Someecards Logo
Man pulls 'it's just a prank, bro' after terrifying son and making wife furious.

Man pulls 'it's just a prank, bro' after terrifying son and making wife furious.


Should we, as a society, make any and all pranks illegal? If this guy's son, from a viral post on Am I the A**hole, had the deciding vote — they would be punishable by prison. On Reddit, a father writes:

AITA for telling my wife that she needs to get over being upset with me for pulling a scare prank on our son?

Last Friday night I (37m) was hanging out with my daughter (10f) watching a movie. My wife (34f) was working late while our son (9m) was hanging out with his friend.

Around 8pm his friend's mom texted me letting me know that she was driving him home. I thanked her and then let my daughter know that her brother was on his way.

She then suggested that we play a prank on him in which we jump out and scare him. I thought it would be a funny practical joke and -- long story short -- she and I ended up putting on scary Halloween masks, dimming the lights, and hiding behind a couch.

I then texted his friend's mom and told her that his sister and I were watching a movie and to send him to the Family Room downstairs when he got home.

He got home and came in. We heard him come in and say 'Hello?' and then come down the stairs. When he got close we jumped out at him and shouted.

Now; here's where I fully admit I messed up. I thought he'd just be startled for a second and then would laugh with us over the prank. But that's not what happened.

We ended up frightening him WAY more than I'd anticipated. He first started running off and then ended up having a HUGE, trembling, crying, adrenaline dump for a long time. I felt really bad and so did his sister.

His mother came home not long after and ended up sitting with him, hugging and comforting him. Naturally she wasn't amused by my antics which I understand because--again--I screwed up.

However, she has stayed mad at me for all these days afterward. She will barely talk to me. I eventually got tired of it and told her that she needed to get over it.

I screwed up but I didn't mean any harm. I just way underestimated how much our prank would scare our son. I also think that our daughter is seeing how she is treating me over it and is being made to feel way too bad over her idea that was just playful; not bad-natured.

But she just says that I 'should have known better' and won't seem to forgive me.

I get it; she's always been a complete mama bear. But it's not as if I don't love our kids, too. Was my prank honestly so beyond that pale that I deserve to keep being punished over it?

Commenters wanted a little more info before completely crucifying this guy.

From BeccasBump:

INFO: Does your son typically enjoy scary movies, spooky stories and prank-scares? Or is he a more sensitive kid? I get that you didn't know better, but for me this hinges on whether you should have known better.

OP responds, to tremendous downvotes:

He really likes the 'Scary Stories To Tell In The Dark' series, but, after I thought about it, I think maybe reading all those scary stories just made him more primed to be really scared over the scare prank.

From KaliTheBlaze

YTA. She may well be mad until your son fully recovers from the scare you gave him.

For him to have such a huge response to your “prank” suggests that he’s sensitive (possibly anxiety or panic prone) and you should’ve known better. Big responses like that rarely come out of thin air.

ETA: As if that wasn’t bad enough, you didn’t even comfort your own child. You terrified him and left comforting him to the other parent, who hadn’t even gotten home yet!

When your kid is so scared they are crying and trembling, even the most emotionally unintelligent parent should be able to recognize that they need to step in and help their poor child calm down.

OP responds:

His sister and I both did comfort him. His mom just took over when she got home because she's his mom...

From BurnishedEnigma:

Does your son get scared or anxious easily? What have you and his sister done to make it up to him? Did you both give him a sincere apology for what you did?

OP responded:

To your first question; I didn't really think so. I was honestly really surprised by his reaction. Again, I really thought he'd give a startled yelp and then would laugh. I'm not sure what got triggered in him.

We both apologized to him. My daughter really loves her brother and didn't mean any harm, which is what bothers me the most. I foolishly went along with her idea instead of saying 'No, that may scare him too much' which is 100% my fault.

But she's left feeling bad over this rift in the family even after apologizing and feeling bad about her idea in the first place.

BurnishedEnigma weighed back in:

From OP's responses, it's clear that he didn't mean any harm or expected the severe reaction he got. He also apologized and I assume is never going to pull another prank on his son. His wife's anger might feel justified to her, because she's just defending her child, but if it's effecting the family, she needs to figure out a way to get over it. NTA

From danjol234:

Honestly, I think adults scaring kids is the biggest AH move. They’re just so vulnerable. You can literally scar them for life. Why would you ever do that to your child?

From Obiterdicta:

Eh, my dad did a minor scare or two on me as a kid and it's just a funny memory. If you're going to pull it off though, you have to know your kid and keep it age appropriate. (Edit to add: and only occasionally. Too frequent and your kid is going to be on constant high alert).

The real problem here is this prank was too scary for a 9 year old (heck, most adults would probably be pretty freaked out to come home to masked people in their house) and he failed to comfort his kid when it backfired (edit: apparently the OP clarified in a comment that he did comfort his son).

From Pellinaha:

YTA. Why did I already know from the word 'prank' in your title that you would be insufferable?

'I didn't mean any harm' is no excuse.

From innoventvampyre:

I'm not going to offer judgment just perspective.

My mom played a prank on me when I was little, where she pretended she wasnt my mom, and that she's calling the cops to find my real mom. She was rather insistent on this prank despite me not believing her initially. Eventually I ended up bawling my eyes out, terrified.

This memory followed me to adulthood and in therapy it was uncovered that her prank happened to hit the right chords for some issues I was already having.

All this to say, it's really easy to accidentally traumatize a kid, and pranks that involve scaring young children should generally be avoided. I can understand your wife's feelings.

ETA: A lot of you are saying this isn't comparable, and that my mom is insane. Yes to both things, however this is probably the mildest example I could remember in relation to the post. For all those who've gone through similar 'pranks' support club?

hauntedfruit puts a bow on it:

YTA. it was night time and your kid was looking forward to seeing his family when coming home, you potentially traumatized him instead. your intentions don’t mean anything here. common sense says you should’ve known better, so i agree with your wife there too.

maybe instead of trying to make excuses or defend your actions, you help your son work through what happened, since it sounds like your wife has been the one who has had to.

© Copyright 2024 Someecards, Inc

Featured Content