There’s a thin line between funny and cruel.
Some people take pranks way too far. And, trust me, making someone cry is not funny.
Just stick to the prank classics like putting someone’s hand in warm water while they sleep so they pee.
Redditor ComprehensiveSpare55 encountered this very issue with her daughter. So she turned to the “Am I The A**hole” (AITA) subReddit for moral judgment.
“AITA for confiscating my daughter’s phone over a TikTok prank?”
The Original Poster (OP) explained:
“Long story short, my daughter (15F) and a friend decided to play a very cruel prank on the friend’s 8-year old sister.”
“Basically my daughter hid in her closet filming for TikTok while the friend called the sister in and pretended to cry and told her that she had gotten news that their parents had just been killed in a car accident…getting the reaction and then telling her it’s not true.”
“Needless to say the friend’s sister did not take it well even after being told of the truth and the parents contacted me.”
OP did not find it funny.
“I was absolutely disgusted especially considering the intention was to humiliate her on TikTok.”
“So in addition to grounding her I took her phone away and replaced it with an old one of mine that I locked down so it can’t do anything besides make/receive phone calls, take pictures and send texts, basically equivalent to an old style flip phone.”
“That happened about a month ago. My daughter’s grounding recently expired and she asked me when she gets her phone back. I told her ‘When you can afford to buy your own.'”
“Since her phone was what she used for it, I don’t see any reason why she should be allowed to one able to access such apps.”
OP’s daughter was not happy.
“She complained to my husband. He told me that he agrees she shouldn’t get the phone back now but that I’m maybe being a bit too harsh since confiscating it until the end of the school year for example would still send the needed message.”
“So I told my daughter I’ll consider it based on her behavior but she’s still banned from TikTok regardless.”
“Well she threw another tantrum.”
“Truth is I’m just so disgusted she would do such a thing, and such abuse of an app means you don’t get the app anymore and it seems fair. Now she’s giving me the silent treatment. Obviously this won’t help in getting the phone back.”
“So am I being too harsh or unreasonable?”
“I get how important such phones and apps are now to teens’ social lives, but I really can’t let something like that go unaddressed.”
Redditors gave their opinions on the situation by declaring:
- NTA – Not The A**hole
- YTA – You’re The A**hole
- NAH – No A**holes Here
- ESH – Everyone Sucks Here
Most Redditors agreed OP was not the a**hole.
“NTA. The prank was terrible to begin with, but pulling that on an 8 year old is horrific. You should get your daughter into therapy to help understand why she thought that would be funny.” ~ pbc85
“Right? My sister’s 9 years older than me (and I’m a grown ass adult in my late 20’s with a kid of my own) and I wouldn’t DREAM of pulling this “prank” on her.” ~ potentialsmbc2023
Many shared the pranks they’ve suffered through.
“My mum pulled this prank on me.”
“When I was 16 she called me up and said her and my sister were wheelchair bound when it was just a lie.” ~ unbanneda**holeacc
“What the f*ck?!” ~ lisalost7
“Oh yeah my mom messed me up big time.”
“She does so much f*cked up sh*t.”
“She’s a doctor that worked in the offshore dentition camps in Australia. Horrible things happened there.”
“I have crazy validation issues to this day because of her, been trying to work at it in therapy for along time.”
“She’s the mil in hell.”
“When I was 13 she hacked my social media (bebo not Facebook) and sexted my GF at the time to be nosy and try find out what I was up too. (And that’s so over the line you would go to jail for it these days).”
“I have endless stories.” ~ unbannedassholeacc
These pranks are so cruel.
“My grandma called my mom one day to tell her she had cancer. My mom was 16 at the time and dropped out of school & moved from Whitehorse to Vancouver to care for her supposedly dying mother. However, it was a complete fabrication and my mom never ended up graduating high school.”
“I do not understand how anyone can do these things to anyone else, but especially a parent to their kid is an extra level.” ~ fragilemagnoliax
“My sisters (they are 6 and 2 years older than me) had me convinced from the time I was 6 till I was 9 that I was adopted, not only did they have me convinced, but all the kids in the neighborhood were convinced and adults at our dance school were convinced.”
“It only came out because an adult at our dance school who met my mom right after I was born, said she thought I was my moms bio kid and didn’t know I was adopted, and my mom was like, ‘because she’s not adopted!'”
“I literally didn’t hug my parents for two years during that time and my family wonders why I don’t trust them now!” ~ tink630
“Oh God, that’s horrible! Did they get punished? Did you get therapy? Holy crap….”
“Like.. my grandma used to make us (me and cousins when we spent holidays with her without our parents) believe that if we have nightmares and run to her at night she will have to call a doctor and he would have us admitted to psychiatry ward until we grow up.”
“This led to many long terrified nights, and more nightmares.”
“Or that if we do something (eat more sweets? Not brush teeth? Really silly things) our mother or father would drop dead. She’d accompany this with a ‘story of her friend who did that and his mommy died, the funeral was so sad.'”
“We were 4-7 without phones, so there was no ‘oh sh*t I ate an extra candy, I’ll call mom to see if she’s ok’ we’d wait all day for parents to call the landlines, absolutely terrified.”
“Great nightmare stuff.” ~ KnittingforHouselves
OP added an update.
“Wow! Lots of feedback, thanks everyone!”
“Just to give an update, I’ve decided against requiring therapy for her, but I will be trying to talk to her directly as soon as possible about it and to address things.”
“Lots of good advice and resources have been sent to me, so thank you everyone!”
“I am thinking that while she definitely deserved punishment I did focus too much on the punishment end instead of getting her to realize wrongs and make amends, so that’ll be my new focus. Once again thanks for everything!”
These pranks aren’t funny. Making her daughter realize why they’re cruel and shouldn’t be done was more important than punishment in the end.