sad child sitting against a wall holding a stuffed bear

Dad slammed as punishment for ‘distraught’ nine-year-old son divides parents

Parenting certainly has its challenges, especially when it comes to punishment. Whether you are trying to teach your children valuable lessons, or instill good values, it’s a tricky tightrope to walk. Because many parents tend to disagree on disciplining styles, it’s important to discuss these things with your parenting partner. A perfect example of why this is so important recently showed up in a story found online.


“Horrible Monster

According to Reddit, where this story was found, one man taught his son a lesson about his bike, but his wife wasn’t too pleased. After he told her what he did, she looked at him as if he were a “horrible monster.” But, maybe his punishment wasn’t that bad. You decide.

bicycle with training wheels
Image by mokhtar akel from Pixabay

The husband was explaining that their son, Tim, always leaves his bike outside overnight. And, he was always told to bring the bike inside. Unfortunately, he never seemed to listen to his parents about this. After repeatedly warning Tim about what might happen and explaining it could get stolen, the husband started to lose his patience.


One morning he was leaving for work and spotted Tim’s bike, once again, on the front lawn. It had been left outside overnight, again. The husband decided he would show Tim exactly what can happen when he doesn’t take care of his things, and came up with a devious form of punishment.


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The Punishment

He wasted no time, and placed the bike in the back of his pickup truck and headed to work. It wasn’t too long after when a “distraught” Tim phoned his dad asking if he had seen his bike anywhere. “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.”

sad boy covering his face
Image by Myriams-Fotos from Pixabay

When the husband came home from work, he showed Tim his bike and said he found it at a nearby park. Following that, he told Tim he “wouldn’t always be this lucky.”


“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.”


The husband wanted to know if he was actually in the wrong, so he went to Reddit to ask the public their thoughts. Most people thought he did the right thing. However, a few thought it was over the top to betray his son’s trust like that.


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Reactions to the Choice of Punishment

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.” –itsjustanothergirl

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.” –throwingdna

Your intention was to teach your son the value of his bike. You unintentionally left your wife out because it was a quick decision, but it’s done now, so apologize for a lack of communication to her and run things by her in the future. Personally, I don’t think it was a bad move as it seems he learned his lesson, but parenting should be the joint effort of both parents, especially when “punishing” or teaching children.” –laurakershaw

I see the point you were trying to make, but I strongly disagree with lying to your kid to teach them a lesson. It may have worked this time, but this type of parenting can easily backfire on you. And it can erode the trust you have with your kids, especially as they grow older.” –thestubbornmilkmaid

What are your thoughts about this type of punishment? Do you agree that he did the right thing and taught his son a valuable lesson? Or do you think it was sneaky and horrible? Let us know in the comments below!


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  1. “Dad slammed as punishment for ‘distraught’ nine-year-old son divides parents” The Mirror. March 21, 2021
  2. “AITA for pretending my son’s bike was stolen to teach him a lesson?” Reddit. March, 2021.

Attention: While many of these stories are interesting, and we would love to take their word for it, the content in this article was taken from an unverifiable source (i.e., a Reddit forum). As such, we cannot guarantee that these events truly happened in the way that they are described in the original source.

Jade Small
Freelance Writer
Jade is a freelance writer and content creator from South Africa with over 7 years experience writing and creating. She's also a proud single mom to a super 13 year old boy.