How far should you go when you find out your teen is breaking the law? That’s the question one dad recently took to the Reddit community after discovering that his 16-year-old son was catfishing people online for petty cash.
The devastated dad ultimately asked, “Am I the A**hole for turning my son into the police for catfishing?”
Devastated dad feels awful for turning his son into the police after he learned he was catfishing elderly people online. He wants to know: Was that the wrong thing to do?
“I don’t know how I screwed up as a parent this badly to fail to instill in him that this is wrong and morally depraved behavior,” wrote the shocked father. “I asked why he’d do this to innocent people, mostly elderly people, and he said he needed money to buy things we wouldn’t buy him (video gaming equipment, expensive sneakers, etc.).”
Intending to teach his teen a lesson, the dad took the matter to the police.
“I felt I needed him to have a wake-up call now when there’s still a chance he’ll turn this behavior and life outlook around. I collected all the evidence of what he’d done and reported him to the police.”
While he felt justified in taking things to the next level, he experienced blowback when sharing what he’d done with friends.
“After I did this, I was devastated and called a friend to vent and ask where I’d gone wrong in raising him. She was horrified. Not at his behavior but at what I’d done. She said there was no reason I couldn’t have settled the problem within the home and didn’t have to open my son up to the risks of the legal system.”
After sharing the impossible situation on Reddit, community members responded with support for the teen’s dad. The verdict? According to Reddit, the writer is, in fact, not an a**hole.
The top response reads:
“Your son committed fraud, and from your description, elder abuse. But do yourself a favor: don’t blame yourself for his shortcomings. No matter what society tells us, children are not their parents, and your actions tell me you’ve done nothing to encourage or enable this kind of behavior. His selfishness is not your fault, and I really hope this does serve as the wake-up call you’d wanted for both your sakes.”
Most other comments were along the same lines. So despite how hard this must have been for the dad, we can safely say he was not wrong to do what he did.
Katie Nave is a freelance writer, producer, and mama living in Brooklyn, New York. Driven by her passion for storytelling, she is always seeking opportunities to elevate people who are working to better the world around them.
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