When it comes to parenting, not everyone is going to agree with the choices and decisions you make – especially when it comes to discipline.
One mum has recently caused a stir online after seeking some advice regarding a troubling family situation she claims to have found herself in.
After punishing her daughter for a prank, the mum started second-guessing her decision to take her phone and laptop away, as well as grounding her for the whole year.
Family members criticised her punishment as “too harsh” so she decided to ask fellow Reddit users if she had taken things too far.
The strict punishment came as a result of her 13-year-old daughter pulling a prank of poor taste on her sleeping brother.
The TikTok-obsessed teenager had been seeing her parents pranking each other and seemed to have been inspired to experiment with the frivolities by using her older sibling as her personal guinea pig.
“I feel like this is partially our fault, as we are big pranksters,” the mum wrote on the Am I The A**hole forum.
“However, the pranks we do are harmless, like waking someone up and telling them they’re a little late, when they’re actually right on time, then revealing it 5 minutes later,” she added.
The mother also revealed that her daughter would have been on the popular video-sharing app had it not been for her and her husband “making sure she did other stuff with her life.”
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While filming a video, the girl walked into her 17-year-old brother’s room while he was asleep and shaved a portion of his hair off with his electric razor.
“He was angry and immediately went into the bathroom to see the damage, where she came up behind him and shaved a large part off the back of his hair,” the mum explained.
She continued: “She’d set up a camera in the bathroom, and I looked at the video.
“She was giggling and having a grand time whilst doing it.”
The horrified teenage boy had gone through a sensitive phase a couple of years prior to this, where he had struggled tremendously with his hair, leading to a serious lack of confidence.
This year, he had finally started to appreciate his appearance and felt happiness over his hairstyle for the first time in a while.
The mum explained: “He puts a lot of effort into his hair, and was devastated when this happened. He was obviously devastated and didn’t want to go to school for the upcoming year.
“This year was pretty much the last year he’d have to be a teenager, because after this he wants to go to med school, and it’ll be high stress for the next 10 years.
“Now to him, his year is ruined.”
As much as the mother and her husband had assumed their children understood boundaries and what an acceptable prank was – their daughter did not show remorse for her actions.
“My daughter was saying ‘It’s just hair, and you’re not even a girl, get over it’. Which made me furious,” the mum wrote.
“We’re also going to be grounding her for the next year as well, or until his hair grows back and looks as good as it did to him,” she explained.
The mum’s sister thought they were being too hard on the girl, but some Reddit users commented in favour of the punishment.
One person replied: “NTA. That’s assault, your daughter assaulted your son.”
Others were conflicted and felt uneasy over the severity of it.
Others shared their uneasiness over the severe sanctions as they thought limiting her access from TikTok was an appropriate form
Another wrote: “At 13, that will do some serious damage to her mental health, and two wrongs don’t make a right. Also, it sounds like she doesn’t actually understand the impact of what she did, and the punishment won’t help her understand.
“It would be much better if she could earn back those freedoms by developing her empathy, by volunteering or reading about the importance of bodily autonomy and body image.”
Meanwhile, a university professor was uncertain about the fact that the daughter had grown up in an environment where pranks were welcomed, and therefore did not fully understand where the lines should be drawn.
They wrote: “Of course a 13-year-old will take it too far. They don’t have an adult brain. The parents should be aware of that.
“If you run a pranksters household you need to be hyper-aware of this and make sure your kids know exactly where the line is and what the consequences for stepping over that line are.”
They went on to explain how the front brain was the last part of the brain to develop in humans, a part essential to help us think things through, plan and control impulses.
“This explains why teens can tend to be forgetful and make decisions in the moment – sometimes leading to risky choices.”
What do you think the mum should have done? Let us know in the comments below.