Few things hurt more than when someone we love breaks our trust.
And some of these breaches of trust feel like they could be pretty easily avoided, like not breaking something they’ve borrowed from us.
But even that expectation can leave us disappointed, admitted the “Am I the A**hole?” (AITA) subReddit.
Redditor draftmomaccount ended up having to ban her youngest daughter from borrowing her jewelry because of how careless she was.
When she was criticized for this, though, the Original Poster (OP) wondered if she was in the wrong.
She asked the sub:
“AITA for not trusting my 13-year-old daughter?”
The OP enjoyed collecting accessories.
“I’m a mom of 5: four girls and one boy. My girls are ages 21, 17, 13, and 10 (my son is 19 but he’s not really in this story).”
“I’m a huge shopaholic.”
“I have two walk-in clos”ets filled with clothes, bags, shoes, and jewelry.”
She also enjoyed sharing them with her children.
When my older two girls each turned 13, I showed them a jewelry box filled with cheaper jewelry and jewelry I didn’t care about.”
“I told them if they asked first and treated the items with respect and care, they could borrow whatever they want from it, as long as they ask.”
“Years later, I completely trust my older girls to borrow whatever they want from either closet, as long as they ask.”
“The older girls have always returned the items in the same condition they got them in and are very responsible with these items.”
The time came for her youngest daughter to borrow something.
“The other day was my 13-year-old’s first day of 8th grade.”
“I told her she could borrow these cheaper pearl earrings to wear to school. She was all for it.”
“I told her about the jewelry box rules and she agreed and promised to return my earrings safely.”
“She came home from school later without the earrings on.”
“When I asked her what happened, she told me she took them off for gym and left them in her locker but would bring them back tomorrow.”
“I told her we would have a conversation about this after she brought the earrings back.”
Then the OP discovered where the earrings actually were.
“Later, I had opened up her backpack to put a permission form back inside it and to grab her lunch box.”
“When I pulled her lunch box out, I found my earrings.”
“Both earrings were bent out of shape. One was missing the pearl, and the other looked like it had been colored on.”
The OP punished her daughter for this discovery.
“I called my daughter down and told her she could no longer borrow my things, because I didn’t trust her.”
“She got really upset and pointed out my 17-year-old broke a diamond necklace of mine.”
“I told my 13-year-old that my 17-year-old told me the minute it happened and offered to help pay for a new chain.”
“If my 13-year-old hadn’t lied to me, I would reconsider banning her from my jewelry.”
Her husband did not agree with the punishment.
“Later when my husband came home, he heard about the situation and told me I was being unfair and that I should let my 13-year-old borrow my stuff.”
“I told him it was a matter of trust and that I no longer trusted her, since she lied to me.”
“My husband said it’s unfair to her and that I’m picking favorites and acting like an a**hole and a hypocrite.”
“I really don’t know how to feel.”
“Am I the a**hole for not trusting her?”
The OP also clarified the length of the ban.
“She is not permanently banned from the jewelry box. This is a temporary ban!”
“I told her we can try again with the jewelry when she turns 14 in October and if she is responsible with her own personal jewelry.”
“My title seems a tad misleading. I mean I no longer trust her with my belongings, not that I don’t trust her in any aspect.”
The OP also dismissed early concerns about bullying.
“We talked with her this morning about bullying. We reminded her she can always talk to one of us, her grandma, or one of her older siblings and that her oldest sister went through a tough time in middle school and that we will do anything she needs to help her if something is going on.”
“She told us that there weren’t any problems at school and that she was fine.”
“My husband and I emailed her guidance counselor about this and she’s going to have a meeting with her. But my daughter maintains to us that nothing is happening.”
She also detailed what happened to the earrings in the comments.
“My youngest is a huge daddy’s girl and my husband usually lets her get away with stuff like this despite me putting punishments in place. He does the same thing with our son.”
“She did tell me what happened but I didn’t include it in the post.”
“She told me that during recess, she was playing soccer and lost a pearl then but didn’t notice until she went to art class.”
“She then said she took the earrings out during art and left them on her desk and that’s how they got colored, so she put them in her bag to keep them safe, but they slid under her books and got bent.”
“It’s a very elaborate story but not completely unbelievable. She has definitely come home from art class covered in paint before.”
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 agreed with the OP’s jewelry ban.
“NTA. You set ground rules and now you are enforcing them. Your husband should back you up on this. This a lesson that she should learn now before it costs her more money down the road as an adult.” – miz_marz
“NTA. Think of something she can borrow for a period of time, say a couple of weeks. If she really takes good care of this object, is responsible, maybe allow her a step-up object. And so forth. I don’t think you’re being unreasonable at all. She lied, and she destroyed your earrings.” – CinnyToastie
“I also have a 13-year-old daughter and I had to ban her from taking my things because of similar incidents. I told her that we would discuss it again in the future once I felt like she was more responsible. But that it was up to her to exhibit responsible behavior. She’s been doing great the last few months.”
“You’re doing the right thing here mama! Plus if this was the rule for the older girls, so why should she get a pass?” – sstratton_711
Others were troubled by the husband’s favoritism, not the OP’s.
“I’m surprised at your husband and makes me wonder why he’s taking her side when she clearly lied and mistreated your property. Colored on? And missing the pearl? You absolutely can’t trust her.”
“What was she like before this incident? Was she trustworthy? Was she sorry about it, or sorry she got caught?”
“Did you ask her how each piece of damage happened, because it seems like more than 1 accident befell your unlucky earrings?”
“The coloring has me stumped. That’s just horrible to color on your jewelry! What did she say about how that happened? Did she lend it to a misbehaving friend who loves markers? Crayon you might be able to remove.”
“Did it fall out and get returned in that state? Anything believable or is she covering lies with lies? These answers are important, but as far as who is the AH, you are definitely NTA, and the lying was enough for that.”
“Waiting At least a month or two before getting about try seems like getting off lightly but might salary your husband. Does he favor her? Does he spend more time with her, or want to? Is he normally the lighter punisher?”
“I’m guessing that older daughter had a track record of truth-telling to back her up, plus she offered to fix her mistake by replacing what she broke.”
“On the other hand, this kid racked up quite a list in 1 day: Lied or forgot where they were. Lost stone. Colored or lent it to a friend who colored on it. Didn’t care for them so they were both bent.”
“What was she planning to do tomorrow? She’d have needed to come clean eventually… Unless she was planning to buy or shoplift (sorry but where’d she plan to get money, does she have access without you? Maybe. Some kids do, no judgment) a replacement pair quickly?”
“Why did she leave it in her lunchbox of all places where it could do easily fall down a drain when it’s opened over a sink? Why did she not take it back out of the lunchbox once she got home, knowing you would get to this task that day…. She lost me at the lying honestly… It teaches her a terrible lesson if you let her slide out of this.”
“Your husband is the AH or TA if he thinks this behavior is okay.”
“Ask your husband if he values honesty. That should do it!”
“Best of luck!” – ParentingTATA
“As the youngest woman of three children I never felt like I had ‘special treatment’ from my (pretty strict) dad as a kid. Now that my siblings and I are grown the oldest talk about how I got away with everything and was dad’s favorite.”
“I never knew, but there is something about the baby in the family (especially a girl) that gets out of trouble.”
“NTA and ask husband to reflect on this bc older siblings may even begin to resent the youngest if they are never disciplined.” – Original_Adventurous
“Tell your husband to take that favoritism bulls**t somewhere else. I know you said she could borrow your stuff again at 14, but I would caution against that. Being older doesn’t make her more trustworthy. She needs to prove she can be responsible for your stuff before she should be allowed to borrow it again.” – l3gi0n-1183
Some wondered about the possibility of bullying, despite the OP’s post.
“My mind immediately went to ‘somebody took them’ when she said they were in her locker (maybe thinking she could get them back). Then when OP described the damage, I immediately thought this could be bullying.”
“Exactly the kind of thing a ‘mean girl’ might do – lie to convince her to lend the earrings then damage them because they thought it would be funny.”
“OP, not TA for distrusting your daughter, but YTA for immediately blaming her and punishing her without getting an explanation first.”
“Your daughter may yet be TA if she damaged them herself, but she may be an innocent victim as well and by punishing her you would just be victimizing her a second time.” – ericbsmith42
“This was absolutely my first thought, OP. My brother is 29 and just last year confessed to my mother that the bike he ‘lost’ when he was fifteen, he was shoved off of, and bullies threw it in the canal.”
“It made more sense to his little kid brain to say he’d forgotten to lock it. My mom grounded him for a month because she’d warned him about being responsible and locking his bike.” – stephowl
“This is what I thought too. The kid would rather take the blame for lost earrings than telling parents she was bullied or just was not ready to talk about what happened.”
“Then when the earrings are found in a damaged state she isn’t even given the chance to explain because mom just jumps to the conclusion kid did it herself. OP needs to reopen the conversation with the kid and just listen.” – katamino
The husband may have felt the OP was overreacting, but the subReddit felt differently. Because the OP was clear about her expectations, and because she had been consistent with her older children, it only made sense that a temporary ban would be put in place.