Mother Forces 17-Year-Old to Eat Off Dirty Dishes

Gillian Sisley

Should parents ever force their children to do something unhygienic?

Parenting is a tough job, and it only gets more complicated when teenagers are involved. Many parents say this was the hardest stage of parenting for them.

Science explains that teenagers have fluctuating hormones that can make navigating their feelings difficult. They're also learning their place in the world, their role with authority, and the like.

These sorts of realities were highlighted in a recent online post in which a mother forces her son to eat food off of the dirty dishes that he refused to clean.

Should parents ever force their children to do something unhygienic?

A Reddit post published on June 28th, reported on by Ashley Gale from Newsweek, has gone viral with 11,600 upvotes and 1,300 comments.

The author begins her post by explaining that she has a 17-year-old son as well as other children. In the house, family members rotate chores that need to be done. The author adds the context that her 17-year-old son hates doing chores, especially dishes, and he'll do all he can to avoid doing them.

An example she uses is that he'll overload the dishwasher to the point where the detergent can't even clean the dishes. He also won't rinse the dishes at all, so they will always come out caked in food and still dirty. If the family wants to use the dishes after her 17-year-old has 'cleaned' them, they generally have to wash them by hand.

When the author has attempted to talk to her son about this before, she indicates that he knows exactly what he's doing, and he would smirk at her and say that the dishes were ‘at least sanitized’.

Teenagers have to accept responsibility for their actions.

The author then touches on a recent event where she came home from work, and it was the day after it was her son's turn to do the dishes. She was upset after finding them in the same state as usual, and asked her husband if he could hand wash some of the dishes for them, but only for the parents and the other siblings, not for the 17-year-old.

When everyone arrived at the table, the 17-year-old asked where his plate was, and the author urged him to go grab a plate out of the dishwasher. He immediately refused, saying that the dishes were in there dirty. She reminded him of their conversation earlier, where he argued that they were still 'sanitized'.

He then said he'd wash his own dish, but the author told him ‘no’, that he'd had a chance to do that the previous evening. The author insisted that he find a plate from the dishes he had cleaned, and eat off of that, otherwise he wouldn't get to eat at all.

What do you think? Was the author too harsh on her son by forcing him to eat off of one of the plates he neglected to clean the evening before? Or is she teaching her son a valuable lesson, and he got exactly what he deserved?

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