Parents seldom take any joy out of punishing their children.
Unfortunately, sometimes it is the only way to get a message across that certain behavior and actions shouldn’t be tolerated.
One of the easiest punishments is, of course, depriving children of their favorite thing for a period of time.
Though sometimes finding something to deprive them of might not be as easy as one might think.
Such was the case for Redditor 6throwaway79, who felt they needed to teach their daughter that a change in her behavior was necessary.
As a result, the original poster (OP) decided to forbid her from doing the one thing that brought her joy.
But after being scolded by others for their decision, the OP took to the subReddit “Am I The A**hole” (AITA), where they asked fellow Redditors:
“AITA for stopping my daughter from studying as a punishment?”
The OP explained how they felt there was only one proper punishment for their daughter’s rude behavior.
“I have a daughter (16) who is unlike any teenager I’ve ever seen.”
“The problem is she is extremely rude.”
“I’ve tried many things to fix this but nothing works.”
“I never had these problems with my other kids.”
“With them, I could just say no electronics for a week or ground them or something like that and it would be enough but not for her.”
“She doesn’t care if I take away her electronics she just picks up a few novels and starts reading them.”
“She will actually be glad if I ground her and use it as an excuse to avoid all our family gatherings like ‘oh we are going to auntie’s home tonight?'”
“‘I wish I could come but I’m grounded’ and then happily goes to her room.”
“The only thing that she likes is studying.”
“Like she will spend hours studying.”
“Last night when she was talking to her mom she was being rude and very sarcastic and as my last option I told her that she is not allowed to study until I decide she has learned how to talk to her mom.”
“She started to yell at us and called me an a**hole and said it’s not fair.”
“Then she called my brother who called us and told us we are a-holes for not allowing her to study but she gave us no other choice.”
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 in the wrong for forbidding their daughter to study.
Everyone agreed that no child should be prevented from studying as a punishment, while many others pointed out that the continuously rude behavior of the OP’s daughter suggested a bigger issue that called for professional help, not a punishment, with some raising some serious doubts about the OP’s parenting style.
“What do you think grounding her from studying is going to achieve exactly?”
“Like when you have to go to school because her grades have dropped because you won’t let her study, how are you going to punish her then?”
“By making her drop out?”
“YTA and you sound stupid, would it kill you to pick up a book on parenting instead?”-bethanyanne171
“Honestly it sounds like she’s doing this for a reason.”
“When reading your post, I believe there are some things you are leaving on out purpose to make us believe you, and your wife, are the victim here.”
“What exactly aren’t you telling us.”- Scarlett_-Rose
‘Why do you think she enjoys being in her room rather than with the family?”
“She’s also required to go to school, and school requires studying.”
“I could maybe see no ‘fun’ books as a punishment, but you are sh*tty to punish her education.”-Dependent-Row2974
‘Anyone else laughing at OP starting the post with ‘my teenager isn’t like normal teenagers!'”
”They’re being rude!;”
“Like buddy do you not remember being a teenager?”
“I was a polite-a** teen and I still had my moments.”- Kiariana
“Do you know how many parents would kill for their child to willingly study for hours at a time and actually enjoy it.”- Karma791
“It sounds like she misbehaves to get grounded, which could be a social or anxiety issue.”
“She needs therapy, not punishment.”- TinyRascalSaurus
“You need to change your punishments to something other than just taking away things.”
“If you prevent her from studying, What do you think will happen when her grades start slipping?”
“’Hi, I noticed your daughter’s grades have been lower lately’”
“’Yeah I grounded her from studying’”- TheAshenDemon4
“I think it’s very telling that your child actively avoids spending time with you AND you refuse to provide concrete information about her alleged rudeness.”
“Could it possibly be that you are just an incredibly unpleasant person?”
“I hope she ignores you and keeps studying.”
“The more she studies, the better she does in school, the nicer of an academic scholarship she can earn, and she never has to deal with you again once she moves out.”- ThreeDogs2022
“‘How dare you be productive when I’m locking you down for being rude’.”
“Dude, in prison people are allowed to study.”- sswishbone
“This is insane.”
“Banning a child from learning is just about the most ridiculous thing I’ve ever heard.”
“There are other ways to modify unwanted behavior besides punishment.”
“Maybe you should read some books about parenting.”
“There has been a lot of peer-reviewed research into effective strategies.”
“‘The Kazdin Method’ is a good one that comes to mind’.”- BeepBlipBlapBloop
“Taking growth and information away from a developing brain isn’t a good move.”
“Make her mow the lawn, or do her sibling’s chores on top of her own, or deep clean the fridge, or whatever creative thing you can give her to do that isn’t taking away from her intellectual development.”- GlitterSmash
“Intentionally messing with a child’s education to punish them is f*cked up on multiple levels.”
“There are probably good reasons that she avoids spending time with the family.”- CrystalQueen3000
“Find a better parenting technique.”
“Taking away your child’s ability to learn as a punishment is nonsensical and foolish.”-salmonberrycreek
“You don’t stop a kid from studying.”
“That’s idiotic.”- PurpleAquilegia
“So you told your daughter she isn’t allowed to do her school work bc she is rude?”
“I’m sorry, is it just me or does this seem weird that Op is punishing his kid by messing with her schoolwork?”
“She’s rude so now she will do worse in school?”
“Bit messed up if you but you’re the one who will have an awful relationship with your daughter, not me so.”
“Why is she rude?”
“How is banning them from studying a punishment?’
“If anything, more studying should be encouraged.”
“Also, why is it bad if a teen in this era prefers books over phones?”
“Until there is more detail, I am going with YTA here.”
“I find it hard to fathom that a teen who prefers the company of books is that much of a problem.”-DenseYear2713
“Apparently you have been trying to teach your kids to fear you, and it has not worked out on this one.”
“Good for her.”
“Also good for her that she’s working hard to study and not depend on you for too long.”
“If she doesn’t want to be social and is rude when she is, let her keep her distance.”
“She’s old enough to stay home.”
“But I’d also consider checking in with a doctor.”
“Loving to learn is a superpower and absolutely should be encouraged regardless of her other behaviors, but could the hyper-focus be a sign of something non-neurotypical going on?”
“A specialist could help with the downsides if so.’
‘I wouldn’t care about my child’s rudeness from my own ego perspective, but life is hard if you don’t know how to get along with others no matter how smart you are once you get to a place where everyone is as smart as you are.”- hyoi2
“WHY do you think handicapping her education is a forgivable thing to do?”
“If I was your daughter, I’d be NC the moment I was self-sufficient.”- FeralGinger
“You don’t know how rare it is for people to be completely invested in their future and remain productive without distraction from social media, partying, etc.”
“Why don’t you encourage that behavior and nurture her for the best?”- DEMOLISHER500
One can sympathize with the OP in being at a loss as to how to teach their daughter that she can’t continue to behave in a rude manner.
Why they think forbidding her to study, and possibly affecting her grades at school, however, is the best solution is highly questionable.
Should the OP be correct in assuming that their daughter is, indeed, trying to get in trouble on purpose, the usual ‘withholding’ punishment will likely not change a thing.
A professional therapist likely holds the solution to this problem.