There’s a thin line between protecting your kids and being over protective.
Teenagers need to feel like you trust them enough to take care of themselves, to some extent, and make the right choices.
Redditor PhoneJoke encountered this very issue with her daughter. So she turned to the “Am I The A**hole” (AITA) subReddit for moral judgment.
“AITA for telling my (38F) daughter (17F) that she’ll have parental controls on her phone as long as I’m paying the bills?”
The Original Poster (OP) explained:
“My daughter has accepted a job offer and she needs an app so the job can know if she’s done everything she needs to and so she can get paid for her time.”
“Last night she asked if I could put the AppStore on her phone so she could get it and I said that I’d do it tomorrow (or today). She said that waiting for the AppStore is annoying and so is having parental controls on her phone in general.”
“I told her that she’s free to start saving for her own phone and her own phone plans with the money she earns from her job but she said that the money she was saving was for her graduation trip with some friends.”
“Apparently she complained to her dad about having parental controls and he said that, yeah, it seems controlling.”
“I don’t think so, I’m just protecting her from things and certain sites. I feel like she shouldn’t have complained to her dad about this and I’m mad that he’s taking her side.”
“His argument is that she’s almost an adult and that, by telling her what she can do, I’m telling her what she can and can’t do with her friends.”
“AITA? I don’t think I am.”
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 the a**hole.
“YTA. She’s 17, she’s old enough to protect herself from ‘things and certain sites.’ A 17-year-old shouldn’t need to ask their mom if they can download an app for work.” ~ beesknees3330
“Exactly. If she’s old enough to legally work, she’s old enough to control her own phone. Like I can’t imagine the embarrassment if it came up at work that ‘no, I can’t do that necessary function on my phone until my mommy lets me.’ Yikes” ~ MaraiDragorrak
“YTA. Yes, it’s controlling.”
“Especially since you admitted that she wouldn’t have parental controls if she paid for her own phone. What does who pays for the phone have to do with her safety?”
“Either she’s unsafe and you have to have controls on, or she’s safe and you don’t. Insisting on controls b/c you pay for her phone is literally about being controlling and NOTHING ELSE.” ~ usernaym44
“It’s all about denial, because the only thing OP is protecting is themselves.”
“They want to think that their daughter isn’t seeing ‘filthy’ things, so they put the parental controls on the phone and then they don’t have to do anything or engage their daughter in real conversations and treat them like a young adult.”
“OP can just plug their ears and scream ‘LALALA’ at the top of their lungs. Like a child.”
“Oh, hi irony.” ~ dramaandaheadache
People argued OP’s daughter needs some freedom.
“Also, I firmly believe that preventing kids/young adults from doing things definitely does not teach them how to handle said things. The stakes only get higher as time goes on.” ~ rationalomega
“It’s like not telling kids about sex and only thinking that preaching abstinence solves everything. To grow into adults , they must experience life. It’s too bad people like this are allowed to procreate.” ~ Godofwine3eb
“TBH, OP is TA twice over because if she insists on being a controlling parent, she should at the very least do what her daughter needs for work right away instead of waiting until it’s convenient.” ~ schatzi_sugoi
“YTA. OP is babying a 17 YEAR OLD THAT ALREADY WORKS. This is insane, I never heard of 17 year olds that need their mommies to control the App Store or the sites they access.” ~ topoloco1
This could affect her daughter’s career.
“Good God! That’s a good way to lose that job too.”
“A manager hears that Mommy doesn’t trust her daughter enough to have access to the App Store, she’s not trustworthy enough to work. Seriously, a lot of teens have been fired or not hired because of perceived ‘helicopter parenting.’”
“Get the damn app on her phone now.” ~ FleurDeCLE
“There is no amount of parental controls that can keep a 17 year old out of any site. I’m sure your daughter has seen everything you can imagine at school or through friends already. It just shows how controlling OP is and can’t realize it.” ~ TheChikkis
“I remember my mom banning me from reading Seventeen magazine because it discussed sex and birth control. Never mind my friends and I were reading Cosmo at their houses.” ~ Carbonatite
“That’s the thing parents don’t understand. You can control your kids at home only. Once they are out the house they will do everything you told them not to.” ~ TheChikkis
“My aunt had 8 kids; she and my uncle are incredibly religious and legalistic. She homeschooled them all, wouldn’t let any of them watch television unless it was Anne of Green Gables or Little House on the Prairie, they couldn’t read magazines, etc.”
“Hell, she wouldn’t even let them listen to christian rock music because apparently any music that wasn’t in a waltz 3/4 time signature was ‘the devils music.’ This is just the tip of the ice berg, too, my aunt is bat shit crazy.”
“And she wonders why her kids won’t talk to her.” ~ paint_that_shit-gold
“I went through this with a friend. She also wasn’t allowed to read 17 / YM or any other of the teen girl focused magazines; but she was allowed to read Cosmo, Vouge, etc.”
“Finally my mom asked about the rule (our parents were friends). Friend’s mom said ‘Well those magazines are all about getting boys!’ Mom replied ‘And the ones [daughter] reads are all about getting men and sex! Which would you rather your 12 year old be reading?'” ~ canadian_maplesyrup
Helicopter parenting never works out well.