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Parents Threaten To Kick Their Son Out If He Drops Out Of High School To Become An Influencer

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There are few things parents of teenagers fear more than learning their child wants to drop out of high school.

Hopes for the teen’s future are flung into uncertainty.

And while plenty of people drop out of school and go on to live successful lives defined by financial independence, doing so without a diploma requires careful planning and discipline.

One mother on Reddit found herself faced with that dilemma. She shared her experience to the “Am I the A**hole (AITA)” subReddit.

The Original Poster (OP), who used the anonymous title of throwaway_0321654987 on the site, made her stance clear in the post’s title.

“AITA for telling our son that if he drops out of school he has six months to move out?”

OP’s son’s announcement did not come in the form of a question. 

“This evening my husband [42-year-old male] and I [40-year-old female] got into an argument with our 17 year old son.”

“He told us at dinner that he needs our signatures to drop out of school.”

The decision came despite several attempts to prevent it. 

“We know that he has been struggling since remote learning started last year. We have worked closely with his school to develop an IEP and he goes to therapy three times per week.

“His school has implemented everything that his therapist recommended including reduced assignments, more time on tests and frequent breaks during lectures.”

“I have even cut my hours down to part-time at work so that I can be home to help him when needed.”

OP’s son was full steam ahead with his decision. 

“He told us that if we won’t sign the paperwork that as soon as he turns 18 in May, he will sign the forms himself and drop out.”

“My husband asked what plans he had if he were to drop out such as work, living situation and transportation and he said he was going to stay here so he wouldn’t have to worry about any of that.”

But his presumptions weren’t rock-solid in reality. 

“We both told him that if he dropped out of school that he would not be leaving here, that he would have six months in which he would need to find a job, a place to live and his own transportation to get back and forth from work.”

“We told him that if he is going to make the adult decision to discontinue his education that he would need to be able to support himself, because we would not be doing that.”

Some pragmatic ideas were even offered. But he had very different ideas about how to make a living. 

“My husband (a mason) knows several people who are looking for apprentices in HVAC and as an electrician but our son says he doesn’t want to do that kind of work.”

“He says he wants to make his living as an influencer because he can’t work for other people.”

Stuck at an impasse, the argument escalated. 

“We told our son that our decision stands, that at this time he has three choices; graduate and get a job/go to college, graduate and work a trade, or leave.”

“Our son called us both ‘stupid a**holes’ and told us ‘we don’t understand that he doesn’t want to work like dad.'”

“AITA for telling our son that if he drops out of school he has six months to move out?”

Anonymous strangers on the internet were asked to provide feedback by declaring:

  • NTA – Not The A**hole
  • YTA – You’re The A**hole
  • ESH – Everyone Sucks Here
  • NAH – No A**holes Here

Most Redditors assured OP that she was not the NTA.

They highlighted just how thoughtful and hard-working she and her husband have been already.

“NTA. Ungrateful. He can make his own success if hes willing to throw away everything you’ve given to him and done for him.” — thestingofthemonarch

“NTA. You and your husband are doing everything to support your son. You’re even trying to help him get on his feet with a decent job if he drops out!”

“If he isn’t willing to meet you even partway, then he needs a big wakeup call about the hardships of adulthood.” — TitaScope

“NTA. You are giving him several choices and being accommodating. He doesn’t want in to put in the effort and you should set this boundary.”

“If he wants to be an influencer, then he has to provide for himself once he turns 18. If he wants to live under your roof, he must comply with your standards which are very flexible.” — akskeleton_47

Some even congratulated OP for her firm parenting, the ideal approach according to these Redditors. 

“NTA. Good on you and your husband for putting your feet down.” — JAWSQUIAT

“NTA I think you are doing him a favor by laying down clear boundaries for what consequences his actions will have and giving him plenty of time to make a decision.” — EsharaLight

“NTA. You are making difficult but responsible parenting decisions.” — theantdog

Many Redditors explained that there was only one route forward: tough love. 

“NTA, you are giving him options. This is where he will learn the truth about being an adult.” — unpredictabl

“NTA. Everyone works and answers to someone. Even influencers. Since he’s determined to go down this path, you have no choice but to follow through with your threat so he learns to put his head on straight.” — prple_ppl_eater

“NTA. Hopefully he will grow up, otherwise he will have to figure it out himself the hard way. Whatever you do, if you draw that line in the sand, don’t let him cross it or it’s all worth nothing.” — DormantDormaus

“NTA. Your son needs a good dose of reality.” — The_final_frontier

And a few people responded specifically to OP’s son’s bold plan for earning a livelihood. 

“NTA – And if we WANTED to work physically demanding jobs all the time, they wouldn’t have to pay us. Oh, and ROFLMAO!!! Making his living as an ‘influencer.’ LOL LOL LOL!!!” — NomadicusRex

“NTA and LOL at he wants to be an influencer – has he built up a following yet? that takes ages and with the ‘influencer’ market so saturated now it’s harder and harder to get anywhere.”

“What’s his standout ‘influencing’ feature? I bet nothing except maybe he’s a 17 year old with the beauty of youth.”

“Good on you for putting your foot down, he will either be forced to be serious or have a period of a tough time before he realises he can’t go on like that.” — InsatiableQuilt

If OP does indeed stick with her initial parenting impulse—as so many comments also advised—it looks like the clock has just begun ticking for this teenager.

Written by Eric Spring

Eric Spring lives in New York City. He has poor vision and cooks a good egg. Most of his money is spent on live music and produce. He usually wears plain, solid color sweatshirts without hoods because he assumes loud patterns make people expect something big. Typically, he'll bypass a handshake and go straight for the hug.