The modern world has changed how we view things compared to how they used to be. A phone is so much more than a device used to just call someone; it can now connect you to others in so many ways.
But that added connectivity brings its own change to the modern world in the form of new ways to be bullied. How do you protect your kids when they could be bullied right from their own home?
One dad found out and had to ask Reddit if he did the right thing. He did this on the “Am I the A**hole” (AITA) subReddit, where you ask the internet that very same question.
Responses vary, but are usually one of the following:
- NTA – Not The A**hole
- YTA – You’re The A**hole
- NAH – No A**holes Here
- ESH – Everyone Sucks Here
So, what did this dad do? To tell that, we need to back up and explain them situation his son is in.
As he explained it:
“My son (10) has been playing fortnite with his best friend for a couple years. For about a year and half of that time it was just the two of them playing and in the last 6 months more and more of their classmates have started to join in.”
“My kids are with me every other week and on the weeks they are here I spend a good amount of time with them, chilling, doing homework, movies etc. I live with my gf and her 3 kids, so we spend a lot of time in the boys very large bedroom.”
“About 3 months ago I started noticing my son being upset and found out that he was being “kicked” from the groups and at first I was concerned maybe he was being a dickhead or whatever.”
“About 2 months back I was in their room and my son was playing with his friends and I heard him kind of begging and saying don’t kick me and then he said “I don’t have vbucks to get you that skin” and then he got kicked. I asked him what was going on and he downplayed it and I let it go.
“Since that point I’ve seen the same thing happen a few more times and I finally got him to open up to me and it turns out he has been being bullied by his friend for a long time into giving/gifting skins, emotes and other items.”
The dad didn’t want to see this go on, if only for the mental health and support for his son.
But the actual value of the V-Bucks given to this bully isn’t anything to sneeze at either.
“I explained to him that I got the vbucks for him to get stuff for himself and that I can’t afford to be getting his friends stuff. He said he understood and said he would stop.”
“It turns out that his friend has been doing this to all of his friends and he opened up to me that he had given this kid 20 plus items ranging from 1200-2000 vbucks, $12-20 each.
“So I’ve spent anywhere from $250-400 on this kid that I know of.”
“I had written out a long text to the kids mom a couple weeks back and for some reason I decided not to send it. Well Tuesday, yep you guessed it, I was in the kids bedroom and I heard “no Billy I don’t have enough vbucks to get you that skin” but then I heard “you know what Billy, I’ve given you more than 20 things and you’ve given me 1″.”
“He was of course kicked from the group. That was the last straw for and I guess for my son. It turns out that the other kids were giving this kid whatever he wanted and that was why my son often was the one who would get kicked.”
“I told him I was going to be sending his friends mom a text explaining everything and I also had some text messages with Billy saying “if you buy me this skin I will re friend you”.”
“He begged me not to send it but I obviously thought it was important enough that the mom needed to know what her kid was doing. She replied back in a very understanding way, apologizing to my son and to me and said she would be talking to her son yesterday after school.
“So my son didn’t want to go to school today because he is worried about how things will be.”
“So AITA? Or did I do the right thing? Hard to ruin a 5 yr best friend relationship and yes I see that this kid wasn’t really being a best friend.”
“And yes the mother has offered to reimburse us for the vbucks.”
Our perplexed parent asked the internet if they did the right thing and the internet answered.
Most assured him he was NTA here.
“NTA, you are protecting your son from being bullied and financially abused. Your son is not mature enough to understand the situation and you have to do what is best for his interest. He will come to understand your reasons.” – hello_friendss
“NTA. Billy is a awful bully that uses friendship as a weapon. You did the right thing telling his mom. I hope you also sit down with your son and talk to him about everything that happened; when I was little I didn’t realize I was being bullied until someone pointed it out.” – gibcyndaquilpls
“NTA that kid wasn’t his friend to begin with your son is just a genuine soul who obviously cares very deeply for those he thinks are” – cant_sleep420
“Your son needs to get rid of that “friend”. No friend would bully and scam others out of hundreds of dollars. This kid shouldn’t even have Fortnite if he doesn’t want to buy or earn the items himself.” – Juicy_Oreo
The most painful part of this is seeing how a 5-year friendship can turn so toxic. It’s seeing how despite your child is physically safe at home with you, there’s still a wide internet out there that can access.
Bullying has changed.
“NTA. Real best friends don’t beg their friends to get something for them.” – Nikku187-2nd-acc
“Not beg. The kid is bullying others to give him skins by not allowing them to play with him if they don’t give him skins.” – S30M4NV0G3L
“I think this is a really important distinction. The kid didn’t beg, or even ask–he demanded. He then made these demands a condition precedent for his “friendship.””
“OP did the right thing, but now there will be a difficult time for his son. He may very well go to school and find that he is now without a friend group, since it sounds like the other friends are still under the bully’s sway. That is rough, having to go to school every day without a friend group.” – vambot5
“Friendships are on equal ground, not subordinate to one.” – flucksey
The dad updated the post, with a little bit of good news. Billy has lost his internet privileges for a while, and hopefully his parents will take a closer look at what he’s doing online. With some parental guidance, there’s hope of putting him back on the right track.
As for the son, dad has explained to him that friends don’t do this kind of thing to each other, and it seems like he understands. Billy has apologized and still talks to the son, so they haven’t completely lost that connection either.
Much of parenting is figuring out the balance between letting your kids do whatever they want and being too controlling. Hopefully this helps a few people understand where they want to draw that line.