Power struggles are just part of the reality of parenting. Whether your child is three or 13, most parents are consistently met with battles from their kids as their developing minds work to figure out their place in the world.
One mom’s power struggle is being debated online after she shared an “Am I The A—hole?” Reddit thread that regarding a confrontation about privacy with her 16-year-old son. She wrote that she removed his bedroom door “indefinitely” and wondered if she was being too harsh on her kid.
In a post upvoted over 16,000 times, the mother of two, writing under the handle u/throwawaysonsdoor, explained that the door was initially removed after a scary incident. She related that she heard a loud noise coming from her son’s room and ran to his room fearful that something had happened. she knocked on her son's door she got “no answer.”
After fearing the worst, she broke down the door.
“I have no idea how I did it. I just threw myself the door and it broke. Now, clearly the door was already weak (I’m thinking termite?) but, yeah, it broke,” she wrote.
Turns out, her son was completely fine. His TV was the culprit of the loud noise and he didn’t answer his mom because she was disturbing his viewing.
“My son was fine. He was freaked out about the door but fine. The sound was his TV with the volume at the max, apparently. And he didn’t answer me calling because he didn’t want me bothering his movie. His words were, ‘You were screaming like a harpy and it was annoying, I was trying to watch the movie. Fix the door.’”
After assessing the situation, she decided that she would not replace the door. “I said no. I wasn’t going to fix it since to “fix it” I would have to buy a new door and doors are expensive. And as soon as his dad got home he would remove the door entirely as it was too broken to just stay there.”
After hearing that his door would not be replaced after the noise incident, the son claimed that he had a right to privacy, demanded a new door, and cursed at her.
“He got really mad. Said it’s his “right” to have a door, he deserves his privacy,” she wrote.
“I said he had a door and while I was the one that broke it and it was a consequence of his actions, so if he wanted a door he would have to buy it (I know he doesn’t have the money for it right now). Until then, no door. He can change in the bathroom. He said fuck you, I said he was grounded.”
She explained that her husband is on board with the punishment and trusts her judgement, but she is wondering if she is the “a—hole” about the door and taking it too far. To add onto the issue, she says her anxiety is now heightened because she thinks her son would not answer if there was an emergency in the home.
After receiving over 6,000 comments from other Reddit users, the community generally agreed that this mom is, in fact, not the a—hole.
One Reddit user wrote, “NTA: Exactly to ignore your mom like that first she knocked then freaking out is disturbing. The lack of respect, empathy and the entitlement of telling her to replace the door and I was watching my movie which was more important that your worry.”
Another echoed, “He heard her panicked too and he decided to ignore her. Clearly he doesn't understand that privileges like a lock and having a TV in your room come with a social contract where you need to acknowledge the person on the other side of the door.”
Most users offered the mom an alternative consequence that would allow the son to have his door back but with restrictions such as no TV and no lock on the door.
Redditor HotPotatoos wrote, “He is entitled to his privacy and should always have a door to close, but he lost TV privileges for having it up too loud and not answering you.”
When it comes to raising teens, it’s always especially hard when privacy and safety intersect — and this goes for issues like phone and internet use, tracking devices, and dating. So many fine lines to walk.
Read the entire Reddit thread here.