Divorced father refuses to punish 17-year-old son after cruel stunt he pulls on his 16-year-old stepsister

Gillian Sisley

A dad has found himself in a difficult situation, as his 17-year-old son has been sent to stay with him and his wife, as explained in a Reddit post.

*This is a work of non-fiction sourced from social media discussion boards and verified experts/specialists.*

According to the father of the 17-year-old son, there was an altercation between the son and his step-sister, which has complicated things. The author explains further:

“There was a conflict between him and his step-sister (16f). Admittedly, the kid did something he should not have done. I don't think it would count as criminal, because he's underage and all. His mother and stepdad think it's a way bigger deal than I do. I agree it's a problem, but it's the kind of thing that teenagers do, it wasn't violent, and it's not like anyone outside the family except one of his friends even knows anything about it. I'm not going to detail what it was here.”

According to Psychology Today, one should reflect on the seriousness of the child's behavior and relate it to the punishment being considered. The American Academy of Pediatrics notes that even when it comes to more serious misbehaviours, it's important to consider one's approach to punishment.

The dad and his ex-partner are at odds in how to handle the situation, with the mother apparently wanting to punish the teen, while the dad is only seeking a "good talking to". He continues:

“His mother thinks he needs to be punished to the nines. Kept inside all summer, no friends, and maybe even moving schools next year (he and his stepsister go to the same school but aren't in the same year). I think he needs a good talking to by an older male figure about how to respect women but I don't think a slap on the wrist is going to make a difference.”

The father is unsure of what to do, as he concludes with:

“Now my ex is angry at me and saying all kinds of things that aren't true about me as a man. I think if she sends our kid to me it's up to me how I handle misbehavior.”

What do you think?

Was the author justified to not ground his son for whatever it was he did, as he believes a sincere talking to will do the trip?

Or is the author in the wrong to not punish his son for his behavior, especially as his spouse believes that punishment is appropriate in response to the teen’s actions?

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