Every parent will handle the raising of their child somewhat differently than another parent, especially where hobbies like gaming and reading are concerned.
When a family member attempts to meddle in a parent’s disciplinary decisions, it becomes much more difficult to ensure those teachable moments will stick, pointed out the “Am I the A**hole?” (AITA) subReddit.
Frustrated when she discovered her son had not listened to her about installing ‘Fortnite’ on their home device, deleting her gaming progress in the process, Redditor Original-Oil-1792 knew it was time to teach her son his actions had consequences.
But when her mother came to her son’s rescue, the Original Poster (OP) was more frustrated than ever before.
She asked the sub:
“AITA for taking away my son’s access to games for deleting all my progress from all of my games?”
The OP shared a passion for gaming with her teen son.
“I (34 Female) have a very spoiled 13-year-old son we will call Junior.”
“I also have a newborn. They are full siblings, just a large age gap.”
“Apart from him getting annoyed with the crying, Junior absolutely loves the baby. He reads to him, holds him while he games, and uses him to try to impress girls (laugh-crying emoji).”
“In our home, we absolutely love gaming when we have the chance to, so Junior has access to all of our game systems. He mostly plays the PS5 but occasionally will play the Nintendo Switch.”
“Junior has chores and earns an allowance. He also earns a little more by doing odd jobs for the neighbors.”
The OP had a simple rule for her Nintendo Switch but not the other game systems.
“So, a big rule I have for MY Switch (he broke his on accident) is absolutely no ‘Fortnite.’ He has it on every system he can get it on, but I don’t want it on mine, nor do I have the space.”
“I am currently at home with a very needy newborn who won’t nap unless I’m holding him. This is after five months of strict bedrest while pregnant.”
“As you can imagine, I’ve been getting a lot of time to play on the Switch, but when Junior recently asked to use it to play a game, I gave it up.”
The OP was frustrated to discover Junior had not followed the rules.
“Upon getting it back this morning, I went to play one of my games, ‘Stardew,’ only to find half of my games uninstalled and ‘Fortnite’ now in their place.”
“I was aggravated but whatever. I was stressed and just wanted to relax, so I deleted it and its data.”
“When I launched my game, all of my progress was gone. I checked my other games to find the same!”
The OP retaliated at the discovery.
“Long story short, I had a stern talk with Junior and grounded him from all of the gaming systems.”
“As you can imagine, he was furious. He yelled, went to his room, and slammed his door. (All of which woke the baby.)”
The OP became all the more frustrated when her mother got involved.
“The next thing I knew, I got a call from my mom saying games are meant for kids and I needed to get over it and give her grandbaby his games back.”
“I told her absolutely not and went and grounded Junior from his phone, as well.”
“My mom is still blowing up my phone and threatening to ‘come over to save her grandbaby’ since I can’t grow up and parent properly.”
Fellow Redditors weighed in:
- NTA: Not the A**hole
- YTA: You’re the A**hole
- ESH: Everybody Sucks Here
- NAH: No A**holes Here
Some found this incident to be about much more than listening to a single rule.
“This isn’t even about games. It’s about this kid being completely entitled, and completely disrespecting somebody else’s boundaries and somebody else’s possessions.” – Agreeable_Tale1305
“Dude, kids these days know technology and video games 100x better than my generation, and I knew well enough to not dare f**k around with my brother’s saved data on ‘The Legend of Zelda.'”
“That was in 1989. I was five, FIVE YEARS OLD, and I knew not to mess with the saved data. It’s very, very basic s**t for kids at this point.”
“The kid knew exactly what he was doing. So much so that it borders on intentionally doing it to irritate his mom.” – cheeseburgerwaffles
“I feel like that’s basic gamer etiquette to never mess with someone else’s saves if you’re using someone else’s console. A thirteen-year-old would certainly know what they’re doing.”
“Also, just want to point out that a lot of games ask if you’re sure you want to delete your files.”
“NTA, OP.” – GamerGirlLex77
“When I was 10/11, a kid at BBQ had a Gameboy and Pokemon, and I desperately wanted one and wanted to try Pokemon. I asked him if I could have a turn he ever so kindly said yes.”
“I asked if I could start a new game, and he said yes. So I did and a few minutes later, he said not to start a new game, but I already had. I didn’t know it would erase all his progress.”
“I’m almost 40, and it still causes me stress and anxiety. I did that to a kid who was nice to me! I had no idea that was how it worked. I still feel guilty about it.”
“What if I ruined his love of Pokemon? I wish I could remember his name and send him a switch with a Pokemon game as a sorry gift.”
“Pokemon guy, if you’re out there, I’m so sorry!”
“OP, NTA! Your son knew what he was doing!” – Educational-Potato04
Others encouraged the OP to teach her son about accountability.
“13 seems like a perfectly good age to start learning accountability to me…” – youredumbasdogs
“I’d remove his phone. He doesn’t need bad grandma whispering in his ear, reinforcing his behavior and attitude.” – Bluefoot44
“This is exactly what would have happened if I had been 13 and got kicked off the game system and then went and called my grandma on my mom: firstly, my grandmother would have yelled at me for trying to get out of punishment, and then my mom would have taken phone privileges too.”
“Although I grew up in a period where grounding wasn’t just games. It was everything you could possibly want, except books, school, and sitting on the porch with your mom.” – Maj0rsquishy
“OP should definitely delete his saves, not just ground him. He needs to know how it feels.”
“I only play on PC and PS4, but on these systems, when you delete the game, it does not delete the save. I’m assuming, by OP’s expectation that her progress would still be there, that it’s the same on the Switch. So the guy went out of his way to delete the save data separately to make room for his stupid game that is on every other platform?”
“Not only is he selfish, but I think he did this on purpose to hurt her, just because he can. There is no other logical explanation.” – Creative-Disaster73
Some were deeply troubled by the grandmother’s involvement in the situation.
“It sounds like he was literally trying to hurt his parent because you KNOW he’d be hurt had the same happened to him and his game progress.”
“And then run to grandma, AND SHE TELLS HIM HE’S RIGHT?! Junior is acting out in a passive-aggressive rage probably because he doesn’t like the shift in baby family dynamics, but Grandma is the real AH here.”
“I mean, she’s going to ‘come to save her gRaNdBaBy’? I obviously don’t know your family dynamics, but your mother is NOT respecting you as an adult, a mother, or even that you gave birth to her new grandchild.”
“This leads me to believe this child and the 13-year-old have different fathers. She doesn’t ‘agree’ with how you parent, and your mom has most likely always had a poor opinion of you and your competence because she’s coming from a place of narcissism.”
“A REAL grandmother wouldn’t divide her family and instigate this type of behavior in a tween as well as put this kind of unnecessary emotional pressure on their daughter that JUST GAVE BIRTH to their second grandchild. She would instead be a mature adult helping any she could.” – wish_yooper_here
“Grandma is contributing to this behavior- and it could have even been the mentality of ‘games are for kids’ that pushed him to disrespect/disregard your rules about YOUR console.”
“I had my own console at age seven. It was a GameBoy Color. I still own that console. It is in good shape. I was taught to be respectful to it, and my mother’s consoles and games at that time.” – Envious_Robin
“This is why I don’t miss living with my in-laws. Every single punishment I ever tried was undermined. Couldn’t take away the TV. Couldn’t send them to their room. Couldn’t take away candy.”
“Every single time. Anything I did was undone in about 10 minutes.” – MajorNoodles
“It’s also about OP’s mom refusing to let go of the reins and back-seat parenting so forcefully that OP is actually doubting her right to make parental decisions after being a mom for thirteen years!”
“The kid isn’t the only person who needs boundaries and consequences for crossing them.” – Normal-Height8577
Despite what the grandmother had to say, the subReddit believed the OP had done the right thing by grounding her son. He deliberately broke the one rule the OP gave him for her Nintendo Switch and lost all of her progress on her games in the process.
Most game systems now will prompt a user about deleting a game or deleting progress multiple times before actually completing the step, which only makes the OP’s son’s actions all the more intentional.