As any thoughtful and thorough parent will tell you, they may sound strict sometimes, but they have specific reasons for the rules they’ve put in place for their children.
Some of those rules very specifically are safety precautions, pointed out the “Am I the A**hole?” (AITA) subReddit, that need to be taken seriously.
That was why when her teen son was gifted a motorcycle for his sixteenth birthday, Redditor Low_Ice8875 put stipulations in place before she’d agree to him riding it.
When not listening led to him getting injured, the Original Poster (OP) was emotional.
She asked the sub:
“AITA for screaming at my husband and for forcing my son to pay for his boyfriend’s medical bills out of his college fund?”
The OP was shocked when her husband got their son a motorcycle.
“My husband against my wishes decided to get our oldest, ‘Bryan’ (16 Male), a motorcycle for his 16th birthday a few months ago.”
“He did this so they could go riding together. It was a surprise last-minute gift that I didn’t know about.”
“They also apparently went and got his license for it behind my back.”
The OP gave her son detailed rules before she would agree to him using it.
“I couldn’t just take it from him without looking like the bad guy since he already had it, so I laid down strict rules.”
“He was supposed to only ever drive the speed limit.”
“He could only drive it with his dad around.”
“And he was supposed to have no passengers on it.”
But then Bryan didn’t listen to the rules.
“My husband and I are separated right now, and he’s staying in a nearby apartment until we figure out what we’re doing with our marriage. Bryan stays with me a week and stays with his dad the next week.”
“Last Friday while Bryan was at his dad’s, I got a call from the hospital saying he and his boyfriend, ‘Clark’ (15 Male), had been in a motorcycle accident.”
“I rushed down to the hospital and found Bryan, and he was kind of banged up, with a gash on his forehead, some cuts and bruises, and a concussion.”
“I asked him what happened, and he wouldn’t look at me until he finally got up the nerve to tell me they wrecked on his motorcycle while he was taking Clark home from baseball practice and decided to street race some other guy.”
“He lost control of his bike and they flipped over.”
Clark wasn’t quite as lucky as Bryan.
“By then I was steaming and asked why the h**l he was out riding his motorcycle without his dad and why he would of doing something so stupid, especially riding with someone else.”
“He started crying, saying he was sorry and that he just wanted to know if Clark was OK.”
“I went to check and found Clark’s parents, who were p**sed, and they told me that Clark had broken a few ribs and his leg and two of his fingers.”
“I promised to take care of the medical bills, which calmed them down some.”
The OP put a punishment in place.
“My husband showed up and tried to explain and apologize for letting Bryan ride around with his boyfriend.”
“I just went off on him in the middle of the hospital, yelling at him that this is the reason why we were separated and that he was an irresponsible parent who never took anything seriously.”
“I went to talk to Bryan, still mad, and told him that he’d be paying for all of Clark’s medical bills out of his college fund and any money he’d been saving.”
“Since then, I’ve been getting calls from my husband and my in-laws about how I was being a b***h to my husband and that I shouldn’t possibly be taking college away from Bryan because of a mistake.”
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 pointed out that Bryan and his father should have followed the rules.
“I mean, he broke the rules and did a very stupid thing, he’s lucky they aren’t both dead. Motorcycles aren’t toys, they’re (potentially) lethal machines, more so than cars.”
“He should consider himself lucky he’s only losing some money out of this, though, frankly, I’d be getting dear old husband to pitch in, too, since he went behind your back in the first place. NTA.” – ShadyVermin
“Letting him skate would be telling him that he can move through life without having to take accountability for his actions.”
“Actions have consequences. He needs to learn that.”
“Your ex should, however, be held accountable to replenish the college fund because he gave the gift that caused the accident. Further, your ex should have consulted you before buying the motorcycle.” – stinstin555
“If the Dad was responsible and was planning on following OP’s rules, the Dad should’ve kept the keys, that way their son would’ve only been able to ride the motorcycle with him present.”
“OP may have exploded at her son right in the hospital, but I can’t even imagine the shock and anxiety she felt as she rushed to the hospital.”
“Having the son fork over money to cover his BF’s hospital bills is a small price to pay considering they both could’ve lost their lives. The son got away with merely a scratch when compared to the BF’s broken ribs, leg, and fingers.” – XenonFenix
“It’s going to be a lot harder for the 15yo with the broken leg.”
“He made a stupid mistake. Those have lots of consequences. If he’s old enough to drive a motorcycle then he’s old enough to realize that could kill someone AND that he lives in a place where medical care can make you go broke.”
“If he learns it real good now, then maybe he won’t do something dumb next time.”
“His dad is the real AH though. He should absolutely be held accountable since he’s an adult who set this situation up.” – Librarycat77
“I think Mom did a good job saying I’m only ok provided it’s used in very specific circumstances. That was a creative solution that would have worked had Dad and their son followed it accordingly.”
“Dad is the AH for undermining the good parenting and saying the son could ride with his boyfriend.” – bslow22
Some thought the dad was trying to be the “cool parent” before the potential divorce.
“I’m not surprised with the lack of accountability and risk management skills that OP’s ex has given he bought a motorcycle for his 16-year-old son.”
“This is a case of wanting to be the ‘cool’ parent gone wrong.”
“Sometimes you have to be the bad guy especially when the other parent is a child. And you became the bad guy anyway from trying to do the right thing after the accident.”
“I hope OP’s at least documenting all of this for the divorce/custody agreement.” – Unintended_incentive
“If she hadn’t offered to pay the medical bills, they’d likely be paying not only medical bills and attorney fees, but probably pain and suffering damages as well! Even more if the boyfriend were to end up with lifelong complications from his injuries… yikes.”
“Easily millions upon millions of dollars at stake here, all because of a stupid f**king father who thought he’d be the ‘cool dad’ and let his inexperienced 16-year-old have a godd**n murdercycle.” – riskytisk
“ESH. I just want to be clear, I don’t think you’re actually an AH. I do think you aren’t handing this right. This is your stupid ex’s problem to deal with NOT YOURS. Covering this with college funds probably isn’t the right call.”
“Doesn’t your idiot ex have insurance? He should 100% be liable. It was HIS purchase and idiocy that caused this. Put this in HIS court because it’s HIS problem.”
“Buying a 16-year-old a still fusing brain cells a motorcycle is about the dumbest thing ever. I just can’t even with that. These kids are lucky to be alive.”
“There would be NO WAY my kid would EVER get on that bike again and I WOULD 100% tie that to college financing. They can sell their motorcycles to cover some medical bills, there’s an idea.”
“Your kid can try a bicycle with peddles on a trail if he has a good helmet.”
“This is on your idiot ex 100%. Parenting is not being the fun dad. It’s recognizing your kid’s maturity level and allowing independence accordingly. Let him deal with it.” – KickIt77
“If they crashed bad enough, she might not have to worry about it anymore. The thing might be wrecked.”
“She can also use the dad’s recklessness in a custody court to show why she should have full custody. That’s what I would be doing.”
“‘Your honor, my ex-husband often makes horrible decisions due to his responsibility that puts my child’s life in danger.'” – dogchick1985
“At MINIMUM, I would be writing motorcycles (and dirtbikes, and jetskis, and any other dangerous activity I could think of) specifically into the custody agreement.”
“Husband has demonstrated a pretty galling absence of common sense. I don’t know if the court will change custody for a sixteen-year-old over it.” – nachtkaese
The subReddit was grateful that the accident was not worse, but they were otherwise furious with the father for how he handled the situation.
While trading a college fund in for medical bills might not be the best option, it would at least teach the son that there are consequences for his actions, and that healthcare is absolutely not free if and when an accident does happen.