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Parent Stunned When Teen Son Asks For A New Phone After Ruining His On Purpose To ‘Look Cool’

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We’re all human here, and we can admit that accidents happen.

But sometimes we do silly things on purpose to keep up appearances, pointed out the “Am I the A**hole?” (AITA) subReddit.

Redditor NoLeg2760 recently decided to teach their son what would happen if he chose social status over responsibility.

When their son was not happy about this, the Original Poster (OP) wondered if they had taken it too far.

They asked the sub:

“AITA for refusing to buy my son a new phone after he broke his?”

The OP’s son’s phone was recently broken. 

“I have a 15-year-old son. As a present for getting all A’s on his last report card, I saved up money and upgraded his phone from an old iPhone 5s to an iPhone SE 2020.”

“Yesterday he came to me, and he said his phone had been broken.”

“I was assuming he had just dropped it and cracked the screen, a relatively easy and not too expensive repair for me to perform myself.”

The OP’s son explained what had happened.

“But he showed me his phone and it was not only shattered, but also bent, and half of the screen was hanging off.”

“I asked how it had happened, and he told me that he had been dared by his friend to place his phone on the sidewalk and run over it with his bike.”

“I asked him why he followed through with something that would clearly break the phone, and he told me that he wanted to look cool.”

Their son made a request.

“He requested that I buy him a new phone.”

“While I could afford to do that, I didn’t think it would be fair to do so after he had knowingly broken his old phone.”

The OP came up with an alternate solution. 

“I told him that he could use his old iPhone 5s.”

“I dug it out and discovered that it had fully died at some point in the past year, which meant that was not an option.”

“He still needed something I could use to contact him, though, so I gave him an old flip phone I found in a cabinet.”

“He told me this was unusable and completely unfair to stick him with, but I disagreed.”

“It performs the basic actions you need a phone for. The rest is optional, and he chose to look cool over having those features.”


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 said it was simple: the son had broken his phone.

“NTA. He broke his phone. It was no accident, he chose to do it for cool points. Choices have consequences.”xdaemonisx

“I am laughing here. You have a super cool phone… so you decide to destroy it for ‘cool points’ and demand a new phone? What?”Ursula2071

“And like, he admitted it?? He didn’t realize how dumb that made him look??”

“Jesus, the kid could’ve at least lied about it. I would say I’d lie about it, but I never would have done something like that in the first place, so…”fleshseagull

“Yeah, he didn’t just break it, he intentionally destroyed it.”

“If he wants another one, he should have to save up allowance to get one or get a job. New phones can be a lot of money. If he wants one so bad, he should save for it.”

“He’s 15, not 7. He knows exactly what he did. H**l, he could be driving soon, what if this kid dares him to crash his car? He’s an idiot either way.”

“NTA. Don’t buy him another new phone.”umamifiend

Others agreed and said the OP would be a bad parent if they bought another phone.

“Look, I know we were all dumb when we were 15, but I know I wasn’t that dumb.”

“Getting him a new phone would be straight-up bad parenting – he needs to learn that actions have consequences.”

“I bet anything the kid who dared him to do it was laughing his a** off that he could get someone to break their own phone.”Music_withRocks_In

“Accidents have consequences, too.”

“While I totally agree with the NTA, I’m also not sure that I would still buy him a brand-new replacement phone even if the damage were accidental.”

“At least, I’m not sure ‘don’t do stupid things to look cool’ is any more worthy a lesson than ‘be very, VERY, VERY f**king careful with pocket-sized multi-hundred-dollar electronics.’ Like, ‘be as careful as you would be with a $500 porcelain vase.'”StAlvis

“OP, if you feel like it, you can suggest he get a job to pay for a new(er) phone himself and/or you could let him do needed jobs around the house (that weren’t already part of any chores he already has) to work it off, etc.”

“But either way, no, you’re NTA in the least.”ImpulsiveRuminator

“This kid clearly needs to learn the value of a dollar.”

“Absolutely do not buy him another nice phone. Time for him to get a job and/or start volunteering. Maybe seeing what it means to earn money or to give your time away for others will teach him to value and care for what he has.”

“Also, why would you not have insurance on the phone? If you do, get the replacement phone and sell it. This kid does not deserve it.”Autumn988

Though the OP wondered if they were being too harsh by not simply supplying their son with another phone after he had broken his own, the subReddit insisted they had done the right thing.

Getting him a new phone now would more than likely teach him that it’s okay to do such foolhardy, costly things, and also that his parent would cover for him, financially and otherwise, if he made a mistake.

Having to deal with an older phone for a while might be exactly what the son needed. It might be an important life lesson, alone with saving up money or working a part-time job.

Written by McKenzie Lynn Tozan

McKenzie Lynn Tozan lives in North Chicago, where she works as a poet, freelance writer, and editor. She received her MFA in Creative Writing from Western Michigan University, and her BA in English from Indiana University South Bend. Her poems have appeared in Rogue Agent, Whale Road Review, the James Franco Review, Thank You for Swallowing, and elsewhere; and her essays and book reviews have appeared with Memoir Mixtapes, The Rumpus, BookPage, and Motherly, among others. When she's not reading and writing, she's in her garden or spending time with her family. For more, visit