdemeanor and pleaded down to some probation or community service. What did you do to fix it? Just drain the tank?

ggail0 writes:

Ugh. Without trying to sound like my own A, relax about the parenting. I know people who came from strict parents and got heavily involved in substances and messed up their lives leading to OD's and death by 40, and people who had lax parents with no discipline who are AMAZING humans raising amazing humans today.

I know some people who had absolute garbage parents and one turned out amazing and the other has been in and out of jail with drug use.

Sometimes kids are born with a desire to just be the good kid. That was usually me. My youngest is so much like that. Oldest? A lot more like her dad. GREAT kid, but has to learn the hard way and make a lot of stupid mistakes, including an arrest.

No felony, and her record was expunged, but still. It is almost like kids have their own personalities and brains to make their own decisions with no respect to their parents!

Look, you probably are a good parent. I tend to believe that being a little more strict is better than being too lax. However, there are good and bad styles of parenting on both sides.

Just because her kid fell in with a really bad kid doesn't make her a bad parent. No, based on things you said, I wouldn't have necessarily parented that way either, but we have no way of knowing that parenting is at the root of this. The shoe could have easily been on the other foot. YTA.

fitimprovement7 writes:

What is your goal? To become friends or to be more cordial? I think you might say something like you are sorry you told her how she should raise her child, but because you made some big mistakes, you wanted to prevent your child from making similar ones.

Then I would empathize with her because you do think Dan is a sweet kid, and maybe this is a wake up call for him. Then I would not make any more comments about parenting. ESH but you can smooth it over if you care to.

greekdaughter0 writes:

ESH. (Except your daughter). You are very judgmental and are more interested in lording how superior you are than anything else.

Do you know why Mary turned out well? Most likely because she's a good egg. Strict parenting is far from guaranteed to turn out good kids. In fact, quite often strict parents turn out very sneaky kids, who are just good at hiding it when they break the rules.

I am not saying that Dan's mom is any better. She chose to ignore giant red flags and not intervene. That's not good either.

Looks like the jury's out here. What do YOU think?

Sources: Reddit
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