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Parents Demand 18-Year-Old Son Start Acting Like An Adult, He Goes No-Contact And Offers To Sell Parents His Forgiveness 16 Years Later
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Parents Demand 18-Year-Old Son Start Acting Like An Adult, He Goes No-Contact And Offers To Sell Parents His Forgiveness 16 Years Later

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What do our parents owe us, and what do children owe their parents? These questions are at the core of one user’s story on the AITA subreddit.

Not every family can provide for its children in the same way, and most of us understand that. What most people have come to expect, however, is that they and their siblings are treated as equals when it comes to receiving financial, emotional, and other types of support from their parents.

In the following story, however, that’s not what happened. Read on to see why the author of the Reddit post felt that he’d been treated unfairly and how he responded. Then, we’ll see whether Reddit thinks he went too far.

This man doesn’t think he owes his parents his time because they cut him off but spoiled his siblings

Image credits: Christian Dubovan (not the actual image)

He told his story to hear whether he was right to ask his parents to pay for his forgiveness

Parents Demand 18-Year-Old Son Start Acting Like An Adult, He Goes No-Contact And Offers To Sell Parents His Forgiveness 16 Years Later

Parents Demand 18-Year-Old Son Start Acting Like An Adult, He Goes No-Contact And Offers To Sell Parents His Forgiveness 16 Years Later

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Image credits: micheile henderson (not the actual image)

Parents Demand 18-Year-Old Son Start Acting Like An Adult, He Goes No-Contact And Offers To Sell Parents His Forgiveness 16 Years Later

Parents Demand 18-Year-Old Son Start Acting Like An Adult, He Goes No-Contact And Offers To Sell Parents His Forgiveness 16 Years Later

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Image credits: Kampus Production (not the actual image)

Image credits: Professional_Rub4448

Some questioned his actions, but many thought he was in the right for standing up to his parents

The bonds between children and parents are deep and complex, and they change as they both grow older. In most cultures around the world, people understand that children and parents can owe one another a great deal, but the nature of that relationship is for each and every one of us to decide.

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So when this man was cut off to fend for himself at 18 while his younger siblings enjoyed total financial support, most commenters agreed that he had the right to feel resentment. He had, for better or worse, been forced to struggle while his siblings enjoyed relative luxury.

Parental favoritism like this can lead to psychological issues for offspring who feel like they’ve been unfairly treated. A study performed by researchers in Hong Kong and California indicated the following: “Adolescents who believe that their parents treat them differently from their siblings have poorer psychosocial well-being than otherwise. This phenomenon, which is known as parental differential treatment or PDT, occurs in up to 65% of families.”

For most, the question of whether the post author was wrong came down to whether or not his response was appropriate

Comments defending the author’s parents generally also acknowledged that he had been treated unfairly. However, those commenters also emphasized the importance of the cause for the author’s unfair treatment. According to him, his parents claimed that their unequal treatment had been because his parents realized their mistake and tried to compensate for it with his siblings. This did little to solve his resentment, however.

What’s important is that wherever your opinion falls, this was a difficult situation for everyone involved. The author’s parents wanted to correct their mistakes and reconnect with their child, while the post’s author wanted some sort of acknowledgement of the difficulties his parents had put him through. We’d love to hear your take in the comments – do you think the author was right or wrong to act the way he did?

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Some commenters weren’t sure that “selling his forgiveness” was the right thing to call it

Most agreed that the OP was not in the wrong here

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Others could see the parents’ side, thinking they had acted unfairly because they sought to correct their mistakes

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sonja_6 avatar
Sonja
Community Member
8 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

What people ignore here is that OP was civil at first and invited them to the wedding. But his entitled parents demanded that he treated them to more. They wanted to be part of the wedding and being allowed to be involved after they've chosen to not be involved all those years in between. That's why OP is NTA. Hi parents demanded rent. They demanded he gets through school all on his own. Yes they gave him some money but they refused to give him emotional support. Then they turned around and gave his YOUNGER siblings money, let them live there rent free AND supported them. They didn't bother too keep contact in between, they didn't bother to give emotional support. But now, without any mention of them ever trying to mend bridges, they demand that OP behaves as if all of that never happened and let them play supportive parents. They're delusional. They should have just accepted the invitation and come to the wedding. OP had thrown them and olive branch, but they demanded the whole tree

o2tiger avatar
The Last Silent Tiger
Community Member
8 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

The one YTA reply: "Sounds like you started treating them like landlords..." Um actually, the Parents are the ones who wanted to be treated like landlords. OP was maliciously complying.

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marigenbeltran_2 avatar
Windtree
Community Member
8 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

The OP invited them to the wedding, what more do they want?

binawei avatar
Bina Wei
Community Member
7 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Apparently saying power (whether small or big) and being involved in the wedding. Despite not making more of an effort to be closer with him. Nor paying a small portion of things. And for those who think I'm making things up like the other commentor, read what was said; they wanted to be involved with the wedding. Think about what that typically means for parents of the bride and groom. What roles they play; In the wedding party, going to cake tasting, dress shopping, some other cultural stuff, etc. so maybe it wouldn't have been telling OP and his gf that they should have this flower instead of that but it likely could have been something like that. Or trying to be in the wedding party at all. Lots of options and they still hadn't done the bare minimum to be involved (keeping up a closer bond or maybe money for the wedding but the former is very important.)

Load More Replies...
kb0569 avatar
Karl
Community Member
8 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

This resonates with me. I wasn’t the best academically while both my siblings found school pretty easy so when I got less than impressive exam results I was told that I should get a job. The only job I could get was low-paid catering work and I gave half my weekly wage to my mother. I went to night class and re-sat my exams getting good enough grades to go to Uni. I moved out, studied and worked throughout my time there - almost trying to compensate for my earlier failure in their eyes. My academically gifted siblings both got good degrees but still lived at home, rent free being financially supported by my parents. This still goes on today and, while I’ve been fully independent for decades, I do occasionally feel a twinge of resentment that the same expectations were not asked of them. Phone calls aside I haven’t seen any of them for years. Perhaps that’s for the best.

haoyun2001 avatar
María Hermida
Community Member
8 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

To be honest, you have to do what's best for you. If they were not supportive when you needed them, there's no reason to try to keep a relationship with people who don't care about you. Anybody can have children, but not everybody can be a good parent.

Load More Replies...
Load More Comments
sonja_6 avatar
Sonja
Community Member
8 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

What people ignore here is that OP was civil at first and invited them to the wedding. But his entitled parents demanded that he treated them to more. They wanted to be part of the wedding and being allowed to be involved after they've chosen to not be involved all those years in between. That's why OP is NTA. Hi parents demanded rent. They demanded he gets through school all on his own. Yes they gave him some money but they refused to give him emotional support. Then they turned around and gave his YOUNGER siblings money, let them live there rent free AND supported them. They didn't bother too keep contact in between, they didn't bother to give emotional support. But now, without any mention of them ever trying to mend bridges, they demand that OP behaves as if all of that never happened and let them play supportive parents. They're delusional. They should have just accepted the invitation and come to the wedding. OP had thrown them and olive branch, but they demanded the whole tree

o2tiger avatar
The Last Silent Tiger
Community Member
8 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

The one YTA reply: "Sounds like you started treating them like landlords..." Um actually, the Parents are the ones who wanted to be treated like landlords. OP was maliciously complying.

Load More Replies...
marigenbeltran_2 avatar
Windtree
Community Member
8 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

The OP invited them to the wedding, what more do they want?

binawei avatar
Bina Wei
Community Member
7 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Apparently saying power (whether small or big) and being involved in the wedding. Despite not making more of an effort to be closer with him. Nor paying a small portion of things. And for those who think I'm making things up like the other commentor, read what was said; they wanted to be involved with the wedding. Think about what that typically means for parents of the bride and groom. What roles they play; In the wedding party, going to cake tasting, dress shopping, some other cultural stuff, etc. so maybe it wouldn't have been telling OP and his gf that they should have this flower instead of that but it likely could have been something like that. Or trying to be in the wedding party at all. Lots of options and they still hadn't done the bare minimum to be involved (keeping up a closer bond or maybe money for the wedding but the former is very important.)

Load More Replies...
kb0569 avatar
Karl
Community Member
8 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

This resonates with me. I wasn’t the best academically while both my siblings found school pretty easy so when I got less than impressive exam results I was told that I should get a job. The only job I could get was low-paid catering work and I gave half my weekly wage to my mother. I went to night class and re-sat my exams getting good enough grades to go to Uni. I moved out, studied and worked throughout my time there - almost trying to compensate for my earlier failure in their eyes. My academically gifted siblings both got good degrees but still lived at home, rent free being financially supported by my parents. This still goes on today and, while I’ve been fully independent for decades, I do occasionally feel a twinge of resentment that the same expectations were not asked of them. Phone calls aside I haven’t seen any of them for years. Perhaps that’s for the best.

haoyun2001 avatar
María Hermida
Community Member
8 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

To be honest, you have to do what's best for you. If they were not supportive when you needed them, there's no reason to try to keep a relationship with people who don't care about you. Anybody can have children, but not everybody can be a good parent.

Load More Replies...
Load More Comments
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