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Dad Refuses To Make Teen Son Take Down Social Media Posts Criticizing His Wife

Emma Kim/Getty Images

The emergence of social media has proven to have many advantages.

Namely, the ability to connect with considerable ease to people who you might not get to see very often or who you thought you lost contact with years ago.

However, social media can also be extremely dangerous.

Sometimes you might find yourself getting carried away, and posting something you might regret, which could also be hurtful to others.

While posts can always be deleted, their content is less easily forgotten.

The teenage son of Redditor Lost-Passage9681 recently found himself at odds with their mother, and as most teenagers do, took their frustrations out on social media.

When the boy’s mother got wind of this, she implored the original poster (OP) to take the post down.

However, to her shock and disappointment, the OP refused to do so.

Questioning if he made the right decision, the OP took to the subReddit “Am I The A**hole” (AITA), where he asked fellow Redditors:

“AITA for not making my son remove a social media post disparaging my wife?”

The OP explained how a recent disagreement caused some tension between his wife and son, and while the conflict was resolved, a post on social media ensured it would not be forgotten.

“My wife and I are both in our mid-30s and have a 14-year-old son.”

“I’ve been a stay-at-home dad all his life while my wife has been more hands-off due to a somewhat demanding job.”

“Still, some basic facts that anyone with even a surface-level knowledge of our kid knows is that he’s a good boy: he gets great grades and is well-behaved.”

“He’s maybe a little spoiled, but aren’t they all?”

“My point is, I have rarely had to step in and deliver any real punishments thanks to open and consistent dialogue between the two of us.”

“I have a long-time friend who plays in a decently popular local band.”

“He’s a father figure to my son and they also have a very close bond thanks to similar interests.”

“My son has always been the artsy type and he’s so excited when Friend comes over because it means he can show him the latest guitar he’s added to his collection or a new riff he’s learned.”

“During Friend’s recent visit, he mentioned going on tour soon and my son was intrigued.”

“After pressing for details, he came to me later and asked if he could go with them on his fall break.”

“He had plenty of promises at the ready, that he would listen to whatever Friend said, that he would be on his best behavior, that he would never ask for anything ever again.”

“After talking it out with him, I gave him a ‘maybe’.”

“I reached out to Friend for his thoughts, and he was all for it.”

“I figured he wouldn’t mind since he has a son around my kid’s age who goes on tour with him occasionally, another thing my son had mentioned while pleading his case to me.”

“I asked my wife and after a very brief conversation, she agreed.”

“Fast forward to the beginning of last week when he got packed up and set to leave.”

“My wife asked where he was going, I reminded her, and she said she thought I was joking.”

“I had no idea what part of it sounded like a joke, but she claimed my son wasn’t allowed to go.”

“I eventually persuaded her after our child went to his room in near tears.”

“When he arrived home yesterday, I had never seen him so happy.”

“He got to help the roadies set up for the shows.”

“He got let into bars, he intentionally didn’t wash off one of the X’s on the back of his hands just so he could come home with it and show me.”

“and Friend was singing his praises over how helpful he was.’

‘A few hours later, my son made a social media post compiling photos from his time on tour.”

‘The caption was a long one but included such gems as ‘this almost didn’t happen, thanks mom’, and, ‘friend spent a lot of his free time with me, unlike my mom’.”

“This led to a pretty big argument where my wife, upon being alerted to the post’s existence, demanded he take it down.”

“He refused, so she turned to me and asked me to talk to him.”

“I refused.”

“I told her that while I didn’t think what he was doing was right, it was clearly coming from somewhere.”

“And that somewhere was a place in which he was feeling unheard and ignored by her.”

“She’s been ignoring me since.”

‘I am not encouraging my son to air our dirty laundry on social media.”

“I just don’t think the first move should be to tell him to delete it when there is clearly legitimate hurt motivating what he’s saying.”

“We’re the parents, we can’t move on impulse based on our feelings.”

“It might be the gut reaction to ask him to delete them, but instead I want us to take a pause and come to him with empathy and understanding where we discuss the matter together and help him decide what’s best.”

“This definitely is a teachable moment, and not one that can be easily impressed onto him by just saying ‘delete the posts!’ and not reinforcing the why, along with more positive ways to express himself.”


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 OP received little to no sympathy from the Reddit community, who all but unanimously agreed that the OP was indeed the a**hole for not forcing his son to remove the post.

Everyone agreed that the OP was being hugely insensitive to his wife, who seemed to be the family breadwinner, with many pointing out how even if this did open a more deep-rooted issue, there was no reason they couldn’t have the conversation and remove the post.

“Wait, why can’t you tell him to delete it AND address the hurt behind the post with him?”-HeartfeltToddler

“I wonder whether your son would feel so resentful about the breadwinner of the family were the genders reversed.”

“I’m sensing that he feels his mother should be more nurturing and present in his life because society says that’s what a woman’s role is.”

“Thus, he feels justified to criticize his mother in public because she is not fulfilling that gender-based role.”

“You rarely ever see fathers criticized for being out of the house, earning money, and supporting a family.”

“You seem to focus a lot on your relationship with your son.”

“I suggest you focus a little more on his relationship with his mother, and what cultural expectations he is projecting onto her.”- allora1


“It’s coming from somewhere, sure, but your duty as a father is to teach your son how to express his emotions appropriately.”

“And you yourself admit this is extremely inappropriate.”

“Be a parent, explain to your son why what he did was wrong, then have a whole family conversation so you can begin to repair his relationship with his mother.”- Cogito3


“I can’t imagine me being a SAHM, which I am, and allowing my kid to disrespect my husband, their FATHER, unprovoked like that.”

“So she almost didn’t let him.”


“But she did.”

“She does SACRIFICE her time to WORK so you all can afford to live.”

“That was so incredibly bratty.”

“And you are allowing a breakdown of their relationship.”

“As a partner, you are being terrible and not setting a good example.”

“This is a teaching moment that you failed.”

“If I was her busting my ass and this is what I get and you go along with it, I’d wonder if maybe it’s time YOU get a job and I quit and stay home.”

“Ever occur to you to teach your son to talk about his issues in person then slam her on SOCIAL MEDIA?”

“I’d be heartbroken if I was her for that level of disrespect from my own family.”

“Women can’t seem to win.”

“Stay home get criticized for not working, work a demanding job get criticized for abandoning your children.”- SpecialistAfter511

There were a few, however, who also had little sympathy for the OP’s wife, feeling that the OP and their son’s frustrations at her eleventh-hour change of mind were justified, even if they agreed their son should still have taken down the post.

“From what I’m inferring from your post and the comments, it sounds like you and your son think that your wife is not involved enough with your son.”

“I think that this is a very important issue to bring up to your wife and work on as a family.”

“That does not justify that stuff being on social media.”

“You can teach your son how to express his frustrations appropriately AND support him in resolving the issue.”

“Have him edit his post to take out the rude stuff.”

“As parents, your loyalty should be to each other when facing your children.”

“If you have differences of opinion, you should discuss them behind closed doors and then present a united front when it comes to issues like this.”

“If your wife is looking to you for backup in an argument in front of your child and you disagree, then you should say something like, ‘honey, let’s go discuss this a little further’, and not just side with your kid.”

“It seems like both you and your wife need to do better in certain areas.”

“Her, in getting closer to your son.”

“You, in respecting her and communicating well with her.”

“ESH.”- artichoke313

All children wish they could spend more time with working parents.

Something which must have become painfully clear to the OP’s wife after learning about her son’s post.

However, this should have been a private discussion amongst the family, and not something for everyone their son was connected to on social media to be a part of.

It seems that every member of this family will learn a valuable lesson following this experience.

Written by John Curtis

A novelist, picture book writer and native New Yorker, John is a graduate of Syracuse University and the children's media graduate program at Centennial College. When not staring at his computer monitor, you'll most likely find John sipping tea watching British comedies, or in the kitchen, taking a stab at the technical challenge on the most recent episode of 'The Great British Baking Show'.