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Teen Reports Mom To CPS For Returning Gifts From Friend’s Parents To Get Store Credit For Herself

Woman holding a pile of shopping bags.
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We’ve all complained about something our parents did when we were children.

Some of us even still complain about our parents’ actions into adulthood.

Unfair as we may have found it back in the day, sometimes with a little perspective, we’ve come to learn that our parents were not, in fact, punishing us, but instead looking out for us.

In some cases, however, a child’s annoyance, anger or sadness over something their parents did turns out to be more than justified.

And may have been even worse than we thought.

Redditor aitanotsharing always felt overlooked by her mother and stepfather.

But the original poster (OP) felt that her mother’s actions over the Christmas holiday took things to a whole new level.

The father of a close friend of the OP’s had to agree, and after learning about what the OP’s mother did, felt there was no other solution but to call Child Protective Services (CPS).

Wondering if things went too far, the OP took to the subReddit “Am I The A**hole” (AITA), where she asked fellow Redditors:

“AITA for telling my friend’s dad my mom returned everything he got me for store credit for herself?”

The OP explained why her friend’s dad found himself compelled to call CPS:

“So last year my mom married Mark and we moved to a new state.”

“We have a 3 bedroom house.”

“My mom and mark have one room, Mark’s daughter Lily (10) has her own room and I (13 F[emale]) share with my brothers (16, 18, and 22).”

“Mark doesn’t want my mom to work but he also doesn’t give her money for us because thats our dads job so I was kinda on my own to get anything I needed.”

“A guy at my school noticed I don’t have a lunch most of the time so he started bringing extra food for me then I started going to his house after school.”

“They’ve been really nice to me.”

“They take me out with them and they got me pair of shoes because mine were too small.”

“They went all out for me for Christmas.”

“I got 2 pairs of boots and another 2 pairs of shoes, 6 pairs of jeans, 4 leggings, like 20 shirts, 2 jackets, a raincoat, rain boots, umbrella, new backpack and water bottle and even hair stuff and some makeup.”

“They also got me glasses but that wasn’t really a Christmas present.”

“My mom took everything back for store credit and she used it to get herself stuff.”

“My friend’s dad picked me up the day after Christmas to take me to camp (he signed me and my friend up for cooking camp during winter break) and I told him what happened.”

“He called CPS and they came to camp to talk to me a couple days later then they came to the house and now I’m staying with my friend and his dad.”

“He reordered everything he got me plus he had me go into target and some other stores to get a couple things until everything gets here but my mom is really mad that I told him and she’s saying I got her in a lot of trouble so I wanted to know if I was wrong for telling him that she returned everything.”


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 Reddit community overwhelmingly agreed that the OP was not the a**hole for telling her friend’s dad that her mother returned all her presents.

Everyone was horrified by the OP’s story, agreeing that calling CPS was exactly the right thing to do, not only because the OP’s mom returned all her presents, but because it was clear that the OP was being neglected by her mother and stepfather for years before this incident.

“You are NTA.”

“You are not wrong.”

“Parents take care of their kids.”

“That’s our job and our privilege to do.”

“I’m so sorry OP but your mom and your step dad were mistreating you and neglecting you.”

“Your friend’s family was able to see this and I’m so glad they got CPS involved.”- alwaystasks


“Your mom stole from you.”

“She got herself in trouble.”

“You did the exact right thing telling them what happened to the things they bought you.”

“Your mom is being selfish by trying to convince you that you were wrong to say anything because you keeping quiet is good for her.”

“You’re not wrong – your mother is lying about you being wrong to manipulate you.”

“You are 13, you do not have the power to get her into trouble – her troubles are all things she did herself.”

“It is not likely even stealing from you that got her in the most trouble, it is likely that once she drew attention to herself people started noticing other things she was not taking care of.”

“You had shoes too small.”

“Strike one.”

“Needed glasses.”

“Strike two.”

“Went to school with no food.”

“One strike per day someone else fed you.”

“You are a girl sharing a bedroom with a 22 year old who is male, as well as 2 other teenage boys, while he gives his own daughter who is nearer your age a whole room to herself.”

“CPS will hate that.”

“Nothing you said caused her troubles… she did, the truth did.”- ButterflySammy


“Let me say it again – none of this is your fault.”

“Your mother had no right to take your things.”

“They weren’t hers.”

“I’m sorry you’re in this situation.”

“You don’t have great parents.”

“YOU did NOT get her in trouble.”

“Her poor decisions got her in trouble.”

“Did she not think that your friend’s dad wouldn’t notice that you were never wearing the stuff bought you?”

“Even if you had not told him he would have asked about it sooner or later.”- PhoenixRisingToday

“’Mark doesn’t want my mom to work but he also doesn’t give her money for us’.”

“Someone get Red Flag Guy on the line.”

“Four of you share one bedroom, you go without lunch, and your stepdad doesn’t want your mom to work to provide for you but refuses to do so.”

“Mark’s an AH.”

“Your mom’s an AH for marrying him (but also possibly a victim).”

“I’m so glad your friend’s dad is looking out for you.”

“NTA.”- embopbopbopdoowop


“Your friend’s family bought you a wide range of basically … essential things.”

“They could see you didn’t have food for lunch or clothes to wear and covered it.”

Then your mum sold your stuff (refunded for cash) and bought her own stuff.”

“She literally took the clothes off your back to buy herself stuff, and it was stuff I assume you probably needed.”

“Mum’s don’t do this.”

“Mum’s go without a meal so their kids can eat.”

“They eat the crusts and edges and only one piece of meat so their kids get the best.”

“They will go without a new jumper if it means their kids have got bloody shoes.”

“Your mum a) not feeding you lunch, b) not clothing you properly, and then c) taking FROM you to line herself… is not the actions of a mum.”

“CPS was called because you the walking, talking epitome example of a ‘middle class neglect’ where there is FOUR kids in one bedroom, and one in another, where there’s enough money in the house for food but some people not being fed, where there’s neglect and intentional non support.”

“Your mum herself may not realise she’s in a financially abusive relationship, but you… YOU .. deserve protecting.”

“Your friend’s family can see this because they know what normal looks like.”

“What you are living is NOT normal, but if you haven’t ever been able to experience normal you might not know that.”


“You deserve better.”

“You deserve lunch every day, shoes and jeans and boots, and for your stuff to be YOURS.”-Particular-Try5584


“How does your mom justify her 4 kids in 1 room while her stepdaughter gets her own room.”

“Plus returning your gifts and buying herself things is straight up stealing.”- Sorry-Government920


“OP, you did absolutely nothing wrong.”

“You deserve love.”

“You deserve safety.”

“And you deserve to be cared for.”

“Your parents and stepdad are failing to provide for you, to the point of neglect, and possibly abuse.”


“None of this is on you.”

“Bless that boy for befriending you, and his family for giving you a safe haven (and for raising their son right).”

“I am so, so glad to hear you have these people in your life.”- Ok-Map-6599


“I freaked out when you said you had to share a bedroom with a male teenager and two men.”

“Glad you got out of there, and you have support.”- Disco_Sugit

The saddest thing about neglected children is that most of the time, they don’t realize when they’re being neglected.

One can only be grateful that the father of the OP’s friend was looking out for her as he did.

Leaving one to hope that the OP might finally begin to live a life full of the love and attention she deserves.

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'.