People have very different views when it comes to disciplining children.
Thankfully, we’ve come a long way since “spare the rod and spoil the child”.
But not all parents are as willing to have their children face any sort of consequences for misbehaving.
Staying in the “kids will be kids” mindset.
As a result, other adults often take it upon themselves to teach unruly children that actions have consequences.
Such was certainly the case for Redditor MrAhole86, who took matters into his own hands when local children continued to enter his private property without permission.
However, the original poster (OP)’s neighbor’s did not appreciate his actions one bit.
Wondering if he had gone too far, the OP took to the subReddit “Am I The A**hole” (AITA), where he asked fellow Redditors:
“AITA for spraying the neighborhood kids with my garden hose?”
The OP explained that after his neighbors’ children continued to inflict damage on his property, he felt there was only one way to handle their behavior.
“I love strawberries.”
“I love them so much that I planted 300 strawberry plants in my garden.”
“After I harvest, I make lots of strawberry jelly to give to my family, friends, and neighbors.”
“I donate the leftovers to my local food bank.”
“Lately I’ve had a big problem with all the neighborhood kids coming in my yard and stealing my strawberries.”
“The last time I caught them I threatened them with the police because they was so reckless they smashed over 50 of my plants.”
“I caught them in my yard again this afternoon, instead of calling the police I grabbed my garden hose and sprayed them while chasing them out of my yard.”
“I just had a group of angry parents come to my house complaining about my actions.”
“Absolutely none of them was willing to apologize for their children’s actions.”
“One parent in particular is threatening to sue me, because her son’s iPhone 10 was ruined with water.”
“I told her that was her problem for letting her eight-year-old son have a $1,000 phone.”
“Then I threatened to spray them with my hose if they didn’t get off of my property.”
Fellow Redditors weighed in on where they believed the OP fell in this particular situation by declaring:
- NTA – Not The A**hole
- YTA – You’re The A**hole
- NAH – No A**holes Here
- ESH – Everyone Sucks Here
The Reddit community agreed that the OP was well within his rights to spray water at his neighbors children after they damaged his strawberry patch multiple times.
Everyone agreed that the children got what they deserved for trespassing, with others encouraging the OP to heighten security around his garden, and maybe consult a lawyer.
“NTA, but you should probably get some security cameras.”
“Those kids are definitely going to start f*cking with you and your plants deliberately.”
“Best to buy a cage with a lock if you can to put over your plants.”- asymmetrical_sally
“I’m a parent and I would volunteer you to spray my son with a hose if I caught him stealing.”
“Get some WYZE cameras, record those PITAs in the act, and prosecute them.”- HappyHikerMa
“You were simply watering your strawberries when hooligans ran under the water.”
“After trespassing no less.”
“Get some cameras and cops involved next time.”- sloth_sloth666
“But I’d argue that you should talk to a lawyer just to be safe.”
“t\That parent may end up going through with those threats.”
“Many lawyers have free consultations.”
“There have been instances where spraying someone with water has been considered assault, although those instances were not on their own property.”
“Regarding the phone, iPhone 10’s are waterproof, that parent is full of sh*t.”
“Also put up a chickenwire fence, it’ll solve the problem immediately and very cheaply.”- Alex-Murphy
“Send them a bill for your plant + time if you can’t enjoy them.”
“You are their private gardener for free at the moment.”- qcpat
“It’s such a bummer your hose got away from you like that.”
“It’s a shame that their waterproof phone was ruined by a slight mishap.”
“I’d give them all the number to the Apple warranty line and recommend a better phone.”-StonerTigerMom
“It was a classic get of my lawn moment, and you did what had to be done.”
“The parents don’t seem like people who would care unless there are consequences, so I doubt they would do anything if you didn’t spray their kids with water.”- Exvareon
“The iphone 10 is waterproof.”– dont-worry-about-it
“Your strawberries, not theirs.”
“OP you are one bad bitch.”
“F*ck those parents.”
“Also the segue from ‘AITA for spraying the neighborhood kids with my garden hose’ to ‘I love strawberries’ is just delightful.”- InThreeWordsTheySaid
“Get an automated sprinkler that’s motion activated.”- CashieBashie
“It’s 2019, and society is weirdly litigious.”
“It’s always safer to refrain from directly intervening, because parents might decide to sue for assault (yeah, really), or try to take you to small claims court for the cost of the ruined phone.”
“It sucks, because if the children were trespassing, there’s no way it you could really be held liable, but it’s more of a headache than you need.”
“Nevertheless, the deed is done, and I wouldn’t let it weigh on your conscience too much.”
“I *would* contact the police and let them know about the trespassing and vandalism, because that’s what they did.”
“If you have what you believe to be a legal beef, it’s best to get a paper trail started as early as humanly possible.”- Archchancellor
“Trespassing, destruction of property, non-lethal defense of your property.”
“I’d threaten to sue the kid’s parents next time if I were you.”
“So many parents these days think their kids can do whatever without consequences.”
“There are consequences for actions.”
“You sprayed them with a water hose.”
“You didn’t pour boiling water on them.”
“You didn’t throw rocks at them.”
“You didn’t threaten their safety.”
“It was spraying with a water hose.”
“Also, if it’s an IPhone X, is should be waterproof, and getting sprayed with a water hose ‘shouldn’t’ have ruined the phone.”
“She’s either talking out her a**, or she or the kid purposely broke it after the fact, or kid broke it some other way and didn’t want to fess up to mom.”
“Call the cops and have the kids trespassed.”
“It will be illegal for them to come back on your property.”
“A trespass won’t keep them from coming onto your property, but it will enhance the consequences if they do.”
“So, get cameras to prove they’re there and what they’re doing.”
“It also protects you if people start making false accusations to ‘get back’ at you.”
“I’ve seen some psycho moms that will go to the nth degree to get back at someone who ‘wronged’ their child.”
” If she does actually take you to court for the phone, you need to get information from the cell company if she has insurance on the phone.”
“IF it was covered through when the event happened, you could make the argument you only need to pay the insurance deductible, not the full price of the phone.”
“IF she can prove you spraying the kid ruined the phone.”- casbri13
“The iPhone X is waterproof.”- ubermonkey
“I love this so much.”
“Respect for the guardian of the strawberries.”- string-cheez-romance
“When I was a little kid I got busted picking my neighbors strawberries.”
“I had to help him weed the patch for a few weeks as punishment.”
“I was little so I don’t recall the exact amount of time I learned that he was happy to share with me if I asked.”
“Maybe punish the kids this summer for trampling your plants and perhaps consider making a small patch for the kids to tend next summer?’
“I’m only suggesting this because it was how I learned my lesson.”
“Oh and f*ck that parent who’s dumba** gave an 8 year old a phone worth a grand!”
“I hope the parent has learned not to let their crotch goblin trespass!”- MinnieAssaultah
“The iPhone 10 is waterproof so idk what they are on about.”- ranzprinzessin
First of all, can I be the president of your fan club?
“I would 100% recommend security cameras aimed towards your strawberries going forward.”
“Your whole darn yard if possible.”
“It’s important to document this sort of stuff.”
“Place a no trespassing sign or two, as well, just to cover your bases.”
“And if anyone at all comes onto your yard again without you wanting them to, call the cops without hesitation.”
“If the entitled parent does try to sue, please consider creating a crowd-fund to share your story.”
“I’d definitely spread that link around!”- Boozed_Ids_Gems
Needless to say, violence against children should never be tolerated under any circumstances.
While some might argue that the OP’s spraying the children with water could have been viewed as an act of violence, it also seemed to be the only way they got the message to stay out.
Particularly as these are parents more concerned with waterproof phones getting wet than the fact that their children damaged multiple potted plants belonging to the OP.