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Mom Asks If She Went Too Far Punishing Her TikTok-Obsessed Teen Daughter For Prank Gone Wrong

The popular video app TikTok has seen some really cool, innovative uses over the years, but it’s also home to a lot of younger teens and a lot of pranks. The combination is bound to cause issues.

Redditor u/Substantial_Camel598 discovered her 13-year-old daughter contributing to the platform and when the Redditor found out the daughter was using her older brother for views, she was ruthless with the punishment.

The daughter, you see, shaved her brother’s head while he was sleeping.

Malcolm Lightbody / Unsplash

u/Substantial_Camel598 and her partner replaced the girl’s smartphone with an old Nokia, took away her laptop, and grounded her until the brother’s hair grew back. Some people in their family thought the punishment was too much and as doubts crept in, the mother took to Reddit. 

My daughter is 13 now, and she LOVES tiktok. She’d be on it 24/7 if I didn’t make sure she did other stuff with her life. Up until now it’s been annoying for me and my husband but bearable. I feel like this is partially our fault, as we are big pranksters. However, the pranks we do are harmless, like waking someone up and telling them they’re a little late, when they’re actually right on time, then revealing it 5 minutes later. Or making an extra portion of food for them, and then doing the salt bottle prank.

We always thought we’ve instilled these values into our kids, to make sure they always have everyone laughing at the end.

Recently, our daughter shattered all our rules by “pranking” my 17 year old son. Whilst my son was asleep, she walked into his room with his electric razor, and and shaved off a massive part of his hair. He was angry and immediately went into the bathroom to see the damage, where she came up behind him and shaved a large part off the back of his hair. She’d set up a camera in the bathroom, and I looked at the video. She was giggling and having a grand time whilst doing it.

Now, to him, his hair is a sensitive topic, as a couple years ago, he had pretty bad hair, by his standards, and over the past couple of months he has started to get his hair looking good and feeling happy with it. He puts a lot of effort into his hair, and was devastated when this happened.

He was obviously devastated, and didn’t want to go to school for the upcoming year. This year was pretty much the last year he’d have to be a teenager, because after this he wants to go to med school, and it’ll be high stress for the next 10 years. Now to him, his year is ruined.

My daughter was saying “it’s just hair, and you’re not even a girl, get over it” Which made me furious.

Me and my husband discussed, and we decided that she knew exactly what she was doing, and she deserved to be massively punished. We’re taking away her phone, and giving her a nokia, we’re also going to be taking away her laptop, and only giving it back to work on homework. We’ve decided to block all websites other than Google drive, and her school website. If she needs to look something up she can ask us.

We’re also going to be grounding her for the next year as well, or until his hair grows back and looks as good as it did to him. We’re doing this because we want her to realise the damage is not over with a simple apology, and his year has been ruined, and his mental health may well be down the toilet.

Her aunt, my sister, who has always favoured her in my opinion, is completely on her side, saying its just a joke and it was funny, and we need to give her a small punishment only. I feel like her punishment is deserved, but now I’m not so sure, and maybe I’m being to harsh, taking a 13 year old’s phone and contact with friends away.

AITA?

The AITA subreddit has its problems, but the community came out in support of this mother.

BoredAgain0410 noted, “NTA – tiktok is not made for 13yr olds. And if its just hair and a prank, would she be willing to shave part of her hair? Grounding for a full year will lose its effect though.”

Hawly
woodchuck33

There were a few armchair psychologists, however, who thought it was too much.

One user wrote:

ESH, except your son. Her behavior was wildly inappropriate, but she’s still a child. I don’t think she “knew exactly what she was doing” re: your son’s mental health and how long this will be affecting him. She probably figured that it’d grow back and wouldn’t be a big deal. I highly doubt she thought it through entirely, and she may not understand your son’s anxieties about his hair. Unless she has other sociopathic tendencies (in which case get her therapy!), it sounds like this was an idiot kid pulling a poorly thought out prank. Your punishment sounds too severe. To me, it seems like it will sow resentment towards you and your husband more than it will teach a lesson.

It also sounds like you did NOT teach her harmless pranking as you say. I’m sure she did take it further than you and your husband have in the past, but between your antics and tiktok, she got inspired. She definitely deserves to be punished, but more importantly she needs to understand why she is being punished in order to grow. Rather than just serving the time so to speak.

I’m not sure what the proper punishment should be for this because TBH it is pretty bad. But no phone, laptop, or face to face time with friends for an entire year at the tender age of 13 definitely ain’t it. Best of luck to you and your family.

AdventurousCup4

Django_Durango

So what do you think: too much or just fine?