From a legal standpoint, we become independent when we turn 18. We can vote, conduct important financial transactions, and even decide to go to war.
But despite the cut and dry legal facts, some parents struggle deeming 18 the be all end all of their child’s growth toward maturity.
A recent post on the “Am I the A**hole (AITA)” subReddit explored that dynamic directly.
The Original Poster (OP), known as snakeskinskirt11 on the site, shared the particular situation in the post’s title.
“AITA for asking for free rule of my own cell phone?”
OP led with some context.
“I am a [22-year-old female] still living at home while I finish up my last year in college.”
“I work full time (about to work two jobs and 50 hour weeks) go to school and am pretty independent.”
“I have younger siblings that I babysit and care for, laundry I do and I buy most of my own food at home. (Just setting the scene).”
But she encountered a surprise not long ago.
“Recently my mom told me the ‘house rule’ is no technology upstairs (where my bedroom is) and I have to turn it into my parents at night.”
OP had some gripes.
“I think at 22, I don’t have to follow this rule, and told her I will switch my phone contract and independently pay for the use of my technology.”
“She is calling me selfish and rude for not following this rule.”
It ended with OP left a bit unsure.
“AITA for trying to set a boundary that as an adult, I’m allowed phone use in my room?
Anonymous strangers weighed in by declaring:
- NTA – Not The A**hole
- YTA – You’re The A**hole
- ESH – Everyone Sucks Here
- NAH – No A**holes Here
Redditors were completely on OP’s side. They found the whole thing a little weird.
“WOAH! This is weird. You’re 22 years old and mommy is having issues with laying off the control button. NTA, move out move out move out!”
“The first time I lived alone I spent the first couple of days walking on egg shells like I normally would have had to back at my mom’s house. That all ended when I noticed I was sneaking into my own apartment at 22 years old, it was about midnight, I looked around and thought ‘WTF AM I DOING?! This is my house!’ ”
“I immediately slammed the door and kicked my shoes off loudly. Felt bad for my neighbors afterwards and never did it again but fu** did it feel so liberating.”
Fu** that controlling bullsh**. Move out.” — snackmammy
“NTA your mum’s a lunatic, sorry but to force that sort of a rule on a grown adult is messed up man. Swap your phone contract into your name.”
“I’m sure her parents weren’t trying to control her life at 22 (not that they had phones then)” — basicallyculchie
“Jeezus!!! WTH is wrong with your parents?? You are definitely NTA!!! I’m a mom of 3, 2 are college aged. We do pay for their phones, but it doesn’t give us the authority to take their phones or check their phones.”
“I can’t imagine telling them they have to turn in their phones at night.. lol!!! I haven’t done that to them since they were in 8th grade. 😂😂 your parents are ridiculous.. you’re 22, you deserve privacy.”
“You do not deserve to be treated like you’re 13. Get your own line.. that doesn’t make you selfish..I only wish mine would get their own plans. 😂😂 I’d save some money.” — LoveMyFu**ingLife
Some gave pragmatic advice.
“NTA Your mother is being very weird and controlling. I think you’ll enjoy your life a lot more once you’ve moved out and are on your own.”
“But if you have no luck convincing her to back down, and don’t want to move out just yet, then you might want to consider getting a cheap smartphone and your own plan.”
“Hand in your normal phone at the end of the day, then use your other phone instead.”
“Once you’re ready to move out, you can just completely ignore whatever your mother says about it.” — TexFiend
“NTA, if you like your phone provider or want to keep your number, you can call the company and pull your line off the family plan!”
“Also, you’re 22. If you can afford it, fly free. It doesn’t sound like you have time to be a 22 y/o if you’re working full time, going to school, and caring for your younger siblings.” — catladyfa
“Just get a second phone thats always ‘dead’ and hand it to her while you sneak your real one upstairs to spend all night looking up apartments so you can move away from her batshit insanity.” — NotMyPotOfTea
Some, despite finding her parents’ rules ridiculous, did acknowledge some realities of the situation.
“NTA. There is a limit on ‘my house my rules’ and it is reached long before a 22 year old isn’t allowed to use a phone in their own bedroom. That’s gross and controlling.”
“That said, the fact that I think it is fine doesn’t mean they can be convinced and they have a rather big stick – kicking you out – to enforce the rule. Unless you are able to move out, you may have no choice but comply.” — jacquilynne
“NTA for not wanting to follow a rule that makes sense for younger kids and teenagers, BUT you are living in their house so if you want to avoid the drama, get out and get your own place.” — Accurate-Temporary73
“NTA for wasting control and autonomy but I wonder if your parents rule is because of setting an example to your younger siblings? Do they follow this rule themselves because if so I’ll can see why they would want you to continue to follow it while living in the family home?” — Delicious-Number
“NTA. Perspective. Switch to paying your own cell.”
“May I ask you to look at this differently? Maybe this isn’t about you, maybe this is about your sibling, and a blanket ban was put into place for the sake of your sibling.”
“Pull your parents aside and be upfront about your boundaries. You are right. If you are handling your work and school, it’s not their business once you start paying your own bill. Put a password on your cell in the meantime.”
“But don’t flaunt it. I worry they are trying to snoop through your personal life via your phone.” — ipsos_custodes420
So if it’s power and control OP’s parents are looking for, they’re in for a rude awakening if OP follows any of these suggestions.