It’s important to teach kids the power of money but stealing their money might not be the way to do it.
Redditor SugarRush599 encountered this very issue with her husband. So she turned to the “Am I The A**hole” (AITA) subReddit for moral judgment.
“AITA for no longer handing my son his allowance after I found out my husband’s been taking it?”
The Original Poster (OP) explained:
“My son (10) recently started receiving allowance from me since his dad is unemployed and also because my son likes to have his own money to spend on stuff he wants.”
“The problem is that I discovered by accident that my husband has been taking the money from our son to buy his own stuff like cigarette or a drink. He’d approach our son whenever he has money and tell him he’ll buy him what he wants but ends up spending the money on something else, something for him not our son.”
“Our son obviously can not drive by himself and buy his own stuff so my husband offers to buy stuff for him using of course his allowance. I’m a nurse working long shifts most of the time so I’m not always home.”
“Every time our son wants something my husband would be like ‘Hey bud, you want few bags of Doritos for you and the other kids? I’ll stop by supermarket and get them for you then. That would be $$$’ then our son gives him the money but never receives his Doritos. Rinse and repeat.”
“This went on for 2 months til my son told me.”
OP was shocked.
“Turns out my husband asked not to tell mommy because she’d get mad at him and he’ll be in trouble and promised to get him his stuff but he never does. I had a big fight with my husband about it.”
“He said it wasn’t bug deal since he always end up getting our son the stuff he want 99% of the time.”
“He told me to consider this as ‘gas money’ since he drives xxx of kilometers to the supermarket to buy what our son wants.”
“I shamed him for taking advantage of our son and taking the money that was meant for him and said he was acting like a thief but worse when stealing from his own son.”
“I then said I won’t be handing our son any allowance anymore and my husband said I was overreacting and punishing our son for no reason. I said I’ll handle our son’s needs from now on but he argued that I can’t when I’m busy working all the time.”
“I said it was none of his business and walked out the room.”
“He kept negging me saying my son will resent me if I stop handing him money but I refused to engage any further in the argument and the guilt tripping. He keeps calling me heartless and financially controlling to take away the allowance.”
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
Redditors agreed OP was not the a**hole.
“NTA and I think your problem is way deeper than the allowance issue. What your husband is doing is a real breach of trust.” ~ yourlittlebirdie
“The father is literally stealing from his OWN son to buy cigarettes. My blood pressure would be through the roof.” ~ hello_friendss
“Not just stealing, but asking his son to keep secrets from his mother. That’s not good or safe. What happens if another adult does something and tells the kid to keep it a secret? He’ll think it’s normal since his dad does the same thing.” ~ Flaky_Tip
“I have had the ‘good secret bad secret’ talk with all my kids as soon as I think they are old enough. Super important for them to understand, to have a parent breach trust like this is just terrible.” ~ hbombgraphics
“Can you please elaborate on the ‘good secret bad secret’ talk and how to get this across in a safe and understanding way. I don’t have children yet but I really hope to be a father one day and I’m already trying to soak in as many good parenting tips as I can. Thank you.”
“Additional note: Thank you all for the explanations and the amount of people that replied, it’s great to hear how people did things slightly different with the same rule of thumb being applied.”
“I appreciate you all taking time out of your day and this has all been very valuable information, I’ve never even considered the difference between good and bad secrets thank you all again!” ~ JimmyStick
“Yes Absolutely: So when your kids are old enough (and this is different for every kid) but I always try to talk to them before they are going to be starting school or before they are exposed to other adults without supervision.”
“Basically sit them down and tell them there are 2 types of secrets, Good ones, like surprise parties or what you made mommy for Christmas, and bad ones, like if someone ever makes you feel bad and then tells you not to tell Mommy or Daddy.”
“It’s OK to keep good secrets, but you never ever keep a bad secret. Even if an adult you know tells you to not tell Mom or Dad, you always tell.”
“You won’t get in any trouble and Mom and Dad will protect you and keep you safe. You don’t have to be extremely graphic with details, just trust that your child will know when they are made to feel uncomfortable.”
“And don’t dwell on it, but take a few moments to remind them that they can always come to you with anything.”
“Quick Edit to Add some things I have learned with this conversation.”
“If ‘good and bad’ aren’t language that makes sense that’s fine, pick what works.”
“Good/healthy/nice secrets have an ending, like a birthday or a big surprise, they don’t go on forever. (this is something I picked up from several people in the comments)” ~ hbombgraphics
OP needs to talk to her husband.