We can all agree that everything is way too expensive these days, and that paying bills has become an absolute chore, no matter how automated or “practical” is.
But trying to cut costs when it physically could make someone sick is not the way to go, challenged the “Am I the A**hole?” (AITA) subReddit.
Redditor thermostataita didn’t see a problem with keeping a firm grip on the temperature on the home thermostat, despite her daughter’s complaints about being far too cold.
When her family criticized her for not taking care of her daughter, the Original Poster (OP) wondered if there was something about this that she wasn’t considering.
She asked the sub:
“AITA for not letting our daughter control the thermostat?”
The OP had all of the thermostat controls in one room of the house.
“My husband (42 Male) and I (40 Female) have two daughters: Jane (22 Female) and Lisa (5 Female).”
“This concerns Jane who has been struggling with the cold. Jane started to complain about the temperature of the house now it’s no longer summertime.”
“Currently, we leave the central heating off all the time apart from in the early morning (5:00 AM to 7:00 AM) so Lisa doesn’t get too cold when she is awake.”
“We have a small digital thermometer which we placed in my husband’s room, Lisa’s room, and my room, and Jane’s. Our house is small and all rooms are on the same level; Jane’s and my husband’s share a wall (Lisa can’t sleep without one of us and my husband has a bad snoring problem so it’s easier for me to sleep with her).”
The OP felt it was a good system for their home.
“They all read approx 16 C, give or take 0.1 C. All of our radiators are set are their maximum setting so we cannot increase the temperature in Jane’s rooms without increasing the overall house temperature.”
“We control all of the thermostats from my bedroom because Jane would turn it up when the majority of us are not feeling cold.”
“Lisa doesn’t only get temperature consideration. I mentioned Lisa not feeling cold because that would split our household in half and would make more sense to adjust the heating settings.”
“We checked while the heating was off. It is 18 C from 5:00 to 7:00 AM.”
But Jane was struggling with the arrangement.
“My husband and I don’t have an issue with the temperature of the house (it’s approx 16 C at night across all of the bedrooms since we checked in case her room was draftier), we don’t really feel it and do not see where Jane is coming from.”
“Jane complains and says she wears multiple layers to bed and around the house while we are all asleep.”
“So, she asked if she could have access to the thermostat in order to switch the heating on at a higher temperature than 18 C (what we set it as).”
“She wants to raise it to 21 C but we said no.”
“She keeps complaining about how she has to wear four layers to bed so she doesn’t feel cold in the morning.”
“Lisa says it isn’t cold when we ask her, and my husband and I also don‘t feel the cold, so we said no to her asking and thought that would put an end to it.”
But then the rest of the family got involved.
“It did not. We had dinner at my parents’ house, where Jane was making comments about how warm and toasty her grandparents’ house was.”
“My parents were shocked that we didn’t allow her access to the thermostat and they tried to sway us into giving her access because it isn’t right for her to sleep in multiple layers.”
“My sister also agreed with them and said my daughter has valid points since the temperature is starting to drop in the night.”
“Even after hearing all of this, I am struggling to see why we are the a**holes as deemed by my parents and sister.”
“Are we wrong here?”
Fellow Redditors weighed in:
- NTA: Not the A**hole
- YTA: You’re the A**hole
- ESH: Everybody Sucks Here
- NAH: No A**holes Here
Some called the OP out for obviously favoring her younger daughter’s comfort and wants.
“It’s interesting to me that no one has noticed her comment about turning the heat up so the five-year-old is comfortable but who cares about the 22-year-old? YTA.” – WipeGuitarBranded
“This sounds like a push to ‘get your 22-year-old to move the h**l out already,’ lol (laughing out loud).”
“YTA, OP. She’s cold so you should accommodate to let her use the thermostat.” – KatRichards0223
“YTA. What the f**k, lady?!?! You’re sleeping with the five-year-old, so of course she is f**king warm from your body heat! Your husband is a man so they’re usually warmer than everyone else!”
“Turn up the heat and stop favoring Lisa! Do better as parents because y’all aren’t doing so well at it if you’re freezing out one of your kids.” – throwitaway3857
“It’s not that you can’t afford to raise the thermostat, it’s not that raising the thermostat would make the rest of you uncomfortable, you reject every single option for a heat source (like a heated blanket or space heater) other than raising the thermostat, you just don’t give a damn about your daughter.”
“You just don’t care that she’s too cold. Also, 16 degrees is f**king insane to keep a house at.” – SheepPup
“OP, I am in the Netherlands. Similar central heating, similar outside temperatures.”
“Our thermostat at night is always at a minimum of 16 degrees. If the temperature drops below 16, the heating will come on.”
“During the day, that is set to 18. (This will probably go up to 21 in winter.)”
“I have three kids, and I understand they all have different needs. One of my kids is pretty chubby, six years old, and doesn’t get cold easily. One is a boy, skinny, and gets cold easily. The other one is older, she’s not skinny, not chubby, and she wears way too little… you know, teenage girls.”
“I cannot stress enough how much I CAN’T prioritize the comfort of one over the other.”
“I also don’t understand how you don’t realize that if you keep your heating off, the temperature will drop below 16 at night.”
“It sounds to me like you don’t want to spend money on heating. I get that it’s expensive, but this can’t be your reasoning.”
“What I would suggest is you keep the heating on and keep the thermostat at 18. It won’t bother you because it won’t be too warm, it won’t bother her because it won’t be too cold. And it won’t be that expensive, either, if that’s secretly the problem. Sounds like a fair deal to me. If you disagree, then please explain to me why.”
“I personally am writing this while laying under a blanket, wearing pants, a long sleeve, and a bathrobe. The cold actually Hurts my body, and my heating is ON.”
“As for right now, YTA.” – extracrispies
Others pointed out that this arrangement was simply too cold to expect anyone to live in.
“YTA. 16 C (60 F) or even 18 C (64 F) is too cold for most folks. Just because you’re fine doesn’t mean it’s reasonable to expect her to be miserably freezing.”
“I see you’re not interested in keeping the heat on consistently, either, so that’s miserable for her, as well. Why do you think she should suffer so you can save a few dollars on the power bill?”
“Also, the things most folks are suggesting (heating blankets, space heaters, etc) actually use more electricity than just keeping your house at a comfortable and consistent temperature. Expecting her to have four or more layers to be moderately warm is unreasonable.” – Willing_Hellicopter26
“Get the girl a personal space heater for her room or a heated blanket or heating pad. She obviously not making it up that she is cold. Who are you to tell someone that they are not cold or not hot?”
“I do understand not giving control of the thermostat to her but to not make accommodations for her so she isn’t cold is where you’re the a**hole.”
“Also, 16 degrees Celsius is freaking cold. Poor Jane.” – JusT_HC
“Give her solutions, but don’t make her just put up with it. The simplest would be to raise the thermostat a little, as the rest of your wouldn’t overheat and she might be comfortable then.”
“Different people have different comfortable temperatures. I personally would be comfortable with your normal temperature, as would two of my children. My wife and third child would not, and it’s hard to sleep well when you’re too cold.” – JumpingSpider97
“YTA here and this is my reasoning.”
“I have read multiple comments where Jane has tried to make compromises with you and gets shot down each time. You won’t let her have a space heater or an electric blanket since it will spike the energy bill.”
“So she asked if she could turn up the degrees to 21 degrees Celsius, which isn’t that high above normal.”
“I understand wanting to cut costs, but what Jane has been doing isn’t working. She is already making accommodations for your needs by wearing four layers. NO ONE should have to wear FOUR layers.”
“Four layers of clothing isn’t going to help her face. I know this is a wild thought but put the heat on before bed. Once everyone is asleep and comfy then turn it off.”
“18 Celsius degrees may be fine for you, but in the winter, that would drive me insane. I can’t fall asleep unless it’s minimum 22 degrees in my home.” – Dependent_Praline_93
“Where shall we start?”
“People have different tolerances to hot and cold temperatures. That’s just a fact.”
“I have a daughter roughly Jane’s age. She doesn’t have an ounce of spare fat, and is cold in the summer (air conditioning) and cold in the winter (not hot enough for her). When she went to college, she purposely limited her choices to warm parts of the country.”
“My wife, on the other hand, is hot all the time.”
“What Jane needs is a heated mattress cover. Nice thick duvet, heated mattress pad, and she’ll be warm and toasty in bed even though you keep your house at 18 C in the daytime (and presumably it gets colder at night).”
“So YTA, because you’re dismissing Jane’s comfort as irrelevant. Turning the thermostat up isn’t the right solution, because that’s expensive, and will probably make the house too hot for you and your husband.” – _mmiggs_
Some also pointed out that Jane’s discomfort could go beyond simply being cold.
“I could tolerate cold much better at five years old than I could at my current age of 24. I’m anemic, have arthritis, and have Reynaud’s Syndrome. The cold is not nice to me, even at a mild cold temp of 64 Fahrenheit, and people like this would have me in a VERY bad mood.” – s0urpatchkiddo
“My dad accidentally turned off the heat to one section of the house when doing a repair in the summer and my sister froze all winter. They didn’t believe her about how much colder it was until a few months in. This was in the northeast US and we had hot water heat, so you could close the pipes to certain rooms.”
“She was late teens and had Reynaud’s Syndrome.”
“OP, DO NOT make the same mistake my parents did.” – Granite_0681
“A lot of females that age (late teens early 20’s are pretty cold sensitive. I was raised in an older home in a cool area and had a miserable time because I froze all fall/winter/spring.”
“Let her turn up the heat; she’s not making it up!! Many people have undiagnosed Reynold’s Syndrome and other things like underactive thyroid that make them get cold, especially young women.” – mangomaries
“Also anemia! Losing a bunch of blood every month (hello, periods) and not taking in enough iron is very common.” – Personibe
“Just want to comment that fibromyalgia will also make you cold more too! I have it and I’m either sweating or shivering as I can’t regulate my body temperature.”
“I just about scrape by on disability benefits, but you know what I’ve done for the past month because anything below 20°C makes me shiver all day? I’ve put the damn heating on to regulate my flat at 20°C, and let me tell you… that extra £10 a month I’m spending on heat? It’s worth it because it means I’m not miserable.”
“There are plenty of things that can cause someone to feel cold all the time, and if spending £10 extra a month makes them happy cause they’re warm? Do it, because trust me, freezing all the time is not pleasant. OP, YTA, turn your heating on.” – BPD-and-Lipstick
“I have fibromyalgia, anemia, and thyroid disease (I have no thyroid anymore), so I’m always absolutely freezing unless I’m so hot I feel like I’m living in h**l. There’s also no happy medium here either, lol (laughing out loud).”
“I’m also on disability and scraping by is an understatement, but spending the extra 10 dollars on heat is SO much better than suffering!! OP, YTA.” – onekw
After receiving feedback, the OP shared an update.
“Hello everyone and thank you for all your feedback.”
“I did not realize there were so many reasons why my daughter potentially could be cold and that layering may not work in those cases.”
“We reached a compromise with our daughter: She can have a small heater for her room with a timer so I am 100 percent sure it is not left on overnight for my own peace of mind.”
“We are also going to buy her a heavier duvet and thicker mattress topper to prevent cold from underneath the bed.”
The subReddit was so unhappy to see a parent prioritizing their heating preferences and their heating bill above the physical needs of her older daughter.
It was clear her daughter had already accommodated the OP by wearing more layers of clothes than anyone should have to wear to stay warm. It was time for the OP to give her daughter solutions. Hopefully she would follow through with her update, for her daughter’s sake.