Going to the grocery store as a kid is practically torture. Not being allowed to touch anything — especially sugary snacks and toys — while endlessly following your parents up and down the aisles? Yeah, it’s no surprise kids would choose to pass on that errand if they have the chance. But one dad didn’t like his teenager declining a Target run, and he lashed out.
On the popular subreddit “Am I The A—hole,” this dad said he asked his 15-year-old son to go to Target with him. “I could use an extra set of hands plus it would be an opportunity to have daddy time,” he wrote. In a move that surprises no one, the teen said no. So, the dad took his other two sons, who are 9 and 7.
The dad decided to treat his sons for helping him. “Towards the end of the shopping trip, I went to see what they had at the clearance section,” the dad wrote. “They had some small Lego packages that were 50% off and my sons asked if they could get one. I agreed and then we got ice cream before we left.”
When they got home, his 15-year-old was upset his dad didn’t ask him if he wanted a Lego set or ice cream. “I told him because he didn’t want to go to with us plus I made them scan, bag and load everything into the car,” the dad explained.
Sounds reasonable, right? But it took a turn for the worst.
“He said that wasn’t fair,” the dad continued. “And I said he’s 15yo bitching over a $5 Lego set and a cup of Ben and Jerry’s ice cream so he really should grow up.” If anyone needs to grow up, it’s the dad! It sounds like he lost his temper at his son because he wouldn’t go shopping with him.
According to the American Society for the Positive Care of Children, belittling, screaming, blaming, threatening, or being sarcastic with your kids, as well as having unpredictable responses and continual negative moods among others are signs of emotional abuse. This can “cripple and handicap a child emotionally, behaviorally, and intellectually.”
Redditors agreed, calling out the dad for the way he spoke to his son.
“YTA for not being able to have a normal discussion with your teenage son without resulting to insults,” one person wrote. “How can you tell him to grow up when you sound as immature as him? You don’t have to buy him anything but answer like a mature adult if you expect the same of him.”
Someone else wrote, “I have better conversations and explain to my toddler why she can’t have something better than you do. Resorting to insults is pretty clear why your 15 year old has some growing up to do (so do you).”
Others offered helpful advice about bonding with teens. “If you want father son time maybe do something he is interested in. Not ask him to help go shopping,” suggested one Redditor.
If you want a close relationship with your kids (or, really, anybody), then you have to show them respect, kindness, and consideration. Maybe next time, skip the shopping and go straight to the ice cream instead.
Celebrities — they’re just like us! Especially when it comes to embarrassing their kids.