Many parents struggle to accept the moment when their child becomes a full adult with autonomous decision making.
But regardless of acceptance, that time comes.
And, as a recent post to the “Am I the A**hole (AITA)” subReddit outlined, some parents put up more of a fight than others.
The Original Poster (OP), known as Gobblemeswallowmee on the site, asked kept the post’s title simple and straightforward.
“AITA for telling my mom to stop treating my brother like a kid”
OP began with some context.
“I [21-year-old female] recently had a big fight with my mom.”
“My brother (17m) has always been my mother’s favourite and no I am not just saying this, but she tells this to everyone around her.”
So since we were kids he has been coddled his whole life.”
OP shared the extent of that coddling.
“She checks his computer, his phone, barges into his room without knocking, even tries to hand feed him at this age.”
“Anyway, he is a teen and now absolutely hates that he doesn’t get his privacy / independency.”
OP then brought up a recent incident.
“Anyway, it’s covid and he had this date with a girl.”
“In my place, covid is handled good so we can go to cafe’s if we follow the rules. My brother even told my mom about the date and guess who followed him all the way?”
Let the awkwardness begin.
“She sat in a booth nearby pretending to hide and then my brother said he went to the bathroom and his date followed him.”
“He said that he did it because he saw our mom there, and just wanted to kiss his date away from our mom’s prying eyes.”
“Anyway, they were there in for like 5 minutes when my mom barged in, physically seperated them and yelled at the girl for ruining her baby and that she was a bad influence.”
And it didn’t end there.
“It got worse up to the point the girl called our family bunch of creeps and left. My mom didn’t stop.”
“She was like ‘baby did she hurt you’ ‘are you okay’ and my brother who never NEVER cried in public as a teen called me crying to come pick him up because he was that embarrassed.”
OP knew what she had to do.
“I went and my mom wouldn’t let him come with me, because she said only she can calm her baby.”
“That’s when I told her he is calm and just fu**ing mad at her because she is treating her like he is 10 and that’s embarrassing him.”
The fallout has been messy, to say the least.
“All this happened in the parking outside the cafe’ where my mom dragged my brother and his date out and after I took my brother to my apartment, we talked and he doesn’t even want to go back home because of many other incidents too.”
“My mom is calling and texting saying I had no right to act like an asshole and embarrass her in public and even my dad says my way of handling the situation is completely wrong. I still refused to apologise so does that make me an a**hole?”
Anonymous strangers weighed in by declaring:
- NTA – Not The A**hole
- YTA – You’re The A**hole
- ESH – Everyone Sucks Here
- NAH – No A**holes Here
Most Redditors assured OP she was not the a**hole.
Many shared serious concern.
“This behaviour is creepy on so many levels.”
“I would recommend getting your brother away from your mum and maybe some therapy, because there’s no way that kind of attention isn’t going to have messed him up for future relationships.” — BookshopGeek
“NTA. What your mom is doing is creepy and inappropriate and is going to ruin his life. I’m not being dramatic. Someone needs to help your brother set some boundaries with your emotionally incestuous mother now, and it seems like you’re up to the task.” — TheRestForTheWicked
“NTA. I suggest you and your brother read up on emotional incest. It’ll be a rude awakening but you can research how to deal with her until he can get out of her house. If it’s possible and okay for him to live with you I would do that because this is incredibly creepy of your mom.”
“It’s like she’s obsessed with him being hers in a possessive and controlling way. It’s weird that she freaked out that a 17 year old could be intimate with a girl he’s interested in to the point she stalked him and verbally assaulted a child.” — Lalalalalalaoops
“NTA. Your mum has some maladaptive attachment issues with your brother. If she’s not willing to work on that either just between you all or formally with a counsellor, i’d honestly talk to your brother about him moving out and going low contact with her.”
“Her behaviour will only get worse. Imagine how she will respond when he is in a fully sexual relationship and tries to introduce his girlfriend? She will do everything to sabotage his relationships and damage his healthy development.”
“Your dad seems to be facilitating her behaviour and i wonder if it’s because she is getting emotional fulfilment from your brother that she isn’t, or isn’t willing to, find within her marriage.” — Ulahn
Others congratulated OP.
“The story turned out pretty different from how I expected based on the title. I’m very happy that despite the blatant favoritism you are nice towards your brother and is being a good big sister to him.”
“And yes you are being a responsible good sister by protecting your brother when he calls for help. Your mother needs help too. Her obsessive behavior is extremely unhealthy. You might need to get her to therapy or sth :/”
“And your dad is being completely unreasonable too if he thinks your mum is right.”
“NTA, you did good OP.” — PumpkinPepperLatte
“NTA you are a great sibling your mother is just being creepy” — Nikkiistar
“NTA. Thank you for supporting your brother. I have a very overbearing mother, and if it wasn’t for my siblings backing me up, theres no way I’d have been able to grow into the somewhat functional adult I am now. Your mum sounds even worse.”
“I’d keep him with you as long as possible, that’s an environment that’s only going to fu** him up.” — Queasy-Cherry-11
Despite all the feedback and suggestions, only OP knows how to proceed from here.