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Mom Accosted By Fellow Mother For Inviting Kid At Bus Stop To Sit In Her Car On Cold Morning

A child bundled up in a hat and coat.
Hugh Whitaker/Getty Images

No matter the location, time of day, or distance between them, there is seldom a moment when a parent is not worrying about their child.

Rightfully so, as the world we live in is much more dangerous than it sometimes appears, and any number of things could bring harm to their children.

What’s unfortunate about this situation, however, is that this can lead to an act of generosity being badly misinterpreted.

When driving her daughter to school, Redditor InterestingAct9381 felt compelled to offer help to a child she did not know.

Unfortunately, the child’s mother did not appreciate this gesture and did not mince her words when telling this to the original poster (OP).

Wondering if she did step out of line, the OP took to the subReddit “Am I The A**hole” (AITA), where she asked fellow Redditors:

“AITA for allowing a kid to sit in my car?”

The OP explained why her inclination to offer a child respite from the cold did not go over well with the child’s mother:

“I (36 F[emale]) usually have time to drive my daughter to the bus stop every morning before work.”

“Last week, where we were, it was -11 windchill.”

“There is a kid (12-14m, middle school aged) that comes down to the bus stop as well.”

“I do not know him, nor his parents.”

“This is relevant to the story.”

“On Friday, when it was -11, he came out in nothing but a thin pullover.”

“I felt like I couldn’t ethically allow a kid to stand out in such cold weather when I had a warm car he could sit in.”

“He took my offer and sat in my backseat while me and my daughter spoke.”

“He kept his airpods in and didn’t say much other than saying thank you.”

“Busses were running ~15 minutes late as well so nobody really should’ve been out in that.”

“However, yesterday while I was walking my dog a woman came up to me.”

“She asked me why I took her son into my car.”

“I explained that the weather was well into the negatives and he was not wearing a coat, and the bus was quite late.”

“She told me to never do that again and that what I did was incredibly creepy and to leave her son alone.”

“I was taken aback, I just offered the kid a warm place to sit and didn’t even speak to him.”

“I feel bad, because of course I never want to come across as creepy or overstepping boundaries, but I also feel like if the roles were reversed and I was unable to take my daughter to the bus stop, and this mom offered her a place to sit, I would be thankful.”

“I feel bad for doing something I thought was nice.”

“Is this weird?”


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 unanimously agreed that the OP was not the a**hole for offering the young boy to wait in her car.

While many understood why the boy’s mother was upset, they all otherwise agreed that the OP did nothing wrong, and was only being extremely generous, with a few others feeling the OP should have questioned why the boy’s mother let him wait at the bus stop so inappropriately dressed:

“Speaking as a former child who got frostbite in both hands at the ago of 10, thank you for caring about someone else’s child.”

“You are NTA.”

“The mother’s concern is valid, but she also was the parent who sent or allowed her child to go to a bus stop in weather that could have seriously harmed him.”

“Instead of thanking you for protecting her child from harm or even asking why you had her child in your car, she’s attacking you.”

“To me it appears she is deflecting blame and trying to make you out to be the villain, so the conversation is diverted from why SHE allowed her child to be at risk.”

“You did the right thing, but if it happens again, call the school to report the child neglect.”

“And then the cops to come pick up the kid.”- savinathewhite


“Let’s weigh the options.”

“Not be creepy, but let a child freeze in extremely cold weather.”

“Come across as creepy but provide a safe and warm shelter to a child.”

“Given the circumstances, it’s better you chose option 2.”

“Maybe you could have proactively reached out to that kid’s parents and told them about the incident as an assurance.”

“But even though you didn’t, it doesn’t make you wrong.”

“I do get where the other mom was coming from, but at least the child in question didn’t freeze in such bad weather.”- VioletLily2


“You made a kind offer, and her son accepted it.”

“If she doesn’t trust her son’s judgment, then maybe she shouldn’t leave him alone in -11-degree weather.”

“You might say: ‘Your choice. Would rather I let your son sit in my car, or would you rather I call child protective services?'”- SushiGuacDNA


“‘Sure thing lady, next time i’ll just call CPS when you send your kid out without a jacket in below freezing temperatures’.”- DueCherry2134

“Back in the 90s I was walking to school on a day that was quite a bit colder than that, about a mile to and from school.”

“The school bus pulled in front of me and opened a door.”

“I jumped on.”

“The bus driver told me she opened it so she could see the road, not so I could get on. I said there was no way I was getting off that bus.”

“She sighed and proceeded to drive on.”

“That was the only day I took the bus to school.”


“Some people are bad people.”

“That woman is one of them.”

“If she cared enough to spy on her kid, she could have sat out in her car with him.”- McRando42

“I was just the other mom in the story – neighbor sent me a whatsapp to apologize if she freaked my daughter out.”

“My kid was at the bus stop, icy temps, no coat (this is emphatically not my choice, for the record).”

“She told my daughter she could wait for the bus in her house/on her porch, kid gave her a look, said nope, and backed away.”

“Now the neighbor is second guessing herself and so messaged me to apologize and clear the air.”

“So I’ll tell you what I told her.”

“First, I always want adults to follow their instincts to protect kids.”

“There was a kid, underdressed, in freezing temps, waiting for a bus that may not show up for a while.”

“Please keep being a kind human who offers help and safety.”

“We need more of those humans in the world.”

“Second, you fully respected the kid’s autonomy.”

“You let the kid make a decision, respected their choice, and gave them their space.”

“Creepiness starts when boundaries are ignored – you were not creepy.”

“NTA.”- rachycarebear


“I get why the mother would be uncomfortable with her son getting into a stranger’s car, but I think her reaction was really over the top.”

“You just let him sit in the back seat while your own child was in the car in order to keep warm when apparently his own parents don’t ensure that he’s properly dressed for the weather.”

“Like I said, I can understand why she was uncomfortable and I think she definitely could have had a talk with her son about getting in cars with strangers, but I don’t think you did anything wrong and it certainly wasn’t creepy.”- hannahkelli


“Its the humane thing to do.”

“That mom, who let her kid leave in nothing but a pullover should have a CPS boot up her a**.”-deckyon

“When I was a teenager in New England, I had to walk 1.5 miles to school every day.”

“Some days, it was in the single digits.”

“I’m 60 now and to this day, if it’s the tiniest bit chilly and breezy outside, I need ear muffs, because my ears were literally damaged by the severe cold.”

“NTA, and if it were me, I would keep doing it and tell her I was going to be contacting the authorities for parental neglect.”- Disastrous_Desk_128


“It was the nice thing to do.”

“It would be way different if you were a random stranger offering, but you’re a parent who’s kid is getting on the same bus as him, it’s not like you’re a potential kidnapper.”- heistjm

The boy’s mother had every right to worry about her child’s safety.

That being said when the OP made it clear that her intentions were more than honorable and she was merely hoping to keep her son war, one would think she would have at least said thank you.

As several members of the Reddit community so aptly pointed out, the boy’s mother should think about investing in some proper winter gear for the boy if she doesn’t want that to happen again.

Written by John Curtis

A novelist, picture book writer and native New Yorker, John is a graduate of Syracuse University and the children's media graduate program at Centennial College. When not staring at his computer monitor, you'll most likely find John sipping tea watching British comedies, or in the kitchen, taking a stab at the technical challenge on the most recent episode of 'The Great British Baking Show'.