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You probably won’t be shocked to hear we’ve seen a lot of vacation-related drama on Reddit. There was the new dad who was going on getaways just for funsies while his wife was at home with their newborn. (Are you kidding me?!) There were the sisters who were fighting over who should be caring for the kids. (Oof.) There was the dad who would only pay for one daughter’s vacation. (Yikes.) And there was the mom who asked her ex to cancel his vacation in case their picky daughter wanted him to take care of her. (Needless to say, his girlfriend was not happy.)

Now prepare yourself for a lot of head-scratching because this latest family vacay fiasco is super unexpected. There’s a lot of ground to cover with this latest family vacay fiasco, so we are going to just dive on in. (Safely, of course.) Right into the deep end. With no other swimmers nearby. And with a lifeguard present. Well, hopefully there’s a lifeguard present. We’ll get to that soon enough.

One mom jumped on the Reddit “Am I The A—hole?” thread recently to explain that her 16-year-old son got a part-time job that ultimately conflicted with the family’s annual vacation plans.

  • Working Man

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    This mom’s 16-year-old son got a part-time job as a lifeguard last month. They live in South Florida, she explained, so yes, the pools are “pretty much always” open.

    OK, we are majorly jealous. And also majorly impressed. That is a high-pressure job that requires medical training in case of emergency and an intense level of focus. Plus, this kid didn’t even wait for summer break to start working. He started while juggling schoolwork.

    “It was a good job for him,” this mom wrote in her original post. “He liked it and was happy to have the money. The issue was his boss was an a** about giving time off.”

  • No Vacay For You!

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    This woman’s family — which also includes two daughters, ages 15 and 10 — takes a yearly vacation to a beach house. They’ve done this ever since she was pregnant with her son. “Of course, the kids all love it and look forward to it,” she said.

    This woman claims her son told his boss about the vacation when he signed onto the job, but because it was only six weeks after he started, his boss ultimately denied the time off. She did not say if the boss originally said her son could go on this vacation. If he did, he’s  definitely an a-hole for going back on his word.

  • Pack Your Bags

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    Well, OP told her son he was still going, regardless of his boss’s directive. It’s just a part-time job, she said. “And there are a million of those.”

    “He protested, but we made him go, and his boss fired him,” she said. “It’s not that we don’t trust him to stay home alone or anything like that. We just don’t want him to prioritize work over family, especially for some weekend job.”

    Of the 3.8 thousand comments, we only saw one person who was on Mom’s side. That person’s reasoning? It was “totally unrealistic” for the son to stay home alone for that long. Which, if Mom had felt that way, this would have been a totally different story. But as OP said, that wasn’t the issue.

    So while that commenter and others may not let their teen stay home alone, OP did not have a problem with that. This commenter also said it was ridiculous for the family to cancel a vacation for one of the kids, but again, the rest of the crew could have still gone while the son stayed home.

  • Here Comes The Drama

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    Her son was understandably furious to have lost his job. OP said he refused to do any family stuff on vacation, or listen to her and his dad.

    “So he was grounded when he got back,” she said.

    Wait. What? You made him lose his job and you are grounding him for being upset about it? Aren’t you at least proud that he was committed enough to his job that he was sad to lose it? What message are you sending by saying part-time jobs are dispensable? It’s not like he’s some fancy-shmancy executive who won’t take time off to be with his family. He’s a teen who is taking his commitments seriously, and that should be applauded. If Mom should be angry at anyone, it should be the boss (if he did indeed go back on his initial word to give her son the time off for vacation).

    And how is grounding him going to make this better? Sure, he was angsty on vacation, but she was the one to force him to come.

    “Your kid wanted to act responsible and you’re actually teaching him lessons to put leisure before responsibility?” one commenter wrote. “Then, when he justifiably got mad that he lost his job because of YOUR actions, you decided he deserved even more punishment?”

    “Not only are you teaching your kid that a strong work ethic isn’t important,” they continued, “but you’re also teaching him that his negative emotions aren’t valid. He’s angry at you because he’s trying to become independent and you’re actually holding him back in a very controlling manner. Are you trying to keep your little baby from growing up and becoming a man, momma?

  • Back In The Chair

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    OP said her teen found another lifeguard job two weeks later. Woohoo! Way to go, kid. “So it’s not like this impacted him in any way,” mom said. Well, he did learn that his parents don’t support his professional desires, but we will get off that soapbox for now. 

    “He still holds a grudge about it,” she said. “He claims we didn’t respect his choices, and he’s right, we don’t respect him trying to choose his job over family time, though we don’t hold it against him since he’s just a teen.”

    Wait, what? That is so unexpected and contradictory. Usually when a sentence in a post starts with “He claims we didn’t respect his choices,” it is followed by the person saying, “That’s not the case!” and defending their own stance. And then for her to say she doesn’t hold it against him even though she grounded him? We’re sorry, but we don’t follow.

  • Yep, You’re The A—hole

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    The internet is not impressed with you, OP. Sorry, not sorry. Upwards of 23,000 Redditors agreed with this comment:

    “YTA. Look, you forced him to go on vacation, costing him his job and income. Then you grounded him for being upset. Unless you offered to make up his income then I don’t see how you were being fair. [Do] the kids love [this vacation] or do you?”

    It’s not only his job, income, and coworkers that he lost, users said. He probably also lost a job reference. Why would this boss (who, again, could definitely be an a-hole) ever give a positive review of this teen if a future employer called? And while this line of thinking may be a bit extreme for just one job, it’s a reason why mom shouldn’t be teaching her son that part-time jobs are a dime a dozen. A history of being fired is not going to look good.

    “You seem so blasé about causing your son to lose his job,” one commenter said. “I’m glad that you don’t “hold it against him”, but he definitely has the right to hold it against you.”

    A more appropriate way for this mom to have handled this would have been for her to go with her son to “stand up to his a-hole boss.” At 16, he probably doesn’t have the skills or confidence to do that himself, so she could show him how to respectfully remind his boss that he knew about this trip from the beginning. Or she could have suggested that her son pick up extra shifts before and/or after their vacation.

    Afterward, if the boss didn’t concede, she and her son could have had a conversation about the value of having an understanding boss. It may not have changed Mom’s mind about anything, but at least there was an attempt to change the situation rather than her just putting her foot down.

    “What do you think you’ve actually accomplished here?” one Redditor asked. “Your son was fired, made the vacation worse, didn’t enjoy any of it, and has learned you don’t respect him. How exactly is that valuing family?”

    “OP, you talk about valuing family but it looks like what you actually mean is ‘valuing the things that we as parents value,’” another said. “Your kid is your family and you didn’t respect or value his opinion, desires, wishes, or wants.”

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