A man says his wife looked at him as if he were a “horrible monster” after he revealed the lesson he taught their nine-year-old son – and it’s really dividing opinion among other parents.
He explains that his son, who he refers to as Tim, often leaves his bike outside when he’s done playing and it feels like they are “constantly telling him” to put it in the garage so it doesn’t get stolen, but the warning falls on deaf ears.
Recently when the dad was leaving for work in the morning, he spotted that the bike had been left outside all night again, and “decided to show him that our warning could actually happen”.
He put the bike in the back of his car and headed off to work, before getting a call from his “distraught” son asking if he had seen it when he left in the morning.
The dad said: “I told him ‘No, I didn’t see it. Isn’t this why we always tell you to put the bike away?’ I calmed him down and told him that we can make a plan for him to earn a new bike when I got home for the day.”
When he returned from work he brought the bike with him and claimed he had found it abandoned in a nearby park, warning Tim he “wouldn’t always be this lucky”.
He continued: “Later that night my wife was telling me that it was super lucky that I happened to find the bike and I told her that I had it the whole time and ran through what happened with her.
“She looked at me as if I was some kind of horrible monster. ‘Why would you put our son through that? And why wouldn’t you at least tell me this dumb plan so I could stop you?’ she said.
“It’s not like I had it planned out it was just a spur of the moment decision as I was leaving for work and she was still asleep. Tim was only missing his bike for a day and I wasn’t giving him that hard of a time about it.”
Worried by his wife’s reaction, he posted the story on Reddit to ask if he had taken things too far, and other people were left fiercely divided.
Some defended him, saying: “You didn’t trash the bike, you didn’t throw or give away the bike, you just let your son see the consequences of his actions. Seems like he learned his lesson.”
A second replied: “Kids aren’t going to learn if they’re constantly coddled from reality. I think this was a really good way of making the lesson stick. One day of ‘oh no my bike is gone’ isn’t going to kill him. Especially since he got it back at the end of the day. In the grand scheme of things, this was a gentle way of teaching him.”
But others were outraged, with one writing: “You taught your kid it’s appropriate to lie to get your way. You could have taught your kid that actions have consequences and made them earn their bike back. Instead you went with lying is fine behaviour.”